Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't Sweetheart Me

I just wanted a dishwasher.
Black. Powerful. Delivered pronto and installed. And a new shower head. Preferably royal blue. One that I could install myself without any tools. How I ended up in the Fun House of Mirrors is anybody's guess.
"You see, there's a glitch in our computer. If you'd like to finish your shopping now and come back later, we'll have your installation contract ready," the salesman said. I didn't believe him. I just thought he wanted to get away from me. They had no business turning me -and my camera - loose in a hardware store. First of all, I am dangerous with a camera. Ask anyone who knows me. I can't take just one shot. I have to take 500 to shuffle through later and pick out the best ones. My imagination goes crazy with ideas when I'm left alone in public with a camera. It's a curse. There were door keyholes to peer through, police tape rolls to ruminate about, plants to hide behind, pine straw to smell, fertilizer to feel, Ruby Red Tuesday entries to you know how many stories are in a hardware store?
And then the unthinkable happened.
My batteries died. What's a blogger to do?

I went looking for a new pack of lithium. All I had to do was discreetly open the pack of batteries, insert 2 in my camera, hide the half-opened pack to pay for later, shove the camera back in my purse and hope that nobody sees me. Easy!

And besides, I needed evidence for my lawsuit.

This is how the conversation went back at the contract desk with
Mr. Appliance Salesman Of The Year before he politely asked me to go away for awhile. He was having a great day until I showed up on his watch.
"That'll be $464.00 for the dishwasher (it was on clearance)and $114.00 installation charge."
"But the sign says $109.00."

"What sign?"

"THIS sign."

I took him back to the aisle where I'd found the dishwasher and pointed to the sign. "Well, ma'am," he said in a condescending voice, "that's not the right charge on this particular model."

"But that's what the sign says right above this dishwasher. $109.00. Plain as day."

"But that's not the price."
I was getting VERY annoyed.
So I asked, "Your sign also says "Installation Guaranteed in 72 hours. What does that mean? Is that correct or that a mistake too?"

"No, that's correct, honey."
HONEY??!! Are you kidding me?. The sunglasses came flying off my head and started to twirl annoyingly in one hand as I looked at him in disbelief. Do not mess with me if the sunglasses come off.

"Will I, or will I not, have this dishwasher in 72 hours?"

"It depends."

"On what?"

I am now chewing my sunglasses.
"It depends on how fast we can find an installer in your area."

"The sign says Installation Guaranteed in 72 hours."

"But that's not what it means."
"But that's what it says."
"That's not what it means."
"That's w-h-a-t t-h-e-s-i-g-n -s-a-y-s."
"Yeah, but, that's not what it actually means sweetheart."
I kid you not.

I was speechless.
"Enlighten me," I said. "What does it actually mean?"

"It means 72 hours from the time we CALL the installer," he said as slooowwwly as he could as if to say you-know-lady-you-just-don't-get-it. I did not fall off the blog truck yesterday. Just for spite I said, "That's not what the sign says!!"
"If I can't have this dishwasher in my house and working by Tuesday I do not want it." He looked at me like I was the one whose brain cells were not firing and started to literally sweat. He went back to the computer to "check out a few things for me." I followed him with a litany of questions and comments.... It's one thing to be ma'am'd all over the place but I hate it when a salesman assumes that because I'm a woman he can pull a fast one and I'll just play nice and say nothing because he calls me SWEETHEART and HONEY??"

I just kept walking and talking..."How can you put up a sign with a price that is wrong and then tell your customers that the installation guarantee written on your very own sign in plain view does not mean what it says? Seriously, your sign says one thing and you expect me to accept another. That is ridiculous," I told him.

He was soooo angry with me and totally flustered.

And that's when he told me to go finish my shopping because there was obviously a computer glitch. There's a glitch alright sweetheart I thought.....

I wheeled my shopping cart wheels around and spun out of his department in a huff. I had to find a pack of batteries. And fast.
"Yes, your Honor, I have photographic evidence, I'd say. I always have proof at hand. I'm a blogger you know....."

