Friday, September 29, 2006

Cheap Shot Vindicated

Hi All!

I have patronized Cheapo since all they sold were used records. I rode my bike from Merriam Park to Dinkytown and spent hours flipping through used elpees. At least I THINK they were in Dinkytown -- maybe 7-Corners -- I shopped a couple of places around there as well, but I don't think they were Cheapo but I KNOW they are long long gone gone, unlike Cheapo.

Cheapo made it big. They franchise all over the golldarn country and there are a bunch of them in the Twin Cities, including a shop which inhabits a building in which I spent a fair piece of my youth carrying out groceries, cashiering and stocking shelves for Applebaum's. Paid my way through Cretin High and The College of St. Thomas starting at $1.65/hr and finishing my 5-year career at $4.95/hr.

Applebaums morphed into Rainbow Foods and eventually 80 N Snelling at Ashland, Applebaum's store #4, was abandoned. Cheapo and other shops moved in. The place burned almost to the ground several years ago, but out of the ruins, the building was restored on the old foundation.

The point I'm getting at is that the location has a very strong nostalgiac effect on me whenever I go to Cheapo Discs and flip through the jewel cases looking for buried treasure, just as I have done since I was a 13-year-old rock music freak.

The ghosts of the past, and all the great and not so great stories come flooding into my consciousness when I pass through the door.

Thus, it was with shock and dismay that I was rebuffed yesterday. Rebuffed trying to exchange 3 discs which sucked bigtime and which I thought were returnable for store credit.

This scruffy little stocking-capped bearded hep cat gnome of a clerk took the corporate line with me. You see, I was trying to return 3 discs that themselves were acquired on store credit from an original purchase.

I can see the point of the policy. A guy with a CD burner could simply keep exchanging discs forever and build a nice library at little cost, although it's easier and usually cheaper to fetch tunes on the web.

However, I specifically asked the clerk who took my original returns if I could return my newly acquired ones and was told I could.

The snotty little Mac student (I would guess - at least he looked and smelled like one) gave me a different impression to say the least.

Call me emotional and you'd be right. I plopped the discs on the counter and jocularly said I wanted to return these suckwad CDs and try for better luck. When he said he couldn't do it I actually teared up a bit, mumbled something about spending $1000/year there and intending never to darken their doors again.

I felt so violated. This was MY store! How could MY store treat me so badly after I had worked so hard keep the shelves stocked, the aisles of cans, bottles and boxes neatly faced up, the floors mopped when junior dropped the jar of pickles.

The door I passed through thousands of times pushing double decker two wheelers of properly bagged groceries through the slush to little old ladies' cars and once in awhile getting a quarter tip (once in a blue moon, that is) for my efforts.

The place where the Wild Man (produce manager) managed to hopelessly clog the monster garbage disposal with a cat that had been hanging around the dumpsters. I think he was inspired by the conquest of a mouse. I watched as he dangled it by its tale and it made a little "eek" when he let go of it and the disposal motor barely slowed. Mouse puree'. I wrote that story up and Tom Barnard read it on air about 25 years ago. Will have to dig it up and post. Pretty good story, that.

For the rest of the day it gnawed at me. I finally went to their website and sent a bitch email to the store.

Lo and behold, the manager ain't so "cheapo" after all. I have been invited back to complete the transaction. Have to make an extra trip and think they should give me a gift certificate or something but I'm not gonna press my luck.

Hope the elf is working so I can turn my snotty little nose up at him.



Post a Comment

<< Home