One of the things I really like about my parents is that—in spite of my having been a thoroughly obnoxious child, and probably none too winning in various stages of my adulthood, either, come to think of it—they seem to understand two very important things:
1) It is their God-given right to spoil their grandchildren,
2) That spoiling thing goes much better all around when they check in with me first.
This arrangement fills me with joy, because my children are happy, my parents are happy, I am happy (because the kids get things which I perhaps cannot afford on my own), and I never have to worry about opening the door to find a Shetland pony or a stripper on the porch.
(I kid. None of the grandparents would send a stripper until the target child was at least 16.)
Anyway, such as it is, when Christmas or a birthday rolls around, there will be some discussion of What Would Be Good and then, often, I will do the actual shopping because shopping is one of the three things I’m really good at (one is cutting hair and two is none of your business). Again, this works out perfectly in most cases.
Well, this year I do believe the grandparents are actually outdoing Santa. (I suspect Santa is a grandfather, himself, and does not mind.) After much discussion and research and consideration, it was decided that we would lump together Christmas and birthdays and get the kids their own…
… um, I feel like I should do this in code. Just in case.
The kids are getting their own omputerkay. Shhhhhh!
[And the heavens opened and the angels sang and I wept with gratitude into my keyboard at no longer having to share or worry about little fingers deleting my files.]
This is the part of my story where I hang my head in shame and confess that after an afternoon of comparison shopping in earnest, I ordered something from a big box retailer whom I loathe. But! Such a good price! And just this once! Yes! An omputerkay for an ypocritehay!
I was on the phone this morning when UPS rang my doorbell. At first I figured my delivery guy was doing his standard ring-and-run routine, but then I peeked through the window and saw TWO guys wrangling something very large, so I decided I’d better check it out.
When I opened the door, one delivery guy yelled to the other, “Hey! Someone’s home! Let’s get them inside!” And the next thing I knew, two gigantic boxes were sitting inside my mudroom. I thanked them and—noticing that they’d shipped in product rather than plain boxes—commented that I was glad I’d been there, because it would’ve ruined the surprise if the kids had come home and seen. The guys chuckled and headed back to their truck.
It was then that I noticed that the boxes were identical.
And that both boxes claimed to have all the pieces inside.
“WAIT!” I ran out to the porch. “Wait! I don’t think these are both mine.” The guys exchanged a look. What every delivery person wants during December is people who make their job take longer. But one of them checked the invoices and his clipboard.
“Yep, they’re both yours. Nice. Says here, two boxes.”
Horrible big box retailer. I had one receipt, I’d been charged correctly on my credit card. And they’d sent me a double shipment. They probably screwed it up at the warehouse and had no idea. I could probably just shut up and no one would ever know.
“No, I only ordered one.” I sighed. “Can you take the other one back?” Again, there was A Look exchanged. They probably thought I was insane. Or one of those shopping addicts. She ordered two and now has buyer’s remorse!
They took the second one back and put it on the truck. (Otto asked me, later, if they’d had me sign anything to show I’d refused shipment. They didn’t actually ask me to sign either for the delivery or the refusal. Do you suppose they sent it back or did rock, paper, scissors to decide which one of them got to take it home?)
After they left, I took my one box down into the basement for proper hiding. Then I steeled myself for the final step.
I called customer service to tell them what happened. This involved waiting on hold for nearly twenty minutes, and then trying to explain to a sweet young thing exactly what transpired, while she kept exclaiming, “Well bless your heart!”
I wanted to tell her to stop blessing my heart; the truth is that if it had been a less expensive item, and/or something smaller and more logical to have an extra of, I probably would’ve taken the delivery, waited to see if they figured it out, and perhaps just accepted it as a stroke of good fortune if they didn’t. This is to say that I am not a girl scout by nature (I can see you’re shocked), but this was such a big mistake, there was no question in my mind about what needed to be done. And I wanted to make sure they didn’t get the return shipment and credit me for the shipment which I’d accepted.
That could still happen, actually. I was not convinced that they’ll figure it out, but we’ll see.
Anyway. I found the whole thing sort of eye-opening. Rather than feeling virtuous (or even just matter-of-fact) for my actions, I spent a good chunk of the evening wondering where the line would’ve been, before I would’ve felt no compunction in just going, “Ooooh! Bonus!” That’s not a realization about myself that I was happy to have.
Maybe there’s a reason this happened. Lessons to be learned, and all of that.
But I reserve the right to laugh if they get all confused about the return. I’m only human, you know.