I’m waiting in line at Target, online return with packaging in hand. It’s not a day that’s as bad as yesterday, but it’s also not a day that’s terribly GOOD. I’ve just come from Home Depot, which probably my #1 place to wish I could just curl up and die. Except maybe the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. But that’s another story.
There’s two, maybe three people in front of me. It’s hard to tell, because one of them is the size of a spaceship and the other keeps wandering around, pushing his TV-in-a-cart to and fro and to again. The girl on register moves like she’s underwater. No urgency there. No sir.
I’m checking my email. I’m reading signage. I’m getting annoyed by all their ads encouraging me to “Shop Jolly”. I’ll shop jolly when I’m damn good and ready, Target, and I don’t need YOU pushing me around. I’m playing a losing game of Scrabble on my iPhone, thinking back to all those NPR pieces about how playing games on your iPhone all the time is bad for your brain. The computer gets a Bingo. The line inches forward.
Now the girl can’t figure out how to return the TV. He must’ve bought it on some crazy Black Friday sale, he looks the type. The girl is kind of running her fingers absently over the computer screen, I want to scream. Finally, after a complicated shuffling of flat-screen boxes, it’s my turn. I take my items out of the packaging and use my “let’s be friends” voice to explain that I’d bought them online and here’s the receipt. I’m looking forward to getting my refund and getting the hell out of there.
“Oooh, you can’t return this with this,” the girl tells me.
What. After all that waiting? Seriously.
“Yeah, seriously. Says so right here.” She points, and, sure enough, the packing slip can’t be used as a return receipt. Whatthefuck. “I think you can use those computers back there to print one, I don’t really know how, but…”
Would you bet that the computers were all broken? Would you bet that I left the store with my unwanted merchandise still in hand? Would you believe that I may never shop Target online again, if this is the kind of thing I’ll be having to deal with?
Oh yes, my friends. Yes, yes.