Controversial Subject (But I Have to Vent)

18 Jun

Today, Nia and I went to a shoe store and had a really nice time picking out some flip-flops for her to wear to the pool. She picked out a pair that she called “Belle” (as in Beauty and the Beast) shoes.  They actually have a tiny little heel! After we found those gems for only 5 bucks (and a few others for her, Nate and myself), we got in line.  Here’s where the controversy begins.

I got in line behind a man who was trying to return some shoes.  As if returning merchandise isn’t enough of a pain, the man did not speak English and the two teenage girls behind the counter did not speak Spanish.  Also, this shoe store’s return policy is pretty strict (I think effed up) so that did not make matters any better.

Cashier – “Sir, you want to return these?”
The man replies with a nod and says a few words in Spanish.  I actually recognized the word “si” but couldn’t catch the others.

Cashier – “Do you have your receipt?”  (pointing to a piece of paper he has in his hand)
He hands it to her and then she asks him for his Georgia Driver’s License (again using a hand gesture trying to demonstrate ID card).
He gives a card from his wallet.
She looks blankly at it and then asks him if he has anything that shows his Georgia address on it.
He replies in Spanish.  She has no idea.
She asks him if he lives in Winder.  He nods.  She asks him where – he says nothing.
She then consults with the other teen behind the counter who shrugs her shoulders and tells her she should call the boss.

The line grew behind me.  The tension grew in the air. His wife and child sat in their truck right outside the window watching.

She tells her boss it’s an International Driver’s Permit and that it does not have a local address on it and that it also expired in January of this year. She hangs up and then has to try to explain to him that because he does not have a valid Georgia Driver’s License or current International Permit he cannot return the shoes because their return policy requires a valid ID.

After she shook her head a few times and said sorry, he storms off then squeals his tires as he angrily drives away.

Ok, so here’s my beef.  First, the store’s return policy is ridiculous!  (By the way this is a chain shoe store, not just a local one.) As printed on my receipt (in English only), the store wants the receipt, positive ID and phone number.  I know, I know, they’ll say it’s to protect you, the costumer, from someone else getting your money.  HOWEVER, they don’t ask for that much when you buy the freakin’ shoes so why do they need that much to get YOUR own money back.  Dude had his receipt and the shoes were still in the boxes – I mean come on!  It was his money!

My other issue – I thought it was just so wrong that those girls were the ones who felt like the bad guys because they didn’t speak Spanish.  I could tell they were frustrated and felt uneasy dealing with the situation all by themselves.  I had 3 years of Spanish classes in high school and I still don’t feel comfortable or knowledgeable speaking the language so I could only imagine what those girls felt like.

The last thing – dude drove away on his “EXPIRED” International Driver’s Permit!!!!

The whole thing just made me so disturbed on both sides.  Part of me felt bad for the guy because all he wanted to do was return some shoes but the other part of me was wondering why he didn’t have a valid ID and if he should even be behind the wheel!

I just know I’m going to make sure I meet the requirements before I even enter that store with a return.  If I don’t I’ll just have to give the shoes away or something.

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