Saturday, May 03, 2008

Another rainy Saturday Pt. I

Today did not turn out as advertised. Earlier this week, we had been promised sunny if cool weather. As the week progressed we were told partly cloudy, then partly sunny, then showers. What we got was chilly and suck out loud.

I was especially disappointed because last weekend, I was suppose to go on a photo expedition to the Arnold Arboretum with C, but we had weather that was pissing down rain all day Sunday. Oh, and I forgot to mention, cold. We hadn't made a contingency plan and it just turned into one of those, stay home and read days. We did however make plans to go out this weekend, since the weather was suppose to be nice. Hah!

So, when I called C. this morning, one of the first things I said was, "Looks like we need an alternate plan." C. suggested a little light retailing. Since I sort of wanted a new frock for the GBV trip in a couple of weeks, we decided to hit Target and I also said I wanted to go to Homo Depot to pick up some seeds and some fertilizer for the garden.

Our first stop was Homo Depot. I went a little crazy in the seed section, though it had been kind of picked over, then we went in search of fertilizer. I had originally wanted to get time release pellets and a bag of compost.

For non-gardeners, what compost is, is shit. In a bag. Yes, there are those of us who will indeed pay good money for a bag of shit. I think it is also a testament to the value of true friendship that C. is willing to let me put a 40 lb. bag of cowshit in his car. His small car. His very, very, small car.

Now on bags of compost a good many of the manufacturers have the audacity to say that the product is "odorless". On a cool dry day, I think I can fairly say that it has a bit less personality. It's coy, it knows it's place and it's fairly quiet, but you know it's in the car.

On a day like today, after the afore mentioned, 40 lb bag of shit has been sitting out in the pouring rain in the gardening section outdoors at HD, it's developed a bit more personality. You could say, it's a bit more... gregarious. Put it in a warm car, and it's downright robust. It sits in the back seat, sprawled out, with one hand down the front of its pants, talking loudly and would try to eat the french fries off your plate while asking "You're not gonna eat those are you?"

In the interest of preserving a friendship of almost 20 years, I decided that the compost could wait for another day.

I then picked up some daylilys and we headed off for cashier land.

The checkout line anywhere these days seems to be a real coin toss. You are either going to get good service or it is going to be one of those trials that are a preparation for the next life if you have not been particularly well behaved in this one.

Suggesting that the woman that scanned my purchase was a stupid bitch, would be a gross calumny on stupid bitches everywhere. At one point she without my noticing missed the bag with a packet of seeds. The young woman at the cash register behind her interceded, by picking the package of seeds up off the floor and tossing them into the bag while giving me a "I feel so sorry for you look." This piece of helpfulness was greeted by my cashier with an indigent, "I was going to pick it up after I finished ringing."

I should have known there was going to be trouble, but at this point I just wanted to get the hell out of there before there was any trouble.

Trouble, however, has a way of finding me. As we were sailing out the door, C. said to me, "$71? What the hell did you buy?"

I pulled out the receipt and sure enough, I had been charged 30 bucks for something that I didn't buy, had no interest in owning and that was not, in fact, in my possession.

C. and I did an about face and were back through automatic doors barely before they had closed behind us.

Walking up to the cashier, I was greeted with a flamethrower stare of hostility before I even opened my mouth. However, having worked in retail, I try to be polite, even when I am dealing with rude bitches. "Excuse me", I ventured under this gorgon like gaze.

"What's the matter!", she barked back.

I pointed to the first item on the receipt. "I was charged for this."

"What? It says right there, it's 28.95."

"Yes, but I didn't buy it.", I somehow managed to get out levelly.

"Well, it's right here. $28.95. Do you want to return it?"

"No', I replied patiently,'I was charged for this and I didn't buy it. I didn't bring it up to the cash register and I don't know why I was charged for it."

"Well, it's right there...", she began. But C. had had about enough at this point.

"You didn't clear your register from the last transaction.", he said in very clear tones.

Our new friend at the cash register rewarded him with a glance that shot daggers.

"WELL! You're going to have to go to returns. I can't do anything about it!", and with that went back to harassing her latest victim.

C. and I began to walk away to look for returns and our ambassador of customer service excellence barked at us, "Returns are in the OTHER direction."

Thanks to the helpfulness of the cashier we did actually find returns with no trouble. However, the returns line was pretty much what you'd expect. A long line of the disgruntled. Some, from what I could tell from casual observation, in all likelihood have never been gruntled in their lives and were relishing the chance to take it out on the poor schmoe behind the register.

I have to say, I was impressed with the kid at the counter. He seemed to either be possessed of an infinite well of patience, or was simply resigned to the fate of being Home Depot's whipping boy.

He managed to get through the 3 disgruntled people in front of me without murdering any of them. The elderly Russian man directly in front of me would have wound up as so many bags of grade A composted manure if I'd been dealing with him with all that heavy equipment so conveniently close at hand. But the young fellow soldiered on patiently.

Finally, I got up to the register. While I wasn't worried that this was going to be "Rude Bitch II, The Returns Dept.", I did start to get the sinking sensation that this was going to be one of those bottomless explanations that was eventually require 1 or 2 managers to straighten out.

Lo and behold. C. and I had been entertaining an angel unawares.

While getting into the fateful check out line, C. and I couldn't help but notice the head cashier. He was one of those slightly scruffy guys who are just adorable. Not some obvious hunk, but cuter than a box full of kittens and you would probably, if you had any sense, choose over some hunk, since he looked like he'd actually be nice and you'd make him a cup of coffee morning instead of hurrying him out the door with excuses about needing to do your nails before a big day at work tomorrow as soon as you'd taken care of business.

He apparently had witnessed the entire little drama with that shining example of customer service that makes Home Depot your number one choice for all your home repair and gardening needs.

"You can just give him the refund." he said over his shoulder as he walked past on some head cashier related errand.

The returns schoe shot him a look of mingled gratitude, question and hope.

"Yeah. I saw the whole thing. Just give him his money.", he said and then carried on in his head cashier related quest.

Returns schmoe apologized, but he would have to refund the money in cash. I would have preferred to have it just credited to my card, but at this point, was so grateful for anything that looked like an easy escape I smiled and told him that would be just fine.

The transaction was over in less than a minute and as C. and I walked away, the little Russian man had returned to further harass the returns schmoe.

Clint and I headed towards the doors to see if we could a) remember where the car was parked and b) grab a quick nosh as a reward for our trial and sustenance against our upcoming trials at Target.

"It was lucky for me the head cashier had seen the whole thing with the bitchy cashier", I said to C.

"Yes', C. said,'it was."

Thinking for a moment I then suggested,"I suppose I should have offered him a blow job for his help."

"It would have only been polite." was C.'s answer.

We then went off to see if by rubbing the 2 brain cells remaining between us together, we could remember where the car was.