punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,
punkwalrus
punkwalrus

Okay, what would you do?

So, here's an interesting series of events.

Situation #1: Missed it by THAT much!
I was at a training seminar/convention yesterday. It was at "the Katsucon hotel," the Omni Shoreham, which is WEIRD to see so "empty." The Parallels Summit 2008 had maybe a few hundred participants in total, which took up what Katsu staff may know as Volunteer Ops, Video Room 1, Logistics, Artists Alley, and half the main ballroom. That hotel is big when not packed to the rafters with thousands of anime fans. So anyway, I dropped my business card in one of several "win a prize" fishbowls.

One of them was for a company called "WHIR." Staffed with booth babes, they would not let me take a picture for stodgycat, but did say give us your business card, you could win an iPod. Okay, fair enough. There were 4 cards in the bowl, and I felt I stood a 25% chance of winning it. "We actually have 2 iPods," one of the babes said. "But he never came by to claim it for some reason." Okay, a 50% chance! And guess what? I won!

BUT... they notified me by e-mail. "Please stop by the WHIR Networking Lounge near the pool area within the next 30 mins to collect your prize. We will be here till 3:30pm est." The e-mail was sent at 3:07. I didn't get my mail until 4:15. They had already packed up and left.

Should I be right to be pissed off? One, I know they had an iPod, it was next to the fishbowl. Two, the booth babe seemed confused why the previous guy didn't pick it up. IT'S BECAUSE YOU E-MAILED THE NOTICE YOU BINK! I was one of the few people with laptops, how were the other people supposed to get their mail. I am trying to tell myself that they wanted to keep the iPods, and made it difficult on purpose, but that sound sssoooo "sour grapes" and doesn't help with my pissed-offness. I replied to the e-mail, but still have not gotten a response at the time I posted this.

Situation #2: Abandoned their post
I went to get a new baby gate for the kitchen. I went to our nearby K-Mart. As I walked in, the place seemed really empty for a Tuesday evening. As I wandered around looking for baby gates, baby furniture, baby anything, I noticed the stark decay this store seemed to have. A lot of empty shelves, opened items, and areas that needed to have stuff picked off the floor and put back on the shelf. There were only a smattering of customers, and the only people I saw working were two men in plain clothes working on shelving units, neither of whom spoke English. My broken Spanish managed to only get them to admit that they didn't know where anything was, and I got the impression they were not employees but electricians or something.

All the while, every 2-3 minutes, I hear, "Duu duu duu duu duu...!" which is their doorway anti-shoplifting scanner alarm. While the anti-shoplifting alarms are so often false positives you barely hear them anymore, after 20 minutes of this, it became rather annoying.

I finally find a baby gate I want (they are in children's clothing, of course), and proceed to checkout. At the checkout lanes I find about 6-8 people wandering around. None of the checkout lamps are lit. The customer service desk is dark, and no one is at the A&W eatery near the door. It quickly dawns on me that the entire store is unmanned. After discussing this with some of the others, one older woman tries to get the phone intercom to work, and it only took her a few tries before we all heard *CLICK*.

"COULD SOMEONE PLEASE COME TO THE FRONT OF THE STORE AND RING CUSTOMERS IN, PLEASE??" she says clearly and with practiced diction.

We waited. During the wait, some people just left with their purchases, setting off the door alarm. I discussed with the woman the possibility the store was being held up, and all the employees were locked and tied up in the back room. We discuss whether to call the police. No decision is made, because a person dressed in plain clothing comes to the front and asks if anyone showed up. We said no. He got on the phone, and called someone in the back.

Slowly, an old Hindu man with a huge white beard slowly waddles up to the register. His badge says, "Abdul," which sounds like a made up Middle Eastern name for a children's book. I wonder if these are the robbers who are trying to crack the safe, but decided to ring people in to make appearances look normal long enough to get the money and flee. "Abdul" seems VERY confused, and not in a drug-addled way, but more of a "I have never used this register interface" kind of way. But he manages, slowly, until the family two groups in front of me pulls out coupons. "Abdul" is completely stalled. He rings for a manager. People in line gasp in frustration. I wonder if gunmen will come from the back and declare us all more hostages. My overactive creativity wonders what I could use as weapons within reach. Aha! The baby gat--

This time, a person in an apron shows up. She put in her manager keys into the register, and acts like she knows what the hell she is doing. She get the coupons in, and watches Abdul for a bit, who suddenly gets a lot faster. He seems nervous, like the woman watching him will smack him if he slows down. When he gets to my things, he is completely nervous, even though I only have a baby gate, G2 sports drink, a candy bar, and two lollipops (damn impulse items...). Several times he drops the candy bar in an attempt to scan it. He seems confused on what order to do a credit card transaction. He bumps into my hands several times (when I tried to show him where the UPC was on the baby gate), and his hands were so smooth and soft, it was kind of creepy for an old man to have hands like that.

He forgets to bag my items, so I do it, and leave.

So, would you have just left without waiting for a cashier in that position? Should I have called the police for suspicious behavior?
Tags: kmart, morality
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