The Misery of Working at Toys ‘R’ Us
Our great friend Suz gave the boys a little bit of money so they could buy themselves a new toy. At four and five their understanding of money is not quite there yet, but we’re working on it. They proudly put their cash in their wallets and off we trundled to Toys ‘R’ Us for a shopping adventure. Anyone who’s been knows that Toys ‘R’ Us is an absolute dreamland for little tykes – filled floor to ceiling with dreams. It’s amazing for kids, while also overwhelming, but they get there in the end – if you’re patient.
So after a relatively short period of time, the choices were in – a colour changing Finn McMissile for the Jaxster, and oars (for our yellow boat) for Lex. Happy boys.
Usually when we get to the counter I pay while the boys run around. This time I said to the shop assistant we need to run these through separately and please work with the boys to help them pay. All I got was a bloody surly cow, huffing and puffing throughout, probably wanting to speak to her mate on the phone, and we definitely felt like we were an inconvenience. This is big teaching stuff we’re doing with our kids, not just about money, but about responsibility, independence and confidence, and of all the places I expect a little bit of understanding, it’s at Toys ‘R’ Us!
Therefore can I recommend to Toys ‘R’ Us management that they invest in training their staff to get in synch with their customers (kids and adults alike), and perhaps buy everyone a copy of “The Leader Who Had No Title”? I appreciate that working in a low paying job, like being a check out chic at Toys R Us may not be everyone’s dream job. Some may be doing it because there’s nothing else. Some to pay their way through university. And maybe even some do it for the love of it... although I haven’t seen this in Singapore yet... BUT it’s about your attitude! Nothing lasts forever so why not enjoy it while it does? Life is certainly a lot more enjoyable when you make the most of whatever you are doing.
People working in toy shops – for whatever reason – need to reconnect with their inner child, because they are selling dreams and imagination. Kids arm up on all of their fantasies when they explore a toy shop. It’s not just about getting stuff– although that’s obviously a big part of it – it’s about feeding imaginations and creativity. When kids walk into a toy shop they are overwhelmed with sites, colours, noises, sounds and smells. Everywhere they look is something that means something to them on some level. They don’t perceive the world as a whole like adults; they see bits and pieces as they wander through. It’s magical stuff for kids and people who work in these places need to understand this and make it even more magical.
I don’t enjoy hanging out in toy shops. Kids get too much crap today and the majority of stuff in Toys ‘R’ Us is crap that breaks within a 24 hours of purchase. But all I ask is that people who work in toy shops embrace the total experience and make it great for kids and parents. The shops that do this will get everyone through the door. I mean it should be fun right?
Alas my special learning experience with the boys was miserable, and it left me feeling disappointed. The boys didn’t give a shit of course, but will they grow up expecting this level of service? Is that what service will be for future generations? I certainly hope not.
Yours, without the bollocks