Ain’t It A Pip? Growling About Holiday Shopping, Enjoying An Animated Puppy

I’VE BEEN RUNNING AROUND THIS WEEK, looking for stuff to buy.  Not really enjoying the process, but aware of the fact that if I don’t get out there now the stuff I want will be gone.

And don’t go all check online with me.  I do that first to decide what I might want, then I allow brick and mortar stores to dazzle me with their customer service and ravishing displays.

During the holiday shopping season I give ’em a chance to please me because I’m old school.

So far, except for Barnes & Noble + Pottery Barn, stores have disappointed me. To wit, if your sales staff refuses to answer questions about your product [looking directly at you Apple] OR if you’ve opened your doors for business but none of your registers are working [giving you the side eye Crate & Barrel] then I will walk out of your store, irritated, but more aware of how little I mean to you.

Do those stores care about my lost sale?  I guess not.  Was I politely clear about how disappointed I was with my shopping experience?  Oh yes.  Will I go back into the particular location that ticked me off?  Nope.

I don’t know whether I’ll try to buy online what I went into the stores to see and experience.  The jury is out on that.  But if I do buy anything it’ll be with reluctance because I feel more like a disposal pawn, than a happy returning customer.

🎄 

BUT MOVING ONTO A CHEERY TOPIC, focusing on goodness, bringing this post full circle home via clever wordplay, I give you, my gentle readers, the following short animated film about a cute puppy named Pip.

You’re going to like this.

Get out the hankies because you’re about to be overwhelmed with the opposite of shopping frustrations. Yep, this is delightfully sweet and will warm the cockles of your heart. As they say.

I don’t know anything about this organization [I’m not affiliated with it] but this little video made me smile and feel good about life during a time of year when everyone, myself included, is running hither and yon– perhaps forgetting about the spirit of service to others.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

79 thoughts on “Ain’t It A Pip? Growling About Holiday Shopping, Enjoying An Animated Puppy”

  1. I love Amazon when I know what I want, but for random gift shopping when I need to browse? I have to hit the mall. And it’s funny….. I don’t really mind the crowds and lines there but make me wait at the grocery store check out and I fume.
    Adorable puppy clip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rivergirl1211, I’m the same way if I’m sure about something I’ll immediately order online, BUT at the holidays some things I have to see in person. And I tell ‘ya, doing so this past week has been a struggle. Grocery store lines don’t bother me at all, in fact lines in general don’t bother me– but if sales staff treat me poorly in a store I snarl.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am also very disappointed in the irl shopping experience. Stores are disorganized and no one wants to help. I hate to say it but it’s much easier to find what I want online, cheaper, and they deliver it to me free.

    Like

    1. LA, YES, YES, YES! I used to enjoy moseying around the stores at the holidays, seeing the beautiful displays of merchandise, getting into the spirit. But now? Stores are disorganized with indifferent sales clerks who suck the joy out of shopping. Like you said, online shopping is cheaper and with free shipping so I’ll be doing more of it… which means I’ll be buying fewer impulse purchases like I’d do in a brick and mortar store.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only real shopping I’m enjoying are the little holiday markets that have sprung around the city. People are friendly, and merchandise is from small businesses which is nice

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, good point. However for me it’s difficult to buy everything online, but as Z-D reminds me I should just order the stuff and he’ll take it the UPS place to send it back if I don’t like what I get. What to do, what to do…?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pip is/was tooooo darling for words, Ally Bean. Brought a little tear to my eye it did! Yup, Christmas shopping is something else. Just back from a bit of a major one. Beautiful pot plants and some gorgeous soaps formed the bulk of today’s shop.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan, I’m glad you liked that little video. I thought it was about the cutest one I’ve seen in ages. Pip is adorable.

      I like your purchases. You’re going to make your friends and family happy with those gifts.

      Like

  4. That’s why I love living in a small town. At Christmas time, I shop all of our local stores. The sales clerks are usually the owners, so we get great service. Plus some really cool and different gifts.
    I loved little Pip! Perseverance always wins.Plus, who can resist a little puppy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, I take your point. Living in a large metropolitan area suits me most of the time. But when it comes to shopping, it annoys the heck out of me. I’m learning to shop online more now so I don’t have to deal with the rude sales clerks.

