Candy store letdown

Its name is Sugar Land or Sugar Rush, and I never go in candy stores. Yet here I am, startled. This place is bigger in square footage than the pharmacy I worked in during high school and whiter and with more gleaming surfaces than a gym shower room.

There are bins and bins of candy. On the walls are candies hung in packages. The noise on the sound system is Usher or someone else as ridiculous. I swivel my head, hoping my eyes will magically land on what I walked in for. Instead, I see this girl, with a silver tinsel wig on, in a bob style with bangs. Mumble mumble, she says. It’s deafening in the candy store, so I hold my cupped hand up to my ear, the universal signal for “What?” She says, “CAN I HELP YOU?”

“Uh, yes,” I reply. “Do you have any chocolate Santas?”

She looks back at me quizzically, pauses, and then sweeps her glance across the walls and all the bins. “No,” she says, seeming surprised by her own word.

“No?” Perplexed, I need to be sure. Isn’t this a candy store? Isn’t this Christmas?

“No.” This time she is more certain.

I walk out. She does not try to interest me in anything else, and there is nothing else that I want.

8 thoughts on “Candy store letdown

    • Bob, the trick may be deciding, before I go in, what I will buy and what I will not. And then I stick to what I’ve promised myself.

      If someone blind-sided me with candy, though… now that would make it hard to resist.

  1. Ah…thanks for the tale of holiday/commercial absurdity. I needed that! (The ending genuinely surprised me: I was expecting a full aisle of nothing *but* chocolate Santas!)

  2. I read this post and then a day or two later went to visit my family in NY. My brother’s girlfriend was having Christmas dinner at her house and one of my brother’s friends called him and left a message saying that he had looked all over for chocolate Santas to bring to the dinner party but couldn’t find any. Must be a conspiracy . . .

  3. Hi there! I stumbled across this entry in a Google key word alert and have to say, I’m not surprised about the customer service aspect of this story. I manage a store and know just how frustrating finding the right, motivated help can be!

    I can’t defend the tinsel-clad associate who helped you (she and her boss are on their own there), but I can add to this from the perspective of the shopkeeper. Where holiday stock is concerned, I’d hope that my store wouldn’t have chocolate Santas so close to Christmas either. I’m currently surrounded by heaps of candy canes in our back room and, let me tell you, marking them down isn’t going to get them out of here any faster after the holidays. No one wants candy after a very candy-centric event…even sale candy. Holiday stock ordering is such a fine art in a small, independent business that has no head office to send overstock back to once the 26th rolls around. For that reason alone, specialty stores such as a stand-alone candy store will order conservatively for holidays.

    I know it doesn’t relieve the situation and certainly doesn’t undo the hideous service you received, but perhaps it helps to answer the question of why there weren’t Santas in the first place.

    • That’s interesting, Katie. I wonder if the clerk had said to me, “We had them, but we’re sold out,” if she could have taken it to the next level with me, and perhaps persuaded me to buy something else. As you probably know, though, the word “No” without follow up is a closed door.

      I have to admit, too, that I deliberately waited until almost Xmas Eve to buy the Santas, and that’s so we wouldn’t gobble them before it was time to put them in the stockings. I do the same at Halloween, buying my candy the day of and not in advance, so that we don’t spend a week *before* Halloween eating candy. It’s weird how stores never run out of Halloween candy the way they do chocolate Santas. (I’ve had the chocolate Santa problem before.)

      My mother was able to buy me some Santas at a candy store that makes its own. It’s probably easier for them to control their stock.

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