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    Time For Another Toys R Us Rant

    June 3, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    Almost every June, we do something I absolutely despise doing: We visit Toys R Us. Last year, I was a bit more constructive in that I invented my own imaginary children’s store in my post. This year, my entire post is devoted to complaining. That’s it. This is my annual Toys R Us complaint. If you don’t like complaining, now is the time to pick an off-ramp from the sidebar.

    Well, almost the time. I do want to say what I said last year as a disclaimer, which is that we truly appreciate the reason we go to Toys R Us in the first place, which is to say we are grateful for the gift cards our children receive for their birthdays. And we are thankful for what we are able to use these gift cards to purchase. Last year, after a frustrating shopping experience, we came home with a great toy box that I still love.

    But, tell me, why must shopping at Toys R Us be so terribly painful? It’s not that we are ungrateful, it’s that we always leave the store with unpleasant feelings, generally a combination of disgust and frustration.

    Disgust? Why, yes. Oh, last year I was disgusted at the selection. I don’t like the excessive marketing to children, the desire to use my child as a billboard. But here I mean literal disgust. As in the store is not clean. As in, ew. It is an older building, but it’s more than that. The floors are dirty. An area I shopped in had smashed crackers and spilled chlorine {pool supplies} all over the floor.

    I had made the mistake of wearing open-toed shoes, which added to the experience.

    And then we tried to return a gift our son had received for his birthday, swim trunks and a matching shirt. They were a boys’ size five. He wears a 4T, especially in swim trunks because we surely don’t want them falling off! The shirt was just long.

    So we decide to divide and conquer. Si takes the boy and the returnable items with the receipt to “Customer Service,” while I take the toddler and the baby and begin searching for a bubble gun for the boy and life vest for the toddler {who had her own giftcard left from her birthday in February}. Si comes back and informs me that they will not accept the shirt because the tags are missing.

    Where are the tags? I don’t know. They certainly weren’t there when E. received the gift. Maybe they fell off and were thrown away with the gift wrap? I don’t know. I never saw them. But I did see the gift receipt. The shirt’s information is right there on the gift receipt with the information for the shorts that they did allow us to return.

    So Si goes back to “Customer Service.” He points out that the numbers for the shirt are right there. Will they please take the shirt back? No, of course they will not. Items have to be returned with original packaging, and sans tags does not qualify. Besides, it has obviously been laundered, they inform him. How do they know this? Apparently, there is some sort of strange discoloration on the {tie-dyed!} tag that has the washing instructions printed on it, and this allows the “Customer Service” employee to know that we already washed the shirt.

    Of course we washed it. After all, it doesn’t fit. And it matches the shorts that didn’t fit, that we didn’t wash, and took back as well. But apparently any logic skills aren’t required for the “Customer Service” job. Who in the world washes one half of a matching set of clothes that don’t even fit before trying to take them back? Please tell me what kind of person would do this!

    So instead of spending more time in that unbearable place, we decided to keep the shirt. After all, he will grow into it. Of course, since he doesn’t really have enough clothes, it would have been nice to have something that fits him now.

    Besides the return situation being a source of frustration, actually finding the items we desired to purchase was irritating as well. The bubble gun was easy enough. But then we wanted a kickboard to help teach E. to swim. It was hard, but not impossible, to find one that didn’t have annoying marketing all over it. Everything was Spiderman, a PG-13 movie marketed to 5-year-olds!

    And then there was the life vest for the toddler who, incidentally, is a girl. I won’t even tell the whole story. It is sufficient to say that our sweet little girl is now the proud owner of a red and black and yellow Power Rangers Mystic Force toddler life vest. It is ugly, but it’ll do the job just fine.

    So there it is. Another annual trip to Toys R Us over. I feel a bit better now. I really thought that if I didn’t write all of this I might be driven to distraction for the remainder of the evening. Now I can relax in peace. Well, I could if the toddler would quit throwing fits in her crib. But that is another story.

    And, by the way, we tried the bubble gun before bedtime. It was really cool.

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  • Reply Brandy June 3, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Yes, I feel better now. And I apologize for putting you (and everyone else) through that. 🙂

    The bubble “gun” we got really is great. Maybe they have some at Target? I asked E. if he wanted to make a few really huge bubbles or lots and lots of little ones, and he voted for lots and lots of little ones. So it has two big wands that have lots of little holes, and then fans behind that to blow air through at a rapid pace. Dip it in the tray, press the trigger to start the fans and VOILA! lots and lots of bubbles. He will entertain his sister for hours!

  • Reply Kimbrah June 3, 2007 at 5:45 am

    Feel better after your rant? I totally know what you mean. I never go there, and I definitely never take the boys in there. That’s just asking for Meltdown City!

    I am glad you enjoyed the bubble gun. We have been exploring the expansion of our bubble horizons recently. We just acquired a HUGE bubble wand and tray for $1 from Target. Can’t wait to see what the boys think of that!

    Happy (belated)Birthday Brandy’s Littles!

    Love, Auntie Kimbrah

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