Let It Go

We just got back from Meijer (invariably our favorite store due to the fact that it is open at all hours of the night and day, which is fitting seeing as Hub-Bub works the night shift.)  This Meijer we go to has become our Little Neighborhood Store, complete with everyone knowing our names (especially since we are the only visitors at 3 in the morning when all the floor cleaners are out running their big, aisle-wide machines as we duck and dodge to try to stay out of their way.  I know they are aware of our real names, but I’m pretty sure they probably come up with some pretty creative names for us, too, at those times when they’re just trying to finish and go home.)

Anyway, the experience was not too bad of an ordeal, seeing as it was my first time using the WIC coupons.  The lady in the “self-checkout” area was super helpful and very nice .  I had to come to her about a million times seeing as I had to pay with a check and also then ring up the WIC stuff in a seperate transaction, but she was very polite and kind to us. 

I love when I meet nice people in positions that normally are filled by grumpy jerks.  This reminds me of a little incident that occurred last year.  Before I get into the whole story, I have to point out something:  This did occur an entire year ago, and I like to think that I have grown enough between then and now to where this kind of thing would no longer affect me. 

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the disclaimer out of the way, let me explain what happened:

My husband and I had been shopping at this Meijer and made it to the self-checkout line before realizing we forgot the bread.  My husband went back to get it for us, and as I began to check out my items, the screen started yelling at me to “remove all items” from the scanner.  Well, I hadn’t put anything through yet, so there weren’t any items anywhere, except for what was in my cart.  So I’m looking around and I can’t figure out why it’s telling me to remove items.  I’m hitting cancel, cancel, cancel to no effect until a lady pops up and says to me, “Ma’am, it’s your checkbook.”  So I’m like, “oh.”  And I move it off the scanner.  I start scanning everything and throwing it into bags, until I come to the bottle of iodine. 

The whole reason for going to Meijer that night was to buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.  My ridiculous cat had been spraying in the corner of the living room, and I’d found a homemade “recipe” online for removing the odor from the carpet (as opposed to buying the $50 per gallon professional stuff – which, I found out later, DOESN’T stain your carpet an orange-green color (they never mentioned that part in the homemade recipe.))  Part of the recipe required a small, minuscule amount of hydrogen peroxide.  But when we got to the store, then my husband insisted that we also buy iodine because it is much better for cuts and abrasions than hydrogen peroxide, even though it is red and looked suspicious to me.

However, once I scan it, I realize it costs $8 for a bottle, so I decide I don’t want it.  But there is no “Cancel Last Scanned Item” button anywhere on the screen.  So I say ‘forget this’ and I hit “cancel order” instead, just to delete the whole darn thing and start all over (without the $8 iodine).  Well, I’m hitting “cancel” again over and over and it’s not doing anything.

So then (and here is the whole point of the story right here) the hey-it’s-your-checkbook lady comes waltzing over and says:  “Okay, chicky, what’s the problem here?”

Chicky?  CHICKY?

Just at that moment my husband shows up with the bread, and I am suddenly ferociously mad, I mean, smoke-coming-out-of-the-ears mad, cause this snappy thing just called me “chicky.”  So I tell her in this really controlled voice that I don’t want the iodine.  She reaches in front of me to grab the bottle, punches some numbers, and then walks away without another word.  I am so mad. 

My husband sees my face and helpfully says:  “What’s your problem?”

Me:  “She just called me ‘chicky’.”

Husband:  “She called you ‘chicken?'”

Me:  “No, she called me ‘chicky.'”

Husband:  “So what?”

So we pack everything up and I stare her down with an evil look (which she doesn’t notice, which makes me even more mad) and then I am screaming about this all the way back to the car.  Husband is like:  “How is that a big deal?”  I try to explain to him how “chicky” is an insulting word to me as a woman, but I can’t find the male-equivalent of “chicky” so I’m having a hard time proving my point. 

And he, with the voice of reason, says:  “Well, if you want to delete an item, you have to ask them to delete it for you.” 

He is either completely missing the point, or he’s simply having fun messing with my head. 

