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Customer Service, Where “Service” is Optional July 13, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Life, Products, Shopping, The Man, Whatever.

Believe it or not, this post has nothing to do with my Walmart. Shocking, I know. But a couple of things happened to me in the last few days I can’t let pass without mention.

Thing the First:

I recently paid for a month of tanning. I’ve found this makes the whole diet/exercise thing much more bearable, as everybody knows tan fat looks MUCH better than white fat. It was my gift to myself for losing the first ten pounds, even though I’ve only lost seven. Believe me, it makes sense in my head. Anyhoo, the tanning salon. I figured there’d be a place close by that gave a discount to students and I was right. What’s that you say, I’m not currently a student? Well that’s technically true, although I am a student of life, but it doesn’t matter because you’d be surprised how often a college employee ID fools people. I’ve worked at a few colleges and this trick almost never fails; the secret is in the small print, always.

The place is in a clean, non-ghetto shopping plaza located conveniently between work and home. I quickly fell into a schedule like I normally do when tanning – stopping in after work on the weekdays and going in as early as possible on Saturday, to avoid the baking-myself-in-the-heat-of-the-day syndrome. I always know to start out slowly – usually eight minutes, increasing by two minutes a day every day until I hit twenty. That may not seem relevant now, but just wait. I got up Saturday morning and headed to the place around 10:00. I was feeling very congratulatory toward myself, getting both the exercise and tanning out of the way before noon. At the front desk, the over-tanned, highlighted and pierced teen asked for my last name, as they do and I told her. Without looking up from her BlackBerry, she said, “Okay, I’ll put you in bed thirteen.” Okie dokie; I started to head to the bed. She said “Oops, wait a minute; something’s not working.” This didn’t alarm me, as I have the feeling she’s easily confused. Then she told me something I’ve never heard in my tanning career.

“I’m sorry – you can’t tan until 2:39 this afternoon.”

Um. What?

“Yeah, it’s because of our 24 hour rule. You tanned yesterday at 4:39, so it won’t let me override the system. I’m sorry.”

Now, I’m no mathlete, but something about that bothered me. I said, “If there’s a 24-hour waiting period, why am I allowed to come back at only 22 hours?”

I swear, I wasn’t trying to confuse the poor girl. She looked at me blankly for a minute and said, “Well, I guess it’s a 22-hour waiting period. Sorry.”

I walked out. I may have cursed a little under my breath. It wasn’t that big of a deal; the place is literally a little over a mile from home. But I started playing the what-if game. What if I’d driven twenty or thirty minutes to get there (And I have driven that far to tan before – don’t judge.) In all my years of fake baking, I’ve never heard of this assinine rule. Sure, I understand they all have the safety features and I know these places only allow one tanning session a day, but how did someone come up with such an arbitrary number like 22? And what if I was a duplicitous tanner and had signed up at three different tanning salons – how would they know? There was one of those small-town myths that went around when I was in high school that some girl went to five different tanning salons the day before prom and fried herself to a crispy death. I don’t know if that’s a true story, but it’s certainly a good cautionary tale. But whatever – it’s called COMMON SENSE, YOU MORONS, AND I DO HAVE SOME.

Thing the Second:  

Brian’s birthday is this Sunday and I was having trouble coming up with ideas for a present. Conveniently, his PlayStation decided to stop working yesterday. Now there’s something you need to understand about his gaming. He does love it, but realizes it’s a hobby that isn’t exactly age-appropriate or useful, so is okay with using game systems and games that are hand-me-downs and/or a few years’ out of date. For instance. NCAA Football 2010 comes out tomorrow, so when that happens, I buy him 2009, because it immediately drops in price when the new one comes out. Same with the system – he’s still using a PS2, (and a refurbed one at that) while the rest of the world laughs at him. But he’s okay with that.

He got excited as I gathered up the game system and three games to trade at Game Stop. I’m not a gamer, but I do enjoy that store and I’ve always managed to get him something he likes for a decent amount of money. Yesterday the place was busier than normal and there were two guys behind the counter. I sidled up to the first one who was available and put the stuff on the counter.

“Hi. I’d like to trade this stuff in and possibly get a new system.”

Dude takes the stuff out of the bag and looks it over.

“I bought that system here at Christmas, but it never really worked right and now it’s not working at all. We only had the one-month warranty on it.”

Dude goes, “I can already tell without checking you aren’t going to get much for this stuff.”

“Okay…but I will get something, right?”

“Yeah. Let me scan it in and I’ll tell you how much.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Call me crazy but I do prefer cold hard facts over a snotty employee’s opinion believe it or not. And what’s with the attitude anyway, buddy? You’re working here on a Sunday and I’m in here spending money. Condescend me, motherfuc…

“Okay, all this stuff would give you a credit of $19.43.”

“Great! That’s more credit than I had a minute ago, right?”

Sarcastic sniffing sound.

“Okay, then. Do you guys have any more refurbed PS2’s?”

“Well, I’m not sure, but I can go in the back and look.”

I stare for a minute. “Could you? That’d be awesome.” Sorry to inconvenience you, good sir. I know I’d be a much more attractive customer if I was spending the $400 on the PS3, but that ain’t me and it never will be. Unless I have a kid. Then, totally.

A minute or so passes by and out he comes with a system. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.

“I found this one – do you want to know what the price would be with your credit?”

Are you kidding me. “Yes.”

