To Cause A Scene.
That’s right, folks. Sometimes you can’t win. You have exercised diplomacy. You have logically explained something. It is crucial that you get your point across, but the sheep staring back at you from across the counter isn’t listening.
Sigmond Freud might have something to say about what I’m about to say, but in these desperate situations, one needs to revert back one’s childhood self. It’s time for a tantrum. Throwing tantrums as an adult in public is a work of art. And the paint upon its canvas is curse words.
Warning: This post contains uncensored curse words.
It all started a few years ago in the stereo receiver aisle at the now defunct Future Shop, Canada’s little sister to Best Buy. It was a couple of days before Christmas, my favourite fucking holiday.
As I decided which stereo receiver I wanted to buy, I was approached by a man wearing a golf shirt branded with Yamaha and Future Shop embroidery. He was a Yamaha sales representative and he was merchandising the aisle I was shopping in. He helped me pick a stereo receiver and then he gave me some helpful advice.
“If you see this receiver go on sale in the next couple of weeks, just bring your receipt in and Future Shop will honour the sale price.”
I took my purchase to the checkout counter and paid somewhere in the neighbourhood of five hundred dollars.
Christmas came and went. It was as commercialized and stressful as it always is. And then it was Boxing Day, capitalist Christmas’ little brother.
My buddy Lute called me up. He wanted to know if I could give him a lift to Future Shop so he could check out the Boxing Day sales. He wanted to see what unnecessary technology gadgets he could waste his money on, just as I did a couple of days earlier when I treated myself to the stereo receiver.
I agreed to give him a ride. On my way out the door, I grabbed the Boxing Day flyers from my mailbox. Lo and behold, on the front page of the Future Shop flyer was my stereo receiver for two hundred dollars off the original price.
This holiday season was starting to take a dark turn.
I used to work in retail and while the store I had worked at accepted returns on Boxing Day, I knew a lot of stores did not. I knew Future Shop was one of those stores, but it was all good because I was just going to make a quick inquiry about my receiver while Lute browsed.
We walked into the store and I let Lute know I was going to talk to the lady at the “Customer Service” desk. He went deeper into the store to shop.
I still remember her name: Laura. Let’s call her Laura B. Bonus points if you can guess her five-letter last name. As I approached the customer service desk with my receipt in hand, she picked up a small sign that said, “No Returns on Boxing Day” and snapped it down in front of me.
“Oh, I don’t want to return anything,” I said. Then I calmly explained my desire to get the balance on the sale price of the stereo receiver. I explained that I just happened to be in the store today, but I could come back tomorrow if they couldn’t do the adjustment on Boxing Day.
“That item is part of our Boxing Week sale. Those items are not subject to price adjustments,” she said in her snarliest Laura the B voice.
I was already annoyed at the whole “No Returns” sign being slammed down like a finger-and-hand-separating guillotine. I was not impressed with her unfriendly attitude. And now her absence of logic was about to really piss me off.
“The representative I spoke to the other day said if this item went on sale at any point in the next two weeks I could get the sale price.”
“We never honour price adjustments on Boxing Week specials. Sorry.”
Her mouth said, “Sorry”, but her eyes and tone said, “Fuck you.”
Just then a manager came over to see what was going on. Laura B stated my case to the manager in the least empathetic way possible. The manager was also a proud member of the “Fuck you, Customer Club”. She shrugged and concurred with Laura B.
This was the point I realized I was not going to recover my two hundred dollars. I was left with two choices: walk away with my tail between my legs, or try to get two hundred dollars worth of satisfaction the hard way.
I chose the latter.
“This is fucking ridiculous!” I yelled, easily audible enough for the growing lineup of shoppers behind me to hear. One more spectator had joined the crowd. My buddy Lute was finished browsing and was waiting for me to finish my adventure at the so-called “Customer Service” desk.
The manager piped up, “Sir, if you’re going to use that language we’ll have to ask you to leave.”
“This is fucking bullshit!” I sent another adjective and another expletive her way for good measure. It was time to make my exit, but before I did I had one more piece of business. Atop the Customer Service desk was a stack of Boxing Day flyers with a picture of that goddamn stereo receiver staring back at me.
They don’t call them “flyers” for nothing. With one gesture I send a handful of them into the air.
I looked over at Lute as if to say, “We’re done here.” And with that our Boxing Day shopping spree came to an end.
Laura B. if you’re reading this, I hope your Boxing Day really fucking sucked.