Thursday, July 15, 2010

The one where I nearly lose my shit at Babies R Us

I have a vivid memory from when i was 14 and my brother was 9. We were all sitting around the dining room table for dinner and my dad dropped his fork.


"I dropped my FORK!"

He sat there just staring at the floor in total disbelief.  He had DROPPED his FORK!

I remember laughing at him and saying "Uh... you can just pick it up."  And then I think I picked it up myself because clearly the evils of gravity and slippery fingers had sent him over the edge of reason.

I told him about that memory last year and he said that while he doesn't remember that specific event, he still feels like that sometimes.  Like he can handle the big, stressful stuff in life, but the little stuff just adds up and hits a boiling point.

I had a moment like that yesterday.  Except it wasn't the stressors of life.  I have a great life and I don't feel stressed at all.  But every once in a while some small injustice occurs and something COMPLETLEY SNAPS in my otherwise levelheaded and even-tempered mind and I just want to FUCK SHIT UP.

Like that one time we had gone to the mall to look for something specific - a baby swimsuit, I think - and we couldn't find one anywhere and we were tired and everyone needed to go home.  And we took one last chance by walking into Sears to look in the Land's End section, except that it was upstairs and the elevator was broken.  So I walked over to a cashier and asked if there was another elevator because the normal one was broken and she rudely brushed my off and told me that I could walk to the other end of the mall to use the mall elevator and then walk back to their store.


Like, crazy-pants HEEEERRREEEE'S JOHNNNYYYY kind of red.  Like the kind of thing that SHOULD take over in the correct circumstances, like when someone is ACTUALLY trying to wrong me or generally being abusive or disrespectful.  But in those instances I almost always go cold silent. 

The clerk thing didn't end well.  I swore under my breath and walked away and then she yelled something at me and all six people in line got a good story about some crazy-ass interaction at the mall today.

And so it was yesterday at Babies R Us.

It was so innocent.  I was given a pair of shorts that don't fit Charlotte so I stopped by Babies R Us to exchange them for something bigger.  I had the tags, and even the Babies R Us hanger, still attached.  And I was EVEN prepared for the fact that they might not be able to give me a full exchange rate, because maybe the shorts have now gone on sale and they could only give me the current price.

So I'm standing in line at the customer service counter, chatting with the woman behind me who allegedly had her first baby TWO WEEKS AGO and is nevertheless out in the world, care-free, smiling, with a totally flat stomach. 

So then I'm next in line.  I breezily ("I'mmm BREEZY!") explain the situation to the clearly-already-frazzled clerk.

Clerk (with a disaffected puss on her face): You need a receipt.  If you don't have a receipt you can't return or exchange things.

Me (confused): Well it was a gift, I just want to swap it out for a bigger size. (heart beating faster because I SUSPECT shit is about to go down)

Clerk: You need a receipt.  Absolutely no returns or exchanges without one.

Me: But it was a GIFT! Why would I, or anyone, have the receipt from A GIFT?!

Clerk:  ...

Me (Snnnnaaaaapp!): So, nothing then?!  So if someone gives you a GIFT that you don't need or want or happens not to fit, you're just ffffff...... (don't swear in public).... SCREWED??!!??

Clerk (clearly gets this a LOT as she is totally immune to the INSANITY of this policy, sees a manager stroll by and says:) Here's a manager, you can talk to him

Manager (sees the crazy on my face and clearly steels himself for some bickering)

Me: I go through almost the EXACT same conversation with him, concluding with the exact same: So if someone gives you A GIFT without the receipt you're just FFFFFF.... SCREWED?!!!?

Um, essentially... yes.   Fuckers.

The total INSANITY of a policy like this at essentially the ONLY baby store in existence and one of the biggest stores in the entire country still makes me completely enraged.  Think of all of those shitty, off-registry gifts people are getting a baby showers everywhere that they are now stuck with. Hope you want your kid to look like a little Village Person because that horrendous cowboy outfit that your great Aunt Thelma bought him isn't going anywhere.


Leslie said...

You were right to *almost* lose it. I had a very similar interaction at a Target about a rain jacket I'd purchased that DID NOT REPEL RAIN. I had the receipt, but it was not within the 90 day return period. I was very unhappy. And I made the clerk unhappy, too.
In Babies R Us, had I been in your shoes, I may have taken out the folding knife I carry, cut the article of clothing to shreds, and left the tattered garment for them. Bastards.

die Frau said...

Seriously, how can you not have a return policy for a GIFT? It's not as though it was covered in spit-up. That's ridiculous.

I suppose perhaps they have gift receipts, but really, would you have to ask for one?

I consider your ire extremely justified.

Funnessa said...

Dorothy Parker said that "It's not the tragedies that kill us, it's the messes."

Wonderland said...

I totally totally understand how occasionally, some tiny small no-big-deal thing can absolutely throw you over the edge. Man, have I been there. PS: totally justified on the crappy-ass return policy!

dreamcarr said...

My understanding is if you add it to your registry before you go to the store, that "counts" as a receipt somehow and you can return/exchange it. I would call them first before you drive all the way to the store again.

"I received a gift that is on my registry and I need to exchange it for a larger size. Can I do that w/o a receipt?"

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