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.