Think Hard Before Accusing

We are all consumers of some kind, each of us different in our own way. Some of us are polite while others are always whining and demanding. Yet, as respectful human consumers, we should all take a hard look at our “shopping manners”, because our demands and complaints may come back to bite us. The following story, recounted by my uncle, who works in a children’s boutique, proves that:

Mrs. Ross* walked into the boutique on a bright Wednesday morning with an annoyed look on her face. Several days ago, she had purchased sweaters for her daughters. This morning, when she wanted her children to wear them, she noticed a tear on one of the sweaters. Her eyes shot sparks of anger and blame.

“I paid lots of money for that top quality you always pride yourself on, but instead I got damaged goods. When I walk into this boutique I expect perfection. I won’t take this lightly. I want my money back immediately.” On and on she whined, not even allowing my uncle to interject. My uncle knew that each and every article of clothing in the shop goes through inspection before being hung up. This woman was adamant that her complaints were perfectly valid. She didn’t want to budge until she was given a refund. My uncle realized instantly that he was dealing with a non-negotiable human being. He handed her a refund and kindly escorted her to the door. He was sure it was the last he’d see of her. Boy, was he wrong!

Several days later, Mrs. Ross walked into the store again. My uncle braced himself for another attack, but Mrs. Ross looked completely different than last time. Her shoulders were slouched and she kept twiddling her fingers. Instead of holding her head high as she did several days ago, her head was now low. In a barely audible tone, she whispered, “I’m so sorry. My 4-year-old son just disclosed that he was the one who tore that sweater. I’m very sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.” She was so embarrassed she couldn’t look my uncle in the face. In her hand she held a few bills. It was the refund she had stubbornly insisted she deserved. Only now did she realize that she had foolishly jumped to conclusions too hastily!

(*name has been changed)

Name Withheld