Andy Rooney Goes Christmas Shopping

Will The Experience Turn Him Into An Online Shopper?

I read that last year something like a billion and a half people worldwide bought presents on their computer over the Internet.

It's one of those figures I doubt but, even if it's true, the idea of buying something I can't see or touch just doesn't interest me at all. Stores do a lot of things that annoy people and I think that's what keeps a lot of people out of stores.

I've been trying to do some Christmas shopping myself this week and I'd look through the front window of a store to see what is going on in there. And if I saw several sales people standing around waiting to pounce on me when I came in and say, "May I help you?" I just don't go in.

Am I the only shopper who doesn't want to be asked "May I help you?", even if I need help? I just don't want to be asked "May I help you?" nine times on my way to where I'm going in the store. If I get lost, I'm not bashful, I'll ask.

Another mistake they make in stores is assuming that Christmas shoppers know what they want. Usually, I'm "just looking," but I'm damned if I want to tell another clerk every few feet that "I'm just looking."

"What is it you're looking for," they want to know. Well, half the time I have no idea what I'm looking for. I'm looking for a present is what I'm looking for.

Sometimes, just to get even when a clerk asks me what I'm looking for, I'll say "What do you have?"

In a store "What do you have?" makes about as much sense as an answer as "what are you looking for?" makes as a question.

Next year I may join the 1.5 billion people who shop on the Internet, but I'll just be looking.

Written by Andy Rooney