Fruit photo courtesy of: http://everydaytrash.com
Last Monday I was at my local farmer's market to pick up some fresh greens. The arugula had been attacked by some bugs and was full of holes. They were offering it at a 50 cent discount and I didn't think twice about it. Had I bought that holey arugula at the store and saw the state of it once I returned home, I would have been annoyed that I hadn't noticed it, but I doubt I would have returned it.
Do you return bruised or rotten produce?
Riding my bike to the market to get my groceries means that bruised fruit is part and parcel of the mode of transportation I have chosen. I have, however, come home to find that half a head of cauliflower is kind of browned or I'll cut into an onion to find a whole half of it completely rotten but I have never returned produce.
This is why.
My mom used to shop at Pusateri's, a hotsy totsy, fancy shmanzy grocery store uptown, where people pay a premium for a pretty store and a policeman to hold up traffic while you enter and exit the parking lot. My mom had come home from a routine grocery shop and as she was unpacking, realized the grapes she had bought were rotten. She went back a few days later with the intention of exchanging them.
She did her shopping, filled her cart and when she was at the check-out, she explained about the rotten grapes. The cashier wouldn't do nothing about it and called over the store manager. The line grew behind my mom and the exchange would not be made. Furious at the poor service and the growing embarrassment that came from the store making a big stink about a few rotten grapes, my mom left the store- her grocery cart full in the checkout line, and never went back.
This was about ten years ago and since then and because of this poor service, the store has likely lost tens of thousands of dollars in business from my mother and now I have this thing about returning stuff... That is until my jeans ripped. They were essentially deteriorating and so I called Aritzia, the store where I bought them. I was very apologetic about the whole thing, but as I could no longer wear them I wanted to know if I could contact the manufacturer to let them know their jeans fell apart and if there was anything they could do.
Without any hesitation, Aritzia offered me a brand new pair of jeans if I brought in my thread bare ones. They were incredibly helpful, gave me a whole bunch to try on and I left with a brand new pair of jeans and a $25 credit as my new jeans cost less than the pair I was returning. That is outstanding service and I didn't feel the least bit bad about making the return.
Why I am okay with returning clothes but not food is a mystery to me. Food is the tools with which I do my work. If I built houses and my hammer broke, I would surely take it back. Something about returning food is just challenging to me.
I am interested in your take on this issue. Thoughts? Comments? Experiences to share?