The case of the mystery shopper and the bad review

The other night, Micheleine dragged me out to the mall. She had an emergency mystery shopping job to do and needed my help. I am on the large end of the sizes offered by this particular women’s clothing store, and I’m probably on the high end of the age range of their average customer. In other words, there’s an invisible sign near the front that says “You must be this young and this thin to enter the store”.

Nonetheless, I agreed to go try stuff on.

When we first arrived at the front of the store, one of the clerks was near a front table of sweaters. She was shooting the breeze with a security guard. Micheleine and I took our good old time shuffling through the sweaters, holding them up, wondering out loud about them, talking loudly and animatedly right next to the clerk.

She turned and walked away from us.

I finally picked out a sweater to try on and we made our way through to the back of the store, talking and looking over quite a few rack-fulls of clothing. It was obvious (at least to me) that we were a couple of ladies in a buying mood. I even loudly exclaimed over al the nice things I could possibly get Sarah, who actually fits in most of the clothes offered there.

We were almost to the change room before another clerk finally asked me (me with the SWEATER hanging off my arm) if I wanted to try that on. We asked a couple questions, but she seemed a little impatient, like she couldn’t get us to the change room fast enough.

When I got settled in there, the clerk left us. When I came out with the sweater on, no clerks were in sight. In fact, they were at the other end of the store from us. Again. Micheleine and I decided I needed some other colors and a bigger size, so she went all the way back to the front of the store, got some more sweaters and came all the way to the change room again and not once did a clerk pay her any attention.

By the time we were done in the changing room, I had an armload of sweaters in hand and still no sales clerks were hovering to complete the sale. That was too bad, because I found a sweater I liked that looked good and was only fifteen dollars. M and I wandered all the way back to the front of the store, sweaters in hand to put them back, and were compeltely ignored again.

I swear, I could have left the store with the sweaters and the clerks would not have noticed.

After we left that store, we wandered over to a luggage and purse store. I started just quickly glancing at some wallets on sale, and the clerk there couldn’t get to us fast enough. She helped me look for the tags because sometimes they get ripped off and stuck in the pockets somewhere, and offered suggestions. She was incredibly helpful.

Too bad we couldn’t give her a review.

All on board the bus

This is our bus.

Our bus

It’s privately owned, run by a local cab company, and comes by roughly every two hours. We are near one end of the run, so there’s a half-hour lag between two distances, but then in a couple hours it comes by again.

Isn’t it cute?

Weekend stuff

It snowed!

back door

Oh, it’s snowed before, but this time there was lots and it stuck. And stayed. Nice white fluffies. It puts me more in a Christmas mood, which is good because it’s much easier to spread holiday cheer when you are, you know, actually cheerful.

My card list is reasonably sorted out (still time to get your address to me) and the outside of the house is decorated with lights hanging from the porch eaves and garland draped from the railings. We need a wreath or two though.

Plus I braved the mall. *shudders* I spent over seventy-five dollars and still walked out without a new toaster that Meaghan has been begging for.

Sarha and Meaghan have new hair. Sarah did hers in purple, but it mostly looks darker unless she is in the light. Meaghan did hers a fiery red. They both look pretty good.


Emma is no longer sick and has in fact been a … how shall I say this? Cross betwen a kitten and a reindeer, what with the antler headband she got. Plus she got married in there somewhere, for she has an invisible husband who helped make her baby. Apparently God helped too.

Between the mewing, baby crying and trying not to sit on some invisible boy, things have been a little stranger than usual.


But stuff looks pretty.

A Night Out With Emma

(Ron wrote this up and asked me to post it for him. WM = WalMart. This relates to a post of Todd’s about dads in today’s society.)

A few nights ago I took Emma out for doughnuts and coffee. Doughnuts for her, coffee for me. Andrea had some things to work on. (I had warned Andrea of what I was going to do).

To one young woman she said, “I love you.” (Something she often tells total strangers. But, I think she notices that they are watching her, thinking she is cute.)

Then to the girl’s brother (I think), “Hey, you don’t need to put 2 of those together.” He had ripped one end of the paper off his straw wrapping and had pulled the wrapping most of the way off. Then she saw him blow the wrapping across the room and I had to explain to her what he had done. She had thought that he had stuck 2 straws together.

So, after we had been there 20 minutes or so, I asked her if

“Do you want to go shopping?”


“Where do you want to go shopping?”


“If we go shopping, we are going just to look. We won’t be buying anything.”

“There’s a MD at WM. I’m hungry.”

Until we got inside of WM, she continued to try to talk me into getting her something at MD. Once I convinced her that she had just had something to eat and I wasn’t going to buy her more, she settled in for a leisurely ride in the shopping cart.

We spent pretty well an hour there. She got to scope out most of the store and we stopped and looked at all the things she wanted to look at. The subject of MD came up a few times. She said to a few more people, “I love you.” She has been doing that for quite a while, most of the time we hear something like ‘isn’t she cute’ or ‘you do’ or ‘I love you, too’. Many of those are accompanied by looks that say, ‘did I hear that right’. Most people smile at some point even if she takes them off guard.

The odd thing was that there was only 1 teenage girl who gave any sign that she heard and understood what Emma said to her. She and her giggled. Otherwise, it was stern or disapproving stares. There were also alot of people at WM who seemed to be wondering what a man was doing out alone with a small girl. A couple years ago, I had a store employee at another store follow me around until we met up with Andrea again. At WM it wasn’t the staff though, it was the customers.

Finally, there was a family of 5 there shopping and everytime I passed by them, the mother was chewing out one or more of the children. Can you do the rest of us a really big favour? If you feel that your children are a big pain in the butt while you’re shopping, don’t go shopping with them. Let dad or someone else take them shopping when they need to go.

If there is a moral to this story, it is likely that I won’t be returning to WM any time soon.

Christmas Card List!

I’m finally sorting out my Christmas card list this weekend. If you want a card from us, please send your address to andrea @ atypicalife . net. I added spaces to foil those nasty spammers… Also specify if you want something other than a specifically Christmas one, like Generic Winter Holiday or Happy New Year. If you’re Jewish and on my card list, I already have that noted. 😉

Anyway, if I already have your address, no need to worry, you’ll get one. If you’re not sure, just leave a comment.

It’s alive!

And I feel like *such* a techie geek now.