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Verucca Salt Wants An Apple

Local phone store announces it’s carrying BigFruit toys, in Snazzy and Bigboy. They don’t have any in yet, but I order a Big Bigboy in color A and buy it outright. Head office tells me there are four in their area, two here, when I check up on it. It takes two months…. finally comes in. I bought accessories, and show up to be united with my new toy. Rep greets me by name, I sit, she takes out the little shopping bag and takes out the toy and we get started…

A minute or so after I’ve sat down, a little girl plops down in the other chair. Her mother is following her looking tired. (D and M). D looks like she might be school age. D goes, “I want the (Color C) ‘Big’ BigBoy.” D sees the case in package…. “‘Ooh yeah, that color!”, and grabs it. Meanwhile the rep has opened the box and D goes, “I want this and NOT THAT COLOR!!!!”, and the rep pauses. I reach for what D is holding and pull it out of her grip gently saying, “Excuse me but I was here first and that is MINE.” Rep now tells D,  “I was already helping this woman, if you would wait for a little bit, I’ll get to you next.”   “But I want the (color C) ‘Big’ Bigboy!!!!!!” D starts out and points at the case I hold. “And that.” M is giving me a look.

The rep puts toy back in the bag with the case and puts it on floor behind her desk and says, “I’m sorry but we don’t have any in Color C. I can put in your order for one.”  D has a shocked WHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???!!??!?! “I want that one then.” And D stands up to look over desk edge to see where that one went.  Rep repeats, “We don’t have ANY in stock in A, B or C color. We can order you a ‘Big’.” “But you have one RIGHT THERE!” and D points over the desk. “This woman ordered one two months ago, it’s hers”, the rep tells her. D stands up, glares at me and starts around the desk for the shopping bag. The rep deftly puts it into a corner with her foot and blocks access with herself and chair. “I want the ‘Big’ Bigboy and I want that (case) and you have them right there!”, D comments.

M just looks tired, “Sweetie, this woman was first, we have to wait our turn…” “But it’s right there!” D looks between M and rep. The rep looks at M, “We do not have any in stock, we’ve had problems getting them, we do have a few of the ‘Small’ Bigboy and one ‘Large’ Bigboy in Color A but no ‘Big’ Bigboy”, she tells M.   “But There’s One Right There, I Want That One!”, D repeats. M glares at me a little but asks, “Would you wait and let us buy this one?” I shake my head no, “Sorry, I PAID for that one as I need it for work and I PAID for the accessories and we were in the middle of setting it up.”  M digs out checkbook. “How much?”, M asks. I tell her “$1200.”  M bugs eyes and then narrows them. I continue, “I bought mine, I bought the accessories, the tax, and the apps. THEN I do still have to pay for the contract. So it’d be about $1200…”

D starts wailing and having a fit, she starts a good one, “I want it NOW! It’s here NOW! I want THAT ONE!” Rep meanwhile has snuck it out and is adding the case to it, then working on setup. “They’re Only $158!”, M says to me. I talk to M so rep can work.   “The ‘Small’ Bigboy WITH 2-year contract IS $158. I *BOUGHT* mine, and that starts about $950, plus tax, plus the other stuff I bought. So okay, take the apps off and it’s still about $1100, AND paying for service.”  M is just plain tired of this all. D is still milking it though. M writes out a check for $158 and holds it up, trying to offer it to either me or the rep. “Here, they’re $158, I want that one.”

One of the other reps has finished what they were doing, comes over and convinces M to come with her to the displays, D thinks there’s something in this for her so she turns off the tears and volume, and zips over. Rep starts showing the floor model of the ‘Snazzy’-just put it out… D starts tossing another fit because she wants the ‘Big’ Bigboy NOT the ‘Snazzy’. The rep is trying to explain to M what the difference is, D doesn’t need that much toy, the small is $158, the large is $258, the big is $358, the ‘Snazzy’ is $58. So are a few others comparable to the ‘Snazzy’. Yes, that’s what the ad DOES say. D is bound and determined, she is getting ‘Big’ and she’s getting it now! And if anything manages to be even louder.

