In somewhat of a Jesse Berrett project redux, I went shopping today.

I had a plan to exchange a few graduation-misfits from a fabulous family member at Nordstrom’s and make a quick exit stage right. However, all did not go according to plan. Upon arrival in Nordstrom’s I approached the counter, stated my mission of mutual exchange, and planned to stand my ground as employees dashed to serve my every whim. I opened the box and the salesman says, “Ooh, Faconnable! We need to move!” So instead of staying put, he takes off across the store with me about a mile behind. When I arrive, the salesman has already passed off the duties to an underling. I am then informed that none of the items are available in smaller sizes. Translation: “Your on your own, buddy unless you want a gift card…”

Now let me pause a moment to explain why taking getting a gift card would be the ultimate failure in this situation. Gift cards equal an obligation. It is an obligation to purchase something at a later date. It would be a mistake to think of it as a choice or option to purchase something at a later date because you must spend that money at that store or else you are just giving away money. Millions of dollars are practically just sitting in wallets today and not being used. The money already counts as a sale for the store but no goods are provided in exchange; it is the best situation for the store. So as a consumer, you might as well be giving away free money if you don’t use your cards. Good thing California prevents companies from draining the money on your gift cards slowly if you don’t use them. The money on the gift card cannot disappear unless you spend it in California. So the bottom line is you have an obligation to spend the money on your gift card instead of feeding the hungry store your cash.

Now, even if I planned on using a gift card at a later date, it would require coming back to the store! That means: getting your stuff together, entering a vehicle, driving, parking, walking, taking an elevator and then buying something. Make no mistake, the less of this shopping you have to do, the better.

I chose to shop then and there. I figured I would like some shirts. So I browsed, picked some out, tried them on, picked two, made the transaction, and left. Whew, I made it in under a half hour.

I was pleased and remarkably happy. This was significantly different from my last experience shopping with friends. The difference seemed to be that the shopping I did was quick and fast and painless. I went in with a plan and came out successful even if I didn’t follow the plan.

I was so pleased I went to try it again just moments after at Banana Republic. Get a plan, execute, leave.

Hmm…robotic? yes. in true Ryan style? always.