Fossil Dad: There is no Excuse for Rudeness

There are angels and demons. It starts at my local drug store.
Taso Lagos is program director for Hellenic studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Photo credit: Patrick Luhrs.

By Mill Creek resident Taso Lagos who is a middle-aged new parent, a fossil dad.

There are angels and demons. My story starts at my local drug store.

My dermatologist recommended I get some anti-fungal foot spray. So I trotted to the store to get the house brand.

When I brought it home, my wife asked me to read the instructions, which I did not bother to do at the store.

My dermatologist suggested a spray for the shoe, not the one that I got which was sprayed directly on the foot. I had to take it back. However, I lost the receipt.  

Not wanting the spray can to sit on the kitchen island for the next few centuries, I decided to take my chances to return it anyway.

I stopped at the counter, where a clerk was training a new employee. I apologized that I did not have the receipt but I asked to return the foot spray.

The clerk grumbled about me not having the receipt. I explained we searched the house for it but could not find it.

After some back and forth, she decided to accept it. Since I had come to get some cold medicine for our daughter, she said I could just do an even exchange.

So I got the cold medicine and returned to the register. The clerk had rung up the refund which was much less than what I paid for it.

When I asked her about this, she said I was lucky to even get a refund, since I did not have my receipt.

The item I returned was on sale that day, so she gave me the sale price as a refund, not what I originally paid for it.

I searched my iPhone for the original charge, which I found and showed to her.

She wasn’t interested and grumbled about me not having the original receipt saying, “Okay, I’ll refund your original amount but do you know how many people try to rip us off?!”

I can only imagine, but I assured her I am not one of them. I thanked her for giving me the refund without the receipt but suggested to her she did not need to be rude about it.

Meanwhile, other staff members circled around the check-out counter, wanting to check out the show.  

I got a sarcastic face back from the clerk, so I asked to speak to a supervisor.

The clerk explained to the supervisor that I was not happy that she had given me a refund despite the fact that I did not have a receipt.

I interrupted her to say that I was thankful for the refund but I did not appreciate her rudeness.  

When I got home from that wonderful evening at the drugstore, I saw I’d been charged the difference between what I paid for the spray and the sale price, reducing my refund.  

I called my credit card company to have the extra charge removed.

There are angels and there are demons.  

It’s easy to say the clerk is a demon, but she could be an angel.

I got so upset that I wrote this column. I haven’t contributed a column in many months.

Dealing with the public is hard. I know. My family operated a restaurant for 40 years. 

There are con-artists. We’ve already had a few come to our house to make repairs. But painting everyone as a rip-off artist doesn’t make the world a better place. 

Maybe the clerk had a bad day. Maybe her partner took the family jewels and fled to Tukwila. Maybe her dog left her out of its will. Maybe, oh maybe she wasn’t chosen to be part of Pete Carroll’s Seahawks coaching staff. 

But there is no excuse for rudeness.


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