Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Standing In Lines

(I wrote this about a year and a half ago, at the height of my running-every-direction with cakes and kids phase.  It's an interesting peek at how stressed for time I actually was...)

Is there a Fast Pass for this line? Somebody??

So, if you are one of those people who doesn’t mind being THAT person who is holding up the whole line behind you at the store, possibly keeping the cashier from taking a lunch break or their omg-i-need-too-pee break, or you are possibly delaying the ACTUAL STORE FROM CLOSING, please, if you are that person, just go read something else.
I’m not that person.
You can see where this is going, right?
Ok.  Today I promised my 12-year-old that I would go and get her 30 dominoes for a school project that she is working on after school, and this is something that will cause the project to not turn out, and she will fail this class, and possibly end up living in a van down by the river, if I don’t produce 30 dominoes.  I said, sure.  Because, you know, how hard can it be?  I’m not sure where you find dominoes, but I’m positive I can handle this grown-up responsibility.  I see them winning the award for the best project and her smiling at me like “Hey, we couldn’t have won without you getting those dominoes.  Thanks Mom!”
I left the house at a time that would give me plenty of time to accomplish this, plus go to the bank, stop at the spa supply store, and make a quick stop for my husband to pick up some hunting supplies at a sporting goods store.  Yep, definitely enough time.  Maybe even too much.
Got through the bank, no problem.  Hit the freeway and zipped over to the sporting goods store, which is walking distance from the spa store.  Ha, I think—I’ve GOT this.  I send a quick text to my husband to double check what I will need to get for him, and while waiting for the answer and not being one to waste time, I pop into the spa supply store to grab my two super-easy “I just need chlorine and shock” products.  Easy in, easy out, right?  No.
I walk up to the counter and stop behind the only customer at the counter, being helped by the only guy at the counter.  Actually the only employee on the property, by the looks of it, but I’m like, “Ok, no problem.”  So I wait.  Because the products I need are actually:  Behind The Counter.  So I can’t just grab them and be hanging out in line.  I have to Wait For Help.  Ok, still, no problem.
It turns out, however, that the guy (and his wife) in front of me, are in the middle of a very complicated purchase of a WHOLE HOT TUB SYSTEM, including delivery, setup, chemical analysis, and maintenance programming.  This is a big deal for them; yes, I get it.  But I’m starting to think, “wow, bad timing, huh?”  So they’re being helped by the guy, who is of course happy to help them.  It’s a big sale, you know, so I’m still pretty much ok with it.  They have lots of questions about electrical things that sound like “tie-in” and “GFS circuit”, and I have no idea what they’re talking about, but eventually they sign all 50 documents, get everything but a guided tour of the store, and they’re (tah-dah) done.  So I think, “Yay! I can get my stuff and jam outa here.” 
Meanwhile I’ve missed two calls from my husband, trying to let me know what he will need from the sporting goods store.  (Because I’m one of those polite types who turns their phone OFFPEOPLEOFFTURNTHEFREAKINGPHONEOFFINTHECHECKOUTLINE).  Sorry. Did I say that out loud?
Moving on…
As they leave, finally (yes, I’m happy for them; a new hot tub is awesome, go, people, go in peace),  I start to take a step towards the counter, when, out of the corner of my eye, I see…this guy.  From nowhere.  Step right UP to the counter in front of me.   I think, “Ok.  Maybe he was here before me, and if I step up ahead of him, he’ll freak totally out that he’s been waiting forever and he’s NEXT”, so I stand there and wait some more.  I’m starting to check my clock on the phone, because I am on a tight schedule with the whole dominoes-get-to-the-school-by-3:30 thing, and I still have the sporting goods store to go to.
He starts out with “Yeah…I have this little part on my hot tub that’s broken…” and I sigh.  Can’t I just pay for my two products and go? Please?  So the guy helps him figure out WHAT part he has that is broken, and whether it’s black or white, and what brand it is, and they look it up, call China for the part number, and ring him up.  “That’ll be $4.17.”  Yes! So close now.  He’s paying.  I’m almost leaning towards the counter, ready to spring.  Then he says, “so…Tell me about this XZY brand hot tub? Is that the same as the QRS hot tub you sell?”  The employee launches into an explanation of how the two companies were different, but merged 4 years ago, so now they’re “sister” companies, and starts in on the pros and cons of the brands.  I’m drumming my fingers a bit on the ledge behind me, and checking my clock.  I can hear it going TICK TOCK.  TICK TOCK. 
