Finally, this weekend is over.

It’s been tax-free weekend in Tennessee and that basically means the store being even busier than both Black Friday or any of our Holiday days. Last year, this weekend was our biggest sales days with Saturday peaking and this weekend continued that tradition. We blew away a ton of numbers and the store looks like a hurricane hit it.

That hurricane of course is a mass of people overtaking the area. Devouring the clothing as if it were high-dollar items in a free buffet.

It amazes me at the lack of tact, respect, responsibility and guilt a majority of individuals show.

It reminds me of a case study we discussed during a social psychology class. There was a man walking down a slightly rougher end of town in broad daylight. There were people sitting around footsteps, looking out their windows and sitting on their balconies enjoying the sun.

Two men caught up with our walker and proceeded to beat him down and take his wallet. It wasn’t a quick job with an equally hasted retreat. The walker put up a tad of a fight and thus the altercation took quite a bit longer to finish.

In all this time there was not a soul who had made a call to the authorities or stepped in to help this man. It was the theory of “diffusion of responsibility” in action.

There are others around so everyone believes that there should be somebody who’s calling. I don’t need to take a step in the right direction because someone has probably already done it. The only probably is, everyone is thinking that someone else is gonna be able to do the deed…and sadly for the poor man, no one did.

The more people you crowd into a place, general morals and responsibility seem to go out the door.

“Someone will be able to clean this up”

“No one else is making an effort to do ___. So why should I. “

“I want to try these shoes on…” *tries shoes on and they don’t work* “hmmm…someone will come along to hang them back up so I’ll just leave them sitting here in the middle of the floor for everyone to step over and add to the already growing pile.

Sorry, had to add in that last one. It, in general, is the kind of shopping attitude I’m talking about in connection with the story I told earlier. Connected by a similar moral…taking responsibility. Whether it be to make the first step among many to get a good deed done (as in alerting the authorities, or drawing attention to the crime) or simply by taking responsibility for one’s own actions.

If this store were your house, would you treat the items within differently? I have a constant thought that comes to me when situations similar to this occurs. People find things that they want and it’s GOLD. Don’t attempt to pry it from their hands or get in the way of finding that size.

But if it’s not what they’re looking for, it may as well be trash. People could care less about the stack they just massacred…or the fact that they’re one-hand groping items and in the process putting things in a position to be a hassle later for others.

Thinking the whole time that an employee will be along at any time to fix the occurrence. Unaware of the fact the majority of employees during these hugely busy times are preoccupied with filling every register to ring people out (7 in our case), keeping the fitting rooms organized/cleaned and moving (2 people), processing and bringing the ten tons of merchandise brought to try on in the fitting room and rejected (at a minimum 2 but usually is 3), plus people being shuffled for well-deserved breaks.

Where does one start to align recovery forces against a hurricane when they’re devoted to aiding it?

I’m not saying to do our jobs for us, don’t misunderstand. Just asking that when you’re in places of retail ( or any place of business for that matter ) to try and treat everything you touch as if it were your own and people around you as if they were a friend.

Yes, I’m talking about those candy apple red skinny-fit jeans or that lady walking down the aisle with a double occupancy stroller.

There’s a personal and social responsibility that people seem to forget as soon as they walk into establishments plagued by exaggerated versions of customer service.

I appreciate the people who come to our store, and appreciate the business they bring. I just wish more people, like me, took pride in the endeavors they grace.

The next time you walk into a busy store, take note. Are people showing a personal responsibility for their actions? Respect for the people around them? Are you paying the proper respect to merchandise within the store? Without making excuses, but taking on a natural personal responsibility.

In our society as it is today, it seems to me that there is a surprising lack of it. A lot of our beliefs and thinking is centered around ourselves and what is best for us. Sometimes, especially in social settings, take a step back and think…

“What is best for the people around me?”