Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A partridge in a pear tree...or, My ill-gotten pears

So....  This has been quite the week.  On Christmas Day, 2 AM, I had the opportunity to shoot off and angry letter to Union Pacific over the train that screeched to a stop & idled outside our home.  At 8 AM I followed up with a second email - merry Christmas, UP district manager!   He promises to investigate, and the train is still idling at 2 pm when we leave for my uncle's.   

The next day I discover my cleaning service is skipping out early while charging me for the whole job.  Great.

And by that night, when my mother called, I was prepped and primed to fight the good fight, wherever it took me.  

She ends the call with a warning:  "You need to call your grandparents.  They say their pears are soft and mushy at the bottom, but never got ripe at the top.  They read me the instructions three times on how the pears should ripen at the stem.  It sounds like they were frozen.  I told them they should call you the company will replace them if they are bad."

I get off the phone with a sigh.  My grandparents do not take things back...and they are not hoping to call me up to say "hey, you know the gift you bought us?  It's not any good..."  Before I call, I need a plan of action.  And if one box is bad, odds are both boxes are bad, so I might as well figure them both out at once.

I call the store and explain it all...the upset grandparents, the trashed receipt, and the need to replace pears from two locations 30 minutes away from me & each other.  The girl is wonderful - call corporate!  They won't just replace the fruit - they will replace the entire basket!  A little excessive, bit these christmas themed towers are already marked down by a third.  Maybe they want to get rid of them fast.

The girl at corporate was not as free and easy with the baskets - she wanted to get rid of me, instead. "They shouldn't have sent you here - this is their responsibility" she barked into the phone, maybe waiting for me to apologize to her for the inconvenience?  

Told that she had access to gift boxes & pears, I pressed my case.  No, they would NOT be giving me an entire replacement tower, she said accusingly.  There was nothing wrong with the rest of it.  They would only replace the pears.

After a while checking on what she could do, she said she would send me gift cards for my home bound grandparents.  

Not helpful.  

Down the highway to the store, determined to replace these pears.  The lady at the counter also thought corporate was a tool, and after thinking a moment she came back with a case of 10 pears.  Would these do?

It would do no good to show up & replace 5 pears if they had come 7 to a box.  I called my grandfather and asked withou so much as a hello how many pears came in the box.

"5 - they were delicious"

Not helpful, grandpa!  I don't have time to tactfully dance around the topic of rotten pears so you can preserve my feelings!   You deserve good pears I deserve good pears for your!  The box of 10 will do - I walk out with the box and four Bon bons, without having to so much as tell them my name & date of purchase.  I've avoided pear-pocalypse - I've saved Christmas with the strength of 10 grinches, plus 2!

Out in the car I call my grandfather again.  No need to worry about rotten pears - new ones will be there soon.  He promptly tells me that upon slicing the pear, they are not rotten at all.  They are fine.  

My ill- gotten bon bons are reflecting the parking lot lights, blinking reproachfully at me.  

I just went across town, talked to three different people demanding replacement pears!  I've practically committed a strong arm robbery of these pears, waking in and recieving them without so much as a confirmatory scan of my credit card.  

My mother just laughed & laughed, and was no help.  

The pears are in my fridge.  Despite their checkered past, they are delicious.  

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