Recently, I ordered Dan two pairs of shoes for work from Kohls.com. The shoes arrived and one pair fit perfectly and the other was too big.
Tuesday evening I glanced at my calendar and decided that Wednesday would be the perfect day to return them. There was nothing going on and the kids would be out of school for teacher development days on Thursday and Friday, and the kids loathe shopping if it doesn't involve toys or games for them, so off I went.
As soon as I arrived at Kohls, I headed straight for the the men's shoe department. I held my breath as I searched for the same style in the smaller size.
It was my lucky day! I found two pairs in the style and size I was looking for! I opened the first box and examined the shoes. I was saddened to see that there was a very large imperfection in the toe of the left shoe. I put that pair back on the shelf, held my breath, and opened the next box.
They looked perfect! I headed to the returns counter ready to make my exchange.
An woman in her 60s was working at the customer service counter. I handed her the shoes I wanted to return and the new pair.
She opened the box and inspected the old pair to confirm the sizes and put them on the counter behind her. Then she opened the new pair and lifted up the flap that covers the top of the foot to locate the shoe size on the inside of the shoe.
As she did this my eyes widened in horror!
Have you ever noticed how older ladies sometimes have really thick hard nails, and when they do they file them into points as if they couldn't quite achieve the lovely oval shape I assume they were probably going for? Well, they do, and hers were like this.
She placed her thumb inside the upper part of the shoe and placed the remaining four fingers on the top of the shoe to turn the shoe material so that she could find the size.
When she did this she made four pointy-nail marks in the lovely perfect shoes.
My heart started pounding as I stopped myself from screaming look what you did !
Before I could even figure out what to do, she grabbed the other shoe and did the exact same thing.
I can't take these shoes home, I thought. They are ruined.
But instead of acting like the mature 43-year-old that I pretend to be and telling her that she just ruined the shoes, I stood there wide-eyed with a dazed expression on my face and let her finish the transaction. She put the shoes in a bag, handed me my new receipt and my ruined shoes and said, "Have a great day!"
In a daze, with my heart still pounding, I carried the bag into the restroom and thought that perhaps since the marks went into the shoes so easily, maybe the would rub out just as easily.
Wrong! Those pointy nails had permanently marked up those shoes and I just stood there and watched and then returned her "Have a great day!" with a "You too!" and a dopey smile.
I came out of the bathroom, did two slow laps around the store while I pondered my options and berated myself for not speaking up as she was ruining the shoes. I headed back to the returns counter and waited patiently in line. When it was my turn, I smiled my dopey smile and said in a shrill and sing-songy voice, "I changed my mind! I'll just take a refund!"
She cocked her head to one side, looked at my like I was completely crazy, and gave me the refund.
I immediately headed home and quietly ordered the shoes from Kohls.com.