The Casper Syndrome

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 10.02.43 AM

You know I’ve never minded getting older. My go to has always been as long as I stay young in spirit and have a certain cheerful zest about life I’m okay with the aging process. Well, let me now share that ship has sailed and I’ve entered the full-blown cranky person phase of my existence.

I blame the mall.

I know some of you maybe thinking, “Dear God, she’s going to rant about the mall again? Here’s a tip quit going.”

If only I could my friends, if only I could. But alas, I’m the mother of a teenage age daughter and going mall free is not a viable option. Granted I did not have to go to the mall the day after Christmas, but some grandma money was calling my daughter’s name and after spending 48 hours in what I would refer to as a forcible lock down with her family my 15-year-old was fixated on getting to Abercrombie.

Stay with me; don’t go over to Buzz Feed  just yet. I promise I’m not going to linger on Abercrombie. I’m aware that I’ve beaten that horse to death  blog wise. Instead I will be discussing the mall in a larger context starting with addressing a pressing social issue that I think is being egregiously ignored – the 14 to 24 demographic being totally bereft of having any spatial self-awareness.

These poor young people, raised on iPhones, have zero idea of how to walk or stand in any sort of group setting. In fact, I would go as far to suggest that they all might be suffering from some sort of delusional depth perception where they perceive themselves of being invisible or even ghostly apparitions where people are able to just walk through their human form. In the interest of science, I have labeled this disorder the Casper Syndrome (as in Casper the Ghost).

This generation of Casper’s will come to a dead stop in the middle of a surging crowd to look at their phones blissfully unaware that they are impeding the flow of mankind and even causing other fellow carbon life forms to stop short and wipe out by a ridiculous store for girls called Garage. (I’m sure aptly named because that’s about the only place I would let my daughter wear that collection of tramp-a-doodle-do.)

These Casper’s also have the innate ability to place their bodies in the most well-traveled place in any store and basically camp out on their phones while they block the forward movement of any other bipedal mammal. Even when another person says a very polite “pardon me” or a more aggressive, “you and your phone need to move out-of-the-way” the Caspers are unable to grasp the dual concept that they are making people feel stabby and that they have created a human barricade.

You know the Casper Syndrome is widespread when you witness a mall cop spending his day telling teens to keep walking and explaining the fundamental concept of moving their bodies to the side of a walkway or aisle instead of parking themselves in the center.

Another thing that catapulted me into the extreme crank zone is the age old question of not why did the chicken cross the road, but how long does a line have to be for a store to open up another cash register? I even felt compelled to assist one retail establishment with basic math.

Here’s the word problem. There are four registers and only two cashiers working. Meanwhile, there are two “managers” sashaying down a line so long customers have nicknamed it I-35 and asking people if they had “found everything they needed.” What is the best way to improve the speed of this line?

The correct answer is telling the sashayers, “Hey, how about if the two of you stop with the chit-chat and get on a register because four working check out stations equal four times the customer service.”

I got the stink eye, but I’m proud to report that an additional register was open. Not all the registers of course, because that would have made sense. Then when it was FINALLY my turn to check out I was told they couldn’t take cash! WTH? That’s spitting on the very foundation of the American economy. I’m sure it’s even considered a treasonable offense. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I had a breakdown.

Finally, the manager confessed that the problem was they couldn’t open the cash drawers of the registers. (Hello, have your tried a nail file?) That was my cue to storm out in a very dramatic fashion until my exit was abruptly stopped/blocked by what else but two Casper Syndrome teens. God help us all.



9 thoughts on “The Casper Syndrome

  1. mamalion3 says:

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves so you’re not alone! Try to get her out of Abercrombie and into Altr’d state! Their stuff is expensive but so is Abercrombie and Altr’d state is all American made! I realize having a teenager of my own though that you are at the mercy of what’s “cool” at your child’s school.

  2. lindiana55 says:

    I confess to using the Casper syndrome to my benefit occasionally. My brother-in-law taught it to me. We were discussing how often there will be 3 or more teens walking abreast on the sidewalk, and instead of moving to single file for an approaching senior citizen, they force the senior off the sidewalk, seemingly oblivious to their rudeness. Now, if that senior stops on the sidewalk, whips out their phone and starts swiping motions, the sea of teens will part and go around. They completely understand the importance of reading that notification.

  3. Virginia S says:

    How about the men in the grocery store that stop to check their phone in the middle of the aisle. I guess to see what their wife wants them to bring home. Hard to get a cart around them.

  4. Robin says:

    “Feel stabby” LOL! Great post! The only thing worse than not taking cash is not knowing how to count back change. I can’t tell you how many times a young cashier has just dumped a wad of small bills and coins in my hand. Somehow their complete lack of customer service skills does not instill in me any kind of confidence about their basic math abilities. …

  5. Eastcoastgal says:

    In my neck of the woods it’s not just the teenagers who have Casper Syndrome. Everyone has it from children all the way up to seniors. And “gasp” it happens in Wal-Mart every day. It’s the senior half way down the aisle looking at something on a shelf but their cart is all cattywampus and blocking the end of the aisle. Try to move the cart and you get some serious senior cranky pants chewing you out. Or the thirty something who just got their cart standing just beyond the greeter cart angled in one direction and they are 3 steps away looking in the other. When you say excuse me or move the empty cart you get a dirty look. I don’t shopping after 9 am any more because of it.

  6. Cindy B says:

    I guess I’m old as I was saddened by the fact you felt the need to explain why you named this the Casper Syndrome. Totally agree with the need to label it. Hopefully mothers like you can educate the next batch of children entering this demographic.

  7. kb8044 says:

    I don’t know if it would be the Casper syndrome or thinking they have a Harry Potter cloak of invisibility, but what about those who walk while texting and expect the world to part for them? They earn their injuries and trips to the ER; I feel sorry for those who get hit because they can’t get out of the way fast enough. Airports, busy city streets, both navigational nightmares. Makes me want to get myself a motorized scooter just for protection.

  8. Barb says:

    How is it possible that people upwards of 24 could be “raised on [smartphones]” if they were already in/past high school when smartphones became commonplace/affordable? I see this behavior just as much in my own demographic but for some reason it’s always blamed on young people, i.e. “this generation is ruined” and generalizations that are more befitting of stereotypical teen characters from sitcoms rather than actual people.

    If anything, I’ve noticed that young adults are generally experienced enough with smartphones to know the etiquette (they’ll usually lean against a wall or go sit somewhere away from foot traffic), and move out of the way if asked. The other day I stood behind some fellow who looked a bit older than me (or maybe I’m flattering myself) at Auntie Anne’s, thinking he was in line, but he had actually just stopped right there to play around on Facebook.

    Does this vary by area? I can’t say I relate to your experience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s