My rep, bless her, is a veteran of setup and has whipped through in the meantime. I have the winter coat on with the cargo pockets of doom* (a few have inner pockets and there are a few linings that are dubious so you can stick something into a nether region and unless you know how to get in there you’re not going to) and I make everything disappear and button and zipper all the layers. Then get up and head to the door.  D intercepts me and starts after my pockets to find the toy.  “I want *My* Toy!”, and I remove her hands from my pockets and hand her over to M who is indignant I touched D, and M says to me, “I *told* you I’ll pay you the $158…”   I turned and went for the bathrooms in back, there’s a hall and door, and I close that door then do about three huge steps and slide their backdoor to the parking lot open, and get around the corner.

Aftermath… D managed to break the ‘Little’ Snazzy on display, M got charged for it, they did sell her ‘insurance’ and M cashed that in to get another ‘Little’ Snazzy, and D was still screaming when M drug her out of there literally by one arm. No D didn’t get a ‘Big’ Bigboy… but the Snazzy WAS in color C.

Two days later I met M and D in grocery store while wearing the same winter coat, and D starts grabbing for my pockets to find my phone.  “My toy, gimme my toy!”,  she starts screaming. I’m standing there holding my pockets shut and good thing I have gloves on else D’s fingernails would have gouged me up. Local member of law happens to be there, and knows me and D & M… M is letting me fend off D… as I explain to the officer (L) that I didn’t take anything from D, the other day in the phone store she wanted the toy I bought; and that’s what she’s trying to do, take mine out of my pocket. He manages to get D to stop attacking my pockets and she tells him shrilly about I have HER TOY and because I have HER TOY she got this junky toy… and she takes out the new Snazzy and throws it on the floor hard. L prevents her from jumping on it, the case protected it…. now M finally steps in and I leave M to sort it out with L.

Then, last week, two weeks since the first bit. I go to holiday dinner with group; and there is G, waving the other Big Bigboy around here. In color C. Oh yeah look at his nifty new TOY, isn’t he SO important? I smile and say hi and take mine out. “Isn’t this a great TOY?”, G asks me. I agree, I show him mine, “I was wondering who had the other one.”   Oh. Spotlight on G dims. I ask, “What are you using yours for? I needed a field datalogger and take pictures and use a spreadsheet; it is really earning it’s keep.”  Um…spotlight dims more. I dig out a few pictures, “I have this attachment for tele and micro and it does great pictures…” So he digs out some of HIS photos and there is D in all her glory. I recognize her and smile. G smiles, yep, D is his granddaughter. That explains it. Grandpa got one and she wants one just like his. “Oh, were you the one last week… ”  “Yes. I was. I didn’t appreciate D grabbing in my pockets.” Oh. But G points out, “You could have let D have that one…” “No, I needed mine for WORK…” the look I added communicated, “You’re her grandfather, YOU spoil her, give her yours as she wants it so bad.”  (No, I didn’t say it). Beginning to think going back to stamps and a pencil is worth it!

Seeing M & D in the store, today, D has a lip that she can trip on and M isn’t giving me the time of day. At least my pockets are safe now, I hope. 1228-14


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • hakayama January 4, 2015, 9:12 pm

