Friday, December 18, 2009

Shopping with a Strategy

It seems as if my work life and the thoughts that go behind it are slowly seeping into my personal life (or what's left of my personal life). The two have been on a collision course for a while and it's predominantly my fault. But I digress.

I went shopping on Tuesday night because my schedule and the revolution of the earth around the sun dictating the hours in a day allowed me to have one night free for shopping and one night free for wrapping. And by night, I mean 2 hours or so of free time before my head hits the pillow before waking again a few hours later, but that's another story.

Two hours. One night. 16 people to buy gifts for.

It was at that point or realization that I knew instead of my lacksidasical meandering to find things that I got a good vibe from wasn't going to work. It was going to take a battle plan. I scoured the circulars for ideas for certain people. Then I listed out all the stores that carried the items I had in mind. Seeing that, I brainstormed places with good deals on those items to consolidate the 7 stores into 3. I selected which store to go to first based on any contingency plans of second choice gift items. After doing all this, I was ready to shop.

Except for one thing. I had to execute my battle plan without my war paint. Because I was at the gym working out and I didn't want to eat into precious time, I went from the gym to the mall. And not just any mall, but the mall in the ritzy side of town. No make up, hair back in a messy pony tail, t-shirt and capri workout pants (both oversized for comfort).

I should've been embarrassed. I don't like being seen in public (other than maybe Ghetto Kroger or a Harris Teeter trip for 5 items or less) in my workout clothes. I should've cared that I could potentially be smelled by the other patrons (a quick dash through the perfume section took care of that). But instead I was mostly irritated by the fact that it took longer to get someone to ring me up. I get it. I didn't look like a big spender. However, I had the item I needed in my hand and was waiting at a register. It's a done deal. Just sidle on over here and ring me out.

Needless to say, I had less of a problem when my second store was a Target. God bless you, Target. I will love you and your ability to welcome me with the unexplicable smell of popcorn when I enter (which is there whether you sell popcorn at the snack bar or not. Isn't that weird? Do you pipe that in?) and your welcoming beeps because I know that my workout clothes are only slightly worse than the red top and khakis mandated attire of your staff.

And with that, I'll say my strategy paid off. One night. 16 gifts. One hour and 45 minutes including travel time. Not too bad if I say so myself. Hope you had just as good as luck as I did...with a little strategy to boot.

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