Have you ever tried to open a simple pack of batteries with your bare hands?

I'd just had my nails done not one hour earlier. It was impossible. I was in the lighting department by this time, waiting to be summoned back to argue with Mr. Appliance Nazi Of The Year, looking up at the street lights and elegant lighting posts when I got distracted by a Tiffany style chandelier hanging from the ceiling which would have been perfect for Mary's Ruby Tuesday post - even more important than judicial photographs.
And no batteries!?

I had no choice really.
I had to take myself and said illegal contraband to the other side of the store - past the lumber and sewage pipes and ...nuts.
To find a tool big enough to open the battery pack, silly.
Behold. My salvation.
Surely somewhere there is a tool large enough and powerful enough to open these batteries and I don't have to endure a manicure disaster. Do you know how much machismo is in this place? It was amazing!

The hammers would not cooperate.....They turned the other way and wouldn't even look at me. Just around the corner from the generators I found some very lovely shower heads I hadn't seen before...None of them cared about my batteries.
I found a bunch of sickly tools with pneumonia. I'll bet Doctor Dude would know what to do with those. .They were no help either.....Where is the tool that could open this battery package?

The rulers didn't measure up....

So I tried to get a grip......

Perhaps this will work....And then I saw the answer to my prayers. Right in front of me!
And it only cost 88 cents.

That's all I needed? A screwdriver? Who knew??
I hope they don't require more batteries.
What could be planer than that? Well, except maybe this...
What's a planer anyway? Does anybody really KNNOOWWWW??
By this time people were laughing and whispering behind my blog back. What's she dooooooiiinnnnggg?? Why is she taking pictures of tools?? I heard the whispers! I heard 'em!!
"Can I help you ma'am?"
With a packet of half eaten opened batteries in my Sherlock hand and the camera in the other, I said the only thing I could honestly say:
"I needed batteries."

Blank stare.
"And I couldn't open the pack so I had to find a screwdriver."
He is paralyzed with confusion.

I wanted to get on the intercom system and scream I. A. M. A B.L.O.G.G.E.R!
Wheeeeeeee! I waited until the salesperson stopped watching me and tried to get a few more pics before I had to leave Tool World. It's not likely I'll return..
Have you ever noticed how sexy power tools can be?

This saw (??) should do the trick. So I placed them on the blade to see how it would feel. I have never felt so much testosterone in my life.
It was a moment.

I was having a lovely time feeling my tool oats when I heard, "Miss Pencil Skirt. Paging Mimi Pencil Skirt. Your contract is ready in appliances now." Ah...the dishwasher. Black. Masculine. Sudsy. Tailor-made for Bloggingham's kitchen.

I had so much fun in the store making movies that I forgot all about being mad at The Appliance Tyrant. Time to face the music. He'd brought another sales associate along to help him with Mimi The Irate. He explained all the legal mumbo jumbo, the installation lies, and why I had to sign three times on the dotted line.
I had to sign more papers to get a dishwasher than I signed for Bloggingham's mortgage.
"Do you need my fingerprints too?" I asked.
He was not amused.
Obviously in a hurry to get this transaction over with he said (and I kid you not) -

"That'll be $464.00 for the dishwasher and one dollar and nine cents for the installation."

"One dollar and nine cents?"

I mean! I mean.....I didn't mean to say....

But that's what you said.

"But I didn't mean to say..
"But you SAID $1.09!"
"I know that's what I said but...but..."
"..but if you say $1.09 you have to sell it to me for $1.09...
isn't that right, sir?
I looked at his buddy who was dying laughing.
I was having a marvelous time.

"I didn't mean to say $1.09. I meant to say 109.00."

"But that's NOT what you said. I'm that what you meant?"
"What I MEANT was $109.00......just as you pointed out, ma'am.
"I did point that out, didn't I....."
"Yes ma'am, you did."
"Because that's what the sign says, right?"

