Monday, April 26, 2010

It Wasn't Traumatic

So if it wasn't traumatic, why do I still have this unreasonable urge to cry about it?

This afternoon I headed to town to do errands, including hitting up Goodwill and Salvation Army for a dresser and a bookshelf for Paul's new apartment. I was thrilled to find an $8 bookshelf at Salvation Army. The bottom couple of inches sustained some water damage in the past. But for eight bucks, it will hold his books.

I was also thrilled to find a very nice 5-drawer chest for $50. A bit high for resale, but the drawers pull nicely, the finish is excellent, and it's a nice size. Mostly wood, not that cheap material of glued-together sawdust. Then ... ah, ... then was when the trouble began.

I found another dresser. Four drawers. Nearly as big in drawer space, but narrower -- all the better for carrying into and out of apartment buildings and around corners, my dear. This one was all wood. And only $20. The other $20-30 dressers in the store were not worth bringing home. This one was surely a great deal! So I bought it. Paid. Loaded it into the van. Needing to hunt for shorts and a blender, I headed back into the store.

A few minutes later, I heard yelling by the cash register. As the customer ranted on and on, pretty soon I heard the words "dresser" and "took it" and "removed my sold tag and claimed it for herself." I approached the clerk and the woman making the scene and asked if they were discussing the $20 dresser that had been sitting near the back door. Uh. Yeah. That's it. So she yelled at me for taking her dresser while she was transporting a different load of furniture home.

Yikes. I told her there was no sold sign on the dresser I bought. I asked some more questions to verify whether we were talking about the same dresser. We were. The clerks and manager clearly were expecting a big argument over who got item. Instead I apologized and told them I'd bring my van around back and give her the dresser back.

Shoot. I knew that dresser was too good to be true.

I was stunned when the clerk told me that she couldn't refund my money but that I could find $20 worth of other merchandise in the store. Granted, I wanted the other dresser, so it worked out. But if there hadn't been another dresser I wanted? Then what? I understand that they don't give refunds. But c'mon -- when they sell the same piece of furniture to two different people??? At least the manager offered to split the cost different; she said I could have the more expensive dresser for $35 instead of $50; that helped a bit to make up for the clumsier size of the one I ended up buying.

I keep telling myself that I got a nice dresser. That it will hold Paul's socks and jammies. That it does fit --with some finagling-- into the van for transport purposes. I keep reminding myself that I bought this dresser for $15 less than I had originally intended to pay for it. This is good. Right???

How come I still feel so unsettled about the whole icky mess?

I wonder if I would feel differently now if the woman had apologized for accusing me. Or if she had apologized for my not being able to have the dresser. Or if she had thanked me for not giving her any guff about letting her take it.


  1. This would bother me, too, Susan. Terribly. The combination of someone being upset with me plus the injustice of it all . . . I would be crying, too. I hope you can put it out of your mind soon. Really, who cares about those people and what they think? You didn't do anything wrong and you comported yourself with grace.

  2. Wow. What a bitch. I mean, I understand that she was upset that she paid for her dresser and that it was no longer there (but doesn't Goodwill have a rule about taking stuff home then-and-there? It's why I almost missed out on the table...), but that's no reason to YELL and make wild accusations.

    She should have been groveling at your feet for your graciousness, because if you hadn't come back, she would have been SOL.

    On behalf of the employees, I want to thank you SO MUCH for being a decent human being about the whole thing. They probably will remember you for being nice, and the other woman for being a crazy person.

    I'm sorry you had to deal with that (and they should have been able to refund the money).

  3. My stomach flipped just reading this, too. You were gracious and the other woman was not. I guess that makes you feel a little violated...she didn't respect you even when you did a very respectful thing. There's the frustration...and now you just have to let it go. You did end up getting a nicer deal out of it...let it go. (Stupid lady!) :) There, now I feel better. :)

  4. Umm, I might have a bookshelf Paul could use if he would need another one. I've offered it to a homeschooler in my church, but she isn't sure if she can use it or not. IF she doesn't want it and Paul would like it, it's his. I'll even haul it to him. :-)

  5. What a terrible experience! You behaved in an honorable and honest manner throughout the event. The woman was understandably upset. In her frustration she accused you of behavior that was dishonest and deceitful. I find unfounded attacks on character difficult to handle and spend too much time dwelling on the attack. I hope that you are able to put this behind you quickly.