Burst My Eardrums, Why Don't You?

March 2, 2011
By , Heber City, UT
Shopping can be very stressful. Customers try to process questions like, “Does this look good on me, is this shirt worth the money, and how long will this last me?” This task seems fairly easy, and it should be. At least we keep telling ourselves that. If only they would turn down the volume on that obscure alternative rock blasting through the speakers above our heads. No one can think or process anything. I swear those stores drive sanity seekers out faster, and they don't help the mood at all.

One day the shopping trip was turning out to be this very experience. I was a bit run down because I wasn't finding all the things I needed in a reasonable price. I turned the corner to face another store, and I was crossing my fingers for luck. That was easy, because I was standing in front of American Eagle, one of my favorites, and I began to have hope once more. As I took a deep breath, trying to forget the stressful day, I strode energetically into the store, breathing in the smell of new clothes and man's cologne. I shoo away the pouncing sales woman, telling her that “I'm just looking, thank you,” and start my way to the sales rack. After looking for about, oh, thirty seconds, I stop and try not to roll my eyes. I want to turn around to that lady that just asked, “Can I help you with anything?” and answer “Yes, if you would, could you go turn down that random music? Are you trying to make me turn around and walk right out of here?”

Later, as I was in line to buy the few items I picked out quickly, I could see the tension on the employee ahead of me. It wasn't the “I have been working for 12 hours straight and I need a break before I kill someone” kind of look customers see so often. He looked up at me and gave me a look as to say “Yeah, I'm annoyed too.”

This problem will seriously change the amount of profit a store gets. Maybe, if store worker would have turned down the music, a woman would have stopped and taken a look at the jewelery, or a man might have tried on the new cologne. When those things are bought, the money can seriously add up. I realize that some stores have policies on the expected volume, but those policy writers should take a look at that expectation and maybe try to actually spend some time in that store. They will see that it is difficult to do, well, anything! This problem can be changed so easily, and I am surprised no chaos cops have said anything yet about it. All the employees need to do it turn the volume knob a little to the left. It's as simple as that.

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