Just yesterday I had a long conversation with a Bostonian about what type of person is “difficult,” in the business-consumer kind of way.
I claim it’s the boss-type, one who is used to having power and/or wealth, such as CEO’s, AVP’s, those girls on Sweet Sixteen, “experts”, etc.
I do not, myself, exhibit this behavior often.
For example, if I order a side of steamed vegetables as a side dish and the waitress brings me mashed potatoes instead, I will eat the potatoes; or if I’m feeling particularly anti-starch, I will say something grovelly and pathetic, like “I’m sorry to be a pain, but would it be possible to get vegetables? I’m sorry, sorry, thank you, sorry” (head down, shoulders up, sad, beaten look).
The Boss-Man, on the other hand, would likely just say, “Excuse me, Miss? I ordered vegetables, not potatoes.” Case closed.
As my friend pointed out, the businesses are there to provide a service. The onus is on them to please you. I understand that. But it’s a rare day when I feel jarred enough to demand better service.
That day came.
As I have mentioned, I have a bit of a gum habit, and as the truly weird person I am, I am particular about my flavors. For the past year, I have been chewing Extra’s Strawberry Shortcake gum. It even made the Top 12 of 2012 list. In fact, I’m so flavor-addicted, I even asked my parents to ship it to me while I was in New Zealand, and God bless ‘em, they did.
Before Strawberry Shortcake, there was Strawberry Banana, which I blogged about also, but when that flavor became discontinued, I found Strawberry Shortcake, and it was good. Tomato tomato. (Pronounce those how you will.)
I went to Albertson’s on my weekly shopping trip to look for a multi-pack (three-in-one package) of my favorite gum, and I didn’t see it. “No big,” I thought. I still had two packs left, so I was confident I’d find some before I ran out.
A week later, as I was nearing the end of my supply, I tried a different grocery story, a sort of “ghetto” one, but when they didn’t have it, I was not surprised. “They never carry the good stuff,” I thought. So the next day, I went to Walgreens because they have everything.
Sorry, not this time!
They had twelve OTHER flavors, but no Strawberry Shortcake! I had to settle for Watermelon (TOO. SWEET. MAKES. ENTIRE. PURSE. SMELL OF WATERMELON.), and when the checkout girl gave me the receipt with the online survey opportunity, well…I took that survey, my friends.
(This is not groundbreaking news, but usually I take surveys in an effort to win the cash prize.)
This time, however, I complained.
When the survey asked if my most recent trip to Walgreens was enjoyable, I said no.
When the survey asked if I found everything I needed, I said no.
When the survey gave me an opportunity to comment on what could be done to improve my experience, I said, “I’d really appreciate it if you had my flavor of gum.” I described seeing all of the other flavors, but not the one I needed. I explained I was very disappointed.
Then, an idea occurred to me.
WHAT IF my gum has been discontinued? I blogged about how much I loved it, just as I had with Strawberry Banana, and my Smooth and Dreamy Non-fat Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, which were subsequently discontinued, so it only makes sense that the governmental spies who work to keep me angry and disheartened sent word to Wrigley’s to discontinue my flavor.
And behold—the flavor has been discontinued!
So, what else could I do but send THEM a letter as well begging them to reinstate Strawberry Shortcake as a flavor because my life’s happiness depends on it. Partway through my email, I felt the need to include my own disclaimer of self-awareness so they knew I was not a developmentally retarded middle-aged adult or a person who never combs her hair and pushes a grocery cart around town for exercise—I acknowledged I sounded “a bit crazy,” but emphasized that it was important to me that they reconsider their decision.
I have not received a response.
So, a couple of days ago, sad and weary, I went to Walmart even though I have—on moral grounds—been avoiding it.
1) It’s a large, evil conglomerate franchise that is taking over the world
2) Their produce is not of great quality, likely because it’s shipped from China
3) It’s far away and I don’t like to drive there
But I went, and several of their seventeen checkout aisles still had Strawberry Shortcake gum!!
Did I raid these aisles?
Yes I did.
Did I stop myself after three?
Yes I did.
BUT I did buy ten packs of gum (which were discounted to 75c per pack), so now I can continue my happiness for a little while longer.