Monday, June 15, 2009

Being Married Is Great!

“We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves.” - Marilyn Manson

As a preface for this story I am about to tell, last week I called around town, Fayetteville, AR, to find which, if any, dry cleaners also did mending. I had a pair of pants in need of a hem and the wife had two pairs of jeans in need of mending. I finally contacted Comet Cleaners on College Avenue (same plaza as Office Depot, Hobby Lobby, and Atlanta Bread Co.) and the lady, Shirleen, said they sent out to a lady for mending at $5 per job...that meant around $20 depending on how bad the pants were. The next day, I took the three pairs of pants to Comet Cleaners and turned them in for mending which would take a week, I could return today, Monday June 15, to pick them up.

Now, we needed the pants, so having only a few dollars to budget carefully, I deemed this $20 a necessary expense. Gotta have clothes, I mean, no one wants to see my overweight body running around naked!

*shudders at the thought*

So, anyhow, I return today to pick them up and I discover the bill to be $45! How?! So, the attendant has the manager come and explain the store's policy that every mended garment is also dry-cleaned and pressed which totals the extra $20 (plus tax of course). 'This is madness!' I thought and explained to him that I was told $20-ish and nothing about the extra dry-cleaning or pressing. We argued a bit, and I simply thought, 'well, I got screwed over," and told him I'd have to wait until Friday to pay for them.

I then went and retrieved a sick and tired wife from class and explained the bit about the pants, and, in a fashion that would only suit someone of German-Irish background, her eyes spark into a green, glowing fire after which she states with a smooth tone, "Let me talk to them, " as a small smile creeps across her lips.

We arrive at Comet Cleaners where I asked her would she like some company (knowing well that she would not). She says no and walks in. The poor chap behind the counter, a regular attendant, calmly and mousely explains that his manager would not return for thirty minutes. She nods and comes back to the car explaining to me the same message. No sooner had she shut the door than did Mr. Manager, Richard, come walking past our car into the store. I pointed him out to her and she exited with an extra spring in her step (must have been those Lucky Charms!).

She asks to speak to Richard, and explains to him the mix up (at this point she was still nice and calm). No sooner had the words, "we were charged..." left my wife's lips did he point at an 8" x 11" paper taped to the wall and say, "it's all posted there."

Wrong answer buddy. This is the weird mystical part of the story where my wife vanishes and she channels her mother. She immediately points out that this "posted notice" is not visible from the drive-thru, and that it is poor business not to explain up front that the "A La Carte Cleaning and Pressing" is automatically added to every tab. She goes on to request a copy of the receipt to review it. He does so in a fit of ire (mind you, my wife is almost always quiet and calm and allows many people to take advantage of her gentle nature, this is one of those rare moments where you do not want to continue trying to pull the wool over: sorry Richard).

She eventually gets a receipt and he says something to the effect that he'll refund the $15 for mending but it's still $45. What?! Where did that get pulled from? She then (precious little darling) calmly takes a piece of paper from her pocket and teaches him his simple math once more: $5 + $5 +$14 (for my hem and mend) = $24, not $45. Mind you, of course, this is all at the front counter with customers watching intently. After that, he just shuffles some paper, runs to a calculator and back, takes her twenty dollar bill and gives her a ten back all the while shooing her (yes, hand motions and all) out the door saying, "you'll take your business elsewhere from now on!"

Her sweet reply, "oh yes, and we'll make sure to tell the Chamber of Commerce to do so also. Thank you!"

Marilyn Manson explains in his autobiography that society has certain expectations and there are certain, definite codes of dress and behavior. Well, I bet Richard didn't count on a girl in pig tails, flip flops, and a t-shirt to make him look that ignorant! The only thing she said as she put the pants in our car and got in was, "is that going to hurt my karma?" No, because I feel that cleaners had it coming for shady business. Kudos!


Anonymous said...

That is so like her, and really me also. It must be the German/Irish thing. I love making ignorant people feel stupid and angry while I just calmly smile and politely explain how stupid they are to them and everyone nearby. No honey, that doesn't hurt your Karma. It was Karma hurting them. :)