Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Where's that voodoo doll when you need her?

Despite my desperate need to pee like a horse (white tea with mango seems to do that to me), I decided to stop at my favorite garden center on the way home to purchase a flat of something pink and fluffy.

Some weeks back, I planted all the window boxes with pink and purple wave petunias, and in mere days, they shriveled up like salty worms and died. So much for the promises on that pink cup. J insisted it was my planting skills (open pack, loosen roots, push into box filled with Miracle-Gro container soil filled with healthy bits-o-shit, water, and wait).

Alas, the slugs got them. Or so my mother explained, and I am not inclined to argue or search for the slimy things. Bad enough they hang out on the pool fence when we're night swimming, watching us and most certainly plotting our demise.

At any rate, with 32-67 guests descending on the house like locusts in oh, four days, I felt the Transylvanian gardening statement had to go (despite the fact that I am, in fact, half Transylvanian. REALLY. Wanna see my fangs?). And so, pee clock and all, I parked the pretty Beetle at the nicest garden center on Lawn Guyland, grabbed a cart, and prepared to purchase my pink flat. Hell, I would've settled for red, even. Whatever I could grab that was still verdant, all right?

As three carloads of people entered the store door, I was stopped 10 feet away by a young man who informed me the store was closing in 15 minutes. "No problem," I said. "I'll run in, grab what I need, pay up, and be gone."

Now this was 5:45. The store's site claimed they closed at 7 or 8, depending on where one looked. When I made it to the door (oh, 12 seconds later since I got the first spot) I was blocked by Brunhilde, the crankiest old woman I have ever seen in retail. "WE'RE CLOSED!" she barked. "YOU CAN'T COME IN!"

Now at this point I began to simmer. I tried polite reasoning. It pissed her off. I tried telling her the website promised longer hours. She was unconvinced. She wouldn't move. She raised her angry biddy voice at me. She bulged her eyes and tried to morph into a stinkweed.

"Last time I shop here," I retorted, and I tore my card in half and stomped back to my car. Tomorrow, I have every intention of calling the store owner and going ballistic. Every month, they send me a fancy 4-color newsletter touting not only their plants, but their exemplary customer service.

Service my ass. Their plants may be healthy, but their spirits are cold and dead, those people. I thought it was a fluke last summer when I, about to purchase over $1,000 in plants, asked when they could be delivered. "Oh," the nonchalant clerk said, "I don't know. Maybe a week. Maybe three weeks." (And no, I didn't buy them!)

Listen, all you descendants of Hicks (yes, it is Hicks Nursery on Jericho Turnpike, damn them): your customers are not pests. We are not downy mildew or blackspot. We are not even petunia gulping slugs. Last time I checked, 5:45 was not 7 or 8, and if you were too useless to change the website hours when you decided to start closing at 6, well, 5:45 isn't 6 either.

If that surly woman worked for me I would die of shame. And then I would come back to life and kick her ass from here to the Walmart Garden Center. Snort.


km said...


You ROCK!!
(did she see your fangs???)


Kim said...


I read your message on Sahara's website about having the wrong information. I apologize for the errant comment in my message to Sahara and Amy about mother/daughter sharing birthdays. I was given that info by one of our co-workers and assumed it to be correct. I didn't mean to upset anyone.


Anne Willis said...

Hi Pam,

I worked at the school that Sahara went to the past 2 years. While Sahara wasnt in my class, she was near my room and I got to know her quite well. I love her dearly, as many of us do!! Anyway, I got a job in a neighboring school district and took the job. I have been sending Sahara messages and spreading the word about her. I added some comments and a picture of her to my "myspace" page. Well, today I received an email from a former coworker that the talk at the old school was that it was inappropriate and offensive. I dont find anything on my page offensive. I am a 30 year old wife and mother that likes to have a good time every now and then and stay in touch with friends and family. Anyway, since you are in direct contact with Amy and Sahara, please tell them that if they are offended, I am so sorry and I will remove the info this evening. My email is willisaesc@cablerocket.com if you would like to contact me. I think your blog about Sahara is wonderful and I love reading it each day. Keep up the good work.

Anne Willis

Sahara's birthday twin said...

How could anyone not love Sahara?

I don't know who your coworker is, but she has no right to tell you what to do on your own page. I'm horrified by the notion, and I'm sad to report that you are not the first person to tell me something like this since yesterday's post went up.

I don't know what your page is or what it says--if you'd like me to take a quick look to make sure it's accurate, I'd be more than happy to do so, privately. But otherwise, I believe in your right to free speech, from the bottom of my heart.

Now, if you were one of the jerks who came to Sahara's site and tried to a) cash in on her illness b) hurt her feelings or Amy's by suggesting she deserved what she got or c) passed on misinformation because you felt people deserved to know the real truth, then that's a different story. I spend an hour each night going through the comments and removing that horrid nonsense and it burns my stomach.

But my guess is that you were not like that. So hold your head up, and tell that former coworker to mind her own beeswax.

I'm sorry you had to tell me this--but I'm glad you did. Thanks, so much, for reading Sahara's story, and for telling the world why this kid matters. I know Amy will be touched.