    Dear OP, NostalgicGal,
    I really enjoyed your story, told in a light manner, with definite undertones of parody and good humor. You made a very clear point of bringing up the nuances of failure on the part of parent and grandparent.
    As someone who doesn’t give a flying squirrell’s tail about the latest in “communication” technology, I was greatly amused by your description of the do-hickey in all its glorious colors…
    It is a pity that so many in the “mixed group” of readers failed to find the main point of your narrative, and got hung up on the details concerning the gadget, as if it had made any significant difference in the general context.
    What I also found quite pitiful is that so many commenters have obviously been leading sheltered lives, lives probably sheltered from “infotidbits” not directly germane to their existence. They have not heard the term “toy” used for a piece of equipment necessary to carry out serious work. In the case of the best carpenter in town (really hamlet, but I’m using the colloquial expression), it’s a recently acquired great planer. They are just too literal in their interpretation of the written word, and would not let their imagination take flight.
    And that imagination, as well as information, is lacking in not grasping the reality of US demographics. Some come across as condescending and disdainful towards inhabitants of smallish population centers. If it’s not a megalopolis, it’s unacceptable, unlivable, un-whatever.
    I hope that the guilty ones do some catching up on distribution of people across this country, when and why smaller towns and villages emptied out, how they’re being slowly refilled by refugees from the supercities. Maybe they’ll find out that the country is not made up just of urban behemoths with deserts and swamps in between them…
    I’d spent most of my adult life in an “outer boro” of NYC. Retirement allowed me to literally “run for the hills”, where libraries, post offices, municipal, state and federal offices, hospitals and other medical facilities have parking lots for their clients/petitioners. And so do the relatively few telephone stores. 😉 Not that I care. Sorry, NostalgicGal: I could not recognize your newest toy even under torture. I actually avert my eyes from hi-tech stuff of that nature.

    • Shannan January 5, 2015, 9:26 am

      The “mixed group of readers” was merely trying to tell the OP that coming up with those new terms for the gadget in question made it more difficult to concentrate on the more important elements of the story.

    • Goldie January 5, 2015, 10:01 am

      I admit, I didn’t want to comment on the small-town part of OP’s letter; but yes, it is all too familiar. I grew up in a small-ish town (population 80K), lived and worked in a small research center for seven years in my 20s (20K), and my last ex and my current SO both have lived in small towns most of their lives (20K and 10K). In my last two-year relationship, I spent most of my free time in his small college town (the 20K one). So yes, I have no problem visualizing a place where everyone knows everyone else, everybody runs into each other wherever they go, and any kind of gossip reaches everyone in town within 24 hours. There are good and bad sides to living in a small town. I liked the fresh air and being able to walk everywhere, but was really uncomfortable with being in the public eye so much, as well as with knowing everybody’s personal business – I really did not want to know some of the things that I knew about my neighbors. It’s definitely not for everyone. I wouldn’t last a day as a small-town resident. I’d just do or say something that people will deem weird, unconventional, or out of line, it’d become public knowledge by the end of the day, and that would be the end of me. It’s not that a small town isn’t good enough for me, it’s that I am not good enough for a small town. (And I’d probably never be able to find a job in one.) Hope this comment doesn’t come across as condescending. It is really and truly not for everyone. I admit I haven’t yet seen any condescending comments on this thread. I came on here after the weekend and yours was the first comment I saw. If there were any, hopefully none of them were mine.

      • hakayama January 5, 2015, 10:04 pm

        @Goldie: to me, a paragraph about 10 postings upstream, that begins with “I can’t imagine living in a place where there’s only one store…” and ends with “It must be a very small and gossipy town”, with more “puzzled” middle comes across as contemptuous.
        As if humongous cities were filled with nothing but upstanding, virtuous, righteous people. Ah, yes! Those people also know how to do everything right too… right down to not ever having spoiled brat children.
        For some reason, some folks just cannot conceive that even the outright “country” has similar human components: the good, bad, indifferent, hard workers and slugs, well educated and not… Just the labels are different for the “trailer trash” and vs. “housing projects trash”; “red necks” and whatever the term may be for the inner city equivalent.
        The OP was being told what she could do with what equipment, as if she were a completely
        incompetent dolt. No wiggle room allowed for HER judgement… All that by someone that missed the whole point of the narrative.

        • Goldie January 6, 2015, 9:20 am

          Yeah, I found it. And yes the exaggerated horror at the idea of living in a town where there’s only one phone store is, um, cute. Small towns do tend to be gossipy though, in my experience. Not because people living in the big cities or suburbs don’t like to gossip – most of them do – they just don’t have a chance to do that because they don’t know any of their neighbors.

