Following surgery to correct problems with my "plumbing" last April, my doctor gave me the typical words of wisdom doctors are required to give after each operation they perform. His dutiful speech included advice on coping with pain, getting plenty of rest, and taking proper care of my wounds.
What he neglected to tell me, and what no doctors undoubtedly ever tell their patients, is that they might as well take their favorite pair of jeans and throw them into the far reaches of their closet, for it will be a loooooong time until the tummy swelling will allow those jeans to fit comfortably again.
As for me, my energy slowly returned, and my body steadily transitioned to some semblance of normalcy, yet I still refrained from even attempting to look at my favorite jeans, let alone try them on. I opted instead for comfortable (albeit unfashionable) stretchy pants.
The downside of the stretchy pants? My 17-year old daughter Melissa would not let me get out of the car when I dropped her off for a bus trip with her youth group, lest I embarrass her because I had dared to don my well-worn, 1990's pink sweats.
Sadly, as the days grew longer and the thermometer continued its upward trend towards summer, the pink sweats weren't going to cut it for much longer. I dreaded the necessity of shopping for comfy clothes to get me through 'till September.
Reluctantly, I made the journey to a local department store, located about a half and hour from home. After carrying what seemed like a year's worth of summer clothes into the dressing room, I felt more and more discouraged as each outfit shined a glaring spotlight onto all of my perceived flaws. Finally, as I started to think I might need to spend July and August clad in my default clothing of choice, pajamas, I struck gold with a pair of blue shorts!
Yes, a simple pair of blue shorts.
Stylish, comfortable, stretchy blue shorts that DID NOT make me look like Attila the Hun.
With enthusiasm, I asked a helpful saleslady if the same style of shorts came in other colors.
"Yes!" came her reply. "They are also available in pink."
Hooray! The shorts fit so well I would gladly consider any color - purple with green polka dots - I didn't care!
"But we don't have the pink shorts in stock," shared the saleslady, abruptly ending my short-lived excitement.
"We can order them online for you," she continued, getting my hopes up again. "There is a shipping charge if we deliver to your home, but no charge if they are shipped to the store. We'll call you when they are delivered and you can come pick them up."
It sounded too good to be true.
A week later the call came in. My pink shorts had arrived!
My husband Bob and I made our way back to the department store, and down to their basement customer service counter to pick up my package.
I gave the salesman my information, and he disappeared in the back to retrieve my pink shorts......or so I thought.
After comparing the label on the package with the receipt in my hand, the salesman felt convinced that our transaction was complete. I, on the other hand, wanted to make sure.
I opened the package, only to discover....... a purple shirt.
"This is not what I ordered," I said.
"Yes, it is," came his reply. "It has your name on it, and the bar code matches your receipt."
"That may be the case, but I ordered pink shorts," I insisted.
"Well, I don't know what to tell you," he said.
"Look, look at my receipt. Look at the item number, go online and look!" I demanded.
He looked at the store's website, which gave me the evidence I needed to prove that I had, indeed, ordered pink shorts, not a purple shirt.
"You know, I normally work in the men's department," he said. "I'm just filling in for the guy who went on break. Whenever I fill in, there is some kind of problem."
His honesty did little to heighten my confidence.
"Can I reorder the shorts?"
"Yes, but first you have to return the purple shirt."
"But I didn't order the purple shirt," I reminded him, trying to stay calm.
"I know, but the computer thinks you ordered the purple shirt, so the only way I can reorder the pink shorts is to have you return the purple shirt, give you a refund, then order the pink shorts."
"Ok, but can I have the pink shorts delivered to my home so that I don't have to come back here again?" I asked.
"You can, but it will cost $8 for shipping."
"WHY SHOULD I BE CHARGED FOR SHIPPING WHEN IT WAS YOUR STORE THAT MADE THE MISTAKE???"
"Ok, let me talk to the manager, I'm sure we'll be able to waive the shipping charge."
Indeed, the manager, upon learning of the mishap, approved the free shipping to my home, and Bob and I left the store minus one pair of comfy pink shorts.
Fast forward one week.
I came home from work to find a package waiting for me, faithfully delivered by the department store. I tore it open....only to find.........BLUE SHORTS!
Yes, that's right. Instead of pink shorts, they sent me another pair of blue shorts.
The same style blue shorts that I had already purchased two weeks prior.
What's more, they charged me for shipping!
DANGER! DANGER! CLEAR THE FLOOR! SHE'S GOING TO BLOW!
In less than five minutes, I had a pleasant department store customer service representative on the other end of the phone. Knowing that it was not his fault that his employer apparently hired kindergarten students to fulfill their shipping orders, I struggled to remain calm, and pleasant, and explain the situation.
"Ok ma'am, I can understand why you are upset, and I sincerely apologize," he said. "All you need to do is return the blue shorts that were shipped to you and then we'll send you the pink shorts."
Let's just say that by the end of the conversation, Mr. Customer Service Rep had agreed to send me my pink shorts via overnight delivery, waive the shipping charge, and allow me to keep the second pair of blue shorts, free of charge.
He assured me that my pink shorts would arrive the very next day!
Fast forward 24 hours.
No pink shorts.
No pink shorts.
No pink shorts.
96 hours. I came home from work to find a package waiting for me, faithfully delivered by the department store. I opened the package ever so slowly, afraid of what I might find. If anything other than a pair of pink shorts had been stuffed inside this box, I surely would have needed an ambulance.
Carefully, I pulled away at the seal and, with trepidation, peeked inside, only to discover....
a pair of pink shorts. The store finally got it right!
Now I just need to find a shirt to match my new pink shorts....
|I am now the proud owner of a pair of pink shorts and two identical pairs of blue shorts,
thanks to department store ineptitude.
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