Thursday, August 5, 2010

82. Change Is Bad (Target)

We all know that Change Is Bad (unless you are a caterpillar). And when the Powers That Be decide to change my local Target......... well, the results are pretty much unspeakable. So I will write them down instead: I was first alerted to the Target Problem when my dear friend Sammi called me on my cell phone (from her cell phone-- apparently, the crisis was of such Epic Proportions that she could not wait until she was home to place the call from the mere land-line). "MOV, you are not going to believe this. Our beautiful Target has been........ destroyed." She says this without a trace of irony or drama, just matter-of-fact. Since I am her main Co-Conspirator and Co-Founder of our small group (of two) called "Target Shoppers Anonymous", I listen intently to her story. "OK, so I walk in and you know where the toys used to be? now that is empty space. And then where the children's' clothing is? just gigantic cardboard boxes stacked up blocking everything so you can't even move. I'm sure it doesn't meet fire code or the Americans with Disabilities Act." (Sammi is married to a lawyer so she knows Important Legal Things.) "And then the housewa......." "Sammi, where ARE the toys then?" "I'm getting to that! They are IN the boys' clothing area! And the aisles are all crammed together and then there are random Barbies everywhere, it just makes no sense." Clearly, Sammi is distraught. She has sons, she doesn't need Barbies. I do what any good friend would do in this situation: I go to Target myself to verify if she might be exaggerating a teeny tiny bit. Just a little. I assure you, she is not. Target is clearly ruined. It is actually much worse than what she has described. She was not The Harbinger Of Doom like I originally thought, instead, she was The Voice Of Reason. I look around me, at my (formerly) beloved Target. Nothing is as it should be: it is like A Bad Dream. A Bad Dream where one of my favorite mom-past-times is disfigured and damaged. Some aisles are really wide. Some aisles are really small. Some aisles are missing. It all makes no sense. The pristine and hyper-organized Target-that-I-love-and-adore has morphed into this pitiful Mecca-of-disarray-and-confusion. I pinch myself hard in a futile attempt to wake up. I have a relatively short list with me of items I need, and as always, my list is in "map form" (see earlier blog: "Target--Pretty, Shiny, New"). My map is useless now. My map mocks me. If I was on a game show, the show would be called: "Send Mom To Upside-Down Target!" The point of the game show would be to take someone who thinks she is oh-so-very-smart-and-has-Target-memorized (me) and prove to her (and The World) that she is an idiot. Ha! Great premise! How is that for a reality show? There could be prizes: New Outdoor Patio Furniture (to replace the dumpster-diving beauties at home) and Coordinating Melamine Plates & Cups for entertaining al fresco. If the contestant screws up, there might be a consolation prize: Dog Food (for cat owners) and Shoes The Wrong Size. The contestants could compete against other (shaken, angry) moms with their (incorrectly) memorized maps. But I digress. So I find a Target worker that I recognize from my many many previous jaunts here over the years. I corner him while he is trying to arrange the cotton balls (cotton balls? stay with me, Man! cotton balls don't matter at a time like this!). "Excuse me, Rex?" (I try to act like I know his name but I'm actually reading his name tag) "I was just wondering, you know, what is going on?" "Well, the cotton balls are on sale, so we are changing the display around and moving them over here to this end-cap for greater visi...." "NO! NOT THAT!" I screech. "I mean, uh, why exactly is everything moved?" I try vainly to mask how upset I really am. "Ohhh, well, they," (all of sudden, Rex is no longer a part of The Team: instead, it is a chilly they vs. us) "decided to put in a gourmet deli food area, and so to make room for it all, they," (again with the it's-not-my-fault-please-blame-someone-else they) "want us to rearrange some other things to, you know, make it all fit." "Uh, huh. Well, I guess that doesn't sound so bad. Huh. Well, what is the time-line? I mean, do they have a date in mind that it will all be completed?" Rex sighs. He has been asked this question before. "Uh, ma'am, the date they are giving us is end of October." OCTOBER?!?! Are the Target Big-Wigs out of their minds???????? What am I supposed to do? It is only August. August-September-October. Three months. What am I supposed to do in the mean time? Eight thousand days is a long time. I call Sammi back. "It is worse than I thought," I report, beaten down. "I swear, Sammi, I am not setting foot in there until November first." "That's crazy talk, MOV! What about paper towels? shampoo? THE ONE DOLLAR SECTION?" "I don't really need paper towels. And shampoo? Ha! I have LOTS of baseball hats and pony-tail holders at home to tide me over. I bought them from Target." MOV ("My Oasis, Vilified")

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