Everyone is good at something. They have to be. This is the only hope I still hold out for the world. My cynicism has taken over every other nice thought I’ve had about people, but I still think everyone has some talent, no matter how worthless the skill is.
And mine happens to be returning things. I have been great at it for as long as I can remember. I used to do returns for my mom when I was ten or so. It intimidates most people. It excites me. I have honed my skills to nearly perfect, and sometimes I’m afraid I’m on the brink of making it a hobby. I find myself not trying on things or buying things and following it up w/the justification, “if it doesn’t work out, I can just return it.”
And I do. Every customer service manager in West Omaha has seen my driver’s license by now. I pride myself on always having the receipt, and keeping tags (not on, just for if I have to attach them later). My greatest feat was returning washed and worn pants to the Limited. They are very strict about that. I swear they hire people who can sniff detergent the way drug dogs can sniff cocaine.
I have returned through the mail, I have package-taped boxes, I have even made my own little “I” things that adhere tags and buttons to clothes. I have lied, cheated, and finagled my money back one way or another. A few times, I accidentally made a profit on it. If I lost my job, I could probably sustain myself for at least a month on income from returns alone.
The number one secret is to have a story ready. They will always ask. These sales people have to meet sales goals and returns put them behind for the day. They will try to talk you into an exchange instead. Don’t fall for it. Stay strong. They can detect fear. Be fearless.
Yesterday, I took two shirts back and immediately said, “I bought them for my sister and she already had them,” I think before the lanyard could even ask. This is my fallback story for all returns. You can’t argue w/me, it’s my sister’s fault. I was trying to give you money, but she made me take it back. It’s one of the few perks of being a middle child: you learn how to dodge a bullet so quick it blows Plaxico Burress’ mind.
Then, I went to B&N where the woman asked me the reason for the return. I told her “because I accidentally bought two of them.” She studied the receipt and realized sure enough, I am that stupid. Or maybe that was my returns subconscious buying that day. When I leave a store w/money in my pocket or a debit card credit receipt in my hand, I am happy. I am elated. I feel like I just pulled off a terrible crime. Hey, even us normal, spotless-record civilians need to feel like criminals once in awhile.