Monday, February 7, 2011


I am doing some more work on Freedom for Life, even though the class is officially done, and have been given an assignment: Direct my anger where it belongs, get angry at Satan.

I'm working on it. I am beyond sick of feeling this way. I want to be free!

So I've been thinking about my anger. My words. My actions. And what they convey. And then in walked Mr. Super-Nice-Until-I-Can't-Help-Him. I've been working at the Service Desk at Target part time since before Christmas, and for the most part it's pretty fun. This is a conversation I had on Friday night with a guest:

Me: What can I do for you?
Guest: I would like to return this GPS. I got it for Christmas and don't have a receipt.
Me: I can possibly return it using your driver's license.
Guest: (gives me his license)
Me: (processing return) The GPS was originally $159.99 and without a receipt, the system brings up the lowest price in the last 90 days since we can't tell then or how much it was purchased for. The lowest price in the last 90 days is $89.00. Unfortunately, we can only return up to $75.00 worth of merchandise without a receipt every year, so I am unable to return this for you. (& gave some other options).
Guest: THAT'S WHY I DON'T SHOP HERE! (storms away)

I almost laughed. Not at this guest's frustration (because who hasn't been there?) but because his anger was so misplaced. Target Corp. made $15.59 BILLION last year. Saying something snide to the person behind the service desk is not going to do anything to change the situation. This second job earns me not much of minimum, (it's just grocery money, buddy) so the CEO doesn't really ask me for my opinion of return policy. That person did not have anything to do with the rules and can in no way change or over-ride that decision. It's not even the fault of the store you are standing in. It IS the fault of people who steal, people who commit fraud. People like the woman who, just last week, returned a (supposedly) unopened car seat which she got cash for, the box went back to the sales floor, was purchased by another parent, who opened the box to find just a bunch of dirty clothes, no car seat! This person, and others, are the reason that Target and many other stores won't give you cash back, or even store credit for a large purchase. It's the reason you can't return opened CDs, the music industry doesn't trust that you didn't just dub it and return the original. That's not the store's fault either. So, enough of the tirade.

The whole situation just struck me as a little too coincidental that I am working on directing anger in the right direction, and WALAH! a perfect example occurs right in front of me. So I'm thinking about ways I misplace my anger. I think if I learn to pause before responding, I might be able to better direct my anger appropriately. And even knowing that there are options, that I have a choice about where my anger goes, can make a difference. And it will probably save some hurt from Micheal and the kids, too!

Are you angry at the right thing? How do you misplace your anger? 


  1. My sister has worked as a retail pharmacist for the better part of 10 years. She is currently a drone of TheTarget, as well. She has some fantastic stories related to stupid patients and stupid people. Reasons why companies big and small have a particular policy - one way or another.

    She has had medication returned to the pharmacy where it was obvious they had taken a lighter to some of the capsules and burned them.

    She has had people steal blocks of cheese from the refrigerated section and run through her pharmacy.

    She has had men sit cross-legged on her counter and wait for the medications to be filled.

  2. Thich Nhat Hanh says in this great book I have by him titled "Anger: colling the flames"

    "when a person's speech is full of anger it is because he or she suffers deeply. Because he has so much suffering he is full of bitterness. He is always ready to complain and blame others for his problems. This is why you find it very unpleasant to listen to him and try to avoid him. To understand and transform anger we must learn the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech." (page 3)
    to which i add, yes, but damn that is hard!

  3. oops: it should be Anger: cooling the flames