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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Jul 7, 2014
DEAR AMY: Last week my wife and I purchased three pairs of sneakers at a store. The service was poor and the experience was frustrating.

As we were leaving I noticed the cashier only charged us for two pairs of sneakers. I chose not to say anything about it.

In the car I told my wife what had happened, and she said, "Well, the store made an error, the service was poor and I guess that means I got a pair of free sneakers."

Even though I sort of agreed with her (and I didn't go back to the store to say anything), this issue has been nagging at me.

I feel as though I "morally" did the wrong thing. Should I go back to the store and pay for the sneakers?-- Feeling Guilty

DEAR GUILTY: When you throw quotation marks around the word "morally," you make it seem that morality is a theoretical construct. But morality is real and guilt is your character's gyroscope.

It is wrong to take and keep something you haven't paid for, regardless of whether the service was lousy or a mistake was made, and regardless of what your wife thinks.

You should go back to the store and pay for the sneakers.

You should also speak to the manager of the store and express your frustrations about the service you received (follow up with an email). If this store is serious about retaining your business, the manager will make an effort to make things right.

DEAR AMY: My daughter, son-in-law and toddler grandson live in another state.

My son-in-law's large extended family lives near them. They are a close family and spend lots of time together. Because we live a three-hour plane ride away, my husband and I only visit them a few times a year, and usually only for a long weekend. When we visit, my son-in-law's family wants to spend time with us.

I know this is well-intentioned and generously offered, but it is hard for me. I see my grandchild infrequently and want to spend every minute with him, my daughter and her husband. Also, seeing this family reminds me of my absence and makes the visits a painful reminder of that. How do I negotiate this issue without hurting feelings?

I know the "right thing" to do, but if I do the right thing I will be the only one feeling bad, and I'm getting tired of putting everyone's feelings above my own!

What do you think?-- Grammy

DEAR GRAMMY: Your daughter and grandson are lucky to have a large and loving family living close by. When it comes to building relationships with young children, quantity time sometimes trumps "quality time."

Because you want more from this relationship, you should extend your visits to last more than a long weekend, if possible, while the boy is young. If staying with them is an imposition, research house-swapping opportunities or short-term rentals in the area.

One way to serve your own feelings better is to state what you want. Stating your own needs is not offensive or upsetting to others. It is introducing clarity into a situation that calls for it.

On your next visit you should say to your daughter: "I really appreciate spending time with 'Greg's' family, but I'm dying to get to know this little guy better. Can just the three of us go on an outing or hang at home for an afternoon?"

DEAR AMY: A letter from "Rejected and Dejected" talked about a group of pretty vicious "frenemies." One suggested to the writer that it was time for her to pull on her "big girl panties."

You confessed to hating that phrase and said you blame Oprah Winfrey for its popular usage.

I think the phrase originated much further back and I don't think Oprah is to blame.-- Eagle Eye

DEAR EAGLE EYE: I dimly recall hearing it for the first time on Oprah's show, and so I'm not really blaming her for originating the odious phrase, but I do wish she would use her power to make it stop.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#2 Jul 7, 2014
L2. I think you should take the train next time and stop patronizing the airlines.
In other words, I want you to stop causing a disturbance by flying over my community.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#3 Jul 7, 2014
L2. The airlines would stack you like cordwood in those planes if they could get away with it.

Since: Mar 09

Pittsburgh, PA

#4 Jul 7, 2014
LW2 - House-swapping? Short term rental? Stay longer than a long weekend?
Where does it say Grammy is able to stay longer? Lots of us "Grammys" have a little thing called a JOB!
Yeesh.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 Jul 7, 2014
1 The issue is not whether to pay or not, because you feel guilty about it, you should pay for them and ease your conscience. The real issue is WHY you are feeling guilty about someone else s incompetence.

If you get lousy service, and the clerk is too addle brained to ring up everything you brought to the counter, Neither of those things are your problem or any fault of yours. The store can absorb the cost of the sneakers (their cost less that $20) and if the person does this enough, they will either be retrained or dismissed. Again not your problem.

