(Note #1: I am not paid to endorse any of the mentioned stores.)
I'm pretty sure I have spent more time shopping in the last few weeks than I spent in all of 2008. This morning I took Son to camp then Daughter and I hit the mall for jeans (that she needs for school) and tennis shoes (because she has to babysit all weekend and I'm a Soft Touch.)
We started out at J.C. Penny because my daughter, the bargain shopper, found that they carried the exact shoes she wanted for $15 less than everyone else which would have been big kudos to you, J.C. Penny, if the shoes were actually available. Not only were they NOT in the store, but we had to wait through a tedious process of giving all our information and enduring the saleswoman training three other employees (not her fault, I know, but how about starting them off on an easier transaction?) only to find out at the end of the process that the shoes are on back order. The Very Nice Saleswoman said she was Going to the Back to find out when they would be available at which point I said we were Going to Finish our Shopping and would Check Back on our Way Out. (Note #2: Saleswoman bemoaned the store computer process which doesn't give out info until the very end of the transaction and was incredibly apologetic when the shoes weren't available AT ALL. (Note #3: Thus, my Tweet earlier in the day about J.C. Penny putting merchandise on their website that they CAN NOT sell you!))
Daughter went off to do her own thing and I searched out Sephora for makeup to hide the wrinkles. Sephora has the BEST customer service! I was offered all kinds of options, they tried all kinds of things to see which would work best, they sent me out into the mall with a mirror to really the check the results, and - most importantly - they did not Suck Up or Judge. I really don't need the "Oh My God you look great for your age but let's just head over to the Spackle aisle!" speech. (Note #4: Again)
Next, Pottery Barn. I love the Classic Pint glasses and, as my dishwasher goes on a killing spree once every few months, they are cheap enough to replenish without feeling guilty. At least they USED TO BE cheap enough. Today they were twice as much. $4 instead of $2. I bought them anyway and when I was unpacking them at home found that a few of them had $2 price tags on them. When I called the store the saleschick asked me for the number on the tag then said "When I, um, input that, um, number, it, like, rings up as $4. I guess you could, um, bring them in and my manager MAY give you a credit for the difference on those ones."
I am now researching new suppliers of pint glasses. Luckily Pottery Barn does not have the market cornered.
And then....the market. Which I will not name because I really like the manager. But I ran in there on the way home from an appointment because I wanted to make green beans for dinner but didn't have sunflower seeds and I guess I COULD make green beans without sunflower seeds but really like the combination and the store was right on my way home. So, I find the sunflower seeds, and a few more things, and wait in line and when I check out the clerk sees that the sunflower seeds have a sticker that says $3.49 but they rang up as $3.99 and she asks another (apparently more experienced) employee who does NOT say "Just ring them up as $3.49" but instead MAKES ME WAIT while she goes to check on the price.
And when she (finally) comes back and says that they are $3.49 the clerk (who I've been sympathetic to up until this point) rings up my order $3 short but instead of, perhaps, realizing that I've already spent twice the amount of time that it would normally take to purchase sunflower seeds and dried cranberries (an EXCELLENT combination, btw) she makes me RE-SWIPE my credit card to charge me the $3.
Needless to say, this market is now For Emergencies Only.