Thursday, September 4, 2008

Off Target

I know that the way I eat is predicated on Mark having access to a kitchen, tools for that kitchen, and the appropriate documentation for preparing food in that kitchen. The appropriate documentation consists of about three hundred cook books which reside in three different book cases, with the most used books in a case near the kitchen. For almost a year that bookcase has strained against the weight of all those books. Last month an extra gram of dust gathered on the books while we were in Chicago, and it finally gave way.

With the acquiring of Chandler and his taste for finer things, it became apparent that the floor would not be sufficient for storing the books anymore. Really, how could a five month old puppy resist eating a book that had specks of food debris within its pages. So two weeks ago we went to Target and bought a new bookcase that was on sale. As usual when purchasing a mass produced item at a contemporary American department store, the bookcase we found was produced in China and came pre-broken. This required me to shove all the crap back into the box and drag the thing back to Target.

To Mark, having to return an item because it is broken is both a challenge and an insult. After schlepping the thing through the parking lot and up to the return counter, the woman behind the counter informed us that, "We can't give you another one for the same price. I have to return your money and you can get another one at the new higher price.". At that point I just stepped back and let Mark work his magic. "Are you insane?", Mark shouted, "Where is the manager?". When a young girl with a badge identifying her as 'Assistant Guest Services Manager' showed up, she informed us that the computer won't let her give us another bookcase at the same price. At this point Mark said, in a loud shrill voice, "You can't be the manager, I want to see the real manager!". Two seconds after the 'Assistant Guest Services Manager' spoke some code into her phone, a security guard appeared like Genie in a puff of smoke behind Mark, followed closely by a guy named Dave.

Often it is embarrassing when I am with Mark and he has these encounters. I usually pretend like I'm not even with this crazy person, and this was no exception. He was rude and mean to those people, but we now have a new bookcase at the sale price, and this one isn't pre-broken.


  1. the ying and the yang...I like the bookcase and your boyfriend very much. Oh course I have to admit he needs you as I need my better half, so Mark and I don't spend the night in jail.

  2. YEEEA MARK. Yo got your fine piece of Chinese crap.Ya gotta love America.
    Alan, you should have built your own. It would have been an even more interesting story.

  3. I don't have a basement wood shop, sorry I have to buy crap.

  4. So the assistant manager of guest servies called in "Bubba" the bouncer and his sidekick "Barney Fife." To me that was intimidation by an inexperienced over-rated "target clerk" with a title.

    As soon as they showed up I would have had my tape recorder and video camera rolling.

    Glad everything turned out for the better though, thanks to Mark!

  5. CAN get the proper response from "guest services" by firmly and calmly holding your ground. No sense in scaring the crap out of the poor minimum wage hack!! Go right to the top and demand common sense!! But I'm imagining the show would not be as entertaining for everyone else in the store! Are you guys able to go back there??!!

  6. We left Guest Services, grabbed a cart and went shopping.