          One of the women I met in the college town of 20K people told me an interesting story about it. She moved to Town from a big city after marrying a man from Town. She couldn’t find work in Town or anywhere in the area (Town is located kind of in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by 30 miles of farms on all sides), and met and befriended other women from Town who were in the same situation. First thing they told her was, Whatever you do here, NEVER gossip about anybody in this town – because whatever you say will get to the person that you’ve gossiped about before the day is over. She was horrified, even though she hadn’t planned on spreading any gossip. Like I said, it’s not that the folks in big cities and suburbs wouldn’t do the same if they could, they just don’t have that luxury.

          Yeah I did find it weird that “you can jailbreak your phone from anywhere” is somehow an answer to “our cell provider has a policy of no outside phones”. And yes, big cities, where wealthy families with young kids and overachieving helicopter parents prefer to settle, probably have a higher percentage of spoiled brat children than any other place in the country… people just don’t run into the same bratty kid every day in big cities, so they might not notice.

    • Anonymouse January 7, 2015, 1:24 pm

      Honestly hakayama, I found this comment more condescending and rude than anything said above.
      I think the worst I saw was someone commenting that “there’s only one cell phone store? I don’t think I could handle that!” This is not looking down on the small town for only having one store (the small town I work in doesn’t have any), it’s just commenting on the different lifestyles. As to the other comments referring to the town as “gossipy,”well, small towns DO tend towards gossip more than you’d find in the city. Everyone just knows each other better, and gossip is one topic of conversation that will never be exhausted. Is this a bad thing? Sometimes.

      No one suggested that rural areas are only populated by “country bumpkins” or “hicks” that just don’t know how good the city people have got it. Calm down, ok?

      Also, the ONE I saw person who commented on the use of “toy” in this context even said it was likely a regional thing. It has nothing to do with being sheltered or lacking imagination.

      • hakayama January 8, 2015, 8:59 pm

        “Don’t cry for her, Anonymouse…” You may have skipped the other posting by the same “victim” of my (NOT) upset. The tone continues and I was just trying to be descriptive.
        And, yes. If one can make a living in a less densely populated area, I very strongly feel that that’s the way to go. In what now seems like centuries ago, I recall reading some sociological “whatchamacallit” on the optimal size of urban centers. And for the poor inhabitants, a Humongous Cosmopolis does not quite cut it. Neither does something like my hamlet, in spite of a great EMS post and a helipad… 😉

  • hakayama January 4, 2015, 9:25 pm

    OP, just a P.S.: Did you ever come across the term “citidiot”? It applies to those who haven’t got a clue, like a Manhattan “grande dame” being shown some country property. When she spotted a frog on the grounds, she questioned its identity and said that it was not something she would tolerate.
    I guess that by comparison, “country bumpkin” is not that bad, eh?
    Also, some of those contemptuous of smaller towns, might not have noticed that the huge conglomerations are often made up of “neighborhoods”, if you will, where if one has the eyes open (vs. glued to the phone), one’s apt to notice the same people in stores, restaurants, theaters…

    • Syn January 10, 2015, 8:03 am

      I think a hill-billy or a hick is a comparable term to citidiot?

  • Lee January 5, 2015, 1:51 pm

    I’m so glad there were people who could give me a tl;dr version of this story, as the OPs version was absolutely impossible to decipher with all the ridiculous euphemisms and letters instead of just saying colors or names or objects. Why people insist on using letters rather than terms or fake cutesy names for objects instead of saying outright what it is, I’ll never know. This is also prevalent on sites like notalwaysright and it leaves stories looking fake and confusing when it could just be summed up with “child doesn’t get taught boundaries and thinks they can take stuff from other people because they’re spoiled”.

