In one episode of “Seinfeld,” Kramer says, “Life’s too short to eat bad fruit.” That’s a motto I’d like needlepointed in a frame. How many times have you spent a small fortune for a promising pear or a tantalizing tomato, taken it home, and been disappointed? The produce manager at my local supermarket used to look forward to my fruit and veggie reviews. When I returned each week, he’d always ask, “How were the plums? The kiwis?” If I complained, he gladly gave me a refund or offered to replace them. With his transference to another store, came a dour new manager whose idea of customer relations is to tell me that he’s “waiting for me to get out of his way so he can stack the pineapples.” But he doesn’t deter me from complaining, returning, and getting reimbursed.
I keep each week’s receipt. When I eat fruit or vegetables that’ve missed the mark, I circle the item on the receipt and get my money back the following week. What have I returned? Mealy apples. Rotten melons. Moldy raspberries. Dry oranges. Limp celery. This week’s return is going to be the little baby corn that you use in Chinese food. The package cost $3.49 and the corns were dried out and tasteless.
Speak out! If you don’t, nothing changes. How many times have you been on a train or bus where you see people standing while “empty” seats are used for packages or feet? Few say anything … but I always manage to get a seat by asking the scofflaw to please make the seat available. Undeterred by malevolent stares, I can at least sit down!
How about people who complain about a meal in a restaurant after consuming it? Why not return it and get what you ordered the way you wanted it? Sauce on the side? No gravy on the potatoes? Very cold martini? If it’s not to my liking, it goes back; I’m paying for it!
But the worst, for me, are the ladies who stand idly in line at the ladies’ room when a little investigation would turn up one (sometimes two!) empty stalls. I guess women expect there to be a line, so they just form it. I walk to the front, do a little bending down to look for feet, and if empty, play “matron” by asking the next in line to occupy it. Line goes faster, I get to go faster. Simple.