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Freight Outlet Store War©
I was a happy shopper at a trucking company outlet store. I visited this store several times a week. It was a treasure hunt each time I visited the store. I got to shop at the store for about fifteen years. The store stocked merchandise that was shipped on a truck and was damaged and/or delivery was refused. From one day to the next, you did not know what would be available at the store. Often the price of the merchandise was about half of what the merchandise would be if sold by a retail store.
It was fun to watch the shoppers. There were a bunch of businesses that would purchase merchandise that they would resell. These people knew the wholesale prices and retail prices of merchandise. I liked to get within hearing and listen to them discuss the merits of the merchandise and the price placed on the items.
One customer owned a book store located near an university. He had a notebook about two inches thick with the list of books used as text books by several universities. He was often on his cell phone talking with people at the book store trying to decide which books to buy and how many. He had an employee with him. When a decision was made about a book, the employee would grab the books and put them in shopping carts. I have seen them go through the checkout with two or three large shopping carts full of books. The typical prices for books were Text books - $5.00/$10.00, Hardback books - $3.00/$5.00, Paperback books - $2.00.
From this store, I purchased many things for birthday and Christmas gifts. People that got gifts from me thought I paid a lot more money for them than I did.
I learned to stay out of the way of several shoppers. Sometimes an aisle would be clogged by shopper especially when there was a very good buy on items on the shelves on the aisle. The shoppers I learned to watch were not intimidated by clogged aisle. They would not go to another aisle and go around the congested area, they would push their cart through the people and carts in the aisle.
When they decided to go through a group of people, they would loudly say, “Excuse me” several times. The Excuse Me gang members expected you to get yourself and cart out of their way. My cart and I got bumped several times by these courteous shoppers. They did let you know they were coming through. When you were not braced for the bump, you could be hurt and bruised. Fingers could get mashed by getting caught between carts and shelves. After I learned to recognize the gang members, I kept watch on them when I was at the store. I expected to see a fight due to their shopping cart driving habits. I never saw a fight.
One day I saw one of the gang bump a woman and knock her purse on the floor. The purse opened when it hit the floor and its contents spread over the floor. The gang member showed no concern about having knocked the purse on the floor. I did not know what I could do, but I moved to the next aisle and waited for the gang. I pointed the shopping cart toward the direction I expected the gang to invade the aisle. I correctly anticipated the direction from which the attack would come. A couple of shoppers had moved to the aisle. One of the gang appeared at the head of the aisle. I braced myself and leaned my body on the cart and waited. I heard the “Excuse Me, Excuse Me” charge command. The gang member’s cart missed one of the shoppers and hit the hip of the other shopper. The shopper was surprised at being bumped. I was the next shopper in the aisle. It was my turn.
I could see there was enough room for the gang member’s shopping cart to go between my cart and the rest of the aisle. I sized up the situation and decided I was not going to do anything. I was not going to push my cart into her cart. I did keep my weight on my cart. Here came the shopping cart following the “Excuse Me, Excuse Me” command. To my surprise the gang member did not have good coordination or my cart was hit on purpose. The cart’s driver was surprised when the force of the collusion was transferred to her body. I was given a look that was a display of hatred and anger. People were watching her. I had not moved my cart so the collusion was caused by her. I did not know what was going to happen. She did not say a word to me as she pushed her cart past me, but her unchanged facial expression told me what she was thinking.
Several days later, I saw her in the store. She did not show any signs of recognition of me when she pushed her cart by me. A few minutes later, I heard the command, “Excuse Me, Excuse Me.” I could not see what she was doing, but I know what was going on in the next aisle. My defiance of one of the gang members did not change their behavior.
I spent lots of money on office supplies, tools, garden supplies, books, household supplies, several small pieces of furniture, power tools, clothes, shoes, paint, house repair items, and food. One day there were bags of Kentucky Fried Chicken batter on the shelves. The food items sold very fast so what you got today would not be in stock tomorrow. A favorite food item I purchased when available was a gallon jar of English walnuts in maple flavor syrup. The walnuts and syrup make wonderful Vanilla ice cream topping.
I was sad when the store moved to a larger building on the other side of town. I lost my unique local shopping and entertainment theater.
A former resident of Pot Neck, Tennessee
Date last updated, September 8, 2010
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