Monday, December 17, 2012

Not Right in the Head

It seems like lately we've been having more customers with, um, issues.

Here's one that didn't take the cake, but the other one was so awful I can't even write in detail about it:

Young man came in with a shoe box.  The box has old shoes in them.  "These aren't the shoes I'm returning," he said.
"Okay," I said.  "What seems to be the problem?"
"The shoes I got are about a half size too big."  He lifted a foot to show me a somewhat worse-for-the-wear New Balance runners.
"Um, okay.  Do you have a receipt?"
He does.  "I just want to know if I can trade them out for the right size."
I gaze at the receipt with some astonishment.  "You got them yesterday?"
"Yeah.  And I got good use out of them already, because I was in an accident in them."
"Oh my god.  Was everyone involved okay?"
"No," he said with a grin.  "I'm dead."
I started the return process, trying to be friendly instead of grim.  "I'll have to call my supervisor."
So she shows up, and runs through pretty much the same deal.  Neither of us want to take them back, but it's policy, so ....
"I'll need those back in the box," I told him.
"Boy, you sure don't want to touch my shoes!" he said with a laugh.  All I can do is try not to look at him so that I don't make too much of a point of revealing in my expression how much of an ass I think he is.  "Good thing that the customer's always right, huh?" he said with a laugh as he left.

The other thing, all I can say is that I really, really wish that retailers had discretionary power as far as who they will sell firearms and ammunition to.  Because the four comments the kid made were so tone-deaf, so awful, and so clearly crossing social and emotional lines that everyone present wondered if he might need to be evaluated.  The father made excuses for his son three times, and the fourth he gave his son a long look like even he might be wondering if he really should be buying firearm accessories for his kid.  Please, dad, if you're reading this, lock the weapons up and don't turn your back on him if you take him hunting.

The police, teachers, etc. can't prevent tragedies.  They can only react.  The ones closest to the perpetrators are the only ones who have a chance to predict or head off a problem.  Also also, we need a much, much better mental health system.  Not just who can and can't be admitted under what circumstances, but treatment options, research, etc.  We have a huge population out there.  Some are 'natural' and some have drugged themselves into mental illness.  What are we going to do?

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