Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The "Almost-Christmas Incident"

Yesterday, I had the fortunate opportunity to do some Christmas shopping. I was able to persuade Kevin to pick Owen up from preschool, freeing me to whittle away at my gift shopping list. There was an item I had found in the ad from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I thought Owen would like. I walked into the store and noted that it was busier in there than usual for a Monday morning. I considered asking an employee where I could find what I was looking for, but all of them were assisting customers and I thought I would try to find it myself first before asking. I happened across the display I was looking for and realized there were different styles available. Right as I noticed the one I wanted, an employee walked up to the display with a customer and said, "Here they are," and picked up the item I wanted - the only one - and handed it to the other lady. I said, "That's what I was looking for." Then the other lady says, "I actually wanted two of them." I bend down to see if there are anymore, possibly behind boxes. The employee beats me to it and picks one up, saying, "This is the last one. We have no more in the backroom." Then she has that deer-in-the-headlights look on her face as she looks at us both. She chickens out and sets it down on the top of the display and steps back. Nervously, she offers either of us the opportunity to call another store to see if they can hold one. The other lady is avoiding eye contact with me and just repeats that she needed two of them. In my mind, I was there first and it was rightfully mine and I wasn't willing to drive to another location to get it. Casually, I pick up the box, as if only to look at it more closely. The other lady takes my hint, still avoiding eye contact with me, and asks the employee to call another store for her. Whew! That was a close one. I didn't want to get into a confrontation over a $10 item. As you could figure, I ran into the lady in the check-out line, finally she looked at me (and even smiled) and shared that one more is being held for her across town. I felt a little guilty, but then again, I don't really think I did anything wrong. Did I? I was there first afterall. Rationalization...one of my greatest strenghths!

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