Now that Carl Jung has confirmed what I’ve always known, that I’m strategic and all it was time to put my strategiery to use; some way, some how to achieve the unachievable. I engaged in a plan to secure nothing less than a cash refund from a major department store, sans receipt. Yes folks no gift card, no credit, nothing less than brass in pocket. Let the game begin.
Mrs S.. not really up for the task, but she wished me the best, asked me what I needed. I need a receipt, which we didn’t have. Give me something close meaning a receipt with an item that was kinda like the one I was returning but not exactly. She found which was involved in the original transaction but not the one that would guarantee cash. It was good enough. “Leave it to me” and off I went.
Little background. A couple weeks ago the handle on my most beloved of pots, my Martha Stewart enameled Dutch oven, came off. The screw was stripped my yours truly when trying to tighten it down to get the play out of it, I hate play, and I stripped the thing and broke it off. Since the lid weighs about 4 pounds it’s not exactly convenient to not have a handle on it, matter of fact I steamed my hand a couple times trying various workarounds. Gotta fix it.
Going on line to see if there was a way to get parts for the deal I discovered some great news. The Martha Stewart Collection of enameled cookware at Macy’s has been recalled due some explosive paint issue of some kind. Customers are asked to stop using the pots immediately and return them, at once, to the nearest Macy’s for a full refund.
Worth noting that it’s the “long lost recall” week at the Sankary household, Mrs S’s ancient first generation iPod Nano has also been recalled due to a battery issue that can make the thing glow red and burn it’s way though the bottom of a purse, pocket or hardwood floor. Apple had a site where you can enter the serial number and see if you win a new iPod. We did.
On a side note here, we Sankary’s seem to have a knack for these things. We’re never going to win the lottery, but we do seem to win our fair share of these little things. And since I believe in the rule of three I can’t wait to see what’s next to be replaced. Hoping it’s my memory or my libido..
Mrs S was kind enough to return the pot, which BTW, is the single most used pot in the house. I don’t know exactly where the Macy’s in our town is, having not been there in a decade or so. I have no use for a department store, I tend towards the cheap in clothes and supplies. I also don’t like going to more than one store a week, so I need to go to one that has grocery and supplies. Macy’s is not that store.
Macy’s is also at the mall. I haven’t been to our local mall in a couple years. If I’m going to put myself through the aggravation and frustration of a mall, I’ll just go all in and visit the largest mall in the United States, the Mall of America and get it over with all at once. I don’t like malls because a) parking and b) walking around malls causes me to encounter hordes of the unwashed. My mind tends to spin out of control with blogs and comments when I encounter the masses of overweight, neck tatted, sweats in public wearing mullet heads dragging their offspring with them as they go from store to store, unable to read the names of the store but happy to spend $175 for a new football jersey to wear to church. On the other hand, perhaps I should go, it’s a rich mine of material.
Harsh? You bet, but it is what it is. I prefer to saunter through locally owned businesses that smell like scented candles, talking with Birkenstock wearing store owners while mulling a glass of white wine in my hand and paying 4X too much things. Either that or I prefer to bite the bullet and make one trip a week to one store that has everything cheap and do my purchasing that way. It’s just one more example of my trend towards the extremes, one way or the other. Live on a farm or an urban condo. Suburbs suck.
So, back to the narrative. Mrs S did the original return. I wasn’t with her at the time, but some way, some how she returned the Martha Stewart pot , and a gift card was involved in the process. She then then spent even more on a new enameled pot, only to discover that our local big box discounter has the identical item for $65.00 cheaper. $65.00 is serious coin, worth channeling my inner asshole to a Department store clerk for. So I agreed to attempt the exchange, I’m better at assholidness in public than she is.
In I went to Macy’s, 40lb pot in one hand, wrong receipt in the other and up to the clerk I went.
At the question “can I help you?” I started in on the rehearsed speech.
“I recently returned one of your Martha Stewart exploding enameled cookware pots ( there was even a sign on the register noting the recall. Good sign), which thank goodness never exploded in our home.” She nodded. “My dear wife, in the return process, exchanged that pot for this one. However, she did not realize that in the mean time I had purchased this exact same pot at another one of your fine stores, and I uh don’t need two”
“Glad to help you sir, I can issue you a gift card.”