    • hakayama January 5, 2015, 10:18 pm

      @Lee: I can just see “CRIB NOTES * by Lee”. I took the liberty of ghosting a sampling, but I’ll let you attach the titles.;-)

      1) Boy lives in foster care (ancient times version). Grows up and comes to bio family as an invader. Kills father (not knowing who he is), and marries mother. Had a thing for older chicks, or maybe it was a political move. Holy mess ensues when truth is found out.
      2) Barely pubescent Italian kids have the hots for each other, but their families are like oil and water. There is a mix up in communications, so they both wind up dead.
      3) A crazy old man in Spain goes around wandering through the country. He believes his mission is to set things to rights for the benefit of people that are wronged. He really gets kicked around a lot.

      * Yes, my school days are THAT far in the past. 😉

      • TheCatLady January 8, 2015, 6:21 pm

        1. Oedipus
        2. Romeo and Juliet
        3. Don Quixote

        Reading is never too old 🙂

  • Lisa Marie January 7, 2015, 9:59 pm

    I believe most folks missed the point of this narrative which was about a spoiled rotten little girl and how you would handle a situation with her. Personally, when she started in on my conversation with the sales rep, grabbing for my new phone and yelling “I want”, I would have stood up and said to the mother in a rather loud voice, “Madam? Could you please control your child?” I would not argue about my right to the phone and if I would sell it to her. If she persisted, I would have turned to the store rep and asked to continue our transaction in a more private area.

  • TheCatLady January 8, 2015, 6:23 pm

    This story is almost unbelievable…

  • NostalgicGal January 26, 2015, 5:23 pm

    Verucca won.

    Friday my DH decided he wanted to go from disposaphone to the same phone I have. I called the store near closing and they said they had a second shipment coming in and would hold me one. I also had a first from them, a time reservation, on Monday morning. We went, and G and D were just leaving as we arrived, and D was waving a Color C (Gold, okay) 6 plus 128. Grandpa had apparently just bought it for her. D was tickled pink, G nodded at me politely and I returned it, and DH and I went to our appointment to get his phone.

    ( I added him to my cell plan at a reasonable amount and bought a higher data-share plan level, and my DH is busy now stuffing it full of audiobooks and music, and other stuff to entertain himself. I have to teach him later how to use the camera attachments I purchased)

    As for the rep, it was the same one I had before, and she was her usual cheery helpful efficient self, solid gold as always. I asked and the reps had decided to start delegating some of the work about (agreeing by the day who was to do what-one mostly answer incoming phone and walkin pay-bill stuff, another to wander the floor and do backup and a third to do setups) and setting appointments if they could for getting some things like phone setups done. The polite spine way of enforcing no more being walked over on someone being helped…! (I applaud them)

  • Lady Phoenix March 28, 2016, 4:36 pm

    I read this one year later with an “apple” or my own (a 6), and all I gotta say is that the manager was not good at all. She was terrible.

    She lets the brat harass the OP and doesn’t call the police? She doesn’t kick them out? Sorry OP, but this manager was terrible. Oh, and she doesn’t kick the girl out for breaking property? I understand mistakes, but the Brat was already volatile. The manager is yet another enabler, and I see no bright future for the kid.

    • NostalgicGal August 13, 2016, 3:48 pm

      Caught your addition. I’m the OP. There is no ‘manager’ at that store, just three reps that share the duties (taking payments, doing minor troubleshooting, selling phones and accessories, and setting up accounts and phones). Main office is in another county. There are a few techs that work out of the office too, that go work on physical things (phone cable lines, etc). The manager is in the next county.

      The rep that helped me had been taking care of my needs for several years, I would wait for her to be available to help me usually for things like phone setup, and the reps didn’t mind if someone waited to speak to a certain person. She did her best in the situation and I tried too.

      It has been a few years and she’s still the center of her grandfather’s world and her mother is still trying to make things go without an issue for her daughter. Mom and sometimes daughter and I cross paths on occasion and we do the polite head nod and continue onwards. Rumors are that there’s another grandkid on the way finally, a boy, and her little world is going to change soon and it ought to be interesting. (and not that she’s getting a brother)