Sad that yesterday's rant was not the only problem at the NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway. Like I said - I used to spend a lot of money at the merchandise haulers at the track. They were lined up in rows, some drivers have their own, some teams have a bunch of drivers in one hauler, some independent merchants had haulers and tents to buy stuff at ( that's where Curt got Min's FAVORITE EVER Christmas gift - a Jimmy Spencer t-shirt - heee heee hee hee) So you had some haulers with little crowds, others not so much - the people working the haulers could answer questions, and get you the size you asked for - if you weren't sure about the size they let you take it out and look. Here's a pic I slurped off the web as an example:
Now some genius - and I mean cost cutting profit obsessing moron - came up with the plan of one giant tent store:
With drivers having little "booths" in the tent - there was a women's booth (nightmare to shop - I'll explain in a bit) but that tiny tent in the background? That's the checkout tent. With a giant roped line and the cashiers couldn't figure out the registers - and when a cashier was free they'd wave a flag and you had to figure out which row they were in since the cashier's were in rows lined up back to back.
You had to rummage around to find the size you wanted. The booths that were brand oriented had hats or other stuff on a shelf with shirts/jackets on hangers underneath. BUT if you saw a row of Jimmie Johnson hats, there might be Denny Hamlin shirts underneath. As someone who hates shopping, despises shopping sales because of the disorganization that ensues and is really hard pressed to shop clearance or other "bargain" outlets because of the need to keep flipping to find sizes or styles - this was my worst nightmare. And not just that - those Denny Hamlin t-shirts - were mixed with Donkey face t-shirts - not even the same manufacturer of car much less team!! And they were mixed up in quantities that you can't blame the fans shopping - like I tell the guys at work - if there is 1 or 2 things that don't belong - ok a customer dropped it there. If there are case quantities in the wrong place - some moron packed it out wrong!
While I admire the fact that it seems they helped out the local economy by hiring locals, instead of having the people that drove the rigs selling the products - no one that worked there could answer any questions! They all admitted there were boxes of more products behind the shelves - but didn't know where to look if someone wanted a size that was sold out on the hangers! And mind you - with the no reentry policy, it's not like you could come back later to see if more got stocked out!
I cannot tell you how many people I over heard saying they'd go online to buy, or go to a local store. Some took pictures so they'd know what they were looking for.
THE WORST PART--- yup the above was just a prelude to the horror. Here's a picture of the interior of a booth - from Friday, when there are not that many fans at the track yet:
Look at where that lady is standing. Now imagine several people, with backpacks and coolers (because they can't shop and then come back in, they had everything with them as they shopped) trying to turn that corner while one person tried to look at the stuff.
It was impossible. I had a backpack, but I'm spoiled and Curt carries the cooler filled with more than people at a Saharan oasis could drink, and I was constantly getting jostled by people hitting my backpack, and hit with coolers as people next to me got jostled. I just gave up. And I'm pissed. I actually look forward to my new Tony Stewart wear each summer.
I won't be buying at nascar.com that's for certain. I'll still buy from SHR and Tony's website. Maybe I'll see if Realtree sells online. I can tell you this - there won't be as much purchased.
So if you see me in the future, I will probably be wearing more Devils, 49ers and Mets gear. The Devils make it easy to shop, since I don't like going into the city I expect to order Mets stuff online - or it's sold in a lot of local retailers since they are one of the local teams ( Devils too - but some of it has been contaminated by proximity to Rangers, Islanders and Flyers stuff in stores) and since I'm on the opposite coast I know I have to order the 49er stuff I want.