Dear Container Store,

Yesterday, I stopped by for some peaceful pre-holiday browsing. At the door, two greeters wished to know how I was doing and offered to help me find something. I smiled and answered that I was just browsing.

I proceeded to your “stocking stuffer” table. There an employee complimented my sweater. I thanked her. She then explained the intricacies of your stocking stuffer table, the purpose of which, apparently, is to group all of your stocking stuffers on tables located throughout the store so I could find them more easily. She offered me a catalog. She explained that each table had different options, and again complimented my sweater. I nodded, and thanked her. She continued to compliment my sweater. It was, she said, a color that also looked nice on her daughter. Yes, I said, and continued upstairs.

There I met another employee. She told me about the stocking stuffer tables. Apparently, all of the stocking stuffers are grouped on said tables, so I can find them more easily. She proffered a catalog. I told her I already had one. She asked if I needed help finding anything. I told her I was just browsing. She told me to let her know if I needed anything. I told her I was just browsing. She told me to enjoy the store.

I looked beneath the table at some items stored there. Another clerk was passing. He said, “Are you looking for the Cap zapper?” I was not. He scooped one up from the table, and handed it to me. I took it from him; then put it back on the table when he had left.

In the next aisle, a gentleman clerk spotted me. I avoided eye contact. He walked over, stood next to me, and began to straighten a perfectly arranged display. I turned away from him. He began to mutter under his breath. “That doesn’t go here. We’ll just put that over there.” I continued to ignore him aggressively. Emboldened, he said, “Say, can I help you find anything?” Without turning toward him, I said no. Thank you. “Has anyone told you about our new holiday line?” he asked. I said yes. He said that if I needed any help, he’d be happy to oblige.

In the next ten minutes, I received three more offers of help. When I picked up an item no larger than my palm, two clerks offered me shopping baskets.

Container Store? Get off my back.

I can find my own damn shelf extender. Tell your clerks to stand down, before I knock one unconscious with a Keepsake Shadow Box.

Thank you.

Maggie Mason