Monday, January 26, 2015

I Was Just Trying To Be An Honest Citizen

And I'll never do that again!

Here's what happened.

I'm currently in the midst of making these:

The high school Winter Percussion has enlisted my services once again and charged me with creating something close to this picture, without the whole bodysuit thing.  Here's my version:

They gave me a black t-shirt, the red fabric and some horrible gold organza or somesuch material that I can't work with and said have at it.

I bought the silver and gold and got to work.

They deemed it completely worthy of their performance but chose to forego the red because it looked too much like a military uniform. Which is what I said the minute I saw the sketch. 

Sad, because the hanging part was my favorite, most clever part.  I had left a channel so it could swing freely back and forth.

But, without the red, my time will be much more streamlined and the cost will be far less for them.

Once I had the shirts and sizes, I did some wild math and went off to my local Joann fabrics to get the gold and silver.  Thankfully, they were right where I had left them.  No pressing need for gold and silver performance fabric this week around here, I guess.

As always, the dingbat at the cutting counter wanted to know what I was making.  I never think fast enough, so I always mumble whatever the project is.  In hindsight, saying something like "men's underwear" or "kitchen curtains" or "infant swaddling cloths" would have entertained me to no end and left the girl ( and any neighboring customers) with much to contemplate. 

This fabric is rather itchy so underwear and swaddling cloths would be torture. 

There wasn't as much of the gold as I wanted, but I don't know if I did the math right, so I wasn't too worried that it was less than I thought I needed.  I'm sure there's some foreshadowing happening right here since I haven't finished these costumes as I write this post. 

Always creating blogfodder, am I.

So, with about $60 worth of gold and another $60 worth of silver, I collected more thread and off I went to the register to check out.  I had a grand plan of using a 40% and 30% coupon on each and saving a substantial amount of money for the band.

Anyone who shops at Joann knows all about the coupons and their crazy rules and it's like striking oil when the planets align and you can actually use the coupons you have.

I had to wait in line for way too long to make me happy (my second time that trip because I had returned something first) and when I got to the counter, the girl could not have screwed it up more than she did.

As I watched the prices go from $70 to $120 to $45 and back and forth and the machine beeped all over the place I thought the girl was either sick or out of her mind.  She must have tried scanning the coupons like 10 times each, while the register beeped away and the prices flashed like crazy.

She finally decided she was done and told me the grand total was $45.  I know I'm not a math genius, but 40% and 30% off of what was about $120 couldn't be only $45.  Right?  PLus, there was some thread to contend with so there's close to another $10 right there.

"Umm, really?  I think you skipped something."

"No, no, I have everything.  I might have skipped my brain, but I didn't skip anything."

"Really?  Because that doesn't seem like enough."

The people in line behind me knew something wasn't right and they were like "gee I hope I get that lucky when it's my turn."

SO, I took my receipt and my things and as soon as I stepped away, I realized she didn't charge me for one of the pieces of fabric, thus the missing $60 or so on my receipt.

I turned to get back in line and what transpired at the register when it was my turn again can be summed up in one sentence:  Not one thing I ever do goes smoothly.  Ever.

A running theme.

The woman didn't remember my order, or, apparently, me.  It had been less than 5 minutes.  I had a green vest and a baseball hat on.  I really stood out from the put together looking women and men in the line with me.

She couldn't find the cutting slip from which she was supposed to scan the barcode so everyone is kept honest.  This meant she had to bend over and dig through the trash and pull out every cutting slip and ask me no less than a dozen times "was it a purple chevron?  black?  lace?".

And she had a million tramp stamps across her back that I was treated to for 10 minutes.

And every time, I'd say "no, it's gold.  This one here is called Wood silver so I assume that is called Wood gold.  It should be about $60"

Over and over.  "Is it 4 items?"  No, it's 2.  "Is it multi colored cotton?"  No, it's gold, just like this.  I assume it's called WOOD GOLD.

The manager was helping another woman and I was making sure to speak just loudly enough so she could hear the whole thing and eventually, she too started digging through the trash.  I explained that it had been less than 5 minutes, so surely it wasn't way down in the trash.

Oh, and I needed to use that coupon that she wrongly used on my thread because 30% off of $60 something is really a big deal.

For at least 10 minutes this continued and I finally said "Look, I'm trying to do the honest thing here but I'm about to just leave with everything I have because I really don't have time to be standing around like this."

The manager finally snapped to it and rerang the sku and managed to produce a 40% off coupon which was even better.

And all the while, the other cashier kept saying things like "should I void the transaction?"  NO, there wasn't a transaction for that fabric.  "do you want another trash bag?"  No, it's called a bag and I already have one. She tried to hand me the whole roll of Joann Fabrics plastic bags.   "Oh, should I void the transaction?"

My eyes were bleeding.

My biggest concern here is that either the woman isn't well (I go there a lot and see her and she isn't this peculiar) or she is scamming the system and they need to know.  I'm afraid I'm leaning toward option #2.   When you get fabric, you go to the cutting counter and they produce a bar code that you take and they just scan at the register.  How she managed to scan it and get all of the correct details for one cut of fabric but complete delete the other is a mystery.  This isn't the old days where the cutting counter writes it on a slip of paper.  And these cashiers don't seem to have a lot of control over things without calling in a manager.  She somehow deleted an entire cut of fabric.

We don't have any other choice when it comes to fabric stores around here.  There are some quilt shops that only sell quilting materials.  I know of nothing else anywhere in a 1.5 hour radius from me.  So they've got me!

And I had quite an ethical dilemma in those 20 seconds before I got back in line.  I had spent a pretty good amount of time standing in line and then watching her magic with the numbers and it was her fault that she skipped charging me for the fabric. 

But, this is a band uniform, not quilts for homeless people.  The band can certainly afford to pay for it. 

And it's not like I had no idea, got home and realized my great fortune a week later.  Everyone in that line knew something wasn't right before I even took out my credit card.

But it took every ounce of willpower not to just glide on out of there after the 5th "was a it purple fabric?"

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That was very good of you to 1) go back in line to fix it and 2) not do something mean and/or loud.
    Great job with the outfits!


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