      Pip charmed the socks off of me. Such a cute video for a good cause. I’m glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Must have needed a puppy clip because it brought a sloppy sob to my throat. Shopping, argh! My husband and I only exchange one gift and I am stymied this year. We no longer need stuff or clothing. If he wants something he buys it right away. I have to come up with something!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kate, I know! That little puppy video is tear-inducing. Zen-Den and I don’t technically exchange gifts at Christmas, but we do attempt to buy food and drink that is special, not our ordinary grub. Just something to show that we care about each other.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Almost Iowa, you nailed it. I don’t know where many of these sales clerks come from, but they’re often dumber than a box of rocks… which makes the good ones even more wonderful. Barnes & Noble, *yay* Apple store, *boo*

      Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, I’m glad you liked the little Pip video. You’d have to have a hard heart to not like it.

      Your approach to holiday shopping is perfect. Don’t do it, don’t get irritated. It’s inspired really. 😌

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wiping a little tear after that puppy clip Ally Bean. Perhaps I still have Sully on my mind guarding that casket…
    I have only a few to shop for and I do that mostly online because I tend to buy early and then just set aside a time to wrap. 20 years ago the stores were fun, now not so much. I usually get irritated long before I even get into the store though, what with parking and crowds. If I can’t deal with the outside, I know I won’t survive the inside!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I hadn’t thought about Sully, but he is on everyone’s mind– at least those who paid attention to the presidential funeral. Then you watch Pip…

      I don’t have many to shop for either, but for some lame reason I thought it’d be fun to go holiday shopping to experience the thrill of the season. You’re right that 20 years ago it was fun, but now it is not. Lesson learned.

      Like

  7. Well, you know where I work, so I obviously have to plead the Fifth on many of these charges against Big Retail. I couldn’t even get work off the brain with the dog video since it makes me think of how people who have to bring their dogs EVERYWHERE are taking advantage of the service animal exception to turn our store into PetSmart every night…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. evilsquirrel13, people are pretending their dogs are service dogs so that they can take them into Mecca? WHY? I like doggos, but they can wait in the car [when it’s not too hot outside, of course]. People be weird.

      Like

      1. And since I work at night, it’s never too hot outside. One family literally had three kids running dogs on leashes through the store, while the mother was pushing another one in the cart. This was in the 11 PM hour. What and why!?!?!?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Back in the day I used to enjoy shopping – now, not so much. My kids and I stopped exchanging gifts a few years ago, largely because none of us really needs one more thing, so now if I need to shop, it’s all online. The older I get, the less patient I am with crowds. I loved the film about Pip – he so reminded me of my Shasta when she was younger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, we don’t do family gift exchanges anymore, either. I just like to have a few hostess gifts on hand for when [if] we go to a party. Plus there used to be a joy in seeing all the stores decorated pretty-like.

      No kidding? Pip reminded of Shasta. That is so sweet.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. With the exception of a couple of online purchases, I am really trying to make an effort this year to shop more local, visiting the stores in our town & supporting those that I feel are working hard to earn business.

    Love the Pip video! Such a sweet message!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lynn, shopping local can be wonderful and for the few gifts I need to buy might be a better approach to holiday shopping. I just remember as a child how exciting it was to go into the big stores at Christmastime, so that’s where my head was this week.

      Glad you liked Pip. He’s adorable to the nth degree.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Pip!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ {wiping a tear or several away} ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    I love good animation to begin with (the 5-year old in me is still very much alive), but combined with a story that’s both cute and uplifting, well, just … AWWWWWW!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, I thought the same thing. I figured I’d go out to some stores, see festive things and be most jolly. HA! I say. While a few stores were delightful, most were filled with drips and duds, if you take my meaning. 🤨

      Like

      1. Unfortunately, too many people tend to be drips and duds this time of year. If you enjoyed the clip(which I did very much), you might also enjoy a documentary that I saw in the theaters recently. It was about training dogs to be guide dogs for the blind. It was very interesting, and heartwarming, although teary at times too. If only I could remember the title…

        Like

  11. I understand your issue with the lack of customer service, but I’m weird, I actually prefer when they don’t help me at all. I haven’t watched the Pip video yet. If it induces tears, I’ll watch it later next week, after my choir performance. I’m having enough trouble keeping it together and not crying during some really pretty songs we’re singing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, I understand your feelings on this. I want the sales clerk to acknowledge my existence by asking me: “may I help you?” At that point I’ll EITHER ask my questions OR I’ll say “just looking.” Then they need to leave me alone so I can think about what/if I want to buy something.

