Even though it's one of the most spiritual times of the year, most of us will be out there hustling and bustling to get our shopping done in time. I had to remind myself of the true meaning and spirit of the holidays when I had an incident at Sam's Club last week, while shopping with my daughter and grandson.
We stumbled on the most beautiful Nativity Set which I could just see in my daughter's home for Christmas, being enjoyed by her and my new grandson. There was one left in a box; the other one was the 'Display' model which the store would only sell if and when ALL the boxed Nativity sets were sold. So, even though we would have loved the displayed set which was housed inside an acrylic-type box, we reluctantly took the boxed set.
When we arrived at the checkout and register - the employee rang up the set and instead of it showing the sale price of $43.00, it rang up $55.00 - that was our first clue something was amiss; we explained to the cashier that it was advertised in the aisle where we found it as originally $98.00, clearance price of $43.00; she told us that was not THE SET that was on sale - and, did we still want it? Well, we were holding up the entire line, so I told my daughter we should just buy it and head back to the aisle where we found it and ask a manager or someone who worked there what the story was.
When we arrived back at the aisle where we picked up the nativity set, there was a woman shopper standing at the remaining "display" nativity set - and an emloyee was getting ready to load it into her cart - we were aghast! That was supposed to be our set! we were misled into believing the one and only boxed set was in fact the one they were advertising, but it was not! they did not have their merchandise showing correctly - or the relevant signs stating that, in fact, there were 2 different nativity sets and each was a different price. Instead, they had put the 'display' set on top of the only boxed set - the one which we took as we were under the impression they were one and the same.
In the meanwhile this woman shopper had come along well after the fact - and she was now going to benefit by getting the display model because we (through no error on our part) had picked up the last boxed set which had no differentiating marks and no sign above it saying it was a different set or price for that matter.
As they loaded the display set into the lady's cart, I appealed to her in the spirit of the season to give over the set which was rightfully ours; she ignored me - stood there - waited for the store employee to be finished, then walked away without saying a word. I was livid at being disregarded and ignored - on top of the store not handling the mistake on their part properly.
At this point we had been zig zagging all over the store trying to clear up this matter - and now the only remaining set was just sold right under our noses! I felt that I was treated so unjustly and now here we were with the wrong Nativity set (there were 2 shades of figurines, one black and one white). My poor 12 month grandson was overdressed, sweaty and sitting in the shopping cart while all this bickering was going on. My daughter was now very upset that the baby was in the middle of this confusion and overheated by now from waiting with his jacket on in the store.
I have a 'core' issue at being treated irrelevantly (as most people would I imagine) and unjustly - and my dander was up and I could not contain my annoyance and disdain for the way the store mishandled the situation - and to top it off, my daughter wound up with NO Nativity set as they were now all 'sold out'.
As we exited the store, to give us one last kick in the pants - my daughter was walking toward me with the baby in the shopping cart - and right smack in between us, passing us by, strolled the woman who captured the last Nativity set, with it sticking out of her cart, no less, in all its' splendor! It was the final smack in my face - I yelled to my daughter words to the effect - 'is this the icing on our cake or what?" - and the woman, stopped and looked at me saying "what?" - I said in a nasty tone - "I'm not talking to you!"...
When I saw the look on my daughter's face - and what she said to me after that - words to the effect that it is supposed to be a spiritual time - and that she now had a pain in her stomach and she's so upset at the turmoil over this Nativity set that she really doesn't want one anymore - it's not worth it - to see me get that upset - and for her and the baby to witness it.
That hit home for me. I realized what irony that was -- 'fighting' over a Nativity set; wow, there is a lesson to be learned there - how bizarre that of all things, it was over a Nativity set at the holiest time of the year. I was embarrassed and feared I could have diminished myself in my daughter's eyes, and that would have been something I would never live down - and certainly was not worth a resin nativity set.
Several days later, the manager at that store called me and said he had located another set and that I could have it -- for $10.00. My daughter is now proudly displaying the beautiful set in her home.
Happy Holidays to all my devoted readers - and I want to thank you for your readership and all your emails - your compliments, your concerns, your questions. I enjoy hearing from you.
I wish you all the best in the New Year - 2007 - here we come!