Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Waitin's a bitch and then you become one

A bitch?
You bet.
Today at least.

It started off well enough despite it being the last day of school and kids only having a half day.
I celebrated by taking them out to lunch. They always seem to enjoy someone else's cooking.

Then, we were off to Walmart to do some stocking up for the week; cool munchies, new shirts, a book or two *grin*, etc.

Shopping itself was an air-conditioned breeze until it came to check out time.
THAT is where my transformation began.

Seems they were short handed today. Out of 18 stations, only three were manned, one of which was a 12 items and under line which didn't do me a whit of good since I had triple that in my cart.

I groaned internally when I spied the two carted pair in front of me - grandmother, mother and little one year old. The child was the cutest and most well mannered of the three.

As I'm waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting.... flippin' 15 minutes goes by and I'm stuck. Everytime I turned around to see if I could back out, there was a line behind ME, trapping me in my misery. My anger and disgruntlement stemmed from the fact that I chose to thrill my kids by buying various ice creams and frozen pizzas. My timing couldn't have been worse.

The women are chatting to the clerk, discussing WIC options and figuring out who is going to pay how and what portion of WIC to be separated from the rest of the purchases.

Meanwhile, my hard ice cream is threatening to change to soft serve.
My eggs are thinking of hatching.
My chicken legs are stirring to do the salmonella can-can.
And starting to wave goodbye is my patience, good temper swiftly mutating to bad and I began to channel my inner viper.

My kids picked up on it and my eldest, after 20 minutes says to the old hag, "

"You know, you're taking a looong time!"

The wrinkled kumquat had the nerve to look into my son's eyes and said,

"Well, you can go wait in another line."

Takes a bitch to know a bitch ... and I sure as heck turned into one at that point. So I should know.

However, I am the adult. The parent. The one who sets the example by showing, not telling.
{Amazing how that sounds like writing a book, eh?}

I grit my teeth and called my kids over into a football style huddle.

"OK, guys, it's like this. We calm down. We don't say what we're thinking aloud, even IF we are right and we know we are right." I gazed into my eldest's eyes, "And you are right, it is taking too long, but we have no control over it. Watch and see, OK?"

My kids nodded. Did they know what I meant? Probably not. It's my job to "show".

Speaking of which, the younger woman did a "Show" of her own. You'll never guess what she did to waste MORE time?!!!


Finally - when I finally got my chance ... I scooted past my cart and kids to state firmly yet dramatically,

"Excuse me. I realize that they were a large order however, I have a lot of ice cream and frozen goods that unless I get ice to pack them in, I refuse to buy. I've been waiting way too long and when I add in the travel time to get back home to _____ in this heat they won't be what I bought. I refuse to spend my money on melted and defrosted food."

She says ...(her eyes are starting to get reddish) "There's ice down that way."

Like I'm going to leave my kids at the register? Like I'm going drag them all the way to the other end of the store just to get ice? (it's a super store) It's not MY fault that the floor manager never opened up another register until twenty five friggin minutes had passed and it was too late for me. They were going to appease ME or I was leaving all the refrigerated/frozen items right where they were on the conveyer.

See? Doesn't that sound bitchy to you?

The manager was called over. She asked what the problem was. The clerk mumbled about my threat to leave the food. The manager asked what I wanted.
I. Want. Ice.
After explaining , again, the why of my stance she leaves and comes back with two huge bags of ice and proceeds to help the clerk double bag and place all the items inside.
I was NOT charged for the ice. As far as I'm concerned, it went as it should.
I was appeased.
But Man O Man ... I usually do NOT make people cry. It's always the other way around.
I am usually very sensitive about things like that and nonconfrontational to the extreme.

It's the principal of the thing. Suffice to say, one of the frozen items couldn't be saved as I'd bought it but everything else survived the transport.
I did explain to the clerk that I didn't blame her.
It wasn't her fault but it was the principle of the thing. I wasn't going to pay for food that wasn't capable of being in the same condition as I bought it.

Unless you make your stance firmly, they will shrug and take the path of the least resistance.
I've had that happen before, in many places and from all working ages.
Customer service isn't what is used to be.
Now you have to demand what used to be given.

And when you demand, you get labeled.
So today, I was a bitch.


Brandy said...

You weren't really a bitch. You were just assertive in that you wanted better cutomer sevice and I don't blame you!
Want a laugh? You know how Chris works in a call center for a cell phone company? Well, when he first started working he was on the actual phones. He had someone call in a tell him they had problems with their phone. He tells them to first power it off. He then hears "click". THEY TURNED OFF THE PHONE THEY CALLED FROM! *G*
I hope your tomorrow is better sweetie!

Michele said...

Thanks, Brandy!
I emailed this post to friends and family too and the general consensus agrees with you, but a few said "It's about time!" LOL
and also that I was still Way too nice. *grin*

The story about Chris? ROTFL!!
That is SO cute and funny.
Thanks for sharing that.

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

No, no, no, Michele, you were NOT a bitch. And I doubt that you ever could be. :-)

Sometimes we just have to be assertive, my friend, otherwise our tiny overtaxed brains will blow up and splatter all over. ;-)

You did good.