On June 24th I went up to the 7-11 Store and bought a gallon of milk. I walked over to the cooler and through the glass I could see three jugs of milk marked 6-24, and one marked 6-27. Obviously I am not going to buy the milk that expires on that day, so I grabbed the gallon of milk marked 6-27. On Saturday, June 28th, I got up, walked the dogs, fed the dogs, fed the cats, and then poured myself a big bowl of Cheerios. I put a handful of fresh blueberries on top of my cereal, poured in some milk, and then took a giant spoonful and and shoved it into my mouth. It took a second before it hit my taste buds. When it did, it was like I had eaten chilled vomit. The milk had gone sour. Here is the question at hand, do I just pour the half gallon of milk left in the jug down the drain and go buy another one, or do I go back to the 7-11 Store and ask that they replace it? I've been living with Mark too long, I took it back.
So there I was standing in front of the counter at 7-11 telling the young woman wearing the 7-11 smock, "I bought this milk here a few days ago and it has already gone sour. I'd like another one please."
"Sir, that is marked June 27th. It's supposed to go bad after that date."
I guess you can't hope for too much when you pay people minimum wage.
"No ma'am, that is the sell by date. The milk should not go sour the day after you buy it."
"I thought you said you bought it a few days ago."
"Just let me take another gallon of milk. I've been coming to this store for twenty five years. There's another place right across the street that sells the same stuff at the same price, if you'd rather I buy my gas and milk there.... "
So the young lady says, "Just a minute" and disappears into the back room. Moments later she re-emerges followed by an older man with a goatee.
"Sir, you have a problem?"
I repeat my little story of the sour milk.
"Well you've used half that gallon of milk already." Mr. Goatee informs me.
"Yeah, I used it until it went sour."
"You see that it's out of date milk don't you?"
"Out of date for you to sell it, not for me to use it. milk is supposed... "
He interrupts me. "Okay, I'll let you take a fresh jug of milk this time." he says with a hint of sarcasm.
"What do you mean this time? I've been coming in here for twenty five years and you think I picked this morning to come in and try to scam you?"
"I said to go an take another jug of milk, what more do you want?"
As I walked out the door Mr. Goatee called out in an even more sarcastic tone, "Have a nice day!"
I was not done. I went home and fired off an angry email to the 7-11 company (The internet has made it so much easier to be a crotchety old man). Anyway, one hour later the phone rings. It's Mr. Goatee. This is how he started the conversation.
"I can't believe you called 7-11 corporate offices (I didn't, I emailed them). Now I have to call you and apologize?"
It went downhill from there.
It would have been so much easier if the original young woman I encountered at the store had simply said, "I'm sorry. Go ahead and grab another gallon of milk sir." Instead I had to deal with Mr. Goatee calling me at home to complain that he had to apologize.