      But most of the stores I’ve been in the sales clerks were just standing around talking with each other instead of approaching any customers– like we were so insignificant that talking with us would ruin their day so why bother with us. 😠

      Yes Pip is sweetness. Save him for when you’re ready.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I so agree with you, Ally, about the lack of enthusiasm on the part of some sales clerks. When I was working at Michaels I tried really hard to be engaging with everyone who came to my register and if I was walking the floor, even if I was on my way to my break or clocking out, to help someone find what they were looking for. I may also offer, though, that sometimes the shoppers can be a bit unrealistic with their expectations of the miracles clerks can work (ie., finding something that is no longer available, etc.) or less than engaging (talking on their cellphones during the checkout process). We have decided to do secret Santa with our 5 family members this year and so far we have all shared links to things we’d like so my shopping is done and it was all online. The jury is still out as to how this approach will work for us. That little Pip is the cutest!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, you are more conscientious than most people so I have no doubt that you were an excellent attentive sales clerk when you were at Michaels. You make an excellent point about how rude some customers can be so that even trying to help them is difficult. I should know that, I worked in retail once upon a time.

      I like your Secret Santa approach to family gifting. And I like that you can do it all online. Makes sense to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy tears? What is it about crying when we’re not sad? I did it with Being Mortal and now again with Pip. Crying is supposed to go with sadness not … I hate bathos, it’s like a drunk uncle at holiday time.

    On a happier note, good for you for speaking out at Apple and Crate and Barrel (I thought they’d gone out of business). Too often we stew in silence.

    I just went through the Isabella catalogue (online; great for teenage granddaughters) and will do my Signals next. I live three hours from the nearest metropolis so I’ll spend an afternoon in my local small town to fill in my gaps. Living in the sticks (after years in NYC, Philly, and Cleveland) has been a bigger change of life than I ever imagined it would be. Online is a life saver. Enjoy your holiday times Ally. I thank God it only comes once a year.

    Like

    1. Janet, the little video is a charmer, that’s for sure. I like its message, cleverly expressed in animation.

      I thought Crate & Barrel had gone out of business, too. But maybe it’s just that they re-invented themselves as a more hip place, so their stores look different. I like their merchandise, it’s pretty and works mixed into any decor. In fact we have some upholstered chairs from them that are comfy and blend with our antiques. However when we bought those chairs all the fancy electronic computer-y cash registers were working. Just saying…

      I miss getting a Signals catalogue and now that you mention it I’m going to find them online to see what they offer. Thanks for the idea.

      Like

  14. Aww that was an adorable little film! I’m a sucker for short films like that. Perhaps you’ll like this one too: https://youtu.be/WN18kGdPHzk

    As for shopping, I also prefer to go to actual stores, and I think quality service is important. I will avoid returning to a store/cafe/bar/whatever if it has poor service. Fortunately, my family doesn’t really do gift exchanges for Christmas, so I only had to buy one thing this year for my Secret Santa at work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pistachios, thanks for the link to the little video. It was clever and well done. I especially like the ending that brings it full circle.

      I don’t shop in the stores often so I was amazed by how some of the sales staffs behaved, ignoring me, ignoring every customer. Nothing personal about it, just people getting paid who didn’t care about doing their jobs.

      Of course now that I’ve experienced how things are out there, I’ll just shop online in the future. I’m adaptable and I can be taught! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Aw…you’re right on target Ally – and thank you for sharing the video, it was a perfect touch to your post. I found your blog through John’s blog The Sound of One Hand Typing – it was a nice ‘free’ gift to find you here on the blogosphere!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelley, thanks for stopping by here. John knows everybody. It’s nice to meet you. The little video made my week, I’ve gotta tell ‘ya. It’s a nice counterbalance to my shopping excursions.

