2007-08-26

Back to School

Back to School time. Parents love it. Finally, Jr. is going back to school. I'm sure the retailers love Back to School time too. All the stuff that must be purchased is staggering. Clothes and uniforms, new shoes, notebooks, pens, pencils, protractors (Why do kids need a new protractor every single year? It's one of life's greatest mysteries.), locker locks, art supplies and of course the backpack. I'm not sure how I survived all my school years without a backpack, but they are required equipment now. Backpacks can be fairly pricey too. Gone are the days of a cheap backpack with a couple of pockets for supplies. Now they have padding, 758 different pockets, handles, heavy duty zippers, expanding panels and who knows what else. It can be quite the shopping experience to find just the right backpack.

Now in all honesty, my boys are pretty decent with their backpacks. They don't need a new one every year, they manage to go two or three years before needing a new one. So that's good. But this year, we needed a new backpack. So we headed out to an unnamed office supply store to get one (the store name is one word, named after an office supply that holds paper together. Starts with "S" and ends with "s"). After checking out the many options, we settled on just the right one. So we headed to the checkout with our backpack and few other miscellaneous bits.

The clerk began going through every pocket in the backpack. All 758 of them. Unzip each one, look inside, put his hand inside to check for stuff that I guess he couldn't see by looking, and zip it shut. All 758 of them. During this several minute process there's nothing to do but watch. I know good and well he's checking to make sure I'm not trying to steal something by hiding stuff in the backpack. I'm not a thief, but the clerk doesn't know that, so he has to check. Fair enough.

About half way through the process, the clerk looks at me and says, "I have to check to make sure all of the stuff that belongs in the backpack is still in here." What?!?! Did he really just say that? There's no stuff inside a backpack. It's not like a laptop case that has adjustable dividers and what not. And even if it did, how would the clerk know what dividers belonged with what backpack? There's only like 200 different backpacks to choose from. But I stood in there in shock when he said he was checking to make sure everything was there. I knew he was lying. I'm pretty sure he knew he was lying. And while he blamed his lie on store policy, I'm equally as certain the store doesn't want it's employees lying to the customers.
Why lie? Why not just admit the truth that you are checking to make sure all the pockets are empty? Or just saying nothing at all and do your job.

I wonder how often we tell a little white lie to try a make something seem better? Why do it at all? What's stopping you (and me) from just telling the truth, all the time? Of at least just keeping your mouth shut and don't say anything at all.

2 comments:

pete said...

there are a million and one different kinds of backpacks!

we just bought a backpack for my almost 4-year old daughter for PRE-school!

funny thing, though... with all the back-to-school hoopla, i wanted to get me new backpack too!

Bill A said...

I know the feeling! I use a backpack on my motorcycle and I was feeling a little left out too. LOL.