"Yes ma'am it does."
"I knew you'd see things my way."

So I put my newly purchased dishwasher in my buggy and went on my way -
Don't you think as much as I paid for the dishwasher and the installation that the man in the blue cap should come with the package?
And I do not see a price tag.


Update Tuesday night! The dishwasher door is broken. They'll be here Friday afternoon.....I can't wait. Sigh.


Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Bwahahahahahaha. Lowe's isn't my favorite place where service is involved. Just saying.

Sweetheart and honey have always been very condescending to me. I don't care for it either.

Thanks for the laughs and I so get the camera everywhere you go.

Have a great day. Big hug and lotsa lovies. :)

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i go nowhere without a camera! and that salesman should have been whapped by a cat for saying that stuff...

smiles, bee

katherine. said...

I keep my camera with me most of the time as well...and I would not have been quite so nice to that salesperson...

Desert Songbird said...

I would never deign to call you either "sweetheart" or honey."


*wink, cheeky grin*

Travis said...

That'll learn 'em not to mess with a Queen and a Blogger!

Mimi Lenox said...

Sandee - I don't mind the terms coming from a loved one in private moments but a total stranger who obviously thinks I'm an idiot because I'm female and assumes I didn't "get" what he was saying when the truth is he didn't get what I was saying...oh yes, he did....just thought he could smooth things over with his honeys and sweethearts. Yuk.

And guess what?
The dishwasher is broken.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bee - whapped by a

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine - He was something else. And the camera thing is now a lock.

Mimi Lenox said...

Songbird - Ha!

Mimi Lenox said...

Trav - Please tell me this is just a southern affliction with male salespeople?

Queen-Size funny bone said...

that post is brilliant. that salesman probably snuck in the house and broke the door for payback. lol

Charles Gramlich said...

Lowes has done something similar to us, and Lana reacted quite like you did.

Jeff B said...

I'm on my way to Bloggingham with a can of Whoop-Ass. Let's go to Lowes and open it up shall we?

Crushed said...

Good to see false marketing is a universal...

I think genereally, the bigger the store and the larger the market share, the worse the false marketing and the more shoddy the treatment of the customer.

I think a lot of these tools are kind of toys for boys. A planer for example is no doubt a lot of use if you are a furniture maker, but few people are. Yet many are clearly sold.

Anyway, it seems like you pretty much gave them hell, they must have loved you....

But you were the topic of conversation on their coffeee break....:)

I'd go for black too, if I had the chance. Not that I ever need to wash that many dishes to need a dish washer...

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I love this post! You have made my being insomniatically awake at 3:00 a.m. worth it!

Sueblimely said...

Great post Mimi, you had me chuckling here, thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done for sticking to your guns and not allowing yourself to be persuaded they were right.

It looks like a store I would enjoy shopping in - I just love browsing big hardware stores and it seems that is not an unusual female pursuit. Our biggest chain over here is very popular with women - tends to be them that take the free diy courses they offer too. About time more tools/power tools came in pink I think :-)

I will be interested in reading how long it actually takes to get your dishwasher installed.

Tammy said...

That was hilarious!!! OMG I loved it!!!

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

An unbelieveable tale. Very funny! Well done. I cannot believe it is broken...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That was one of the best post's I've read, Mimi. I really giggled!

It'll be own on my Quality Post list.

bundle-o-contradictions said...

Oh, wow. That sounds very like me. My glasses come off when I've had it. Especially when it comes to $, I'm finicky. I am cheap, oops, I mean thrifty, after all. And working where I work, I get my fill of "dear," "sweetheart," & "hon." I'm surprised I still have teeth after the infuriated grinding. Bravo for your win! Enjoy your dishwasher.

Akelamalu said...

LOL you told him good Mimi!

Are they installing it within 72 hours though?

Mimi Lenox said...

Queen - I'll look for fingerprints...

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - It was insane!!

Mimi Lenox said...

Jeff - You drive. I'll ride shotgun.

Mimi Lenox said...

