“Why I Have Grey Hair” and other bedtime stories…

All I wanted to do was put up some Christmas decorations in the ER building.  Not too much to ask, you say?  Well, my friends.  Let me tell you a story about the time I almost lost my mind in a Christmas store.

It started out to be a perfectly lovely afternoon.  Javi was lined up to schlepp Sonia and I to the Christmas store to get decorations for our tree-trimming party on Friday.  Sonia’s hubby, driving us to the Christmas store, in the pouring rain, on the 5th of November.  Double hubby points right there.

Sonia and I spent a lovely hour walking around picking out decorations, putting them back, picking out other decorations…it was glorious.  At the end, we had two carts full of crazy fun decorations and all we needed was two trees.

All.  We.  Needed.  Was.  Two.  Trees.

We found the tree that we wanted, asked the salesperson if they had two of them and when she said yes, we went to the register and purchased them.  And that’s when the fun really started.  The cashier sold us the two trees.  We paid for them.  She gave us a receipt that showed that we had purchased two trees.  Then she sent the stockboy to get the two trees.  He came back and said “We don’t have them.”

She asked when we needed them.  Theoretically, we NEEDED them when we PAID for them.  But we can be reasonable.  How about tomorrow.  Can you get two of them from other stores (the Christmas store is a chain–there are probably 25 or 30 of them here in the city) and have them here tomorrow?


She disappeared for a while and came back and chirped “OK.  They will be here on Saturday.”  She then turned around to walk away, as if the matter was settled.  Sonia stopped her and said very nicely “No, we need them Friday.”  The cashier turned around, looked at us and said “Que pena”  In other words…

“That’s too bad.”

I had to walk away.  While I really had no qualms about telling the cashier what I thought of her answer, I didn’t want to get all gringa and embarrass Javi and Sonia with my gringa-ness (again) so I had to walk away.  Sonia is much nicer than I am about these things, and besides, if we had to call Mike, our HR guy, to come and get me out of jail…he was NOT going to be happy.  He wouldn’t be surprised–he’s been HRing me for almost 11 years–but he wouldn’t be happy.

It soon became apparent that there were no trees of that size to be had.  OK, fine.  Still being reasonable here, although it’s getting dicey.  Next to the register was another tree, about the same size as the one I wanted (and of course twice the price).  I asked the cashier if they had two of them in stock.  Glory Hallelujah, they sure did.  Fine.  Give me a store credit for the two that I purchased that you don’t have, apply it to the purchase of two of THOSE trees and tell me the difference.

Can’t do that.

Let me get this straight.  You sold me two trees that you don’t have.  You can’t get them here when I need them, even though you knew before I purchased them when I needed them.  And you won’t give me a store credit to purchase two more trees that you DO have, that are twice as expensive?

Here, Sonia.  Hold my earrings.

At some point, the manager and I had a conversation that went something like this…

“Why.  Are you selling.  Trees.  That.  You.  Don’t.  HAVE?”

“Well, señora, we might be getting them in…”

I had to walk away again, because inside my head I am screaming “You can’t sell things that you MIGHT get in stock!  Someday I MIGHT have a horse–I can’t sell you one NOW!”

Sonia did some of her fancy footwork (it really is amazing how she can sweet-talk the sales lady and pray that I don’t lose my mind all at the same time and not even break a sweat) and FINALLY, the manager came, worked her manager magic and I walked out of there with two trees, courtesy of a store credit.

THAT, my children, is why I have grey hair.