I suffer from this particularly annoying kind of karma where, whenever I try to be just a little bit bitchy, I end up being proved to be a horrible jerk who should feel really really really guilty about it and never show her face at Rite-Aid again. And I don’t mean “just a little bit bitchy” as in, like, “even when I’m just the littlest bit of a jerk,” like I’m downplaying it? I mean, I can be a horrible, wretched bastard of a human being and get away with it, that’s fine. But when I’m really only trying to be a LITTLE bit bitchy, like, you know, sort of shoulder-checking the too-loud teenage girls walking three-across on the sidewalk? THAT’S when I get my comeuppance (because she’ll invariably turn around and apologise profusely, but by this time I’ve already walked away with a “little bit bitchy” look on my face, so it’s too late to turn back around and be all, “Oh, no, it’s fine! My bad!” or whatever, and I’m just some bitchy old 30 year old who ruined their fun teenage day out).
Anyway. I hate people who argue over sale prices at Rite-Aid. (They always somehow are standing in line right in front of ME, how does that even happen?) They’re always old Russian women and you feel guilty for being so annoyed at them, but come on, it’s 40 cents for dish detergent, who CARES. And then when they leave I always saunter up to the cashier and smile pertly and try to be as super-fast as humanly possible to show everybody else how it’s done and breeze out being all extra-polite and tossing off sunshiny little toodle-ooos to everyone I pass.
But not today. Today I decided to be A Little Bit Bitchy.
So. I went to Rite-Aid because I had to drop off a Netflix, and the mailbox is right near Rite-Aid, and JUST dropping off a Netflix is not actually a good enough reason on its own to leave the house. (What?) While I was in Rite-Aid, I decided I needed some Mountain Dew. I crave Mountain Dew probably once per calendar year, and it turns out February 11 was my day this year.
(I ended up getting a 2-liter of it, too! The regular-sized bottle was $1.86, and the 2-liter was $1.66. I STILL might have bought the smaller-sized bottle, anyway, because I will feel too guilty to ever throw half a bottle of Mountain Dew away, so it’ll just sit, flat, in my refridgerator for just years and years, but then I remembered when that one guy who worked at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price for like half a season before Peggy fired him like a badass invented a new cocktail made with Mountain Dew and vodka [except then I think Peggy yelled at him and told him that a "cocktail" had to have at least three ingredients], and I mean, I have probably like two shots worth of vodka in my freezer right now; I’ll take that challenge.)
I also noticed that RedBull 4-packs were on sale for $5.99 instead of the usual $7.99, and that’s a darn good deal, so I grabbed one of those, too.
The store is empty, there’s nobody in line, the only cashier working is one that I recognize as someone who is constantly working a sort of disinterested, low-level, post-office-grade rudeness. She never says hi, never says thanks or please or excuse me, she’s always eating something while she’s standing there and sort of takes her time doing so and ignoring you while she’s doing it? So anyway. I put down my Mountain Dew and RedBull (yes, I am a group of 14 year old boys, why do you ask?). She takes another bite, slaps her hands clean, asks me if I have the Rite-Aid card, I say no (I do, but whenever I use it, they give me this ridiculous 3-foot-long receipt; it’s weird), she rings me up, I pay, I leave.
I walk outside the store doors. I notice that they charged me $7.99 for the RedBull.
There was no one in the store, no one in line in front of or behind me. This lady, through just her usual low-grade, laissez-faire jerkishness, had annoyed me, and put me in a slightly foul mood. Out of PURE SPITE, I decided to go back in and get my $2 back. I have almost literally never done this before. I would far rather be overcharged than argue about it. I’m so neurotic and easily-embarrassed and shy and awkward and easily-guilted that this kind of confrontation is pretty much my single least favorite type of human interaction: pointing out an error that someone in a service position has made. (I didn’t have a trash can in my office at my last job for like 4 months because the janitor just sort of took it away one day and I didn’t want to ask him to bring me another one.) (Actually, I ended up stealing one from somewhere else on my own at some point, but it was a different color than the regulation ones, so that’s when the janitor noticed, and he brought me one THEN, finally, and then like weeks later noticed that I had two of them – not one recycling and one garbage, just two garbage – and asked if he should take one away, and I had to cover it up and be all, “Oh, no, I like having two, I use it for…stuff…” and so from then on I had two cans and I had to pretend to actually use both so he would think that I really wanted them both and so I made up this elaborate fake-system of what I put in which can, just in case he was watching them closely to see whether it was true that I really NEEDED two cans, and if there was someone ELSE in my office, like, visiting, and they put the wrong kind of trash in the wrong can and messed up the system I would wait until they left and rearrange my trash; it was SO AWKWARD AND HORRIBLE, ALL THE TIME.)
So I turn around and go back to the lady. Again, I’m the only person in line – no one had been in front of me, no one was approaching from behind. She literally does not recognize me and acts all confused and offended that I don’t have a product in my hands to purchase. I give her my receipt and point out that the RedBull was marked as being on sale for $5.99. She scoffs and looks at me like I’m from Mars and says, “I asked you if you have a card.”
