So the TV that I bought for Dennis's birthday came with no power cord which meant I had to return it. I hate returning things, it is such a pain. On top of this, the receipt that I had so carefully kept (thinking to myself that something like this would happen) somehow got thrown away.
I knew there might be some issues with not having a receipt but I wasn't expecting it to be as bad as it was. When I arrived at the counter, I explained my problem with the TV. "Do you have a receipt?" They asked me. I told her I did not. "We don't do exchanges without a receipt." I was told flatly.
Normally in these cases, I don't put up a fight, but I couldn't stand the thought of returning to Dennis without his birthday present. So I pleaded my cause, explaining again that without a power cord, the TV was unworkable. (We tried looking for other power cords but couldn't find any that fit with this particular brand.)
"I'll call the manager," the woman told me and then started a long 20 minute wait while other customers were helped and I just stood there. Not to mention Henry was waiting in the shopping cart as well, although he was being pretty patient.
I was starting to get very irritated with the waiting (the manager was called three or four times) as customer after customer was helped except for me. Once in a while, another associate would ask if I was helped and another associate would inform her, "She's waiting for the manager because she wants to exchange the TV without a receipt."
"But we don't do exchanges without a receipt on items over $60!" They would argue. And back and forth this would happen, making my cause look more and more helpless. That's when I began to pray.
I don't think I have ever prayed in a situation like that before but because of my happy outcome, I will be doing it more often. I prayed to Mary, begging her for help, for a miracle that they would let me exchange the TV. I begged her for patience as well, as we stood waiting forever, making my patience run out before I even argued my case. I considered just leaving with the TV with no power cord but for Dennis, I wanted to get him a TV that worked and that he could hang in his Man cave.
Finally, the manager came and again, my case was presented to him. At first, he didn't seem to have a problem with exchanging with no receipt, but oddly enough, some sales associates argued with him. I heard "buy another power cord" being thrown around but even though I had tried to explain all of this already, they weren't listening to me anymore, only to each other. I decided to get Dennis on the phone to see if he could help explain the problem, but when I held the phone out to the manager, I was surprised to hear him say rather coldly, "No."
"It's just my husband," I explained, "He said he will explain the TV problem to you."
"No." The manager said again rather coldly.
"No?" I repeated.
"No." He said again.
"You mean you won't talk to him?" I asked, unable to believe it. The manager just shook his head and refused to look at me in the eye.
At this point, I was starting to get angry. One of the customers, who was taking all this in whispered, "Speaker phone!" I smiled in spite of myself.
So to keep myself calm, I talked to Dennis instead, explaining the problem to him as the manager and associates continued to argue among themselves. Surprisingly, Dennis was getting angry about the whole thing and wasn't happy that they wouldn't talk to him. Between the two of us, he's usually the calm one. When I explained that they refused, he got even more angry. This wasn't helping.
"I can't help it," I told him as he was telling me to tell them this or that, "They won't help me."
And then amazingly, a new TV was put into the cart. "We are going to help you." One of the sales associates said. "The manager decided to override the policy."
I was thankful but not out of the woods yet, because while I was on the phone more sales associates had joined the chaos as well as another manager who was in charge of the other manager. (Not sure what the official title is.) Apparently, we needed approval from both managers to override the policy and I was asked many questions: how did I pay? What day was it on? What time? What check out counter?
I answered the best I could but anyone that knows me knows that I have the worst memory in the world. I can't even remember to tell the security guard what kind of outfits my kids are wearing on days they have gotten lost.
Then, just as I thought I was free and clear, another sales associate, who wanted to know what was going on came in the scene. When it was explained, she challenged the managers, arguing that the rules should not be broken for me. "We've already approved it!" they argued back. I couldn't believe it. Apparently a return over $60 is a bigger deal than I had thought! The woman looked upset and was standing there shaking her head angrily but everyone just ignored her and put the sticker on my new TV and wished me a good day.
I went up to the manager who had previously treated me coldly and realized that his reaction from before was out of nerves. (He was pretty young.) I thanked him for working with me, letting him know I appreciated all he had done. He looked surprised, and actually looked a little emotional, and I wondered if he had ever been thanked before. "I will be here for the next two weeks," he said. "If you have any issues with the TV, just let me know and I will handle it personally." (Made me wonder if he just decided to hand in his notice after all this hassle.) I thanked him again and left the store with my new TV, happy that Dennis would be able to keep his present.
I thought back to the event, realizing how much our Lady had helped me--not just to get the TV but also that I had stayed so calm. Normally, I get so angry that I can't even think words to explain my situation. And I realized that our Lady helped me with that part too.
Does God care about a TV? Yeah, probably not. But it was so important to me to give this to Dennis; it's not very often when I can buy something big like this for him. It is Dennis that pays the bills and sells his boat and makes the sacrifices that have to be made so that we can get by. This was my small sacrifice for him--something frivolous for his Man Cave. It was important to me and for this, I think it was important to God. He thinks just like we do, when we want to help our own kids.
I was glad to be able to give Dennis the TV. And glad that God made it possible.