Hello, I’d like to know if your store carries this Skylander video game. My grandson, Charlie, wants it for Christmas and—
Hold, please...( “God rest ye, merry gentlemen, let nothing ye—”) Happy holidays, my name is Brett, can I help you? (Impatient, harassed, but I stay cheery.
Hi, Brett! Yes, I’m looking for the Skylander video game for my grandson, Charlie, and I wondered if—
You mean the Skylander Giants Wii game?
Um...sure, whatever, I just know it has the word Skylander in it...what do you mean “we”?
(Huge sigh) I mean it’s a Wii game, that you play interactively on your TV?
Oh, sure, I knew that, naturally. So, do you carry it?
I’ll go check, please hold. (“Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock, jingle—”)
(harassed sigh) No, we do not carry the Skylander Wii game.
But, Brett, buddy, you were only gone 11 seconds!
Sorry, ma’am. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! (click)
(grumbling as I redial) Let me tell you where you can put your happy holidays, Brett, my boy, right in the—
Happy holidays, and welcome to Everything Here Costs More Than You’ll Make This Month! What can I help you with today?
Well, I was just on the phone with someone who was checking on that Skylander game, and—
No, wait! (“It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeear, with those holiday greetings and—”)
Can I help you? (the same happy little elf – such is my luck)
Yes, Brett, remember me? I was just talking to you about the Skylander game?
Yes, ma’am, we haven’t gotten it in the last 20 seconds...(evil, snotty chuckle)
(teeth gritting) No, but I’m looking for a few other things, as well. Maybe you can help me, since I’m determined to do all of my Christmas shopping without leaving the couch, ha ha ha!...(nothing)...ahem...OK, my other grandson wants a hamster, since his last one has disappeared (although there’s a distinct odor in their laundry room when the dryer is turned on...) and I want to get my little granddaughter some Wiggles and Barney DVDs. Do you have any of those things, Brett?
(Silence for a moment, then, spoken very slowly and clearly, because it’s obvious I am somewhat demented) Uh, ma’am, we don’t carry hamsters, we’re a TOY STORE! You might want to try Pet Stuff You Can’t Afford. It’s right down the street. So, happy holi—
Hold it, Brett! What about the Wiggles and Barney DVDs?
Oh. (another exasperated sigh) Right. I’ll go check. Please hold. (“We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you...Oh, little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee...I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus, underneath the mistletoe last...Come, they told me, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum...”)
(I open a Diet Coke and a bag of chips, and flip on “My Fair Wedding.” I’m not a rookie; I’ve made these calls before. He thinks I’ll get tired of waiting…he thinks I’ll cave…Bring it on, Brett!)
Nooooo! (I simmer a moment) Fine. They can forget my business!
Hello! Happy Holidays, and thank you for calling Toys That Cost More Than Your House! Please listen to the following options: Press 1 for shipping preferences; press 2 for directions to the store; press 3 for all departments; press 4 to check on a specific item; press 5 to return to the main menu at any time; press 6 to hang up and drink that bottle of honey bourbon you hid in the freezer...(that last one may have been a figment of my fevered imagination).
I press 3.
For Dolls, press 1; for board games, press 2; for stuffed animals, press 3; for costumes, press 4; for video games, press 5; for electronics, press 6; for interactive electronics, press 7; for arts and crafts, press 8; to return to the main menu and waste more precious minutes of your life that you will NEVER get back, press 9.
I have no idea which one is the right one; I press 6.
For app accessories, press 1; for remote control toys, press 2; for electronic board games, press 3—
With a barely suppressed scream, I press 0. I know the score – you press 0 and you’ll almost always get a live person!)
Hello! Happy Holidays, and thank you for calling Toys That Cost More Than Your House! Please listen to the following—
AAARRRGGGHHH! (Yep, “almost” is always the operative word in my life.)
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at email@example.com, or visit her website, www.vickiwentz.com.