These words make absolutely literally no sense to me for about 6 seconds. Then I figure out that the sale prices are apparently only good if you have the card. I hadn’t known this, and the sign didn’t say it, but whatever, maybe this is a thing people know? So at this point, I can’t get my $2 back unless I admit to her that I had lied to her originally about having a card. But she had SCOFFED at me, sirs! I was madder than ever! So I say, with a Little Bit Bitchy snarl, “So if I have a card, I can get it for the sale price?” She says yes. I whip out my card and say, “Okay, can I do that, then?” She says, “Well, I’ll have to return everything.” And then stands there.
I hate the “and then stands there” move. This is the ultimate, nuclear-level weapon in every bitch’s arsenal. This is not a Little Bit Bitchy. This is full-on, pro-bitch shit. This is barely even still within the “bitchy” category – this is just a hair’s breadth away from full on “cunt” level stuff.
My only defense in the face of such skilled bitchery is manic, wild-eyed, cheerful politeness. “Awesome!” I say. “That would be super-nice of you, thanks!” And grin. And Then Stand There.
She sighs and rolls her eyes and tells me, “I need your card, and give me everything.”
This is an important plot point, so note it: “Give me everything.”
I hand her my Rite-Aid card, the RedBull, and the Mountain Dew. I am holding my credit card in my hand, under the assumption that she’ll be refunding my money straight to it, and might need it again. She does some stuff and calls the manager over to approve the return. (This is another side story, but for corroborating Bitch Evidence: She does not say “hi” to the manager or, in fact, anything else. The manager just walks over, they both stare only at the computer screen, the manager puts in her code or whatever and says, “Is that all?” and the she says, “Yeah,” and then the manager leaves. Nobody says thanks or anything! I had to bite my tongue to keep my Manic Crazy Eyed Polite Bitchiness in check so that I didn’t shout “Thanks!” to her myself! ARG!) She does the return, reimburses me in CASH, and then STANDS THERE AGAIN until I say, “And I’d like to buy it again?” So she sighs and rolls her eyes and rings up the RedBull, but not the Mountain Dew and NOT MY CARD until I point these things out to her. So she sighs and rolls her eyes and scans my card and the Mountain Dew. ( And I am not exaggerating here with the sighing and eye-rolling. WE WERE NOT FUCKING AROUND. We were in a duel to the death and we both knew exactly what was going on. No one was pretending here. We were nearly to the point of calling each other “fat sluts” right out loud.) But then suddenly it dawns on me: these amounts I’m getting reimbursed/re-charged don’t quite make sense.
“Did you refund me for the Mountain Dew, too?”
“Just the RedBull?”
“So I don’t need to re-buy the Mountain Dew then.”
“Not if you’ve already bought it.” [Stands there.]
(BUT! Remember when she said “Give me everything?!” That meant the Mountain Dew, too, right!? Like she had to return everything in order to re-do the sale!? “Everything” isn’t just one item, and a card! “Everything” is at least three items, RIGHT!?)
(AND! Remember when she was all offended that I didn’t have any products in my hands when I had approached her for the return! So SHE MUST HAVE KNOWN THAT I WAS NOT SPONTANEOUSLY BUYING A SECOND 2-LITER OF MOUNTAIN DEW HA HA HA I HAVE CAUGHT YOU IN YOUR NEFARIOUS WEB OF LIES, RIGHT!?)
So I had to RE-RETURN everything, and re-buy everything, and re-scan everything, and by this time, yes, of course, there WERE a whole bunch of people behind me (or it felt like it, anyway, I was too embarrassed to turn around and look), and I had ruined this lady’s day, and I had ruined my own day, and I was a terrible person, and everything’s the worst, and now I can’t ever go back to Rite-Aid again, ever. At least the CVS a block or so farther down has self-check-out machines. Ahhh, the luxury of avoiding all human interaction, forever. I can’t wait until I’m rich enough to never leave my apartment at all.
(Also, just another side-note? It is WEIRDLY HARD to get New Yorkers at stores to NOT give you plastic bags. Just saying, “No bag, thanks, I brought my own,” basically DOES NOT WORK. You have to FIGHT them to grab your stuff first and start shoving it in your bags while also paying at the same time, and usually even then they start packing ALSO, so you’re walking around with at last one plastic bag, anyway. And sometimes they literally just say no. This has happened to me seriously often enough that it’s not just a funny story; it’s a legit trend, and it’s weird. You will hold out your bag, say, “I don’t need a bag! I brought my own!” and they will chuckle at you and shake their head and say, “No, no.” I mean, I think I probably re-use my plastic bags more than most people: I use them to line every single trash can in my house, and I use them to clean my litter box. But even so, I have a massive and growing [possibly sentient and actively reproducing] pile of them underneath my kitchen sink. People love to double-bag here! People love to pack lightly! People will give you your loaf of bread all by itself in a separate double-bagged bag, so that it won’t get smushed by your other loaf of bread!)
Anyway. Where was I? So. It took a really long time to buy some stuff today. I got into a fight with a lady. I am drinking a Mountain Dew and vodka right now. It’s pretty good.