A friend was telling me about his Ikea shopping experience. He put his purchases on the conveyor belt but left three of the items with the barcode facing down. The sales clerk, rather than turning the items the right way up, reversed the conveyor belt and told my friend to turn them the right way up. The sales clerk would probably have been admonished for intervening and providing service beyond the impersonal everyone is a number Ikea experience.

This is why we need independent retailers. We need businesses where customer mistakes are corrected, where it does not matter which way you present an item at the counter it can be sold, where you get a smile and where you are a named person and not a number or a grunt. Shopping at places like Ikea drains the life out of you.

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