Becky Says...

July 2011

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A Shopping Tale - July 11

After work today I went in search of a particular small gadget. Having had no luck finding same at the multi-gadget store, I went downtown to check for an alternate at a chain drugstore.

Turned out the drugstore had the gadget, at a seriously better price than the multi-gadget store. I needed a tiny bit of information, and was talking with a knowledgeable clerk at the gadget display. Which is when the fun began.

A woman came up to the clerk, who was still at the pointing-out stage of helping me with my gadget search. She wanted a particular kind of telephone card, and since I was looking at options the clerk didn't ask someone else to come help her. It should have taken less than a minute to hand her what she wanted, and send her to the checkout.

But it didn't. First, she wanted to discuss that her mother had told her she could get one "somewhere" for five dollars, and the cheapest one the store had was ten. Once she was satisfied that the clerk didn't know of another store where her mother might have seen the cards for five, the woman then proceeded to her next question.

If she wrote a check, but lost the store receipt, could the store find out for her the check amount? The clerk thought she wanted to know if she could get a refund without the receipt, and for those cards the store does not offer refunds. She repeated her question, and at that point the clerk asked the store manager to help her.

The manager tried to explain to her that the amount of a check wouldn't be something the store tracked, at least not in the way she wanted it. The woman got more and more frustrated, demanding to see written store policy, and that the manager get in touch with someone higher up.

Of course, you know that if you want to know the amount of a check, you get in touch with your bank. When the manager tried to suggest this to the woman, she nearly exploded.

And then she left the store, apparently without making a purchase. Those of us still inside who knew what had happened were dazed and amused at how angry she got. I bought my gadget, and I also got to join in the chatter with the clerk, another clerk, and the manager. As I was paying (not by check, for the record), I thanked them for having exactly what I wanted and at a great price, and for sharing the unexpected laugh.

Text © copyright 2000-2011 Becky