Saturday, September 16, 2006

Money for jam

One evening recently a middle aged woman came into the store bearing a jar of jam. She caught up with me as I was sorting out a problem of one sort or other at one of the check-outs.

She must have been in a tremendous hurry, perhaps had a plane to catch or a funeral to get to, or life saving surgery to perform. She couldn't wait her turn and when she didn't get my immediate attention (NOW!) she poked me in the upper arm with one of her bony fingers.

Now as it happens I have a deep-rooted and powerful aversion to being poked in this manner which goes back to my childhood (my mother is a 'poker').

With no preamble the woman thrust the jam at me with a hastily delivered explanation that it had been bought from us (our store) in error and wished for her money back.

We're entitled to require proof of purchase (though not necessarily a receipt) and I asked for something. That request is effectively a reflex reaction but I was also on edge by virtue of the woman's approach and the fact that I couldn't recall ever seeing the particular jam.

The hatchet faced cow wasn't having about to offer any proof that she'd bought the jam, let alone from us. She got louder and ruder and louder and ruder and of course she hoped that I'd give her a refund on the grounds that the small price of one jar of jam is worth paying to get her of the store.

Sometimes that approach does work. Sometimes it doesn't. It tends not to work when I'm pissed off, tired and contemptuous. I stalked across the store to the jam section in search of a jar of the same jam. I hunted high and low for that damned jar. I really, really wanted to be sure that it was a variety we didn't carry. Scrawny Bint came past and I explained what I was doing. She looked at the jam and the shelves and confirmed that it was a variety we've not ever to her knowledge carried.

Hatch-faced Bitch got her jar of jam back but not a refund. She tried a bit more bluster, of course, before accepting defeat. Eventually she slunk out clutching her jar, off presumably in search of some mug retailer to give her money for jam.


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