While shopping for Christmas gifts this year, I was in HomeGoods more than once. Three times, to be exact. The first time I was there, I perused the glassware aisles and held a set of crystal champagne flutes in my hand, when a barrage of bell ringing and then clapping startled me, slightly almost causing me to let the flutes slip from my grip. As I made my way through, aisle after aisle, thoughtfully (or at least trying to think) selecting gifts for my loved ones, the bell ringing and clapping sounded steadily.
"I can't wait to get out of here", a woman shopping close to me said.
"It's so annoying and distracting", replied her husband.
After more than an hour of rolling my eyes each time I heard the bells and claps and listening to other shoppers complaints about it, I finally made my way to the checkout and learned that the B's and C's were from customers donating to St. Jude Hospital. Whenever someone would answer "yes, I'll donate ___" to the cashier's question, that cashier would ring a bell and allll of them would clap.
I loved that customers were donating to such a worthy cause, and often enough to drive everyone in the store crazy with bells and applause, but I couldn't help but notice that because the cashiers rang the bell and clapped that much -- that they did it halfheartedly and with pained "here we go again" expressions on their faces. Seems kind of pointless to me.
When it was my turn to check out, I donated -- because I'm not a Scrooge and I think the idea was amazing, just minus the bells and clapping -- and watched the zombie cashiers do their thang. And, I wanted to stand on the counter and yell an apology to the store for my participation in the unnecessary distraction.
My third trip there, after leaving, in an annoyed state of mind, I tweeted "@homegoods your employees w/ the bell ringing and clapping doesn't aid in calming rushed shoppers. Especially since they look pained while doing it bc they do it allll day"
The next (this) morning, I received a reply from HomeGoods.
"@amandatalar A lot of bells and clapping means a lot of people were donating to St. Jude, which is nice. Sorry it created noise & stress."
Keep in mind that is a business responding to me. A very large business, where I've spent a LOT of money (you know how much I love TJ Maxx/Marshalls - and HomeGoods is a part of them). And, I couldn't help but think they didn't capitalize my name because I didn't capitalize theirs (if they had just hit "reply" to me, it would have automatically capitalized it -- I'm like a paranoid detective, I miss nothing).
It's also unfortunate that they apparently put inexperienced and snarky interns/employees in charge of their social media.
*clap clap clap clap clap*