Sunday, January 3, 2010

the agony of making a return . . .

so today . . . i went to the mall. i couldn't believe how many people were still out spending money! or maybe they weren't. maybe, like me, they were just returning something.

on black friday i bought a pair of boots. i needed new boots this year--both black and brown--because the ones i had were pretty much worn out. so i started looking for new ones in september. but boots are expensive! and i am kind of cheap when it comes to buying clothes. so i had a problem.

and then, on black friday, when j.c. penney was crammed with bargain shoppers, i found a pair of boots. they weren't exactly what i wanted, but they were marked way down so they fell into my price range, and i decided they would be ok. diandra was not impressed. she tried to talk me out of them. but there was only one pair in my size . . . so i bought them.

when i buy new shoes, if i spend more than $10 i feel the need to wear them around the house for a while to be sure they are going to meet my comfort standards. (unless they are skechers--i can wear skechers right out of the store, because i KNOW i am going to love them! they are just that wonderful!!) but as you may recall, i got sick after thanksgiving and didn't really feel like wearing new boots around the house. so they sat there in their box, staring at me, waiting for a chance to come out and convince me that they were perfect. as christmas neared, i thought i might like to take them to portland with me, so finally put them on. and they were not perfect. i tried them with socks. i tried them with tights. i tried them with those little footies. but no matter what, they were just a bit too tight. but not so tight that a half size larger wouldn't be too big. and while they looked nice with dresses, they looked kind of weird with jeans. so there i was, still bootless.

we went to portland for christmas, and on the day after christmas we hit the mall again. as usual, we started out at j.c. penney. i went straight to the shoe department in hopes of finding an ok pair of boots. with winter being half over, i had given up on finding the perfect pair. i was now willing to settle for reasonably comfortable and not terribly ugly.

i found a pair that conformed to my lower standards, but again, diandra was not impressed.

diandra is my fashion barometer. it is her job to make sure that i don't buy something that makes me look too old or too young. once in a while i overrule her and end up with a result that surprises her, but usually she has a pretty good eye for what will work for me. since we still had several stores to visit, i bowed to her judgment and started out of the shoe department. bootless.

and then we saw them. the perfect boots.

they were tall. they had slightly rounded toes and slightly chunky heels. they had hidden platform soles (which would add to my height--and intimidation factor.) the "leather" was distressed. they came in both black and brown. and they had my size. and they were almost 70% off. AND there is no sales tax in oregon. game, set, and match!

i bought them. both pair.

which brings us to my trip to the mall today. because now i had to return the boots i bought on black friday. and i hate to return stuff. which is unfortunate, because almost every time i buy something i think, "well, if i change my mind (or if it doesn't match or it doesn't fit) i can always return it." and then my trunk fills up with things that need to be returned. and then when i do finally make my way to the customer service desk, i seem to feel the need to explain in great detail why i have to return the item. or how even though i am returning this thing i purchased, i replaced it with something even better (or more expensive) from the same store. so really, it isn't costing them anything. or how i shop there all the time, so even if i am not buying something else today, i will surely buy something soon that will make up for my return . . .

which is all a wasted effort, because the people at the customer service desk don't really care--as long as i have my receipt.

but since i do kind of feel this obligation, i always think it is better if instead of just returning something, i exchange it. so i spent a few minutes wandering around j.c. penney trying to find something else to buy. there was no shortage of stuff i would have liked to have, but i really didn't need any of it. and i sure didn't want to have to make another trip to return something else. so i finally just got in line and waited my turn.

and waited and waited. because apparently the guy who worked at customer service was in the bathroom or something. while the line behind me grew, with irritated customers.

when he finally returned to his cash register, he was a bit flustered. there was a long line of angry people waiting for their turn to make his life miserable. i was the first, although i had no interest in making him miserable--i just wanted to return the less-than-perfect boots (which, btw, i had replaced by buying two pairs of boots, also from j.c. penney. so i was on pretty solid ground, i thought.) i had my return story all ready to go. but he was in a hurry (probably expecting me to complain) and didn't seem open to a conversation. before i knew it, he had returned my money and was beckoning to the next person. i told him to have a nice day and walked away in a bit of a daze. it had all happened so fast. he didn't look at me like he thought i was trying to cheat the store. he didn't question me as to why i was returning something. he didn't inspect every inch of it looking for telltale evidence that it had been worn. he didn't even act like maybe i should think before i made a purchase. he just rang it up, handed me my money, and moved on.

so i am blogging about it. because really, this time i had such a good return story that somebody should hear about it! lucky you!!


mom said...

J. C. Penney is usually very reasonable. I found out that some stores keep track of returns and you are only allowed so many a year. Someone told me this was true of Target. Don't know though. Glad you found your treasure!!

Albert said...

and here i thought your blog was going to be about returning to WORK!