Being Victor Meldrew

After ‘er indoors and I get home we share cave-time by sitting on the sofa and tapping away at our laptops. Some people may think this sounds sad, but they are wrong. We need our Internet space, and we can share it; that’s pretty cool. On this particular evening I was writing a complaint to Septa and asked M to check it before it was dispatched. She too was in the process of writing a complaint letter to Target. It actually felt quite comforting to know that we were both, independently, exercising malevolent demons of anger. So, for posterity, here our our complaint messages. From M to Target:

I am writing to inquire about and possibly comment on your dressing room policy. I was at your store on City Ave in Philadelphia on Wednesday, 5/11/11, around 12:30 PM. I went to the dressing room to try on 8 items. I was told that I was only allowed to bring 5 items in. *However*, I was also told that I was not allowed to try on more than 5 items unless I had a cart or basket to hold my waiting items, and I had to walk *all the way to the front of the store* to get a cart if I wanted to try on everything I had chosen (the dressing rooms are in the back in this store). Luckily I found an abandoned cart nearby. However, while I was in the dressing room, another customer was told the same policy. She did not want to walk all the way to find a cart. The staff argued with her until she complied. She was asking, “why do I have to go get my own cart if I want to try things on?” And they browbeat her until she agreed. When she left, I was still in the dressing room, and I overheard a male staff member advise a female staff member at the dressing room desk, “Don’t be afraid to make them go get a cart. Tell them they have to do it. We don’t have to be watching the other stuff they want to try on.” I have several questions. Is this *actual store policy*? Is it required that customers have a cart or basket in order to try on more than 5 articles of clothing? I suspect not. I suspect it is an ad-hoc arrangement made up by employees. Don’t you WANT people to try on many items, because it increases the likelihood of customers *buying* those items? Moreover, I resented the attitude of these staff members. They treated me and the other woman as an annoyance and that they were doing us a favor by *letting* us try clothing on. A truly customer-service oriented store would have employees *bringing* carts to shoppers, not ordering them to go fetch one lest they be forbidden to try items on. I thank you for your time

From me to

Every night I use my Cross County Pass to take me from King Of Prussia to Norristown (bus route 99), and then take a train to Ivy Ridge. I was delighted when a very helpful member of staff on the train told me about this pass as it saved me a lot of money. Tonight, as the result of an eye-doctor appointment, I had to leave from the Mall, and would have missed my train, so instead opted to go home on the 124. The driver told me that I had to pay extra because I was going into Philadelphia. I told him that I could get as far as Allegheny (well within the city limits) but he said that “on the bus, it’s an extra 50c”. Eventually he ordered me to take a seat, waiving the 50c charge in return for giving me a barrage of low-quality sarcasm. Now – who was right, and where is it written – are there regulations that can clear this up? If he was right, then it means I can legitimately travel home providing I use a train, but can’t do so on a bus without being charged. Logic seems to suggest this is unlikely; but if this *is* the case, then may I suggest that it’s one of the stupidest rules ever created, and urge you to consider changing it? Why can a train take me deeper into Philly than a bus? And WHERE exactly is this rule written down? Furthermore, may I suggest that waiving extra charges in favor of sarcastic abuse is a policy you should encourage. It seems a lot fairer than the bizarre pricing structure you currently use, and will improve the quality of life for the drivers.

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