      Like

    1. Eilene, I’d like to shop locally but I live in a community that’s all about eating, drinking, and exercising. These are all good things, but the few local shops focus on sports equipment while everything else local is bars & restaurants. Nice place to live, but not exactly a place where you find your 80-something MIL’s perfect Christmas present. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love everything about this post. Accountability, baby. AKA DO YOUR DAMN JOB. (At the risk of sounding like I drank the koolaid I’m genuinely shocked at the Apple thing. I’ve had Apple store employees be endlessly patient while we talked about products, setup, and the cloud/apple ID stuff. That sucks.)
    Happy shopping!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Laura. It’s about accountability for sure. I like my Apple products and this is the first time I’ve had trouble in one of their stores. Not one of the many sales clerks asked to help us so I yelled to one of the sales clerks, who was just standing around doing nothing, to come over to answer my 2 simple questions.

      She answered the first question, but refused to answer my second one, saying she’d find someone else to help me. I begged her to just tell me what I needed to know [the name of the iPad I was looking at] and she wouldn’t do it. I/we walked out of the store empty-handed. I couldn’t believe it, truth be told.

      Like

  17. Pip reminded me of some of the guide dogs my sister and BIL have raised since 9/11 ~ some of them flunked out of the program (too aggressive, hip issues, etc.). It’s always sad when that happens. Glad Pip got a 2nd chance to prove himself. Pip! Pip! Hooray!

    My favorite kind of shopping is grocery shopping, because . . . food!

    My next favorite kind of shopping is window shopping, especially on vacation or when sightseeing, where there is nothing that I need to buy. I’m just looking and occasionally adopting something new that catches my eye.

    If I need a specific something (book, CD, DVD), I like to buy on line because I don’t need to see it, feel it, touch it or do any comparison shopping.

    My least favorite shopping is on line “browsing” (especially for clothes or shoes which I want to try on before buying) ~ it’s tedious, time-consuming, and often very hit or miss.

    In stores, when I leave empty handed, it’s OK because I got some exercise walking around!

    Like

    1. nancy, I’ve never known anyone who trained guide dogs. What an interesting way to help other people and meet some canine friends along the way.

      I like food shopping, too. It allows me to be creative and to eat, so *yay*

      I order furniture and cookware and books, and some skincare items, online because I know what I want and like you said, I don’t need to see them because I know what I’m getting.

      Shopping for clothes online is tricky. If I know the company and how they size things, I’ll do it. If not, I’m forced to go into a store. I do use Zappos for shoes and have been happy about their selection for my scrawny feet.

      We’re all learning how to adapt to the new reality of shopping: you either go to the store or you go to the computer. Who’d of thunk it, even 10 years ago?

      Like

  18. I love pip.

    I have a love/hate relationship with people this time of year. I think we all deserve a little extra patience and love this time of year (it’s cold and dark and heavily laden with labor intensive holidays), but WHY are those people who take way more than their fair share of the love and patience?!? Materialism and stupid people can really ruin a good holiday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. katie, you are so right: Materialism and stupid people can really ruin a good holiday. That’s exactly what happened to me when I went shopping. I wanted a little oh pretty + good cheer but ended up tired and not inspired to love my fellow people. 🙄

      Like

  19. I got really lucky and swooped up 95% of my shopping IRL this year in one day WITH my husband, who had taken a few days off. Our experience with customer service was overwhelmingly positive, too. It was obviously some sort of Cosmic Alignment Of Zodiacal Synergistic Forces or something, so we know it will never happen again.

    But it DID happen, and we were suitably grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, I am pleased to know that someone somewhere has had a good shopping experience this holiday season. You give me hope. Now all I have to do is latch onto that Cosmic Alignment Of Zodiacal Synergistic Forces and I’ll be golden. I’d be grateful, too.

      Like

  20. Oh Ally Bean, now I am all verklempt. Pause.
    The running around, hither and yon as you say, is real. I am sorry to know you’ve had some bad customer experiences. I am sure it will not deter you from your goal, let alone affect your own cheer this holiday season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, I liked Pip, too. Such sweetness, such a clever video.

      Oh, you’re right in that my shopping experiences this week won’t ruin my holiday. I just felt a need to talk about them because what else is a blog for if not to rant/whine/complain once in a while? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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