Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dead, dead vines

I usually try to make little jokes with my customers - especially the ones who bring back returns in bags from other stores - especially Target. I'll usually say something like "I'm sorry, we don't accept returns in Target bags," or "that's 20% off because it's in a Target bag." Same thing goes for Publix, GAP, etc.

Some old battle-axes you just know you should never try this with. Just like Sunday's bundle of fun.

She's tipping the scales at a whopping 105 pounds. The outfit is what I can only describe as Tropical Gardening Granny. Light seafoam green pants, with a blue and green striped pullover. And a straw hat tucked into a straw bag. At least it wasn't chintz! So help me Osiris I was looking for gloves and a spade. Don't forget the scowl.

And she's lugging a pair of GIGANTIC Saks Fifth Avenue bags with two dead rose-bushes jammed in each one. *oh this is going to be so much fun*

Before I can stop her, she give a heave that would have done Hercules proud and clunks one of the bags up on the counter. Dirt, dead leaves and the occasional thorn go flying. "Ma'am, it's OK. Please leave the other one on the floor!"

ME: "Can I help you ma'am?"
ROSE LADY: "These died." Well, obviously.
ME: "OK. Do you have a receipt?" Because you know she does. Gardening Grannies save everything. My own grandmother saves the bags that bread comes in. And the twist ties.
ROSE LADY: "Right here."


ME: "You bought these roses last December?"
ROSE LADY: "That's right."
ME: "So what happened to them."
ROSE LADY: "I planted them and they were fine and then they died."
ME: "Uh-huh."
ROSE LADY: "Well. I want to return them."

That's right. You want to return them 296 days after Wal-Mart sold them into a life of slavery in a hot greenhouse where Gardening Grannies such as yourself dole out water and fertilizer in controlled measured doses at appointed times. Can't you hear them screaming for sustenance? You also denied those poor roses the warmth of the sun, the gentle caress of the rain, the soft, silvery feel of the moonlight air - all the while force-propagating them to yield larger, ever-larger blossoms. Then, once they've offered up their delicate blooms in a bid to please their slavish masters - you perform wholesale amputations, thus separating mother from child. Or else you ripped out the delicate petals in a form of torture worse than any known to man and gobbled them up in a delicious Quail with Rose Petal Sauce.

ME: "You've had them since December and now you want to return them?"
ROSE LADY: "What's the problem? I have a receipt."
ME: "It's not a problem. We return live - or dead - plants for a year. I was just wondering what happened to them."
ROSE LADY: "They didn't grow."
ME: "O-kaay."

Part of me is wondering if those were some unrelated rose bushes that had never been purchased at Wal-Mart.

Whatever. Buttons mashed. Credit issued. Papers signed. Gardening granny gone.

I am seriously starting to wonder if I am cut out to deal with this mess.


DolfanDad said...

can someone give me the logic on Wal-Marts return policy when it comes to plants?

I mean I am pretty good at gardening but in a year I've had my fair share of plants die. Sometimes plants are just fickle and die. I never even thought of returning them

My only explanation is that it doesn't cost wal-mart anything (in the grand scheme of things) to purchase these plants, so they can practically give them away? I don't get it. Why don't they have this great return policy on food that spoils after a year!

catdancer said...

Another rental service we didn't know Wal-Mart provided...

Matthew said...

You seriously made me feel bad for plants.

Damn you.

Nicholas Weaver said...

One thing to remember, these returns don't actually COST Wal*Mart!

Rather, Wal*Mart's strategy is to stick it back to the suppliers by calling it all as "defective". So it is Wal*Mart's plant supplier, not Wal*Mart itself, that pays for the dead rose bushes.

Nasty Bitch Queen said...

You wrote:
"I am seriously starting to wonder if I am cut out to deal with this mess."

It takes a very special person to deal with customer service. People can be SUCH a**holes. You have seemed to take them in stride with a great sense of humor. If the humor subsides or disappears altogether, then it truly is time to move on. I hope, for our sakes, the humor remains!
Remember, Ignorance is Bliss...and there are a lot of BLISSFUL people out there.

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

When I read your posts about returns, I feel like a saint (and I have returned a lot of stuff in my lifetime!)

I think I must have missed something somewhere along the way. I thought Wal-Mart only has a 90 day return policy so why do they make an exception of one year for live -- or in this case, DEAD - plants? You would think they would want to guarantee plants for the LEAST amount of time because as Dolfandad stated, plants are very fickle.

x____Scotch&Chocolate said...

They do that to compete with other plant stores around. It is a dumb idea since most plants die in the winter.

agent713 said...

"You also denied those poor roses the warmth of the sun, the gentle caress of the rain, the soft, silvery feel of the moonlight air"

It's poetry!!!

Anonymous said...

I will never understand why WalMart, Lowes and Home Depot have that policy. Never will. I see people buy annuals and return them when they die to get more annuals that will live through the next season etc. So, initial purchase of a few bucks for a lifetime of annuals is a sweet, sweet deal. Me? I buy plants and replace the dead ones I throw out (ones I bought and didn't return) with live ones (which I puchased) because, in this wacky, crazy, perfect world, plants die. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

"I am seriously starting to wonder if I am cut out to deal with this mess."

I did it for 8 years...since i was 16...i feel your pain. haha. i just recently got out of that mess and work in the accounting office now, it's the best decision i ever made. :-)

Anonymous said...

I think this is one of those policies that generates customer good will and increases sales, because people see that they can bring back plants if they fail. But most people wouldn't end up going through all that hassle, and the ones that do don't probably cost the stores that much.

Of course, there are always the scammers...

David said...

I'll bet $100 those roses were planted to deep. I worked the Garden dept at Lowes and 90% of the returns on bushes and trees were from being planted to deeply. You'll see a ring of dirt 3 or more inches up the trunk and know you're dealing with a moron.

Glen said...

I always had to fight this fight at Target with people bringing in dried up dead plants. Made me crazy... they are the ones who killed the plant they paid to own and care for. I got all the returns in Wal-Mart bags. I wondered if the opposite was true, now I know.