Today at the grocery store I could hear the bell ringer when I got out of my car. It's a big-box type store. I always park a long distance from the entrance. It must have been a half a city block away.
When I got into the atrium, the bell ringing was so loud I wanted to cover my ears. The horrid woman repeated to me "Merry Christmas". I wanted to tell her, I don't approve of the Salvation Army, and I don't like their in-your-face approach. But I couldn't, she kept ringing that damn bell.
I have a 100% hearing loss on left. The right hearing is normal. If you stand to the left of me and speak, I can't tell what you are saying. I passed by her, with her on the left. It really was deafening.
What did she think - people were not contributing because they couldn't hear the damn bell? I had to walk around her to get into the store. It's not like customers didn't know she was there.
Inside the store, I went to the back of the store to find some hardware items. All the way to the back, over the damn Xmas musak, that goddam bell.
The horror! As a customer I wanted to complain to the manager, but it's not like they couldn't hear the stupid bell. I just wanted to get away from it.
On the way out, I had to go through the atrium again. That was so loud! She said "Merry Christmas" again, loud again, and I bowed my head, walked fast past her, and muttered "Jesus Christ, leave me alone!"
I have a 100% hearing loss on one side. The other side is normal. If you stand to the left of me, I can't tell what you are saying. I passed by her with her on the left. It was deafening.
I don't like the Salvation Army anyway. Other than the telling name, they are a religious christian group. As a church, they are not restricted from inquiring about the religious beliefs of their 55,000 employees. I don't give them money. But even if I liked them, that bell was too obnoxious for words.
I frequently encounter the Salvation Army "Santa" at area department stores, but I always walk past them as if they weren't there. If they say, "Merry Christmas!" I pay them no attention.
Gaaah! Bell ringers! I hates them I do. I refuse to give the S(m)Army (sorry-couldn't help myself) money of any sort (for various reasons, mostly listed above).
If you are noticing the loudness of the ringing, then other people are too. Maybe other people have complained and your complaint will force the manager to do something about it as the final straw. Maybe your complaint will alert the manager to an issue that they need to pay attention to. Maye you need to send your friends to the store specifically to complain!
As to addressing the person doing the ringing, I would leave it to management. Even if they're true believers, they probably don't get paid enough to care what your opinion is. I have a hard time coming down on someone so down and out they have to work temp holiday jobs. But that's just me.
Haven't hear it before but I likes the title "S(m)Army". Also appreciate your reminder that one vote or complaint can be the final straw.
I think the older I get, the more I've started voicing my opinion and don't give two hoots if it's a contrary opinion. Hopefully this doesn't get me into too much trouble...
Wish I could have you go there and speak for me! I've had to go through so much "charm school" at work, it's sunk into my persona. No longer able to confront. All I can do is say please and excuse me and thank you.
Update - I've been back to that store twice since this posting. They continue to have bellringers, but much quieter bells. Not ear piercing. Whether the store made them tone it down or it's just personal bells, it's still less obnoxious.
Now if could just get them to stop forcefully saying Mary Krismus like some sort of challenge.....
Last time I just put my head down and forged past, muttering yeah yeah yeah.
I just got through reading the online facts about my favorite grocery store, WinCo Foods. One thing they say that makes me love them more than ever is:
“WinCo Foods has a strict No Solicitation Policy that covers our stores, parking lots and all property owned, managed or operated by the company. This policy is set in place to protect out customers, staff and visitors from unwanted solicitations. No exceptions.”
I never consciously noticed that until I read it. I'm going to thank them.
Great idea. I also go to Winco now and then. Thanks!
WinCo's policy might be lawful. It might be a bluff.
Its lawfulness depends on the amount of space outside the store onto which the company invites the public. The Pruneyard Shopping Center in California's Santa Clara County took their ban to the US Supreme Court and lost. The Court ruled that privately-owned malls can identify and enforce certain "time, place, and manner" limits, (like not in doorways) but cannot lawfully ban public use of all outdoor space.
The policy might be a successful bluff.
For the details, look at "Pruneyard Shopping Center" in Wikipedia. Pruneyard tried to block high school students who wanted people to sign their petitions.
It appears the US allows states to determine limitations on speech, and California has said it can't be limited by private property owners, as least political speech can't be. Several other states rule the same, but most states allow private property owners to limit speech. I think private property owners should have that right.
Bell Ringers most probably split profits with the store huh? I don't know how that works. I didn't complain about the ringers, but i complained about beggars a couple times, and even got a call from headquarters. The managers must be too chicken to confront those scam artists. I'm not. Salvation Army is the same thing though. It's begging. I don't want to fight to get to the entrance of a store. I want every penny of mine to go towards my food; who knows where the money in the bucket goes. It's sort of surprising to me, that they are saying "god bless you" to everyone, without knowing their religion. I can be really rude to those ringers, especially when they ask me to donate. I walk right by them like they are invisible, and on my way out, they are scared of me. Mission accomplished.