Friday, February 01, 2008

Maria dukes it out in Walgreens

I noticed her in the parking lot.

I had taken Liv to school and decided to stop at Walgreens on the way home to pick up a new ink jet refill. I am not a big Walgreens shopper because it is the kind of store (like Target) where you go in for one thing and come out with ten.

I sighed as I pulled into the parking lot, seeing that it was nearly full. This meant a long line at the check out counter since for some reason, even though there are TWO registers, there is never more than one check out clerk.

The handicapped section was filled to the the brim with fancy cars, New Yorkers, Cadillacs, even a Mercedes. I wondered briefly why there are never any junker cars with handicapped stickers. Probably because poor people can't afford to take the time off of work to obtain their stickers. Getting out of a pale cream colored Mercedes was a woman in a blindingly bright white fur coat. She was older, probably in her sixties, with the kind of makeup that is just so wrong on an elderly woman: eyebrows painted in, high and dark, Joan Crawford/Mommie Dearest style. Bright red lipstick that looked like a slash of blood over that white mink. Not that I am a big anti-fur person. I actually own a lovely fur coat that was left to me by my dear departed neighbor, Orna. I seldom wear it because it is a heavy thing, but it is undeniably the warmest coat I have.

I went inside the store and yes, wandered around for items that I suddenly remembered that I needed and might as well get. Liv has a cold and we were nearly out of children's Mucinex, so I had better pick some up while I was there. And, yes, nearly out of laundry detergent too...And, hey, there were some multiplication flash cards which Liv could sure use. White chocolate covered pretzels...okay, walk carefully away from them, hands in the air, DO NOT SUCCUMB to the temptation. Whew. Good job! That was very, very close.

When I got to the check out lane, there were about four people in front of me, including Mommie Dearest in the fur coat. She had hydrogen peroxide, a jar of cold cream, malto meal and two huge bags of popcorn. What? Gonna go home, dye the hair, slap on some cold cream and eat a bowl of malto meal and some popcorn while watching Johnny Guitar?

When it was Mommie's turn, she became angry when the check out clerk didn't give her a dollar off on the popcorn. The clerk tried to explain that she had the wrong brand, but she ended up leaving in a huff, saying that she had "never, ever been so badly treated" in her life.

Good lord, THAT was the worst she had been treated? Having a check out clerk tell her that she had the wrong coupon? Must be nice....

Good riddance to expensive rubbish.

It was finally my turn and I dropped all of my stuff on the counter. Before the clerk could ring it up, Mommie came flouncing back into the store and cut in front of me to complain some more.

Mommie: I've decided NOT to sit down for this! I want my dollar off. I will have you know, young lady, that I have stock in Walgreens and if you insist on "jewing" me, I want to talk to upper management!!

The clerk looked bewildered. I mean, MOMMIE had the wrong popcorn! Why couldn't she seem to understand that? But, the clerk politely offered to find someone to assist her and left her station to go in the back to get the manager.

Mommie smiled at me triumphantly, as if we were co-conspirators and bosom pals.

Mommie: A dollar is a dollar!

This was too much. I mean, I was already running late and now this moronic bat was going to make me more late. I decided to just tell her what I thought.

Maria: And good manners are good manners, ma'am.

Mommie: (eyebrows raised) Pardon me?

Maria: I SAID GOOD MANNERS ARE GOOD MANNERS. This means that just because you have stock in the company and wear a fur coat, does not mean that you can cut in front of people. GET IN THE BACK OF THE LINE and wait your turn. It shows VERY BAD MANNERS to cut in front of people. And by the way, you bought ORVILLE REDENBACHER popcorn and the coupon you had was for PALACE POPCORN. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG. Get a clue. And furthermore, it is vulgar to use the term "jewing."

Before she could answer, the manager came out all smiles and good customer service face on. He gently took her arm and led her to the other register, saying that he would "help her with this difficulty."

I paid for my items and started back to my car, looking over at Mommie who was talking so earnestly to the manager, who looked like he was just going to give her the fucking dollar and call it a day.

"Miss? Um. MISS?"

I turned around to see a smiling man in a business suit coming towards me.

"I was right behind you and have moxie!"

I smiled. Told him thanks. We talked briefly about how neither one of us could be a successful manager at Walgreens since we would both have told Mommie to take a walk.

As we talked, Mommie flounced out of the store and smirking, shook her dollar at me as she got to her car. I looked back at business suit guy.

"I wonder why she has a handicapped sticker," I mused. "I mean, she hardly looks handicapped...."

Business suit smiled at me. Shook my hand again and left to get into his car.

I sighed and got into my car, shivering in the cold.

I put it in reverse and started to back out.

And realized that, of course, I had forgotten what I came to Walgreens for in the first place: ink jet refill.

It was going to be one of those kinds of days.....


CDJ said...

Good for you!

Some people seem to think that it's OK to treat people in the service industry like crap and it drives me nuts. I had a friend who treated anyone in retail or restaurants like they were her personal whipping boys/girls and I stopped shopping and dining out with her because it was so embarrassing.

Angelissima said...


She should be bitch-slapped, ransacked and left for dead for having the nerve to utter such a PULIC at a WALGREENS!
helllooooo....wrong on so many levels.

Why do you live in Nebraska again?

mcCutcheon said...

you rock! mommie dearest deserved to at least hear that from you. telling people like probably won't change them, but they've at least been told then. And I guess you felt better than if you'd just shut up about the whole thing and been pissed long afterwards. in the long run, the more people do that the better :)

Patois said...

