Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Morning, Part I

I do not generally go to Black Friday sales. There is nothing out there that I am keen to own or give away, generally. I look at the ads hoping for ideas but that's about it.

However, yesterday, after pouring tea on my Microsoft Natural Keyboard and watching in dismay as it fizzled out, I knew I would need to venture out this morning. While I had an old keyboard I could get away with, I had plans to work on my thesis plus I had a paper due on Tuesday. And I knew that a bad keyboard was not the way to spark creativity.

So I rose at 6 a.m. and left the house at 7:45 a.m. My goal was OfficeMax, because it was the most accessible. I put on sturdy shoes and left my broken foot bootie in the car, but carried a cane because I have a horrid limp and cannot put all of my weight on my foot yet.

For those who don't live here, our major shopping area is called the Valley View Mall area. The traffic engineers who created the routes in and out of the area had to be some of the most idiotic on the planet. Traffic backs up literally for miles as people try to get in the place. You can sit for an hour in the parking lot trying to nudge your car an inch into the highway in hopes someone will let you out.

I avoid Valley View unless it's 10 a.m. on an innocuous Thursday. Which means I don't shop there at all in December, generally speaking. Unless OfficeMax did not have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard, I had no plans to go that direction. However, if they did not, then I would have to, because Best Buy and Staples both are located in the mall area.

OfficeMax, however, is located away from that traffic nightmare and is off to itself. The store has been in Roanoke a very long time and, I confess, it is not a favorite. The merchandise is fine but I  have had issues with the staff in the past. They either don't help me when I need it, or they mess up when they are checking me out, or try to force warranties on me I don't want. So I don't shop at OfficeMax much.

The parking lot at OfficeMax was not full when I arrived around 8:15. The store had more people wandering about than normal, but it was not crowded. I leaned on a shopping cart and hobbled through the aisles. I quickly found the keyboard and then, because I had a 20 percent off coupon, I picked up ink pens and notebooks, and a telephone answering book to use for messages for my husband. A very nice girl I'd never seen working in there before tried to sell me a coffee maker and gave me a cup of hot cider. I asked if the coffeemaker would work okay if you have hard water (lime water). She didn't know and couldn't find any information on the box. I thanked her for her help and told her I'd see if I could look it up on the Internet.

I ran into an acquaintance and we talked county politics for a while as we stood in the notebook aisle. I hopped over the checkout and was waved over by a sales clerk I've had unfortunate dealings with in the past. I hobbled on over to him as he was free and the others had lines.

He talked very quickly and as he rang me up he said he was giving me an extra year's warranty on my keyboard because that was what they were doing today but it would be on the receipt as a charge. Only he wouldn't charge me for the telephone answering book because it was about the same price. Plus I would get my 20 percent off.

Huh? I asked him to explain again.

He nattered on about what a good deal the warranty was and would I please pay now and thank you very much. He stapled the receipt to the unwanted warranty papers and dropped them into the bag. I put the bag in the cart, still confused as to how I ended up with a warranty I didn't want or ask for. "I am not sure what just happened here, but I think somehow I bought a warranty I didn't want," I muttered.

"I did you a favor," he spat. "I can ring it all up all over again if you want."

I ignored him and walked out of the store. At my car, I pulled out the receipt. He did not charge me at all for the telephone book, as he said, but that also meant that should I have wanted to return it, I could not, because there was no listing for it at all on the receipt. In fact, had some other sales associate stopped me on the way out and asked to check my bags, I could have been arrested for shoplifting.

This was not the way to go about "giving" me a warranty. I am not an accountant, but letting customers walk out with items that aren't listed on the cash receipts does not seem like the appropriate way to check people out of the store. Had I realized the item wasn't on the receipt, I would have made him do it all over again.

I was a little perturbed about this. No wonder I don't like this store, I thought to myself. I will have to remember not to come back.

Then I decided to go to KMart, which was just down the street and still not in Valley View.

This would prove to be a mistake, as you shall read about next time.


  1. I'd say that cashier had some nerve! Maybe you should report him to the management seeing as you've had another issue with him in the past.

    Sounds like your Black Friday was truly black!

    I'm glad I stayed home!

  2. nuts. i've had a similar situation happen to me ...when at whole foods i wanted to buy some of those freezer cold bags (they really work wonders & keep my milk or other cold items cold until i can get home, i live pretty far from a grocery store) & the lady misquoted me a prices so was more pricy than she thought, she said i will not make you pay for these 2 boxes of quinoa ...i really thought it sounded odd but i went along with it. but after out of the store i thought to myself wait a minute... what if i want to bring those boxes back you said there would not be a record of it on my sales receipt. makes you wonder what the employee was thinking??! my hubby & i have come in contact with some really weird employees lately & their weird stories. makes you wonder what the world is coming to?? i sure hope you don't need to return anything & it all works out for you. (:

  3. I'd have made him re-ring without the warranty and with the notebook. What a weirdo he was.


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