So, I have a theory that after December 1st, people turn into crazy Christmas aliens. Rude, obnoxious, aliens, mind you. Unlucky for me, it's way past the 1st and I'm out in the world trying to be as ahead of the game as is humanly possible for me. I am totally a last minute shopper.. I'm talking, 4pm on December 24th, last in line with my hands full of travel size hand sanitizers and "As Seen on TV" items that I have literally NEVER heard of. This year, I've decided, will be different. So, I started my shopping early (well, sort of). I bought boots for my 18 year old sister who is pretty much impossible to please, Sunset Cruise Tickets for my parents (Whose anniversary happens to be on New Year's... Can you say combo gift?), and pink sparkly walkie-talkies for my younger sisters who have recently acquired their own rooms. But the trickiest gifts to find of all? My friends. No walkie-talkies will suffice here, nor boots, nor sunset cruise tickets. No. Lindsey and I decided we needed to make custom, personalized gifts for the whole lot of them. I won't get into the gory details, but we pretty much came up with the all time perfect gift for those we love, cherish, and drink with on a regular basis.
Anyways, we needed to pick up some merchandise from Jo-Ann's fabrics.. which is fortunate since one just opened up 2 minutes away from our home. So we traversed over the river and through the woods (just kidding, there are definitely NO woods near our home) all the way to the crafting super store and we find what we need. However, there are only 3 and we need 5. (I cannot reveal what we were searching for, sorry french fries, I don't want to ruin the Christmas magic. Bah humbug.) So on we go to the south location, a mere 20 minutes away, and find the last of our.. items.. and purchase them from a well meaning, albeit flustered cashier. From there it's another 15 minutes south to the "special" store where they inform us that our purchases will not, in fact, work on their product.
Insert heavy sigh here.
By now it's 3 o'clock and we've been on the road, so to speak, for 2 hours. We drag ourselves back north to the Jo-Ann's near our house only to realize that we are missing a receipt. It appears that the very flustered woman at our second stop failed to give us one. No worries, I mean, I only purchased it an hour ago. I should be able to convince them to give me the full price. How often could things possibly be discounted at Jo-Ann's of all places? Right?... Right?...
So, in I go. Armed with one half of the receipts I required and a bag full of five fabric items I would never purchase on a normal day I marched my bad self in through those electric front doors and right up to "Guest Services." The very polite girl at the counter asked if she could help me and, my god, yes she could. I in fact, needed a refund, and I only had one receipt but that shouldn't be a problem since it wasn't really my fault that I was missing the other one.. bla bla bla. I think the girl tuned me out. Clearing my throat I simply stated that I had a return. Easy enough. She began to help me and quickly saw that I had made a second purchase somewhere along the line. It was then that she informed me that she couldn't accept a return from another store. Perplexed, I questioned her.. "You can't accept a return from another Jo-Ann's? That seems odd." It was then that she realized her misunderstanding and proceeded to call a manager to help me with my un-receipted purchase. I know that's not a word. I made it up just for this situation.
Now, let me explain to you that I worked in retail for many years. I understand protocal and following rules, in fact, if you'll remember: I'm a "rules" girl. I hate breaking rules or making others break rules... except when it comes to money and I'm about $4 shy of making my car payment this month. That's a different story. Also a slight exaggeration. Anyways, Bart* the manager comes up to me and explains that he will take care of me from now on. Something about the way he said this made me immediately want to shower, but I continued on. So Bart brings me to another counter where he proceeds to take 10,000 years to gather information off of my Driver's License, which can only possibly mean he's going to retain it for his own.. purposes.. and then quite plainly inform me that he can only give me the purchase price at it's lowest discounted rate in the last 30 days. Unlucky for me (again), at the time of this interaction Black Friday is only a week passed, and apparently my items were discounted down to welfare prices. So I get a whopping $4 back on an $8 purchase. Wonderful. I fought diligently, even citing my car payment as a reason why I clearly deserved a FULL refund... but, alas. $4 it was.
This all has a point, I swear.
So, here's to shopping early next year. Early meaning... April. Because seriously? Who actually enjoys Christmas shopping during Christmas? Not this girl. And I certainly don't enjoy being ripped off by Jo-Ann's of all places. I mean, who even knew they had sales? Am I right? (Just go with it.)