*Punches numbers into computer* “It would come out to thirty-something.”

I sighed. And I seriously said the following: “Okay, I’m sorry to trouble you for one more thing, but can I get NCAA 2009 thrown in there too?”

“2010 comes out Tuesday!”

“I realize that.”

“Wouldn’t you want to get the newest one?”

“No. Every year when the new one comes out I buy the previous year’s.” Why the fuck am I explaining myself to this asshole?

Disdain. “Okay….”

Ringing me up: “Would you like to get the one-year warranty this time? It’s only ten dollars and that way maybe you wouldn’t have to come back for awhile.”

“Ten dollars not to come back in here for at least a year? Now THAT’S gotta be the best deal I’ve gotten all day!”

I don’t think he got it. But I’m glad I said it.

I’m wondering if it means I’m getting old, this complaining about these places and the idiots who work in them.

Don’t answer that.



1. crisitunity - July 13, 2009

1. My guess about the tanning is that somebody somewhere sued a tanning salon because of skin cancer, and when the legislature found out that this person was allowed to tan twice a day or something, they made a new health regulation that salons had to follow. Might be that’s happened in the last couple of years and that’s why it hasn’t held you up until now. Why it’s 22 hours instead of 24, I don’t know, but it sounds like a medical expert weighed in on that.

2. I say good for Brian for not having that male thing about having to have the VERY LATEST THING in electronics. Also, developers are still releasing titles for the PS2, because it’s a great system and its mysteries are finally unlocked after this many years. The PS3 is still a POS at this point with few good games on it. Not worth the bux. Just sayin’.

3. It sounds to me not like you are old and bitter, but like you dealt with some under-20 folks. The Text Generation. I hate those idiots, and I’m not even 10 years away from them.

Kimmothy - July 13, 2009

The Game Stop guy was WELL over 20. Maybe that’s why he’s so bitter!

2. iamheatherjo - July 13, 2009

Well, if you signed up at other tanning salons you wouldn’t be their problem or liability as long as you only went once a day there. Hee! 22 hours? That seems stupid. I’d ALMOST be curious enough to look it up or ask someone who actually knows about that.

My friend Jean just asked “is everyone getting crazier or am I getting less tolerant?” and my answer to her was “Personally, I am getting crazier AND less tolerant”. It’s true. 😉

Kimmothy - July 13, 2009

Right – I’m a little too lazy to actually find out the reason why because it’s probably idiotic anyway.
Sounds like Jean and I would get along very well!!

3. morethananelectrician - July 13, 2009

1. The sun is free. 🙂

2. We do the same thing with the games in our house…always a year or two behind…

Kimmothy - July 13, 2009

Yeah, Brian used to use that argument too, until he saw what my boobs look like tan.
Plus, who’d want tan lines like you guys’? 🙂

4. Swistle - July 13, 2009

Oh, dude. This kind of thing gives me a headache. I would totally understand if they had a “one visit per calendar date” policy. That would make total sense, and the VERY WORST someone could do would be to come LATE on one day and at OPENING TIME the next day—-but then the earliest they could come again would be 24 hours later at opening time on the next calendar date so WHO CARES IT’S BASICALLY THE SAME THING.

Kimmothy - July 13, 2009


5. huladog - July 13, 2009

I guess they’re not advanced to come up with some sort of waiver. God forbid they make it convenient for the customer. It’s like the world is turning into a bunch of idiots who are protecting the other idiots from themselves. We’re just stuck in the middle. I have to limit my dealings with J.Q.P. or I could seriously be one of those people who blows something up. (I hope this isn’t being monitored). I’m just kidding….really.

It’s almost like you want to tell these people, “You do know that people are getting laid off every day? Do you think that the almighty Game Stop doesn’t have to meet a bottom line and that every dollar counts?” It just totally frustrates me sometimes when someone comes in contact with another human and they have no connection, no awareness. They are freakin’ arrested development ZOMBIES!!!!.

Whew. Breathe it out. Breathe it out. I have to go to Walmart tomorrow. I hope I don’t have any trouble.

Kimmothy - July 14, 2009

And I ALWAYS start off being nice to them and sometimes continue to be nice even when they’re treating me like shit! I need to stop doing that.
And I have to go to Walmart today too; may the force be with me.

6. Dyskinesia - July 15, 2009

A policy of no more than X minutes in a 24-hour period I could totally understand, but you had 8 minutes 18 hours ago so you can’t have another 8 now? Not so much. I get sick as a DOG when I tan in a bed, but I do miss the whole-body tan — that I had that one time. (at band camp)

GS – I’m sorry, but in this economy, do you want my money to pay your sorry ass paycheck or NOT. And that’s a period, not a question mark because it wasn’t a frickin’ question! Boneheads. I hate that! We buy a year behind too. It’s a damn rare event when we pay $40-60 for a single game title!

Happy almost birthday to Brian! 😀

Kimmothy - July 15, 2009

After talking to some more people, apparently this superior attitude happens a lot at game stores. I’m so confused about that.

7. Taoist Biker - July 15, 2009

Honestly, I still like my 2003 NCAA Football better than the 2005 and 2007 or whatever it was that I bought. The gameplay hasn’t drastically improved, just more additional crap to distract you from the gameplay.

Kimmothy - July 15, 2009

Oh my God – Brian said almost the exact same thing. Plus the guy promised me the music was going to be different and he LIED. I know all the songs by heart and I’ve never once played the game.

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