“Yeah about that. I really can’t use a gift card, was it your policy to return the killer pots for gift cards?”
“no sir but you don’t have a receipt.”
“I do, I have this” and I handed her the wrong receipt. Which she scanned. This caused her register to start flashing red warning lights and it started making high pitched alarm sounds. “Sir this isn’t the correct receipt.”
“Whaaaa?” I said, feigning surprise.
“Sir, this is the receipt for the original return and it shows that your wife received a gift card. I can only offer you a gift card, I’m sorry.”
“Oh my goodness. You know, I really can’t use a gift card. My wife must have given me the wrong one. Boy I don’t know exactly what she handed me, I can’t read since my accident. She did say that I should come home with cash.. is there anyway, since my life was in danger for three years due my daily use of the other pot, that I you can help me. I don’t want to make her angry, you wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.”
She looked at me, quick assessment. I made my pathetic husband face, squirted out half a tear..
“lemmie call a manager.”
We were making progress.
It took about 25 minutes for the manager to make it over to the counter. In that time the clerk, who was very nice BTW, asked me if I wanted to go over to another counter as she was taking a call from another customer. “Naw, ‘don’t want to start over.” Honest answer.
I waited, patiently, never taking my eyes off the clerk and doing my best lights on but nobodies home smile.
Never mind that I did start over when the manager, a 50 something lady with those half lens reader glasses on a chain around her neck, you know the kind, they’re the ones people peer down at stuff with .. her 6’ stature belied her gentle appearance, she was clearly.. a tough broad.
“Put down the phone” to the clerk, “ring those customers” to the other clerk and then, slowly turned to me, pulled the glasses up to her nose and said, in way that intonated she was trying really hard but not all together sincere, “what, can I do for you?” and fired off a look.
Thankfully I’m inoculated from the look from anyone except my wife, and perhaps a few women in the office. Do your worst baby.
And I started over. Story of woe, dumb husband, wrong receipt, and I added that my Metro Mobility bus was coming in a few minutes so “could we wrap this up?” (that let her know that I was additionally handicapped)
She peered down through the half lenses at the receipt, “You have the wrong receipt here sir, we can only offer you a giftcard.”
I waved my hand and did my best Alec Guinness, “These are not the droids you’re looking for”.. “what?” I had to try. “Ma’am, I can’t use a gift card,. My wife has instructed me to only..”
“ Sir, your wife gave you the wrong receipt. You can use the card online or at here it’s like cash.”
“But it’s not cash so we can’t use it to buy formula for our new labradoodle puppies we raise to pay the rent on the trailer. I need cash.”
Stare down. I did my best to return fire. She blinked. “I’m sorry sir, with out a receipt…
Def com III
“OK Helga, here’s the deal, I have no idea why my wife would have exchanged anything for a gift card, but I’m guessing it’s because someone here in your store couldn’t figure out how to return the defective pot, which I assure you had no receipt. Matter of fact we wouldn’t be returning it if the 12 year old in China your company hired in Martha Stewarts name to paint the thing had used the proper paint.My guess is the clerk didn’t know how to do it and instead, looking for an easy way out, concocted a transaction that involved no receipts and a gift card to make it easy on him or her, but in fact, I just should have got cash at the beginning of this mess…
Fact is I didn’t want to return the original pot. And fact is I then purchased another item, a higher priced item because I need a pot like this, and while I don’ t hate your store, yet. Fact is I bought two and now you’re telling me that I’m going to be punished because of a string of errors of judgment on your companies part, starting with the wrong enamel and ending with a confused register jockey. How am I tracking Ma’am”.
She stared at me, eyes all squinty and angry like. I’m sure she wished I was her husband ‘cause she would’a liked to unload on me.
But she couldn’t and she only peer at me through her half lens glasses, and I just I smiled back. “You uh have two pots?” technically there are two pots in my cupboard. “yes”. “Ok we can make an exception this time”.
Which is how I walked out of Macy’s happy and with my cash.