I went to my local Trader Joes yesterday. Any weekend excursion to this destination is a game of Russian Roulette……..Will I find a parking space?…….Will I make it through the crowd unscathed?
Yesterday was especially “bustling”……..and that is a kind description. Sundays are busy and it was the first night of Hanukkah, as I realized upon entering the parking lot. Horns were blaring in a lot filled with holiday Grinches. On my last visit here, I witnessed an altercation between a woman wanting to back out of her space and a car blocking her way……“I just want to back out” the driver said…..“I am afraid I don’t have enough room” The car in back of her remained stationary. The altercation continued and I didn’t hang around long enough to watch further, as I was traversing the mine field of cars to get to my own.
I did my shopping as quickly as possible. I hate crowds. I am small in stature and can easily get smushed in the melee. I checked out in a long line. I had purchased one expensive specialty item and when it passed through checkout, I noticed the wrapping torn.
“It’s okay,” the cashier exclaimed. “The outer wrapping is torn, but inside is intact.”
“Okay,” I answered.
But this bothered me. Outside the door, I rummaged through my bags and found the item and saw that the inner packaging was indeed compromised.
“It’s okay,” said my husband, wanting to just go home. “No, I spent a lot on this and I don’t want it.”
I went back in the store while he waited. By the way, it was raining.
I made my way to the courtesy counter. I waited in line, hearing the guy before me try to order a precooked brisket….(the clerk responding that she didn’t know what he was talking about……..waiting and waiting, as she called several others to the counter, asking if they sold precooked briskets.
My turn………..“I just bought this, it is damaged, I want a refund.”
Her reply……..“I can’t give you one ……..you have to wait in the register line.”
“You cannot just give me a refund????? “No.” “Can you give me a credit raincheck slip, I will certainly be back here to spend it soon? “No.”
She wrote on a tiny slip of paper the cost of my item, handed it to me, and said go to the register line.
Utterly disgusted by now, I saw the long lines at each register. I stood there, with a tiny slip of paper in my hand and not one fellow Grinch offering a kind sway of his arm to allow me ahead of him.
I thought to myself. This is ludicrous. If I am going to wait in line, I might as well go back and get another of these holiday items. So, I made my way through the crowd, picked one up, and went back again to the end of the register line.
My mind was imagining my husband, standing out there in the rain, steam of anger lifting off his head.
Finally, my turn. I handed the cashier my slip of paper and my item. She rang the infamous register bell (if you have shopped at Trader Joes, you know it.) The courtesy clerk came over and pressed a register key to give me my refund. No, I haven’t made this up……I have a writer’s imagination, but this outstretches it.
I went outside and told my husband. “Why didn’t you complain,” he said. “And do what, make a scene in the store?”…………“Yes,” he answered.
I swear I felt some green Grinch fuzz sprouting on my head as I listened to the music of the Dahoo Dores horns………………..