Guys, you can read if you want, but this is a girl post. You have been warned.
I went to Meijer yesterday. Picked up a few things for both my mom and myself, dropped off Mom's things with her, and returned home. Several hours later I realized I was missing a few items. Checked the receipt--yup, they were paid for. Called Mom just to make sure I hadn't inadvertently left them with her. She didn't have them. Checked the car multiple times--no remaining bags. I know I didn't leave them in the cart. I have a clear memory of pushing an empty cart to the cart stall.
If you've ever shopped at Meijer you know that it is quite easy to leave a bag behind. The empty bags are stored in a turnstile, and as the cashier fills one bag he or she rotates the turnstile to start on another. It is easy to miss a bag because you can't really tell from looking whether the bags are full or empty.
So I called Meijer, receipt in hand. First got the Service Desk. Told her what three items I was missing as well as various bits of information from the receipt. Why she needed all that beats me because the next thing she did was transfer me to the store manager. Here we go again.
"What are you missing?"
I told him.
"Okay, let me go check."
"Thanks for waiting, ma'am, they're still looking."
(More background noise.)
"No, there's nothing like that here. Anytime something is left the cashiers are required to turn it in and log it. But we don't have a bag with those items."
Well, great. Now what? I was missing over $10 worth of merchandise. I tried again.
"But I'm sure it was left in the checkout lane. It was probably put in the cart of the customer right after me. Are you telling me there's nothing I can do? "
"I'm sorry, ma'am."
Okay, I'm getting a little testy now. I want that bag.
"Do you think I'm making this up? I mean come on, this is kind of a weird assortment of items, don't you think? Do you really think I would go to all this trouble and spend all this time for no good reason? I'm sure the bag was left behind. The things in the bag were the last few things in my cart. Isn't there something you can do?"
"What items are you missing again?"
Sigh. One more time, with feeling.
"Hairspray, chocolate, and feminine napkins." (I am not making this up.)
"That's all? Only those three things?"
"That's all. Nothing else."
"Tell you what. Come in tomorrow and ask for Carlos and we'll replace those things for you."
Phew. I'm not sure if I would have worked so hard for any other bag. But that one was golden.
Update: Went to Meijer last night. Collected my items and went to the customer service desk. Explained the situation to the young, female clerk there and asked for "Carlos."
"Yes, Carlos, the manager. He told me to come today and ask for him. He said he would be here after 2:00."
"Hmmm, I don't know of any Carlos here." [WHAT THE HECK???] "But let me see your receipt. What is it you were missing?"
"Well, there was this, and this, . . . "
"And some chocolates for you, too, I see!"
I looked to my side to catch the female customer at the next register smiling.
"Yes," I said, "it's quite an assortment, isn't it? All the things a lady can't do without!"
Polite smiles turned to broad, knowing grins. It was a fleeting but deeply felt sisterhood forged amidst the otherwise trivial proceedings at the return counter. We, the assembled, understood each other, even if no one else did.
Back to the customer service clerk. "Well," she said, "this receipt IS from our store. I don't see why we can't just bag these up for you. I'm sorry for your trouble."
More smiles. By this time I was feeling so close to these ladies I wanted to take them out for coffee. I'll have to pay it forward some other time.
And to Carlos, wherever (and whoever) you are . . . you have a lot to learn about women, and about customer service. And I know just the person to teach you. She works at my neighborhood Meijer . . . .