Sunday, October 15, 2006

A (returned) rose by any other name

Wal-Mart was forcred to match the big-box garden retailers and go with a one-year return guarantee on all its plants. Otherwise, it looks bad. What it banks on is that very few people will actually take the trouble to dig up a dead plant and drive it in to the store.

Some actually do.

I had a man today return fifteen dead rosebushes and a dead azalea. He was deaf, so the conversation was great deal of fun. He screamed and I screamed back and people looked at me like I was crazy.

It was one of those slamming Sunday mornings. As soon as I came in they took the other girl and threw her on a register and told me "You're on your own." Loverly.

So the line never got too long, but then this old coot has a grocery bag full of something that he throws up on the counter and hollers (he's deaf, remember) - "THEY ALL DIED."

Which is exactly how you want to preface any conversation at Wal-Mart, I presume. God help us if he'd bought food! But at least it wasn't fish!

So I screw up my courage and peek into the bag. I see gnarled roots. A lot of roots. I don't know a rose bush root from a rose wine. "What is this?" I asked him?

"THEM IS ROSE BUSHES. THEY ALL DIED AND I WANT MY MONEY BACK ON THEM!"

His ears don't work but his vocal cords are in fine fettle. This old boy would have been a natural for town crier.

And he's got a receipt from March. Yes, March.

I start typing. I start printing out defective slips, because the garden department manager is going to be able to get something from the vendor, because obviously, the rose bushes aren't foolproof.

"WHAT IS ALL THAT PAPER? DO I NEED TO FILL THAT OUT?"

I tell him what it is. "ARE YOU SURE YOU GOT THEM ALL? THAT DON'T LOOK LIKE FIFTEEN."

I count them in front of him. And then throw in the azalea bush.

I tell him I need his Amex card. The rich ones ALWAYS have an Amex. "WHAT CARD?"

I get it and put his hundred-dollar-plus refund on it. I staple all the defective slips together, write "dead plants" and tape it to the bag (in case anyone thinks it is ginger and tries to send it to grocery) and toss it on the floor.

"Can I help who's next?"

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This Blog is awesome, I must love slacking off at work reading your posts. I've worked retail and in call centers. All of your posts ring true. What people don't understand is service is a PRODUCT not a GIVEN. You pay for it. I'm actually contemplating getting a second job at Wall-Mart so I can see how long it takes before I get fired. LOL

Carmen said...

Seriously, who uses their rose bushes for the season & then returns them? It's not like they died in a month! 7 months later? I would never, after 7 months, have the guts to return something like that no matter what the return policy.
Even after 16 years of retail and 4 years of restaurant I still don't understand why people never cease to amaze me. Which, I guess, is what your blog is all about! And why I love your blog!

FARfetched said...

Flowers tend to die if you, you know, don't water them in a drought year.

But what kind of goober doesn't water his plants, saves his receipt, and brings them back when they die? Yeesh.