Personally, if I catch it while I am in line, I fess up, but if I am out the door, then too bad for them,

2 Yes, try to extend your trips if you can, and Yes use your words.

3 Who gives a flipping fluk where it originated? BTW, I like the phrase and am delighted that amy is offended by it.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#6 Jul 7, 2014
You don't own a laser pointer do you?

loose cannon wrote:
L2. I think you should take the train next time and stop patronizing the airlines.
In other words, I want you to stop causing a disturbance by flying over my community.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Jul 7, 2014
loose cannon wrote:
L2. I think you should take the train next time and stop patronizing the airlines.
In other words, I want you to stop causing a disturbance by flying over my community.
hmmm....3 hour flight(ie: miami to ny), causing some unknown stranger i'll never see virtually no disturbance, or taking the train(over 31 hours per amtrak). Hmmm such a tough decision. Not.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#8 Jul 7, 2014
Thats what I was thinking as well.
VAdame wrote:
LW2 - House-swapping? Short term rental? Stay longer than a long weekend?
Where does it say Grammy is able to stay longer? Lots of us "Grammys" have a little thing called a JOB!
Yeesh.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Jul 7, 2014
RACE wrote:
1 The issue is not whether to pay or not, because you feel guilty about it, you should pay for them and ease your conscience. The real issue is WHY you are feeling guilty about someone else s incompetence.
If you get lousy service, and the clerk is too addle brained to ring up everything you brought to the counter, Neither of those things are your problem or any fault of yours. The store can absorb the cost of the sneakers (their cost less that $20) and if the person does this enough, they will either be retrained or dismissed. Again not your problem.
Personally, if I catch it while I am in line, I fess up, but if I am out the door, then too bad for them,
2 Yes, try to extend your trips if you can, and Yes use your words.
3 Who gives a flipping fluk where it originated? BTW, I like the phrase and am delighted that amy is offended by it.
lw1 agree on all points. If i catch the error ad its happening, i'll usually say something. However, in lw's case, i'd probably be inclined to keep my mouth shut if i'd already experienced really bad service.

In either case, once i'm out the door, i'm not going back in to have them fix their error of underharging me.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Jul 7, 2014
VAdame wrote:
LW2 - House-swapping? Short term rental? Stay longer than a long weekend?
Where does it say Grammy is able to stay longer? Lots of us "Grammys" have a little thing called a JOB!
Yeesh.
f your job. You need to be able to fit in 62 hours of travel time so you can go by train and not bother looseby having your plane fly over her neighborhood. Where are your priorities?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#11 Jul 7, 2014
1- service was so crappy yet you still bought three pairs of shoes? And who buys three pairs of shoes at once anyway?

2- such hatred for your in-laws

3- she also gave us vajay- jay. Thanks for that one
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#12 Jul 7, 2014
1: My m-i-l once had a similar experience but didn't notice it until she got home. She tried to pay for the item the next time she went to that store and they gave her such a hard time that she felt defeated. It seems the clerk didn't know how to do this. No one seemed to think she'd left with the extra item on purpose; they just didn't know how to deal with taking or recording the money. Talk about ignorance. All they had to do was ring up another item and then put it back on the shelf.

On the flip side of this problem, how many people would complain at length if they got home and found out that they'd been charged for 3 pairs of sneakers and they only purchased 2? I know I called Staples and complained when I realized they had charged me for the empty ink cartridges I'd brought back for recycling. I'd had a fairly large number of items that I had purchased and didn't immediately notice the discrepancy. I had also purchased a number of ink cartridges (different colors) and Staples register receipts are lengthy and can be confusing anyway.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#13 Jul 7, 2014
2: Use your words. Tell the kids that whereas you like your s-i-l's family and getting together with them one once (say a meal or a picnic) is fine, you'd really like to spend the rest of the time with just your daughter, s-i-l and grandchild. I don't suggest alone time for your grandchild with just grammie and gramps until he's old enough to feel comfortable with this kind of situation. Never push this kind of thing on young kids or it could backfire.

3: Sorry. I don't see anything all that horrible about "big girl panties." I find it rather amusing. I don't know whether the dislike is that some folks think it sounds demeaning to women or (a reason that only just occurred to me) that perhaps some think it means the "big girl" part refers not to maturity but to size as in an obese woman's panties. I've always thought it referred to telling a woman to stop acting like a stereotypical helpless female and grow up.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 Jul 7, 2014
L1: Do what Amy says. You'll feel better and then be done with it. Although i probably wouldn't follow up with an email.