Crushed - No, they did not...and do not love me...especially now since the dishwasher they installed is broken!

Mimi Lenox said...

Nick - Glad to be of service. I'm secretly glad I didn't put you to sleep.Sorry about your insomnia. I get that sometimes too.

Mimi Lenox said...

Sue - I purchased it on Friday and it was installed on Wednesday night. Now the door is broken and they have to come back! It won't work at all.

I smell another post...

Mimi Lenox said...

Tammy - So glad you enjoyed it. These things only happen to me.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bud - I can't believe it either. All of a sudden the door will not close (there is nothing stuck in it) it apparently has "shifted" inside the cabinet.

They can't get here until Friday afternoon.
This is going to get ugly.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jean-luc - Thank you my friend. I am honored.

Mimi Lenox said...

Autumn - I would enjoy it if it worked.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - I wrote this post after the fact. It has been installed for a few weeks.

And last night it broke!!
They'll be here Friday. This should be fun...

Lee said...

Your Highness, never mess with an underling in such a situation. You should have immediately demanded to see the store's, I mean manager. That's where you go for results.

Oh, and just for the record...I would have paid admission to watch that adventure.

Mimi Lenox said...

Lee - I should have called the manager right away...but I had to get the complete conversation for the post first now didn't I? And then....called the manager.

Can you believe it is now broken??!

Babs (Beetle) said...

Oh yes! I love your parting remark "I knew you'd see things my way."

I hate it when they call me sweetheart - so condescending!

Dawn said...

I really think I need to take you shopping with me :D

Mimi Lenox said...

Babs - Totally! I swear next time I'm going to respond with "Yes, dear?"

Why didn't I think of that???

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - Are you sure you know what you're asking for? I always end up in a mess of trouble.

On second thought. Let's go!

Ferd said...

OMG! You were in a scary good mood that day! What a riot!
I'm thinking you would look pretty sexy in a tool belt. Maybe you should go back and try a few on. Make sure you ask where the dressing room is.
Loved the French manicure. Cute nails!
And those sickly pneumonic tools just need a little hot air and a lube job. I think you could manage that quite nicely!
; )

Amazing Gracie said...

Good grief! How can anyone take a fairly mundane situation and turn it into a situation comedy! I can just see Elaine (Seinfeld) in the role, too. You are one very funny lady...

Mimi Lenox said...

Ferd - Now I have to go back for the toolbelt. I knew my wardrobe was missing something important. Perhaps a hard hat too....

Mimi Lenox said...

Gracie - Well, I never thought of it that way but I did love I Love Lucy when I was growing up. I used to practice making her funny faces in the mirror. SHhh.....don't tell anyone...

And thanks!

Roger said...

I'll hook it up for ya for free Mimi that's what I do! :D

Akelamalu said...

It broke already?????
I'd like to be a fly on the wall when they come to repair it!

Sanni said...

Oh. my. gosh. What a story - thank you so much for sharing this great laugh. I can't believe your "new friend's" door is broken already. *g*

Hahn at Home said...

See, this i wouldn't have let go - I would have kept it up until he was physically tortured to such a degree he would quit.

Seriously, some guy pulled that "Honey" routine with me at Sears when I bought a washer and dryer and I stopped him, asked to speak to his supervisor, told HER I wouldn't buy from HIM, and asked her to find a female associate who could get the commission. She did. In housewares. But, by golly, that guy wasn't getting my money.

Mimi Lenox said...

Roger - I should have called you in the first place!

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - I have the tape recorder and the camera ready...

Mimi Lenox said...

Sanni - I can't either!

Mimi Lenox said...

Lori - And that is exactly what I should have time..and I'm sure there will be a next time.

Leigh said...

the SWEETHEART and HONEY crap send me over the edge. I cant ebleive you bought it. I hope he didnt get commision.

Anndi said...

There is only one man allowed to call me Sweetheart and Honey and the idjit at the store is NOT him.

Shall I send the trolls to .. um.. fetch him?

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