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The Terrible Significance of Disarray in America

At dusk on Saturday evening while I was in San Diego, I drove to a shopping area in Chula Vista and went into a discount department store. I will not name the store, but Wikipedia names it a Fortune 1000 company, and you are likely familiar with it. There are 714 of these stores, located in 26 states and in Guam. The third largest off-price retailer in the US, they carry clothing, footwear, bedding, housewares, jewelry, beauty products and various other items.

I travel a fair amount throughout the United States, and for many years now, have shopped in these stores and others like them. The discounts are large on the moderate to high-end products they stock and the stores are easily accessible and well-lighted. Over the years, my credit cards have racked up thousands of dollars in off-price retail stores.

In recent months–probably over a period of a couple of years–I have noticed a sharp deterioration in the appearance of certain of these stores. A few months ago, in the Bay area of northern California, I was aghast when I walked to the shoe area and saw scores of shoes strewn on the floor, mixed with clothing, toys, books and who knows what else. It was almost unbelievable, and I called Jerry over to look at the wreckage. That store sets in an area of the country that has one of the highest standards of living anywhere. A very modest house costs five to six hundred thousand dollars. We are not talking slums or ghetto here; this is upper middle-class America.

I entered the Chula Vista store on Saturday, took one of the small wheeled carts and began my shopping spree. The entry of the store nicely spotlighted a Mother's Day gift display, and I browsed there a few minutes before pressing to the interior of the store. By the time I arrived at the rear portion of the store, I had selected a couple of items and placed them in my cart. The store was fairly busy, but not overwhelmingly so.

The lingerie section flagged me. The floor beneath these racks that held women's personal items was covered–I say covered–with fallen garments, to the degree that there were layers of clothing, mounds of them on the floor where the women shopped. I watched the shoppers' feet push aside the garments, and occasionally someone would bend down and select an item from the floor.

But it was in the housewares section that I observed such chaos and disarray that it flat stopped me in my tracks. One aisle was utterly filled with lampshades, window blinds and other large items. No one seemed concerned, neither clerks, management, or customers, for that matter. I turned left and saw a deserted shopping aisle–deserted because it was stacked several feet high with pillows, bedspreads and rugs–right down the middle of the aisle. It was impossible to walk there.

It was surreal, especially because no one appeared to think it out of the ordinary. It was as if a bomb had exploded and the shoppers merely continued their shopping, giving no evidence that they observed any disruption, nor heard the explosion, or smelled smoke. I saw no signs of management scurrying to clean up these messes, but saw additional stocking of merchandise, and employees who appeared at ease and who were routinely going about their business. I watched a young man nonchalantly wend his way through piles of stock, as he rolled in a new rack of clothes that within a few hours would no doubt be pitched to the floor.

I parked the shopping cart, went to my car for my camera and prowled the store taking pictures. Two are posted here.
My observations on Saturday extend beyond my jolting experience with an off-price retailer, but go to the tragic mindset of much of America. We are in disarray, our minds and souls are cluttered and lack focus. Too many of us nonchalantly slouch through the day, little moved by the debris surrounding us, and gripped by a deadly malaise that reveals the depth of our crisis.

I will be communicating with the CEO of this company and directing him to this blog. His response should be interesting.

Tags: CEO, disarray+America, shopping, shoppers, off+price+retailer, Chula+Vista, Bay+area, Guam

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

9 replies on “The Terrible Significance of Disarray in America”

wow really really really good post and it is really long how do u writ ehtta much on a post omg that was huge

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A lot of someones do not care, if they have noticed, with respect to illegal immigrants who may be doing the best they can at thier jobs, despite the added pressure of forced secrecy.

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Thanks to all of you for reading this post and for responding. Thomas, you are a person who can make a difference in situations such as these. I’m sure you do the very best in whatever job you are assigned. No matter what the pay, if we do our best, someone will notice, and we will be elevated to a better job. I do agree with you that not one person is better than another. We’re all the same in God’s eyes. We must be our best, wherever we find our life’s work.

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Perhaps if the staff were paid more they’d care a little more as well?

I work at a discount store and I am paid well enough for me to not be thinking, “And I am doing this for bugger all per hour?!?!” which is something I experienced at another job, as a pizza delivery driver, where I might add I witnessed a workplace which practically exploited its teenage workers. At the discount store, they treat the workers well and are very flexible and we all feel the responsiblity to one another to help each other out.

It has nothing to do with this generation or that generation. All though history, people have made that same claim. I think its arrogant to think that any of us alive today are more significant in historical terms then anyone from past or future.

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What a disaster. That has to be the worse I’ve ever seen. Was there a manager there on-site; did they even care!? So sad. Not only is it impossible to shop in all that mess, my Lord, you may trip, fall, and get all tangled up in it. Speaking of injuries. A few weeks ago I was in a [possibly the same] store [in Chula Vista] and in the section where they keep all the lotions, bath gels, etc. A women slipped very hard and fell right on her back. Apparently a shower gel had spilled. A worker was near and did not bother to help the women, or ask her if she was okay, she merely shouted to another worker to make sure to clean it off the floor. Which I witnessed no one ever cleaned it as long as I was there.

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Wow! That’s pretty bad. I think I know what store we’re talking about here. We have one in our area, which I’ve been in from time to time, and the only time it ever looks somewhat orderly is when they first open. However, I don’t think I’ve seen anything as bad as what was in your photos. I do think it is a result of lack of training of this generation. It will be interesting to see if and when the CEO responds.

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This is a result, unfortunately, of the training of this next generation. This generation has not been taught discipline, respect, consideration of others, and the list goes on and on. It’s frightening!! What will the next generation be like, should The Lord tarry???? I was raised very, very strict. And I have to hold my tongue (literally) when I see this sort of thing happening. I guess things will only get worse and worse, then The Lord’s coming!!

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