Monday, November 26, 2007

Um, yeah. Not today.

I’m normally a bit of a push-over. Actually, I’ll qualify that. I’m not at all a push-over at work. In fact, I’m pretty tough and bold, but kind of nice about it. I’ve been told that I’m one of those people who can tell you to “go to hell” in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

Where I AM a push-over is any time I need to represent myself. Restaurant meal sucks? That’s okay, I won’t make a fuss. Old lady cuts in front of me at the ATM? She probably didn’t realize, no biggie. Cable/phone/repair guy is 4 hours later than he said he would be? I greet him with a smile and thank him for coming at all. Seriously, I’m a wuss.

Apparently, though, I have a breaking point.

On Friday, I slipped out to Old Navy to pick up some sale items, as I had 4 birthday gifts to buy. I dodged all the rude shoppers who took up the whole aisle with their carts while they shopped in a different aisle. I waited patiently for my turn to rifle through the fleece sweaters to find the right size. I helped a grandma pick out a matching camouflage shirt and pants for her grandson.

I picked out my deals and chose one of the eight lines that was open. The line wasn’t too long, I was maybe fourth in line. The woman in front of me had clearly been doing a lot of shopping, as she had 3 giant bags of clothes that she was shuffling along the line. In her hand was one sweater. The woman gets to the front of the line, hauls up one of the giant bags and says, “I would like to return all of these.” Just my luck.

The cashier asks for the receipt and the woman pulls out, I kid you not, a wallet that is 3 inches thick with receipts. We’ve been standing in line for at least 10 minutes, and it didn’t occur to her to pull out the receipt. I share an eye-roll moment with the guy behind me and I patiently waited another 10 minutes for the cashier and the woman to get the whole return thing figured out. Fine, I was just happy that it was now my turn. Not so fast, Lori… not so fast, my friend.

The cashier says to me, “I’m sorry, this line is closing, you’ll have to join another line.”

That, was my breaking point.

“Oh no I will not”, I said. “You will NOT be closing until you ring my purchases and this gentleman’s purchases through.”

“I’m off now”, she protested.

“You’re off after you ring us both through.” Who was this speaking?

“Okay,” she cowered. “Thank you for your patience.”

The guy behind me gave me an approving nod and a thumbs up.

And I felt really good. And powerful. And I just wanted someone else to cross me, because I was on.a.roll.


Welcome to our World said...

Love it! I am generally a wuss as well about stuff like this but I can kick it up a notch when faced with the need for it (such as one like this!) Good job!

PS I ALWAYS pick lines like this... my husband told me that it was sort of gift... I kicked him in the shin ;)

JMC said...

I am also a complete wuss. But I think I may have snapped at this point as well. That is too much. What the hell was the cashier thinking? Normally, a cashier who is closing puts up his/her closed sign or turns off her light while saying to the remaining people in line that she will take care of them first. I can't believe one tried to walk and leave you hanging! Good for you for calling her on it!

Family Adventure said...

I'm with you and your other commenters in being a total wuss, too, but I think that would have been my breaking point. Seriously!

And that lady ahead of you? I feel the exact same way about people in the security lines at the airport. PREPARE, people. Don't wait until the last possible minute to empty your gazillion pockets of little shiny things. Argh.


Jess said...

WHAT? Did nobody train these people that you can't kick customers out of line? You have to put up a sign or whatever to stop the line from forming, and then you have to bloody well check out everyone who's already in the line! Not your fault that the other customer took forever!

Sorry, I'm a little incensed, here. Anyway, good job sticking up for yourself. And I bet that guy went home and told everyone about this amazing woman in front of him in line who stood up to the cashier at Old Navy.

Tessie said...

I think you must have been bolstered by the fact that you were CLEARLY in the right here. That is standard retail procedure. HELLO!

I am okay being "assertive" if there is a clear rule I can get behind (like the line thing), but not so much if it's just someone being inconsiderate (like that returning douchebag).

Swistle said...

What you did is like what I FANTASIZE about doing after I fail to do it.

(I had to write this comment, like, ten times because it keeps sounding dirty.)

Banana said...

Hells yeah! I too, probably wouldn't have the balls to say something. I would just glare a death gaze at her while I waited in another long line.

Pickles & Dimes said...

Good for you! I can't believe the cashier was just going to leave you hanging.

And I HAAAATE when people in front of you in line aren't prepared. HAAAAATE!

Amreen said...

Congratulations - good for you! I too fall into that category of people who detest confrontation and would rather tolerate bad service than "make a fuss". But, I'm changing - having kids has made me more assertive and less generous with my time - it feels good to stand up and say "that's enought!!

mom of the year said...

YEAH, BABY! I am sending you "knucks" over the broadband here. WHen the hell did people get so rude? I worked in retail many moons ago, and we weren't even allowed to announce the store was closing let alone tell a customer to find another line. JACKASSES! I think you've earned your self of "mommy-nads!"

shay said...

You are my new personal HERO!!!
WTG! I am a bit shocked at the customer service out there these days.

Good for you!

JMC said...

I think Swistle's comment STILL sounds dirty. ;)

Nowheymama said...

I agree with Tessie - it is easier to not be a wuss when there is a clear rule involved.

Misty said...


Go Lori!
Go Lori!
You the MAN!

Well, not really. But you know the sentiment. I am proud of you! Oh, how I wish it had been me.

Chey said...

Can I bow to you and kiss your feet? I too have been becoming much more forthcoming and bold and standing up for myself when I am being hit with the short end of the stick.

Way to go!!