Thursday, May 03, 2007

Iced quesadillas con abuelita

Given my erm, "delight" at the joys of working with old people, I'm still not clear why I decided to move to a state commonly noted as "God's Waiting Room," nor to specifically choose and area with occasional old people scattered about like an aberrant Johnny Appleseed went about sowing the seeds of senility.

But I digress.

This lovely, bright, chirpy old bird rolls in Sunday afternoon during the after-church crush with a tied-off Wal-Mart bag. Tied-off bags generally don't mean good news - stinky cheese, rotten meat, something nasty.

She starts trying to untie the bag but her arthritis kicks in and I'm like "You want me to cut it open?" I always ask so they move their hands and I don't lop of a gnarled digit. Old people always want to "help" by holding something. I drilled a woman once with a staple and was totally unapologetic. "Ma'am, you did insist on holding the receipts."

As I'm cutting, I realize the bag is COLD. Sure enough, I cut it open and she's got two gigantic one-gallon Ziploc bags rubberbanded around a package of Tyson Chicken Quesadillas.

"Umm. Did you want to return these?"

"I do. My friend Louise bought these for me and I don't want them. You can put them right back on the shelf. They're still cold. I just got out of the car."

"I appreciate the effort ma'am, but we can't re-stock food that has left the store. It is a FDA rule because we can't guarantee to our customers that that food is safe to eat."

"But this chicken is still cold."

"All right ma'am. Do you have the receipt?" And sure enough, she must have wrangled it out of this mythical "Louise." $5.98 for perfectly good frozen chicken quesadillas.

I'm giving her the money and then I ask "Do you want to take your Ziploc bags and ice back? The bags are expensive - and she brought the real Ziploc ones, not the cheap knock-offs.

"Can you just empty it in the bucket?" Bucket? What bucket? Do you see a bucket? What Yankee state are you from that you call a trash can a bucket?

"Ma'am, I can throw it away, but I really don't have anywhere to dump two gallons of ice and water back here."

"Oh, OK, just throw it away then."

Old people.


Anonymous said...

No use trying to talk sense to people who grew up during the Great Depression as EVERYTHING has a use and if it's still cold it can still be sold. Heh! I don't want previously sold and returned food or anything else...AAAAH! I CAN NEVER SHOP AGAIN!

yoyo said...

It was nice of her to atleast attempt to be helpfull.
And it does seem like an awfull waste..

Could you not have given her her refund, then told her to give the chicken to a friend or something? As it's going to be thrown out anyway.

Oh ofcourse, health and safety.. I guess wallmart has to cover it's own ass, if her friend had gotten sick she could have sued for millions.

What a mess this planet is.

FARfetched said...

What yoyo said. Every word.

Mercedes Lopez said...

Walmart seems to like to loose money in this regard. I would at least try to cut down on some wasted returns by making it a rule that only food that you bought the same day and that it was bad when you got it should be returned. Yeah, it's not full-proof but you might get one or two idiots with this one. Or hell, just don't take back food because of food safety and leave it to someone to make the call if a customer says the food was bad.

Where I work I try to get people who are ripping us off to go away by suggesting that they absolutely need their receipt; and I point to our sign that says we reserve the right to limit returns without a receipt. God I love it when it works otherwise I have to take back an obviously stolen product that has the 'alarm' feature cut out or store specific labels removed.

Anonymous said...

From my experience living in the "Yankee" states, I don't know any one of them that regularly uses "bucket" to refer to the trash can. Most people I know just call it "the trash" since "the can" means the toilet. So now I want to know what state this lady is from too!

Erin Bradley said...

I'm a Yankee. We call it garbage can or trash can.

I used to live in South Carolina though. I still occasionally say y'all (fast and convenient) and fixin' to (again, shorter than getting ready to).

The one Southern turn of phrase I could never quite master was "put something up" in place of "put something away". What if what you're putting away doesn't go up, but rather down? How can you put something up when you're putting it under the bed?

Damn, I miss boiled peanuts.

Debo Blue said...

My dad's from TX and sometimes he'd say bucket. We always put stuff up, the light suddenly goes off and we never return food.

She wasn't wearing my outfit again was she?

grundes said...

I too say "bucket" because we had an actual bucket for trash.

/From USSR :p

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like a few people in FLA are a few years late to Carousel. Mandatory euthanasia at 70. For everybody!

Songbird said...

"...scattered about like an aberrant Johnny Appleseed went about sowing the seeds of senility."

Hilarious turn of phrase! I'm filing that one away mentally.

I spent much of my life in the Phoenix, AZ, and Sun City on the west side was often referred to as "Heaven's Little Waiting Room".

Songbird said...

"the" Phoenix? Oops.