I shopped like I was training for the Olympics when I was a teen. With a girlfriend or two, or my Mom, I could make a day of a trip to Eastgate Square in Hamilton. Back then, there were other great places to visit nearby including Boo-Boo’s (the latest denim with minor flaws) and Mother’s Pizza for lunch. (“Pick your Mother’s up or we’ll run her over!”)
Shopping marathons lost their shine long ago. At the start of my career, I was simply too broke for anything but necessities. Then I evolved from a rampant consumer to someone who revels at the moment when I realize I don’t have to purchase something after all. All I seem to do lately is get rid of stuff because we have too much.
Still, a person needs some stuff. When we moved to Wallaceburg we had more square footage and it needed furniture. I like to paint and freshen the walls when they need it. Items need replacing or repair. More often than not, I find my impulse is to go to Canadian Tire.
When we were kids, Canadian Tire acquired the nickname Crappy Tire. It was just something we all said. I didn’t even think about the implications on its reputation. Now, my brother calls it China Tire because he claims China makes everything they carry! (And when you look at the descriptions and labels, you find out he’s right.)
This article from the satirical website Outabouter hit me in the shopping bag: Searchers Losing Hope After Three Days in Canadian Tire Looking for a Sales Associate. And if you can find one, they’re never happy to see you.
Although I do my best to shop locally, online shopping is much more fun. Not long after we moved, I attempted to buy something online at CT and have it shipped to the store for free pickup. The site made me jump through every hoop, clicking like my mouse needed exercise before it gave up the little nugget that the item I wanted was no longer available. This is how you lose the shopping wars.
The Wallaceburg staff are among the friendliest CT employees I’ve met. But, the other day I walked in toward three of them and not one greeted me. They all saw me and had to move to allow me past. Not. One. Word. Not even a smile. They routinely only have the customer service desk open for checking out. A half-dozen or more can queue up and they still won’t put another checkout in service. Who’s minding this store?
The London locations have their own troubles. When a staff member sees you coming they scurry to take cover under the clearance table.
Whatever it is, it’s systemic. I don’t blame the staff. Maybe they’re being told to avoid customers because leaving us wandering in confusion leads to more sales? More likely, they’re saddled with so many duties, a customer seems like an interruption instead of a priority. I can only guess. I wish someone with vision would turn it around before the next nickname is Closed Tire.