Then he adds, “If you were so mad about it then why didn’t you say something, instead of complaining about it all the way home?”

I lifted my chin slightly and declared that I am above that sort of behavior, so even if someone says something rude to me, I am not the type of person to say something rude back to them. 

Then he started calling me “chicken.”  Eventually this led to me not talking to him for about 20 minutes.

So here is the question I am posing to my readers:  “Chicky” is offensive, is it not?  And the way she said it, too – “Okay, CHICKY, what’s the problem NOW?” like I am just causing all these back-ups in the system by wanting to delete an $8 bottle of iodine.  Do I not have the right to be a little upset?

Thankfully, I feel that my newfound patience stemming partly from my desire to be a good role model for my child, and also due in part to the knowledge I’ve gained from Islam, has enabled me to conquer this type of pettiness in my life and no longer react in such a spiteful and angry manner.  However, I should recognize that I am the one still writing about this when it happened one full year ago (September of 2007 to be exact).  I may have found some new patience, but I think I still have some work to do in the “Let It Go” department…


2 responses to “Let It Go

  1. Myhijabpinhatesme

    Yes, I’m awake again, coughing, miserable, and reading. (Don’t worry, I’ve sprayed the internet with Lysol so you won’t catch anything.)

    Of course you had a right to be mad! “Chicky” is actually worse than, “Babe” and has absolutely no relation to the waitressese, “Hon.”

    Were you wearing a hijab? I think that would have amplified things. Even still, “Chicky” was utterly inappropriate at best.

    Just two itty bitty suggestions:

    First, the “Silent Treatment” is NOT a punishment. Men say stupid things like calling you “chicken” when you’re ranting in order to have some peace and quiet for a moment. This is when you start talking about PERIODS and CRAMPS and other female issues — at length and in detail –especially if you both are in the car and there is no escape. (Make sure the childproof locks are on.)

    Secondly, “Patience” is not about holding it in and then ranting to a man. They always need to fix something. If you wait until you are out of the store and driving off in the car, there is nothing for him to do but listen, which men don’t know how to do well.

    Tell him before you leave the store and ask him to speak to the manager about it. This puts him in a position of “protector.” Of course, some men don’t want to be heroes this way, so if yours is not that kind of man (and if you’re married, you would know), then talk to the manager yourself.

    Really — you did not need to have patience with this woman. She needed to be educated about the appropriate way to address a customer.

    (Notice I said “educated,” not “fired”. Employees are a company’s greatest resource, and if she was knowledgeable enough to be helping you, then they have invested quite a bit in her.)

    In fact, if it upset you that much, you probably have an obligation to the next woman who shops there after you to make some formal note of it. (So she doesn’t get in a tiff with HER husband.)

    You will get nowhere addressing this employee directly. Instead, go to the customer service desk and “patiently” ask to speak to the store manager. If Chicky-poo shows up wearing a manager’s badge, then ask for the number and address of the District Manager.

    When she or her manager ask what the problem is, you “patiently” explain 3 things:

    1) That you understand the value of a well-trained employee and that you are not looking to get anyone fired, (understanding of boss’s position, demonstrating reasonableness)

    2) still that this behavior was not only unhelpful, but very upsetting, and didn’t make for a good shopping experience at their store. (Succinct description of the problem without emotional blast)

    3) And that you would like the manager to have a word with the employee so that it doesn’t happen again.with you — or anyone else.
    (Statement of desired course of action.)

    The only correct response from either one of them is, “Oh! I’m so sorry — it is certainly not our goal to insult customers. Please accept my apology, I assure you it won’t happen again.”

    Any response other than this or the addition of freebies or special discounts, gets a call or, better, a letter to her superior. (You are a great writer, and you can edit what you write, and you’ll have a record of exactly what you said.)

    Now, instead of having a tiff with your husband, you can drop the whole thing and have a lovely conversation with him about something pleasant — like cleaning out the gutters. ;-)

    • Myhijabpinhatesme

      Ooops– you did tell him before you left the store, that was half the point of not talking to him. I say not only talk about your period at length, but next chance you get, make him go buy the tampons.

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