The Tables Are Turned (and returned)

Posted: November 23, 2013 in Community, Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


My wife Anne took it upon herself to order some winter boots the other night. Normally we would shop in person, or just order over the internet. It’s usually easier that way. This time, she just felt that, to get the order right, she needed to talk to a real person. This, as they say, is the rest of the story….

Having prepared to make the order by locating the item in the catalogue, she dialled the necessary numbers in order to process the transaction. I knew trouble was coming when she couldn’t understand the person at the other end. What for me started out as just a few moments of a boring conversation in the background, became a totally unnerving 20 minutes of frustration for Anne, and a hugely entertaining 20 minutes for me.

One of the things we’ve learned when talking to people on the phone, especially when making orders, is to write down the person’s name so that during the conversation you can reference their name from time to time to make things a little more personal. Now, when someone with a thick accent at the other end says his name is ‘John Smith’, you know something just isn’t right. In this case, Anne couldn’t even pronounce the person’s name, much less write it out. She did try though. When I read her paper it looked like ‘Attawapiskat Penetanguishene’ on her paper. This couldn’t be good. Now Anne sort of writes like a doctor, so I could have been mistaken. All the same, this strategy wouldn’t work in this case.

It went from bad to worse when she gave the item number and size to this person, and he responded to her ‘Is this the table with 4 or 6 chairs?’. ‘No’, she responded patiently, ‘This is the size 10 winter boots on page 40.’ Good girl, I thought. He then asked her if she would pay for this table with a credit card. `No`, (still patiently), ‘I wish to pay for my BOOTS c.o.d., please.’ He then went on to wax poetically about the benefits of using her credit card to purchase the table, how the points would be beneficial for not only her but for her entire family, and would she also like to purchase the matching tablecloth and lamps on her credit card?

Those who know Anne know she has red hair. People of this persuasion are often known for their fiery temper and ‘lively’ responses when being pushed. Anne is no exception. I have witnessed many an execution, mostly mine, when she is fired up. Old Attawapiskat here didn’t know this…..yet. Anne, in a moment that I call ‘the calm before the storm’, politely responded that the boots, not the table, will be paid for in cash, not credit, and that these very boots had better not be in table-form when they arrive. By this time, you could see wisps of steam emanating from her nostrils. Her hair was doing that ‘Fire-Starter’ thing. The dogs were hiding under the table (which I find ironic), and the kids suddenly discovered previously unknown homework in their rooms that needed to be done right away.

Not to be outdone, this order person again pursued the credit card angle, beating what I knew to be a dead horse. At this point, I desperately wanted to warn off Attawapiskat, to tell him to RUN, Forest, RUN!!

In the time it took to write the last paragraph, it was all over. The order was properly taken, Attawapiskat was ready to tender his resignation, and our credit card was not tendered as payment, although I’m pretty sure this poor man was ready to offer to pay for her order just to be rid of this Red-Haired Canadian Tasmanian Devil. Anne went about the house, looking for some Grand Marnier to rid herself of her sudden headache.

Why, I ask, is this happening in 2013? I know companies are trying to save money, but really! If we are English, or French, why do we get put through these ordeals?

I cannot answer this, but as I sit at my new kitchen table, complete with matching tablecloth and lamp, and contemplate paying this bill on my credit card, I can’t help but wonder….who actually won the battle?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s