March 16, 2002

Annoyance of the Day - I was perhaps a tad tired, but I just had the most dreadful experience with the new Target store at Springfield Mall. In the electronics department, under video games was a posted sign for Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3: Game Boy Advance version. We were purchasing the game for our son so that he would have something new to play in the car on long trips. The sign read something along the lines of "Free Snack Pack when you buy this game, a Medium Icee, Small Popcorn and Hot Dog. Offer good while supplies last, no rainchecks - 3/10-3/16. See Electronics Department for details."

So, I asked the Electronics employee who was selling me the game. The employee appeared to have no clue. Neither did the other two who were working in that department. Finally, he hazarded a guess and told me to just take the receipt to the Target snack bar, and they would be aware of the promotion and give me the snacks. I asked him if he was sure, and he said yes. Further prompting him to attempt to get him to rethink his answer brought no additional incentive to actually attempt to find what I was hoping he would.

I walked to the Snack Bar with the fore-knowledge that this wasn't going to work. But I figured, I needed to work within their system, and perhaps the snack bar people really were less clueless than the electronics folks. I waited in line at the snack bar, and when I got to the beginning of the line, I communicated my desire for the promotional snack pack, complete with my receipt from the purchase. The cashier walked over to the snack bar manager with my receipt in hand. The snack bar manager looked at me like I was the Purple People Eater, shaking her head vigorously no at me while surely telling the cashier that I was some kind of thief after free goods.

This just sent me over the top. Putting on my disgusted customer face and tone, I told her that in no uncertain terms that either they should get their act together, or that the folks in Electronics had better. I asked for a store manager and made it perfectly clear within a 2 mile radius that "I do not like being made to look stupid", ignoring the irony that I was most likely doing a better job than they were at that particular task.

The snack foods manager offered to walk with me to the electronics department, probably to take those fools head on if necessary, for attempting to pawn me over on her department, under the guise of "Show me, sir, where this offer is". After arriving in electronics and showing her the display sign, which she read quite clearly and carefully, she repeats the offer aloud to the electronics personnel.

The same guy that sold me the game, and sent me to her department in the first place says aloud, "It's only if you buy THAT game, sir." I quickly supress the urge to jump over their brand new cashier station and kill the #!#@#!#! idiot where he stands. "I bought that game.." "Oh you did?" -incredulous looks from both of us, his likely from the realization that I would actually do that, and mine from trying to realize just what in the hell our creator was smoking the day He created this loser.-

Food center manager speaks up - She tells Electronics that they should take the sign down, because "of the date" (I hate to repeat myself, but I'll save you the backward glance - today is 3/16 and the sign says the offer is from 3/10-3/16). They argue that it IS in fact 3/16 and that the offer includes today. Too late, her shields are at full power - she claims it means UNTIL 3/16 and walks off toward her department with me close behind. She tries to explain some nonsense to me about how the computers (she never ONCE consulted a computer during this ordeal) remove the offer on the last day, and that is why the problem exists. By now, the vindication of being right has cooled me down. We get back to the food center, and I accept the goodies with just the slightest smirky smile. All the while she is putting together a snack pack, she is on the walkie-talkie with some manager, to see if she should take (or at least copy) my receipt in return for the snacks. Of course, the receipt itself had no mention whatsoever of any such deal.

Just had to get that off my chest.

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