Monday, November 22, 2004

30-Day Return

Okay, okay. I've been gone a few days. And haven't checked my email all weekend. I've been with the flu, and was laid up for a few days.

But Friday afternoon--before I got laid up--I was at Best Buy. My mission: return a printer cartridge I bought the week before. It was the wrong resolution for my printer (I need a 50, bought a 60), and of course, was unused, in its original packaging and I brought the receipt. I went to the Broadway location in the gayborhood, where there are always some ... hmm, colorful ... characters.

Like the drag queen-slash-transexual standing in front of me in the exchange line. I've been seeing her on and off for years, and her look has been consistent: slammin' body ... but a "face for radio." Boyfriend Girlfriend looks hard. And she always stares me down, just like a nigga in the street.

"Yo, wassup," she sez. I nod. "You look'n good," I hear. Hmm. Mmm-hmm. Luckily, before this turns into an awkward situation, they call her next. She is returning a DVD player has clearly been used. "It's broken," she says.

The clerk looks the player, and nods. She asks for the receipt. "This was purchased two months ago."

"Well ... yea ... what happened what I had another one and I didn't open it until recently."

The clerk politely nods.

"And I opened it ... just a few weeks ago, and played it once or twice, but it's broken."

Again, the clerk politely nods.

My friend goes on. "And I've been out of town for the last week or two. I was in Atlanta. I didn't know could I return it there." She pauses. "That's it."

The clerk smiles. I've seen her at the store for the past year or so, so she's used to kids and their stunts. "I'm sorry, miss. We don't allow refunds or exchanges over 30 days. That gives you ample time to discover any defect. And also, I may add, this player looks like it's been used much more than once or twice."

The irate TS won't hear any of this. "You'd better get me a supervisor, " she demands. One is paged, and while she is waiting the same clerk waits on me. I tell her I bought the wrong cartridge, return the unit, and receipt, and my refund is processed in about two minutes.

"Oh aint tha a blimp," the outraged TS sez. "I'm standing here, receipt in hand, but need a supervisor to okay my refund. You don't have any problem with him."

"Your situations are much different," the clerk explains. "He bought that product a week ago, and the cartridge is still in the wrapping. Its never been used. Also, he's well under the 30 day return."

The outraged TS will hear no logic to her lost cause. But she lobs a missile: "You just don't want to serve me because of my trans-gendered status."

The clerk looks at her carefully, and smiles wryly. "Miss, that's not true at all. You look all woman to me. And speaking woman-to-woman, I'm trying to tell you, girl, your return ain't gonna happen."