Argumentative Stupidity

I encountered stupidity in a store where I’d thought idiocy had gone the way of the Dodo bird. I was certain that employees of this last retail bastion of intelligence were required to take a test or some sort of brain scan before they were hired, ensuring the absence of even the slightest hint of stupidity. But alas, I was wrong.

First of all, there exists particular retail establishments where moronic behavior is expected and accepted…to a certain degree, anyway. Shopping at a Walmart or Home Depot sometimes requires skill to maneuver around stupers (short for emphatically stupid persons). Any exhibition of intelligence at either of these places draws a stunned tribute from me. If my dear readers should happen to see a smartly dressed woman, standing in salute or politely applauding a worker at one of those stores, that would be me.

When Nordstrom (site of one of my favorite shopping experiences) has a sale, I utilize a plan of action in order to promote efficiency as well as my sanity. I successfully beat the crowds while getting the best prices, thanks to the cheerful cooperation of Nordstrom employees. I arrive the day before, ask an employee to show me whatever soon-to-be-sale items that he/she can, place what I want on hold and breeze in the next day to simply pay and leave.

Yesterday, a hard-boiled stuper feverishly attempted to convince me that Nordstrom could do without my business.

I went to the men’s department, picked out tennis shoes for Husband when I was approached by salesperson, Brooks (doesn’t that sound like a perfect name for an American butler?). Brooks had two dazed and droopy, disenchanted eyes which dominated his face and gave him the appearance of one about to fall backwards at any given moment. I didn’t know whether to yell, “timber!” or grab him by his necktie, assisting him in keeping upright.

Me: Is this shoe going to be on sale tomorrow?

Brooks: Yes.

Me: Great! I’d like to place it on hold please and purchase it tomorrow.

Brooks: That’s against store policy.

Me: I did the same thing in the ladies department last month when….

I’m going to spare you the tiresome details, but suffice it to say, he argued my every point. I offered past evidence, and he insisted every employee who helped me was either a figment of my imagination or an insurgent. Finally, I made it clear again that the actual purchase would take place the next day, when the sale began. I just wanted the shoes set aside for me. Brooks said,

“Oh, that’s all right then. We can do that for one day.”

He said he needed to locate a form for me to fill out and left the department. He returned ten minutes later, filled out the form while I berated myself for giving Brooks stuper status. It was just a misunderstanding. Perhaps I had not communicated my desire clearly. Brooks took note that I had purchased items in this manner before as indicated on his computer screen. One would think at this point, the light bulb would be shining brightly.

“I’ll need your credit card so as soon as they go on sale, I can charge you.”

That was the kiss of death. Or at least the deal killer. I didn’t have my Nordstrom card on me since I figured I’d use it the following day, based on past, happy experiences. Plus, I didn’t want to give him the card number, and then have it just laying around in my absence.

“Sorry, I don’t have it. You can charge me tomorrow when I pick up the shoes.”

“I need a credit card so I can charge you as soon as the sale starts.”

What he really meant was I want my sale and I don’t trust you to come back and buy these shoes – I don’t care what you say or what the computer screen says.

Perhaps previous customers had claimed they’d return to purchase something from Brooks, never to be seen or heard from again. Such undependable clientale could have left him permanently traumatized and distrusting of customers. Bottom line: he wanted his commission.

I realized there’d be no progress when dealing with a stale mind. I thanked Brooks and vowed inwardly to return tomorrow to make my purchase (it was a men’s sale; how crowded could it possibly be?) from some one else.

It’s best to leave stupidity behind where you found it, and move on to better things. I could have resisted the situation and insisted on speaking to….practically anyone else who worked there; that likely would have met with success. But really, I decided to go with the flow and keep my blood pressure and sanity intact.

Keep thinking.


6 Responses to “Argumentative Stupidity”

  1. Reilly says:

    Sounds like the only insurgent was Brooks the stuper. I’m sure this was an isolated incident since Nordstrom is known for it’s excellent customer relations.

  2. Suzie says:

    Don’t be discouraged. I am sure Brooks is the only one of the stuper kind in Nordstrom’s. Maybe he is related to a member of the family. I’m sure there is a logical explanation for such an idiot working at Nordstrom’s because most of the time the employees are the best!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Just when I think you can’t get any funnier, Keli, you get funnier.

    This reminds me of when the Chanel cosmetics counter at Belk holds their “free facial” events featuring world-renowned makeup “artists” who can’t wait to wield trowels full of garish cosmetics, making every woman who has signed up for a “makeover” look like a brazen harlot. I “took the cure” when they started making you buy a $50 gift card from the store before they’d sign you up for the “free” makeover. No matter how hard I argued about how little sense that made, the girl behind the counter just stared at me, Zombie-like. I mean, I could spend my $50 anywhere in the store; right? Right. So HOW does it help Chanel for me to buy a $50 gift card that I can spend anywhere in Belk before they’ll sign me up for a FREE makeover?

    But that’s okay … I don’t need a makeover anyway …

  4. dawn says:

    I have a policy of picking and choosing my battles… In this case I agree… “ItÂ’s best to leave stupidity behind where you found it, and move on to better things.”

  5. Julianne says:

    I’m too impressed with your mad shopping skills to care about the stuper. You’re a genius!

  6. Keli says:

    Agreed. I went back the next day and made my purchase without incident and without having to see or hear Brooks.
    I don’t think he was a relative. Just a stuper that somehow slipped in the back door.
    That is so true about harlots and the makeovers. I’m with you–I can make myself over quite well without Chanel or anyone else’s help, thank you very much!
    Smart policy. The fewer battles the better!
    Thanks! It worked every time…until a few days ago. I’m not planning on abandoning my methods; I think Brooks was a lone stuper.

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