I have waited 9 months to wear the white shirt hanging in my closet and I am REALLY mad about it. Not that I have waited 9 months for it TO BE hanging in my closet…it has been hanging there for 9 months and I couldn’t wear it…until yesterday.
I am not a fashion guy, but even I know that a white shirt goes with anything. When I saw a rack of “just get these out of the store” prices on shirts I would have paid full price for (75% off! thank you change of season!) I was in. I bought 3 and off I went.
My euphoria (ok, “good feelings”) took a turn when I went to take them to the cleaners. I noticed that the grey plastic thing that makes the sensors go off was still attached to one shirt at the lower side hem. Start now my 9 month wait…and spoiler alert: it ends violently.
Step 1: consider if it is even worth it to pursue it? Do I think about the shirt at full price & compare the value of my time or do I use the discounted price? Do I consider the value to me? My value of “already have and like” vs. “must seek and find again” if very high. I decided that freeing this shirt was worth it to me.
Let’s get this out of the way: No, I no longer had the receipt. It fit. I liked it. I could foresee no reason to keep it.
Warning: The service failures that follow are not for the faint of heart.
I went to the store. How do you walk in with merchandise that should trigger the alarm system without a receipt (but didn’t when I originally left)? I decided to go first without the shirt. After finally interrupting the chatting sales people behind the counter, I was told by an obviously non-plussed sales woman that without the receipt I was S.O.L. (you determine the S). I left and contemplated on the sidewalk what I could do next. I unhappily returned to ask for the customer service phone number which I begrudgingly received.
Outside again, I called. The friendly guy on the phone acted astounded that I would be handled this way and suggested that I travel 30km to the next store where they would surely help me without hesitation. (Mmmm….practical?) He also offered that if I could find anything that would connect me to the purchase, he could track it down for me and provide a receipt. He took my email address and sent me a nice note with specific information that would help him to track the transaction. As I walked home, I felt defeated as I was pretty sure I had paid cash.
Just by chance, that afternoon I opened my bank statement and found the transactions! (I had made an exchange of size…so there was more than 1 and I didn’t know which one was THIS shirt.) So I photographed the entries and emailed them back with hopes that this would soon be resolved.
I should also maybe explain why this plastic tag seemed so insurmountable. Do you remember in the movies when bank robbers steal the money only to have it explode on them with a bright red somehow permanent paint? Somewhere along the way, I had gathered the idea that this tag would do the same thing…explode and ruin everything. So while I wondered if I could magnetically get it open…I didn’t consider opening it by force…
Until, I got the reply back: they will not look at the transaction photographs, I should retype all of the information that I had provided to them if I wanted them to even look at it. (That is was not written in a particularly helpful style, I will chalk that up to non-native language.)
So I left it.
I left the effort to get help.
I left the shirt hanging.
And I have left that store.
Until yesterday…when I finally had enough of seeing that shirt hanging useless in my closet. I was ready to destroy the little plastic gadget come what may! I grabbed my screwdriver and pliers and went at it with all the contempt that this little robber of joy represented. Anti-climactically, I discovered that the plastic security thing can be pried open and removed quite easily (and without paint or damage to the shirt). While it felt good to have mangled pieces of plastic in my hands, the victory was surprisingly short lived. Left behind is just the feeling of being stupid. Stupid that I waited so long to free my shirt. Stupid that I wasted so much time trying to work with the store. Stupid for being their customer in the first place.
Every time I wear that shirt (or any white shirt, I imagine)…I will remember this. They will never know why I left. I don’t imagine they will even miss me.
I am happy too. In a world full of too many choices, they have just made my decision making a little easier.