Yes, it's moxie that you have. I believe that I would have called her on the "jewing" remark. I don't know if I would have been as articulate as you, though. Bravo, you moxie foxie girl.

Patois said...

Yes, it's moxie that you have. I believe that I would have called her on the "jewing" remark. I don't know if I would have been as articulate as you, though. Bravo, you moxie foxie girl.

Trop said...

Well done Maria. The entitlement attitude I see in so many people really annoys me.

Shazza said...

Business suit is right...You DO have moxie!

I have had similar situations played out in front of me and I've wanted to do just exactly what you have done.

You are my hero for the day!

Val said...

Good for you, but I SO would be writing a letter to Walgreens management about how they reward rude and offensive behavior...
I cannot believe that people still use that term, when everyone KNOWS that there are so many other cheap ethnic groups to pick on ... JEESH! ;-P
Did you get your toner?

eleKtrofly said...

wow-- this was a great post.

i'm glad you told her she was 'vulgar'-- i use that word a lot actually.

Shazza said...

You know Maria, after reading this post again this sounds like something right out of Designing Women! Julia Sugarbaker would be proud!

Rebecca said...

Hee, go you! Silly old bat!

Oh, and I used to work in Asda, which is owned by Walmart, and a customer once made me cry with the way he spoke to me. Told me I'd knackered the chip in his credit card. People should get a clue and try and work retail for a while

sari said...


I would've been happy to shake your hand, you said everything I would have wanted to.

sari said...


I would've been happy to shake your hand, you said everything I would have wanted to.

Lulu said...

Sometimes people just suck.

I love the word moxie! You definitely have moxie.

Melissaria said...

You know, I always learn something when I visit here, even if it does involve a trip to Google first!

Moxie - great word. At first I didn't understand why he called you a fizzy drink, but now I get it...

Bloody well said too, the ignorant old moo!

zirelda said...

You So ROCK!

Hahn at Home said...

And, I'm just wishing that woman got home and choked on her damn popcorn.

sister AE said...

Thank you, Maria. I think your trip was worthwhile, somehow, even without the ink jet refill.

Lulubelle B said...

Where to begin???

Maybe Mommie’s handicap is her toxic personality?

It’s been a while since I’ve heard about “Jewing ‘em down”. It fell from the mouth of what I thought was the classiest, kindest member of our monthly cards group. The conversation just stopped. I held her gaze until she looked away and someone changed the subject. She did try to apologize, saying that until that moment she just thought it was a figure of speech and hadn’t considered what it really meant.

BTW - I’ve got a handicapped parking permit and a temporary disability that isn’t obvious to the casual observer. Some days I’m ok, other days not so much. On the days that I need it, I’m grateful for each step the permit saves me. Believe me, I’m looking forward to the day when I can schlep through the parking lot with all y’all.

eastcoastdweller said...

Do be careful, Maria. I saw a newsclip a while ago about some guy who fussed at a cretin for cutting in front of him in line in a pizza place. Ten seconds later, the cretin's boyfriend enters the scene. (This is all caught on the security camera.)

The boyfriend is some 400 pound monster fresh out of the state pen and apparently not too concerned about staying out.

He proceeds to beat the crap out of the guy while everyone else just stands around and watches.

We do have to stand up to rudeness lest it completely conquer the world. Just have to be careful, though.

dive said...

Yaay! Go Maria!
You have moxie indeed.

greymatters said...

What is it about Walgreens that makes for moments like that? Good lord, it seems every time I go there (often enough, for there is one but one short walking block from where I love), you get this bizarre slice of life/human behavior.

Good for you, Maria, on not countenancing (?) that ...

I was laughing, though, for I imagined MV overhearing that conversation, and what she'd have done hearing the word, "jewing".

What's your saying? Boy HOWDY.?

Nickol said...

You go girl! I wouldn't have been so classy. Women like her think the rules don't apply to them.

Gina said...

Funny stuff, Maria. Some people are so rude. The nerve, acting like she owned the place. Stock in Walgreens. Please. If I had PMS I would have done the same thing, however normally I tend to humor people. " Here's a dollar, thanks for the show."

That was like a scene out of "Where the Heart is".

You are a natural.

Mme Benaut said...

I would have flipped her a dollar and said "catch", just to get rid of her.
You are brave Maria, I'll say that but I can understand being incensed at the "jewing down" phrase.
Given that every purchase you make at Walgreens lines her pocket, I'd be shopping at Target in future.

Rebecca said...

That was awesome! She totally had it coming. And I can't believe she said "jewing" GAWD!! Some kid at school said that last Monday night. I was stunned, and chewed her a new one....This is at the science fair of a CATHOLIC SCHOOL!!! I told her it was a: inaccurate, as I am married to a Greek and related to Scots, and they are way ummmm, more frugla, yeah, that's it, with money; second: vulgar; third: entirely inappropriate and offensive, and fourth: in using such a slur, she had no idea of the audience she could have been overheard by. She thought she was safe using in a bastion of Christian education...argh...

SassyFemme said...

Obviously the bitch must have been mentally handicapped. I despise people who say "jewing", they have no freakin' clue all that comes with that term.

the only daughter said...

Cheers x 3 for moxie!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You deserve a standing ovation! I am heartily sick of people who think that their bankrolls entitle them to ignore all the rules of decent behavior.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Wow! I'm impressed! Good on you!