Friday, November 29, 2013

Forgiveness And Retail

Good afternoon, everyone.  Or as I like to say at this time of day, good morning.

So, I may be missing a deadline for a design submission this week because I was working too much to put the finishing touches on the item.  I have to forgive myself...designs can be submitted at any time depending on the publication, and I did need that extra time to get the thing a bit more perfect, so I can't beat myself up over it.

Which brings me to the art of forgiveness.

There is a misconception out there that forgiveness and forgetting are related.  They are not.  If you are like me, where you are a perfectionist but you are far from perfect, then learn this lesson sooner rather than later.

The more anger you carry, the sooner you die.  It's that simple.  I'm not dramatizing...I'm being serious.

So when a new friend (meaning less than three months) asked me to help him out financially, even giving me terms for him to pay me back, I spent my day being horribly offended and then I just forgave him.  Yes, I was initially so angry I actually wanted to call him, especially since he spelled out that he needed probably about $3,000 and a co-signer to buy a car, in a text message.  But after a day, I stepped back and thought, "I can't change you, and you are who you are."  When I spoke to him a week later and he asked if we were still friends, I told him I was angry at him because he had no right to do that, but he was forgiven.

Here's the tricky part...he acknowledged he was out of line.  Then, though, he asked what he can do to make up for it.  You need to remind yourself that there is no making up for it.  If you are able to say, "Well, he redeemed himself by..." then there was nothing to forgive in the first place.  There is a difference between accepting human error and accepting someone's character.  It's the second one that's difficult to forgive.  But hey...he is who he is, and he needed money.  I was offended that he asked.  Move on.

So now, this week...many of you know I'm an overnight manager for Walmart.  I was surrounded by probably 3,500 humans last night, the vast majority of which who were blaming me for not letting them park in a fire alley, not being able to manufacture televisions or increase an order of them instantaneously, or not being able to magically build and staff another sixty cash registers.

I busted out my mom voice once or twice and said to someone, " job is to make sure you are safe and to get you back home to your family with your stuff so you can have some last-minute pie."  It was as if these people literally forgot it was Thanksgiving and it was more like, "Well, for some reason I don't have to go to work so I'll spend the day planning how I'm going to spend more money than I have for people who I expect to do the same thing for me."

I have nothing...NOTHING...bad to say about my company.  I just don't understand Christmas and what it's become...I told my family that until I see the Three Wise Men fighting over the last Wii at Best Buy, I was no longer participating in gift exchanges...and because of what it's become, people have now lost Thanksgiving as well.

Thanksgiving is the one non-denominational, non-political or military holiday that everyone used to enjoy.  If you don't believe me, look at the calendar...New Year's Day may be a close second, but it pretty much exists because people need to recover from New Year's Eve.  I don't mind that I'm at Walmart on Thanksgiving...more on that another day but two ruined ones out of my 39 total Thanksgivings and I've made peace with it.  But I'm offended at this country for not demanding to take Thanksgiving back for themselves, and allowing retailers to treat it like it's another day without offering a solution.

My idea is that retailers can start surprise deep-discount deals the week before Thanksgiving, and then give all of their employees the day off.  Walmart actually did do the first part...there were a bunch of items on sale starting last Friday and it was announced two days prior...but we are the "leaders" of the industry so our sale got moved up to 6pm on Thanksgiving.  People who are missing out on Thanksgiving are now in a position where they can't afford Christmas without missing the one holiday we were all given to actually share a meal together.

I understand Walmart needs to make their money and smash the competition.  I don't understand how it's okay with every shopper, and more importantly, how they act like someone won't love them anymore if they are NOT able to buy that LeapPad or Navi for Christmas.  It's just STUFF, people!  And it's not worth throwing punches or making a total fool of yourself to another grownup who is at odds with and outnumbered by the crowd approximately 100:1, customer to Walmart employee.  To say to me, "I'm not leaving here without that television!" when every single one of them has walked out the door before you purchased one, well, what is it that you want me to do for you?  You're welcome to stay until one more shows up, if it ever does...we are open 24 hours and as long as you go home to shower and come back and wander around with a basket in hand and you purchase items when you come in, I won't kick you out.

But is it worth it?  It's a television.  I'm sorry you wasted the one holiday you are supposed to have as just yours and your family by the fact that YOU wanted a 32" flatscreen...Walmart was not forcing it on you, they were enticing you, and there is a huge difference...but I also can't just produce a television, so stop yelling at me.

This morning, after working 29 hours in two days, I was driving home and taking a deep breath, and I was thinking that these people have no idea that their inner demons are so strong inside them.  They know not how they act when presented with a choice to give up spending time with their families in favor of greed and insecurity of love for their families.  They literally don't know until it's too late and they are standing in a line for two hours, angry that they can't spend $1,900 SOONER and that they have to wait for the people in front of them to do the same first.

They are forgiven.  I think Christmas has become too stupid for words, but I certainly support my employer and if people feel the need to turn into horrible people for a day because they can't believe they were pulled away from home for a good deal on a television, that's on them.  Not me.  And I can't change it.

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