(I had drafted this post last week. Blame it on the hectic routine at work and home because of which I couldn’t publish it earlier. But even so, the mirthful situation remains and still brings a smile to my face each time I recollect it. So read it and have your fun )
In other words, Thief!
But I’ll get to that later. First, I’ll reiterate that I’ve been destined to appear in this world to provide a few moments of amusement to the aam junta. My list of Sheesh moments far exceed my happy or sad ones. Blame it on the timing, on the universe, on me
Anyhow, here’s what happened. I used up my lunch hour yesterday to visit a newly opened Big Bazaar branch near my office. I had some urgent shopping to do and though I’ve been planning to do the needful every evening for the last one week, I was unable to. By the time I left office, the only thought in my mind was to rush home. So yesterday was the day I decided to ‘sacrifice’ my lunch hour for this chore.
Once at the store, I had trouble locating the parking, then the entrance and finally, when I was inside, I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I bought a few things and made my way to the billing counters.
Here’s when the fun began!
So out of 25 counters, only 5 were operative.
Of the 5, two had attendants who were grumbling over the loss of their lunch time. They made the customers shuffle between the other queues. Obviously, within minutes, ALL the customers were giving the billing guys an earful or so.
Of the remaining three, two didn’t know how to read the bar-codes .
The last one was a deeply suspicious fanatic with a severely misplaced sense of duty. As fate would have it, it was the last one who attended to me But before he could prepare my bill, I had enough time to observe him serving the lady in front of me, who had a cart-load of stuff. The lady was in a hurry and was requesting this man , lets name him Mr.X, to hurry up.
Mr.X, in order to hurry up, missed out on billing one item. The bag-boy said that the total number of items was ‘x’, where as the system showed the total items as ‘y’. So flustered was Mr.X that he made the bag-boy empty ALL the bags back on the counter and started billing it all over again!!
The lady in question could not believe that she would have to wait for another few minutes for the second round. So angry was she that she picked up only a handful of items and asked him to bill those. Even then, Mr.X lost his cool over the lady because she didn’t have the exact change! The lady was so ticked off that she swore loudly never to return!
And then…it was my turn.
Out of the 7 items I kept on the counter, one was a 1kg pack of tea with a packet of Maggi noodles taped to it.
Mr. X : (holding the packet in front of me) Yeh kya hai??
Me : (puzzled) Tea
Mr. X : Yeh Maggi kisne diya??
Me : Huh?? Tea ke saath free hai.
Mr.X : Aise kaise free hai?? Aise hi kuchh bhi kaise free de sakte hain??
Me : (Looking hard at the guy) Kaise?? Mujhe kaise pata?? Your store, your offers!!
Mr.X : (rubbing his forehead, wondering what to do with a kleptomaniac like me) Aise kaise Maggi de diya. Ab dono items ko bill karunga.
Me : HEY!!! Woh Maggi FREE hai!!
By this time, the guy standing behind me started losing his cool too.
Mr.Guy : Dekhiye bhaisaheb, Maggi ke packet ke saath kabhi bhi chai free nahin milti.
Mr.X : ( looking blankly at Mr.Guy) Huh?
Mr.Guy : (realizing he was talking to an imbecile, took a patronizing tone ) Chai bahut mehengi hoti ha na, isliye.
At this, all the people in the queues burst out laughing. But Mr.X was not convinced.
Mr.X : (who still wasn’t convinced) Manager ko bulata hoon. Woh decide karenge.
All Customers :
Me : Aapko lagta hai mai purse mein cellotape lekar phirti hoon ?!!
Mr.X : (with a shrug and eyeing my purse) Kya pata
Me : WHAT??!!
And I flung my purse on the counter for him to have a look. Though indignant myself, I marveled at the guy’s sense of duty and loyalty towards the store . The manager arrived just then and gave Mr.X the ‘I’ll-KILL-You’ look. No words were exchanged. The guy billed my stuff and I was free to go. At last!! No security dived at my feet to hinder my escape. I left unscathed, except for that wee bit of hurt at being hinted as a thief.
And now, before some indignant readers point out that I should have hauled his a** off to the complaint cell, I’ll clarify that the thought did cross my mind. But something else clicked me too. The fact that this was possibly the guy’s first job. He looked no older than a college kid (He has a long way to go before he learns the skills of customer interaction. I was lucky that my first job didn’t require me to handle customers. I might have messed up big time myself ). Secondly, there were already too many people losing their cool at the store. I didn’t feel like joining them. Thirdly, I was getting late for work!
BUT, I did swore to myself never to return to that particular branch of Big Bazaar again. It’s not a very comfortable feeling to be tagged a chor.
I speak from experience