The Reason I’m Not Too Sad about Toys R Us Stores Closing
News has been going around that Toys R Us stores are closing soon. Although this comes as somewhat of a blow to most of our nostalgic youths, I'm not as sad about it as as most. You'd figure I would be, but I have a selfish story about Toys R Us that I've carried with me all of these years.
You see, growing up in Yakima, we didn't get a Toys R Us until I was already grown. I think ours came in when I was 18 or 19. I spent my youth watching cartoons on KTSW Channel 11, based in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Since it was cartoons, they'd show all the commercials for Toys R Us. Not just the commercials, but they'd run local contests where kids would go on a 5-minute shopping spree to grab as much stuff as they could throw in the cart. This was a dream that would obviously never come true as I didn't live anywhere near there.
Fast-forward to late in my high school career when we finally get a Toys R Us. Now that I'm not into Transformers and He-Man and all that. They do have video games, though, so that's worth checking.
I found a game I wanted, took the little slip to the front where security would go to the backroom and grab it for me. It takes them about 10 minutes before they come back but not with the game. They're still holding onto that little slip. The lady asks me, "What system is this for?" I tell her while pointing to where it says the system on the slip and she quickly goes back to grab me the game, explaining, "I don't know anything about this stuff, I just needed a job so they put me here."
I can't fault her for not knowing video games and can't even fault the store, itself, for staffing her in that position. Maybe she knows all about the other stuff, I'm not sure. Again, I'm being totally selfish, but I'm not sure why anyone would want to work anywhere that they don't have a slight interest in the subject. I don't know anything about cars -- you'll never see me apply for a job at a local garage.
I know it's not much. In fact, it's downright petty, but that experience all the way down to the exasperated look on her face has stuck with me for so long, even today.
I do feel devastated for the staff of that location. It wasn't their idea to close shop and now they'll be without jobs until they find something new. My kids will be sad when it's gone as one of our birthday traditions is we go there so they can choose their own present.
It will leave an empty place at that location for something else to go in. Maybe a Chuck E. Cheese? Replace nostalgia with nostalgia? I guess we'll find out eventually.