L2: Tell them nicely you'd like a day set aside for you and them to spend with the kids without the other side of the family. Give them the background. Everyone will understand. If they don't then they don't have common sense. I think this is a normal thing to ask.

L3: I use this phrase. Twice I think. I have to be really pissed and the person has to deserve it. Both times they did.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#15 Jul 7, 2014
edogxxx wrote:
1- service was so crappy yet you still bought three pairs of shoes? And who buys three pairs of shoes at once anyway?
Bad service does not trump good price. Walmart is raking in the cash, but I don't think anyone singin their praises over great customer service. And he said he AND HIS WIFE bought 3 pairs. Tells me one of them got 2, the othet got one. Is 2 really that much of a stretch?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#16 Jul 7, 2014
Was just at a payless shoe store, bought sneakers for $30 and got 40% off another pair (bought loafers final price like $16)
And the customer service was excellent!
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Bad service does not trump good price. Walmart is raking in the cash, but I don't think anyone singin their praises over great customer service. And he said he AND HIS WIFE bought 3 pairs. Tells me one of them got 2, the othet got one. Is 2 really that much of a stretch?

Since: Mar 09

Pittsburgh, PA

#17 Jul 7, 2014
Pippa wrote:
3: Sorry. I don't see anything all that horrible about "big girl panties." I find it rather amusing. I don't know whether the dislike is that some folks think it sounds demeaning to women or (a reason that only just occurred to me) that perhaps some think it means the "big girl" part refers not to maturity but to size as in an obese woman's panties. I've always thought it referred to telling a woman to stop acting like a stereotypical helpless female and grow up.
Agreed -- it means stop acting like a BABY (as in, Big Girl Panties as opposed to DIAPERS!)
People also tell guys to put on their Big Boy Pants, same thing.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#18 Jul 7, 2014
1. Sorry guys, the quality of the service has no bearing on the question. You have a pair of shoes you did not pay for. They don't belong to you. Give them back

Call the store, talk to the manager. ask for their Fed Ex or UPS number and send or bring them back.

The poor service for customers is the same poor work for the employer by letting stock go without payment.

2. Instead of LW and her husband going to visit them, LW should pay for two plane tickets for grandson and a parent, both parents if need be to stay with LW. Actually one parent bringing toddler to visit grandma would give the other a mini vacation

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#19 Jul 7, 2014
You're right, intent in 9/10th of the law!
So at what point is it a theft? When are you actually "Stealing"?
The moment you leave the store?
The moment you realize the clerks error?
The moment you decide not to return and pay?
Is there a dollar threshold?$1,$5,$20?

What if you NEVER realize the product was not paid for? The facts remain the same, you have a product you did not pay for, so even though both you and the clerk are unaware, by your definition you are guilty of theft.

Sorry, but I dont see it as that black and white.
Do you itemize your dinner check? Do you go back and pay for the artichoke hearts that they forgot to put on your bill? I rarely check my bill at all, other than to look at the total for tip calculation. I could be being overcharged and I would never know it.
PEllen wrote:
1. Sorry guys, the quality of the service has no bearing on the question. You have a pair of shoes you did not pay for. They don't belong to you. Give them back
Call the store, talk to the manager. ask for their Fed Ex or UPS number and send or bring them back.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#20 Jul 7, 2014
RACE wrote:
You're right, intent in 9/10th of the law!
So at what point is it a theft? When are you actually "Stealing"?
The moment you leave the store?
The moment you realize the clerks error?
The moment you decide not to return and pay?
Is there a dollar threshold?$1,$5,$20?
What if you NEVER realize the product was not paid for? The facts remain the same, you have a product you did not pay for, so even though both you and the clerk are unaware, by your definition you are guilty of theft.
Sorry, but I dont see it as that black and white.
Do you itemize your dinner check? Do you go back and pay for the artichoke hearts that they forgot to put on your bill? I rarely check my bill at all, other than to look at the total for tip calculation. I could be being overcharged and I would never know it.
<quoted text>
In this instance those are not the questions. They already know they didn't pay for them so not realizing it isn't a question here. The question here in the letter was one, I believe, of morality and having a pair of shoes they did not pay for.

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