Some of you might have caught my tweet earlier about going out about town to see if Excell (a distributor that stocks retailers like Target and Wal-Mart with trading card products released by companies like Topps and Upper Deck) had leaked ’13S2 a day early. Since Excell has taken over with product distribution, early retail leaks have been curbed fairly well. As we all know, however, it wouldn’t be all that far-fetched to catch a release hitting shelves before “street.”
Today being an actual full-fledged day off with no Varsity Trading Cards jobs, Crackin’ Wax pimpages or tables to wait, I lined my day up with plenty of chores to keep me busy. A bunch of laundry, a bit of yard work and some light shopping. Whenever I have chore days and shopping to do, I like to consolidate trips. Fill up the tank, go to the post office to pick up Take My Cards SASEs, go to the hardware conglomerate and then off to Target for a few groceries. If you remember, any and ALL stops at Target and/or Wal-Mart include an obligatory stop at the card aisle, even if I was just there.
As per usual, on my way out of the store, I stopped by the card aisle. Today, I noticed that a lady not dressed at all like a Target employee was unloading a shopping cart full of Pokemon-type products onto the card shelves. When I gave the card section a decent glance-over, I noticed that there was no S2 there–but there was an empty spot. I began to walk towards the non-Target lady (I assumed she was with Excell) to see if I could spy any Topps products in her cart–specifically Series 2. Before I could utter a word to her; before I could pose the question of whether she would be stocking baseball cards today, she looked up at me and nailed me with the following nine words:
I’m the type of guy that likes to respond by delivering sharp, biting barbs (although some of those barbs end up dull and flat). I like to stand up for myself. I don’t take crap from anyone ever–sometimes to a fault. However, for some reason, I decided to suck it up and be the bigger person today. Instead of dishing it right back to her, I decided to respond in a more mature manner–cower behind my laptop and complain about it in semi-anonymity where the non-Target lady will never see.
There are a few things that did go through my head–some of them not so nice. Those things will just stay in my head. What I’m wondering, though, was what was going through her head? I don’t need to justify my purchasing and collecting habits to her. What I buy with my money is my business. What I do with what I buy with my money is also my business. Even further, a lesson in Economics 101: I am a consumer that buys trading cards. You are a trading card shelf stocker. You want me to buy cards so that your company keeps paying you to keep stocking the cards that I buy. As a consumer of the products that you stock, I would appreciate if you would keep your snide judgments to yourself.
My reasons for collecting are my own. Besides, if it’s so hard for her to fathom that a middle-aged man-boy buys trading cards, it might also be too difficult for her to conceive of the possibility that I might be buying them for a child. Maybe they’re for my nephews. Maybe they’re for my own kids (which I don’t have, but she doesn’t know that). Maybe I’m buying them so I can give them away on my blog to other collectors as a way to try to raise money for great charities.
I didn’t tell her any of those things. Instead, I looked back at her, smiled and walked away with my cart. If I were going to buy any cards that day, the Target she was stocking today would have lost a sale. I won’t be made to feel inferior by someone who has never met me because of a baseless stigma that baseball cards are meant solely for kids.
Have you ever run into this sort of public judgment by an employee? If so, what was your response?
ST. JUDE OLD SCHOOL BREAK UPDATE
The boxes for the 10-box mixer haven’t been shipped yet, but if all of these slots are gone by the time those boxes get here, I will be throwing a jumbo box of Topps 2013 Series 2 into the break FOR FREE! So, let’s get these slots gone! Remember, $5 from each slot will be donated to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Give to a great cause, get some amazing cards and have an awesome time!