Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Conversations (Part 1 of 3)

Whenever I relay an interesting encounter with Ken regarding perhaps a quarrel with someone I don't know or have never met, he reminds me that I bring out the best in people. 

Part One
"TextBook BuyBack"
or
"That's Illegal"

I love eating at The Outback.  It's those wings.  And their salads.  Something in their Ranch is sensational.  I order the same thing everytime I go.  (Bloomin' Onion, Salad with Rand sans Maters, and Tassie Buffalo Wings)  Ken told me that if I went to ISU and tried to sell back our old textbooks he would take me to dinner at The Outback.  All I had to do is try.  I didn't have to actually make any money.  I didn't think we'd really get anything because I had exhausted the textbook buying circuit.  Amazon took a bunch, Chegg took some, Book City in town bought a few others.  I was left with the duds.  But The Outback can make me do incredible things.  I packed up the baby and book-duds and headed over to ISU.  I could tell as soon I we got there things weren't going to go that well.

Let's dialogue it out.
P = Patty Poulsen from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
MG = Mean Girl who works at the university bookstore.

(Me and Kole enter the bookstore.  We are one foot in.)
MG: Miss!  Miss!  You have to leave your belongings on the shelf.
(I look around.  There is a lady at the register glaring at me.  She has a customer.)
P:  Did that lady talk to me?  Do I have suspicious belongings?  No.  It must have been something else. (Me and Kole continue in)
MG:  Excuse me!  I said your belongings go on that shelf!
P: Is she talking about Kole?  In his stroller?  Does she want me to leave his stroller by the shelf?  Does she realize there is a child in it?  Oh.  I didn't realize you were talking to me.  I only have this stroller and my son is in it so... we're just going to stick together.
MG:  Okay, your son does not have the conscious ability to know where he is or if he is "sticking" with you.  So I don't think you should use the term "we."  Second, this isn't exactly public access.  If you want to take a walk you should take him to the park.
P: (floored) Does she realize it is snowing outside?  Does she really think I chose to get exercise in a cramped university bookstore?  I am here to sell some books back.
MG:  I'm working overtime right now and it's not the greatest time to be selling books back.
P: (confused.)  Is it not the greatest time because she is working overtime?  I don't get that correlation. I feel bad for the kid who she is supposed to be waiting on.  I just had these laying around and I don't really care what I get for them.
MG:  Well the semester started a week ago and we already bought back what we want and ordered what we needed so I don't think you'll get anymore than 30% of what they're worth.  Plus, we rent books now.
P:  You know a lot about your job.
MG:  I am working overtime.
P:  So you have said.  I'll just wait my turn in line and then we'll talk.
MG:  You're wasting your time.

NEW CHARACTER ALERT
IB = Innocent Bystander = Kid who was waiting at the register listening to all this.

IB:  What are you selling?
P: (reaching down into the stroller basket) I have....
MG:  She doesn't have what you need.
IB:  I was just asking her.
MG:  That's illegal.
P:  No it's not.
MG:  Yeah, it's illegal to buy textbooks from other students.
IB:  Why?
MG:  She won't have what you need.
P:  Wow.  Are we competing for a prom date here?  Let the kid ask! Let me show him for crying out loud.  I have these.
IB: (looks through) Oh.  Nope.  Not what I was looking for.
MG:  I TOLD you!  Ha!
P:  Yup.  You were right.  I hope you can keep this near sale of books from one student to another under your hat. 
(IB leaves.  MG is fuming)
MG:  Well?  Do you have your Student ID?
P:  Yes, but I don't go to school here anymore.
MG:  You dropped out.

SIDENOTE:  I hate the term "dropped out."  I hate it even more when it's referring to me because I have every intention of finishing school.  I hate it the most when someone is calling me a drop out and they don't know me.  They only know they don't like me.  (Probably because I am so pretty.)

P:  I got my Masters in '09.  (It slipped out!)  These are from my husband's schooling.  I have all of these.  (sets books on counter)  I know they are out dated so whatever you can offer.
MG:  (begins surveying books)  Old! (slams on counter)  Old!  (slams on counter)  This is over 2 years old! (slams on counter.  pauses.  holds up a book.)  Do you see what this says?
P:  Um... Organizational Business Statistics?
MG:  What edition?
P:  I'm not sure.
MG:  This is an International Edition.  Do you know it's illegal to be in possession on this book?
P:  No.  I bought it on Amazon.
MG:  You broke the law.  Americans have different statistical systems than the rest of the world and they don't want us knowing what it is.
P:  Well, I bet we all find standard deviation the same way. (smiles...coyly)
MG:  Like I said.  That's illegal. (continues going through books.  pauses.  holds up another book.)  What book is this?
P:  REALLY?  Again?!  Just go through the stack and tell me if you can buy any!  That's a math book.  College Algebra it looks like.
MG:  Do you notice anything out of the ordinary about it?
P:  No.
MG:  It's a Teacher's Edition and that's illegal for you to have in your possession.  Did you steal it?
P:  No.  I bought it on Amazon.  But it really came in handy in class.  Especially when I was taking my tests.  I just laid it open right on my desk.  The teacher didn't care.  Since my book said Teacher's Edition he figured I was one of his peers.  Not a student.  He gave me an A.  I wish I could have gotten my hands on one of these for each of my classes.  It would have made getting my Masters so easy!
MG:  We don't want your books.
P:  You haven't even finished looking at them.
MG:  I don't want to finish.  I don't think there will be anything this University is looking for.
P:  You mean there won't be anything YOU'RE looking for!  You don't like me because I am not taking your accusations seriously.
MG:  Thank you for coming in.

I gathered my books.  Pushed the stroller over to the front door and dumped my books in the garbage.  Which I am sure was illegal.

9 comments:

Lyner said...

Wow, really? I cannot believe that lady. Why is she working. Her customer service skills suck! I especially cannot believe how she treated you when you walked in.

Richard and Carolyn said...

Are you kidding me??? I can't believe it. I wish I could come up with the things that you say so fast. I always go home and think wow... I wish I would have said this or that.

Chris loves Julia said...

Yesssss! I have been waiting for this post all day! And it did NOT disappoint. So, did you get to go to Outback. I am seriously craving some of their wings right now. So bad...it's probably illegal!

Brett and Tiffany said...

Talk about a grouchy lady! I can't believe she acted like that! Sounds like she needs to go to Outback to cheer her up! Hope you got to go!

Will and Emily Empey said...

OH WOW!!! I can NOT believe that lady! Seriously?? I would have flipped her off and called her the B**** from H***!! Grr! That pisses me off!

Will and Emily Empey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karlenn said...

I. CAN. NOT. BELIEVE. HER. What in the freak? Are you serious? I'm sitting here with my mouth wide open. I'm so glad you told her you got her Master's. :) You are so quick-witted. I would have just stared at her, with my mouth wide open. I do that a lot.

Natalie said...

Pat you should have given her the what for, the one two, the Poulsen punch, we'll work on that!!!!

megan said...

WOW!!! I cannot believe the nerve of some people! I would've totally asked for a supervisor and gotten her fired. lol