School Supply Shopping: Not a Contact Sport

What is it about school supply shopping that turns generally pleasant people into meanies? I could avoid the whole mess by shopping online, but my daughter enjoys the thrill of the chase for some unexplainable reason.

Here's a little advice to make school shopping more pleasant:

Retailers: Don't cram as much as you possibly can onto the designated seasonal floor space. Forcing crowds of crabby people on a mission into tight quarters is a very bad idea.

Fathers: Share in the joy of school supply shopping. I could certainly be off base here, but based on my experiences, the ratio of women to men in school supply shopping settings is usually 10:1.

Educators: I realize funds are tight, but keep the supply lists short and economical. The general population of parents can barely afford the long list of supplies, so things like a $100 calculator are unreasonable. Try teaching kids to learn how to do math with say...a paper and a pencil.

All school supply shoppers: If your feet and shopping cart wheels stop at any point in the cramped school supply shopping quarters, you are what we call in the biz -- an isle clog. Nobody likes isle clogs. They're bad. If something in your soul requires you to study a school supply product before committing it to your shopping cart, at least park your cart outside of the designated school supply shopping area so people are not required to navigate around your body and your cart.

To Mrs. Cranky Pants who was all coiled up ready to strike and chose to use her shopping cart as a weapon: Please relax and take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of #2 pencils in the world, so your child will not have to settle for the barely visible markings of the #1 pencil that you were forced to use as a child. The #2 pencil shortage that occurred during your 1960's childhood ended when the nice people in technology developed very smart hardware and software that enables all pencil manufacturers across the land to better track and predict product demand. Please pick up your damn pack of #2 pencils and move your body and shopping cart on to the paste section quickly and peacefully.
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Sr. Community Engineering Program Manager/Acting Director for Sun's external social networking sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.). Skrocki's personal blog, LinkedIn.

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