Monday, July 02, 2007

The Tale of the Quivering Lip

Now ya'll know we be having the bicycle drama at our store, right?

The entire Service Desk staff has gotten numerous lectures on "Don't return bikes. Tell the customers 'repair only.' Don't return bikes. Don't return bikes."

So this chunky monkey suburban housewife rolls up Saturday afternoon with a small girls bike.

The wheels are black, like it has been ridden on asphalt. Repeatedly. All day. One training wheel is a little wonky, like it hit a tree or the corner of a garage, but nothing too serious.

She has a receipt from 12 days ago and wants to return the bike because the training wheel is crooked.

I tell her no. This sets in motion a completely unbelievable chain of events the likes of which I've never seen before and hope to never see again.

This woman is obviously a master at emotional manipulation and at verbal trickery, because she used every trick in the book to try to return that bike - and she eventually made a stupid manager feel sorry enough for her to let her return it. I feel so bad for her husband.

These were here stories:

1. But she (her daughter) didn't ride it. Well why are the white wheels as black as tar?
2. My mother bought it. The wheel was crooked when she bought it. Well why did she buy it then?
3. My mother said the sales associate PRESSURED her into buying it. Hands up anyone who has EVER in the history of time been pressured into buying anything at Wal-Mart? Bueller? Bueller?
4. My daughter is too big for this bike. Stupidity is not a reason for a return.
5. I'm just not happy with the way I'm being treated. Shop elsewhere.
6. I want a bike in the box so that my father can put it together. Now, you're just being stupid.
7. I'm going to stand here with my bottom lip quivering and preparing to cry and just clog up the Customer Service line while I prepare to cry. Really lady, I don't care. I think you're being a child - a spoiled child at that. I get yelled at if I take back the bike. You're the dumb*** who let someone else buy a kid's bike without the kid present to test the bike.
8. I'm going to keep my lip quivering and try to defend the indefensible position of "No, I want a bike, in fact, I want this exact bike. I just don't want this particular bike. I want a bike in a box." Would you like a tissue for those crocodile tears?
9. No, I don't want you to fix it for me, even though the repair is free. Really? Yeah. You're broke. It's totally not about the bike and the allegedly wonky wheel is it? You need to pay your crack dealer.
10. My lip is still quivering. Tissue?
11. I just don't like the service here. Really? I don't like the customers here. You're stuck with me as long as I'm stuck with you.
12. I told you that my mother said the manager of the Toy Department told her "Well, you can take this bike or you can get another one." Is there an echo? Bueller? Bueller?
13. She finally manages to get two neurons to fire at the same time and asks for a manager. It took you thirteen tries to get the "I want a manager" line out? Passive-aggressive much?
14. Said idiot manager let her return the bike - for cash. Which we all knew was going to happen, didn't we.
15. Two hours later, the bike is still sitting at Customer Service when another manager asks "I though we didn't take bikes back?" Really? Ya'll need to get up on the same page up in here!


DolfanDad said...

geez, for once I would love for your managers to stand up to these people!!! There's a reason why she pulls that stunt every time she needs something. Its because it always works!! Thanks to managers like yours, we in the real damn world can look forward to women crying just to become more and more spoiled. Believe me, my 2 year old daughter is smart enough to try this already. Its too bad your managers can't stand up to them because their family sure as hell isn't doing it.

I really envy you because i would be fired in two seconds there for telling the manager "Don't return this! She's just trying to get cash! You are a spine-less person."

On a personal note, when/if you get fired for finally blowing up at your manager can you please post a webcam!!

film-chick said...

I don't understand why people waste everybody's time by not asking for a manager as soon as the CSR says no. When I worked at Blockbuster, if I didn't have the authority to do something I would tell the customer to ask for a manager so I could move on to the next person. Unless I thought they were a dumas, then I'd just stand there and say I couldn't help them until they either figured it out or left.

Let the managers take the heat for breaking the rules. That's why they make the big bucks.

Erin Bradley said...

"...we in the real damn world can look forward to women crying just to become more and more spoiled..."

Wow dolfandad, misogyny much? I don't agree with this woman, but I can hardly see how her actions are representative of her entire gender.

And to rip on your own child, a 2 year old?

That kind of fathering is how little girls grow up to become strippers.

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

I wonder if Wal-Mart can get in trouble for returning some bikes and not others?

It seems to me if there's a posted written policy of not accepting bike returns, but then some managers return bikes at their discretion, the policy could be deemed unenforceable or even discriminatory.

It's kind of like the liquor stores that advise they're going to card EVERYONE to make sure they're selling to people over 21. Once they post such a policy, they have to card EVERYONE -- even gray-haired 90-year old ladies.

If Wal-Mart doesn't accept bike returns, they can't accept them just because someone puts up a stink and has a quivering lip!

DolfanDad said...

Erin, are you going to cry about it?

Btw I said "my 2 year old is smart enough to try this"

I didn't say she gets away with it! My point is stop cryin' and get to doin'. If someone says no to you, deal with it in an adult manner. Don't just start crying and stammering around with excuses. Less excuses and more personal responsibility is what I'm trying to say. Forgive me if that didn't get through.

Erin Bradley said...

I agree with you on less excuses and more personal responsibility, dolfandad.

I just don't understand why it has anything to do with gender.

Men make excuses and try to duck personal responsibility just as much as women.

Glen said...

Erin: what's wrong with strippers? :)

Tenacitus said...

So...what you're saying don't take back bikes?

Erin Bradley said...

You're right Glen, strippers *do* rock.

And they can be well-adjusted. I know a few personally...

Anonymous said...

Put me down for personally well-adjusted strippers.

What's the return policy on them, repair only?

Kasia said...


I agree that attempts to duck responsibility cross gender lines. But I haven't met many men who cry to get their way. (Little boys, yes. Grown men, no. In my experience, they usually throw other kinds of tantrums.) That manipulation tactic seems to be the exclusive domain of our gender, and it's been abused to the point where even if a woman is legitimately upset she'd doggone well better not start crying, or she's lost all credibility.