Friday, March 23, 2007

Chicken thighs and tigers and bears oh my!

I don't know what it is about people who come back with a receipt but not the merchandise and expect me to be either clairvoyant or telekinetic. I can't figure out what happened, nor tell you if you got a certain product WHEN YOU ALREADY TOOK THE STUFF HOME.

Nor am I supposed to "return" something that theoretically doesn't exist. Like something you threw out last week but now want a credit for.

I had the benefit of being involved in this lovely conversation Saturday while trying to juggle a $2500 MoneyGram, deal with the phone ringing off the hook, not break down and cry when faced with a line of about 12 customers stretching back around to the restrooms and also train a new employee.

This woman came up and unhappily for me, got the new girl. Turns out she had ordered three chicken breasts at the deli and they had mistakenly given her two breasts and a thigh. So now she wants credit for a chicken breast.

I hear the new girl ask her "When was this?" The answer? "Oh, it was some time about a week ago. I threw the thigh out when I got home because we don't eat dark meat and I didn't want to carry it around for a week."

Umm. "Carry it around?" Were you going to literally carry it around wrapped in a napkin in your purse on the off chance you'd swing by a Wal-Mart? But anyway.

So the girl's eyes sort of bug out and she looks at me with one of those "What the hell do I do now?" sort of looks. I'm way to busy trying to count out $2500 in tens and twenties and fives (Why Shiva, why do people insist on these huge transactions in small bills?) and tell her -- "Just give her credit for the whole thing. The deli messed it up anyway and there's no way to give her credit for one-third of the price."

So the woman hears this and goes "No. I don't want to cheat you. I just couldn't take back all the money. I'd rather get another piece of chicken, but there isn't any over in the deli."

I'm like "Ma'am. I can't return a chicken thigh you don't have. And I can't break up the price because of the way these things are sold. So please, accept the refund as an apology for us messing up your order."

And again she goes "Well, that's just not right for you."

Well, it's not right that you threw out perfectly good food and still want 1/3 of the price of a set of three back, but you're asking for it anyway, now huh? And really, you didn't notice the difference between a thigh and a breast when they packed it? Too busy yakking away to the other harridan beside you about some new scandal in the condo association - what color to paint the window boxes perhaps?

And I'm thinking -- you threw away a piece of chicken a week ago and still want another one for free today. And YOU'RE trying to take the moral high ground? Really? Is this what allows you to sleep at night?

The other girl finally convinced her to take the entire $4 and change for the three pieces of chicken and leave. It just wasn't worth the time to argue with her. Over a piece of chicken.

I wanted to just reach over, smack her and said "Deal with it. You're wasting my time and yours over A PIECE OF CHICKEN. People in this world are starving and you're trying to "return" a chicken thigh you threw out last week. Listen to yourself.


Debo Blue said...

I thought of you yesterday as I walked through Wal-mart and passed the Return/Customer Service area.

There were about three lanes of people 12-20 deep, most of them dirty looking. I even scanned to see if anyone had a vaccum cleaner:-)

MavenofMoxie said... in the hell does someone ask for a refund like that and not be completely embarrassed?? Thank something she didn't bring in the chicken thigh, can you even imagine? These people have some gall! Wanting money back for week+ old food??? Asking for a refund on one chicken thigh, period??

You are so much better than I am because I would be jobless. That woman would have been made to feel like the fool she is instead of the "noble citizen" she tried to portray herself as.

Max Case said...

I don't know about the US, but in canada,many of us prefer small bills because spending larger ones in a lot of stores is a hassle, due to stores being paranoid about counterfeits. Some won't even take 50's or 100$ bills.

Erin Bradley said...

I don't know about Canada, but in the US people prefer small bills when they're doing lots of person-to-person transactions on a daily basis.

Those people are called "drug dealers".

chunes said...

I can tell you from experience there's typically more 50's and 100's in a Wal-mart cashier's drawer at the end of the night than any other type of bill. People pay with a lot of 50's and 100's.

Bradt said...

When people come in the return items for such small amounts (4 dollar chicken) without the merchandise or receipt, do you ever feel compelled to just pull out your own wallet, take of a few bills and hand it over and tell them it is on the house?

grundes said...


Quite often I feel like giving $1-$2-$5 to someone in front of me in the line who argues about that money. It's not like I'm one of those "my-time-costs-more-than-that" guys, I just don't like to spend my time waiting in the line.

/unless there's a fresh copy of Weekly World News on the stands

bopo said...

BTC, any thoughts on this Consumerist article?

yellowdog granny said...

ahhhhh fuck you make me laugh...

Jamie said...

Actually, the usage of large bills seems to be affected by geography. When there is a large amount of hispanic people in a given region, usage goes up. Typically, Mexicans don't trust banks. It happens.