How to get through Xmas shopping without harm

I HAVE started my Christmas shopping. Those of you who do it in a mad rush in the seven ridiculous days preceding the big event are calling me mad, but it's the jealousy talking.

You can have that frantic agitated-sardine shopper experience all to yourselves. I don't much care for it.

I'd rather sit at home wrapping and squirreling away presents while I drink my vodka lime, thank you very much.

I'm a great wrapper too, by the way.

So what has led me to divulge this juicy titbit you may well ask. Truth be told, it's you people, actually.

You see, I was lined up at the register, daydreaming, when I noticed a little bit of a stink developing at the front.

A husband and wife team were swiping a gift card and the device was telling them to "check with financial institution".

This was perplexing for the pair and they started ranting at the assistant about $30 credit that should be on the card.

The poor apologetic assistant was without fault in this instance but, boy, did she cop it, particularly when it turned out there was only $29.95 credit on the card, not the $30 required to make the purchase.

Seriously over the top reactions. Where's a spare Golden Globe when you need one?

We have all been witness to unreasonably shirty shoppers. It's ugly, and it's unnecessary.

God knows there are some really bad examples of customer service out there.

We have all had the pleasure at some point I'm sure, but just take some deep breaths over the next couple of weeks...  deep breaths and deep sips.

We can all get through this silly season without having to face shopping-related assault charges.

Try smiling when you make eye contact with your fellow shopper, try laughing at inconveniences and when all else fails, try drinking when you get home.

This column is featured in APN's Weekend Magazine. Don't miss your weekend lift-out each Saturday 

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