The guy asks for a brochure.  I’m like, seriously?!?  REALLY?  He finally goes away, and I am able to quickly step up and ask for my two products, and pay for them.  No, I don’t want any extra products.  I don’t want to be on the mailing list, though for some reason, it does take him awhile to “find” me in the computer.  I didn’t realize I needed to be IN there..  I’m holding my debit card here; what else do we NEED for this?  I sort of quick-step to my car and throw the chemicals in the front seat, and quickly call my husband back as I run/walk across the parking lot to the sporting goods store.  The nice couple ahead of me waits for me and holds the door for me.  Thanks.  J 
I get inside, and fortunately what he needs are two things that are easy to find, so I grab them and head to the counter, where, again, there is one tired girl helping a long line of people preparing for Hunting Season.  I know I have to wait, so I’m standing there behind the couple who held the door, waiting.  A guy shows up and opens the other till and says “I can help whoever’s next in line.”  Everyone (I swear) just looks at him, but no one moves.  (eyebrow up)
I say “Well, *I’ll* go over there.  So I step around to that side, and find myself somehow half a step behind the couple who held the door.  That’s cool; whatever.  We’re still way ahead, right?  No.  They are returning not one, but TWO axes, or mauls, or whatever they’re called.  So the new cashier here has to fill out some: Paperwork.  He needs their receipts, both of them, with the yellow tag still attached.  He needs their photo I.D. (really?)  He needs “the card # ending in….0413”.  He runs it as a credit but somehow it is wrong, so he has to repeat the process.  I visibly slump.  The lady keeps glancing towards me, but I refuse to meet her eye while I check my clock and wonder where the closest place to find dominoes is.  I still don’t know.  Do grocery stores have dominoes?  There’s one close, but if it DOESN’T have dominoes, I will have used up my allotted time searching.  Wal-Mart? Too far.  Target?  Ah-hah, maybe. 
The couple also decides they are buying something.  I slump a bit further.  I now have 15 minutes to get to the domino purchase and back to my car and get to the school by 3:30.  Sigh.  They are finally done.  She finally actually catches my eye and says, “Sorry!” I say, “no problem” because I know, it’s not technically their fault.  I think it’s me sometimes; I swear I cause lines to      s     l    o    w   d   o    w     n until time has no meaning.
I pay and jog to the car, still wondering where to go for dominoes.  I decide to actually CALL Target and ask them.  This turns out to be somewhat complicated to do while driving and being 2 stop lights away from the actual stop light for Target, where I will have to either decide to pull in and walk into the actual store to find out, or get past the recording with “Thanks for calling Target.  Our store hours are blah blah blah” etc., to a person who I can ask about “Hello? Yes! I’m almost to your storeandIneedtoknowifyouhavedominoesbeforeIhavetoturninatthelight.” I’m thinking hurry hurry hurry, please WILL YOU HURRY UP? I’m almost THERE!
The lady who answered puts me on hold twice, saying they are finding out if they carry dominoes.  I’m getting closer; I’m only one light away.  Turn in? or keep driving to Wal-Mart?  Tension!  I slow down a little to catch a red light (who does that? Lol) and buy some time.  She comes back and transfers me to Toys, where Jenny answers. 
Thank goodness for Jenny!  She says they carry them.  I’m at the light.  Do they HAVE them? She is going to look.  I’m turning into the parking lot as she says they DO have them.  I tell her I have to be AT the school in 15 minutes, what part of the store are the dominoes in?  She says, of course, the farthest back corner from the door.  On the wall, in the corner.  Of course she does.  But Jenny is awesome, and she says she has them in her hand, and she will come meet me up front with them.  I am so grateful! I’m in 3” heels and I don’t think I can run that distance and back to my car in 4 minutes.  I want to adopt her.
I walk in and see a girl just inside the doors, waving like one of those folks at the airport waiting for their party…”Dominoes?”  “YES! I love you! You are my new best friend!”  She also walks me right to the customer service desk where I immediately hand the guy $4.00, and I am heading for my car in less than 1 minute.  I think I’ll buy some Target stock if the market ever comes back…and one for Jenny, too.
I race to the school and get there with just minutes to spare.  I am so proud that I got all my errands run; I have Saved The Day.  I feel like one of those soccer moms who run errands and have kid stuff all organized and projects completed on time, every time, without any excuses like ”this-will-have-to-work-because-i-don’t-have-time-to-make-one-more-stop-for balloons, toothpicks, spraypaint, duct tape, and a goat hide (you need WHAT?) for the project tonight.”  Super. Mom.  Yep, I got your 30 dominoes.
The girls come out, and my daughter asks if I remembered the dominoes.  Like she’s really hoping I did NOT forget (she does not want to live in a van down by the river).  I smile and hand them to her.  Of COURSE I totally got the dominoes.  She’s getting a ride with her friend and her friend’s mom, so the other mom comes over to touch base with me about the project.  She sees me handing them to my daughter and says,
“Oh, I already got some dominoes. You don’t need those.” 
I know, right? 
By the way, the box I got only had 28 dominoes.  /:{

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