Saturday, August 13, 2011

California Anger. What? You've never heard of this?

So this really weird thing happens to me when I go back to California. All the ease of living in Minnesota, where things are a tad slower, where people aren't so oblivious of each other (well, okay, I think the less crowdedness of Minnesota makes the oblivion a bit easier to deal with because oblivion still happens), where there is just breath and walk and not worry about things so much, all that ease tends to dissipate once I enter California.

I lived in California for 35 years and so, based on seniority alone, I am allowed to be mean to the state. While it's a beautiful place (in certain areas), it's also a very crowded place with way too many cars and buildings and people...and well, it's pretty much the opposite of where I live now. It makes me tense. It makes me glad I moved. It makes me want to pick a fight with anyone who is acting a fool...and in California, since there are way more people per square mile than in Minnesota, that means there are way more fools to pick fights with.

I just came back from California, and I'm glad to report that I didn't have any incidents of California Anger this trip.

But today? Today my California Anger reared its ugly head.

I shop at Super Target (take that, mom) for my weekly groceries and other sundry items I need. Usually my husband and son come with me since Super T is my son's most favorite store on this earth because he's only four and he always thinks he's going to get a toy each time he steps inside a Target store. I'm not sure why my husband goes - moral support? to buy random things I would never think of buying? to buy the kid a toy? (They are often in cahoots, those two.)

I love me some Super T. Inexpensive organic foods, sundry items, kitty litter...Super T has it all.

Tonight I plan to make veggie fajitas for dinner, so I picked out two yellow squash, two zucchinis, cilantro, and a red onion. After reconvening (the boy and the husband ran off to pick out a new lightsaber, light bulbs, gum...sundry items! Super T! Weeee!), I picked the one checkout aisle with the youngest kid running the cash register.

The first problem? My organic cauliflower heads wouldn't scan, and he went into some weird fluster mode and I was going to put them back and get regular cauliflower (i.e. nonorganic, less expensive, but possible sprayed with pesticides and who knows what else) but he convinced me he would get them scanned and I believed him, so when I looked up and saw he rang up our cilantro as "green onions" and our zucchini as "cucumber" and our yellow squash as "manzanilla" (which, if you click through, CLEARLY does NOT look like a yellow squash), and our organic lemon as a "large lemon," I realized I was never going to buy my organic cauliflower or any other kind of cauliflower that day. Not unless I stayed at Super T a lot longer than I wanted to stay.

The second problem? He got super flustered at the end of ringing our stuff up and tried to charge me for some random (sundry!) Star Wars items the lady behind me was buying even though she told him very clearly that they were hers and not ours. Then I had to tell him it wasn't ours. So he was flustered and pushed our transaction through while completely ignoring my organic cauliflower heads. So I pointed, and said, "What about those? Do you want me to just put them back?"

He looked at me and said, "Oh, I can ring those up for you right now."

I looked at him and told myself, he's a nice...We are NICE here in Minnesota. NICE, people, NICE. "Um, okay, but I'm not sure why you couldn't ring it up before then?" (To be nice when you want to be mean means stating things like they are questions.)

He woke up then and remembered that he couldn't scan them, so he scanned one to show me that he couldn't scan them (the screen turned red and yelled at him to get a manager or something).

"Okay, just forget it, it's okay," I said. See? NICE. I am nice.

As we were walking away, I said to my husband, he was ringing up stuff wrong.

Uh oh.

"What stuff? Where? What, show me!" my husband, ever the problem solver in our relationship, said.

"Oh, he rung this up as that, blah blah blah manzanilla," I said.

"What the heck is a manzanilla?" he asked?

"I don't know, but he thought that was the yellow squash."

My husband took the receipt and declared that there was no way yellow squash (a single one) costs $1.99. He thrusted two dollars in my hand and told me to go buy our boy a slushy while he takes care of this little "problem."

See, I was going to let it go. Sure, he might have overcharged us, but who cares. If it was 3 bucks for one squash or double charged us or something, then yes, I can see trudging over to the customer service counter and complaining. But since my husband was so sure that we were overcharged, I let it go and took the boy to buy a slushy.

When the boy and I went over to the customer service counter, my husband was standing there with bags all over the place, trying to explain to the lady what had happened. I won't go into all the details, but basically she wasn't listening to us and was more concerned with trying to explain to us that manzanilla must be weighed or something so there is no way we have manzanilla and we kept saying we don't have that, that's the point, and it went in circles and an older man next in line kept looking at me like he wanted to punch one of us for making his wait so long, so what happened? That's right. California Anger came out and I pulled the "Can we talk to someone else about this?" which implied I felt she was a stupid idiot who cannot help us further and we needed someone smarter to come take care of the situation.

At first she said no. The she said yes and called a manager. The manager suggested that she refund the wrong items and then she will re-ring them up, and was that okay with us? HELLO? I said that a few times already! So yes, yes, that was just fine.

At that point we were treated like loose canons, and the manager kept asking me who rung us up (which was not the point -- I didn't want the kid to get in trouble, but he should really learn his veggies) and I said I didn't remember and really, I couldn't see him from where I was standing because it's a Super T and those stores are really big (in case you haven't been in one). I didn't even mention the cauliflower incident. I had no ill will towards the teenager because I am a Minnesotan now and we are NICE. Anyway, she was walking me through everything she was doing, and I was being nice to her, and really, there was no need to apologize at this point, I just wanted my veggies and to get out of there.

She handed me the original receipt, the refund receipt, and the new receipt that has the veggies on it. I thanked her. We started to leave, and it dawned on, really....did he overcharge us? Or did we just make a huge stink about something that really didn't matter?

I got the receipts out and look at the refund one - we were refunded $5.36. I look at the new one for the veggies -- we were charged $5.74.

I'm not good at math, but yeah, I could see we just made assholes out of ourselves for no reason.

I told my husband we are stupid and it's all his fault. He told me I should have known how much everything was supposed to cost (vegetables get weighed, by the way, so not only does he think I remember all prices but also he thinks I have a scale in my hands that is linked to my brain). I said he was the one that was all "THESE SQUASH DO NOT COST $1.99 AND I WILL NOT LET THE MAN MAKE ME PAY SO MUCH FOR THEM, CURSES TO YOU, SUPER T!!!" (By the way, they do cost $1.99, go figure.) And then I threw in that he forced me to figure out how to buy a slushy since I was really confused that there were no cups available. And then he said something about me, and me about him, and so forth and so on.

When we got in the car, it dawned on me even more what an ass I just made out of myself and I decided (temporarily) that I can never go to the Super T again, and that I felt like an idiot (our son heard me say "idiot," which is a bad word to him, but he told me since I didn't call anyone that word, it was okay and I didn't have to say I was sorry) and I wanted to curl up and die. I really wanted to go back there and apologize to everyone for being an ass. But then, I rationalized that he could have overcharged us, what do we really know...but then I felt like an ass again and declared I was going to take it out on our bathroom by cleaning it like it's never been cleaned before (not really sure how that was related to making an ass out of myself, but nonetheless I didn't clean the bathroom any better than I normally do).

Finally I told my husband he made my California Anger come back and I did not appreciate it. AT ALL.

1 comment:

Oto said...

It sounds to me like you were having a really rough day. I hope that you look back on this and find the hilarity in it though, because if you think about it, it is quite funny. Oh life, you're such a trickster. I think moments like this happen to everyone at some point.