Saturday, January 15, 2011

How I got my faith in humanity (or maybe just Macy's) back

The other day the husband informed me that he had no pants to wear.  Now this would have been just a common, matter of fact statement if he had not used "the tone" with it.  You know, the tone that tells you that the rain, snow, and even the floods all over the planet are your fault.  That kind of tone.  Also, the traffic, the neighbor's dog barking, the dry bread rolls at California Pizza, the drunk dude that approached us in the park - my fault.  While I'm at it, I might as well take responsibility for the problems in the Middle East and elsewhere.  Anyway, you get the idea.

I thought of teaching him a lesson and ignoring his hidden plea for help, but I worried that the poor man might die of hypothermia without his corduroys.  So off to the local Macy's I went.  I found the desired pants, but not in his size.  After a 20 minute wait for my turn, the saleslady checked her computer and confirmed that unfortunately the store did not have what I needed.  Being an experienced shopper, I asked if she could check if other stores in the area had them.  She was not too happy but obliged.  Good news, there were several stores in New York, Chicago, Minnesota and Washington DC which still were not sold out of the olive green and black ones, she announced.  That's great! I rejoiced,  could you call and order a few for me?  She looked at me as if I had asked her to fly to Mars for corduroy pants.  This was something every sales clerk had offered me in the past; after all, they want to sell the merchandise, don't they?  All I can do is print out a list of the stores and you can call them yourself, she offered.  As I walked away with the list in my hand, she added, and you'll have to pay shipping!  Thank you for your help, I said with that tone of sarcasm I use with the husband to counteract his accusatory one, you know the one.

Back home, I chose the one store I was quite familiar with,  Herald Square Macy's in New York City.  I knew what was going to happen next, so I made myself coffee, got some cookies,  Harry Potter book 5, sat in my favorite chair, put my feet up and called the number.  I was good at this game. Only five rings and  a human voice.
-Welcome to Herald Square Macy's.  For store hours and location, press 1; for credit card inquiries, press 2; for in-store departments, press 3....
- For cosmetics, press 1; for accessories, press 2; for children's clothes, press 3; for women, press 4; for men, press 5...
~ 5!
- For hosiery, press 1; for ties press 2; for suits, press 3; for brand names press 4....
-For Polo, press1...

The phone rang for at least 20 rings.  You might as well pick it up, I said, because I'm not hanging up.  Finally a young female voice, Macy's polo, may I help you?
I started telling her what I needed.  Pleated or flat front? Pleated, he's from the previous century. Colors, size, how many.  And then, Can you hold a minute?

Sure I can hold.  Sip of coffee, bite of cookie, Oh my God!  Mrs. Figg is a Squib? And dementors on Harry's street?

Hello?  Yes I found them, but have to put you on hold again because I have a customer waiting.
Sure, I'll be here.

Owls, owls, owls.  Owls everywhere!

Hello? Name, address, telephone and credit card information.  Can you hold please?  Repeat your address please? Can you hold again please, I'm sorry.
Sure, I'll be here.
Hello? I'm sorry but it's not accepting the zip code.
Oh, no 2 at the end, just 5 numbers, not 6.
Ok, can you hold please? Hello?  Oh no, I just hung up on this other lady and there are 2 people waiting here, I'm sorry, can you repeat the phone number please?  Voice is getting a bit distressed now.
What's you name?
Listen Lynn, don't worry, you're doing an incredible job all by yourself there.
Yes, I'm alone here.
Listen, My husband doesn't have any pants, and he's very cold, and it's his birthday (I thought I'll throw that in for good measure), I'm willing to wait; it's better than flying to New York, because Michigan is out of corduroy pants.  So do what you have to do there and get back to me.  Just don't drop my call, Lynn, ok?
Ok. Please hold.

Coffee and cookies are gone by now, but Harry's having a nervous breakdown for being kept in the dark for so long.

Hello? Ok credit card information.  The pants are 40% off..
Will you be using Macy's card?  You get another 15% off if you do.
No shipping because Michigan is out of them.
Really!  Wow, Lynn, we're doing extremely well here.
So you'll get these by Tuesday.  I hope your husband has a happy birthday.
Thank you Lynn.  Thank you for being so nice and patient.  You are a super saleslady.
Thank you Mrs A. Sorry for putting you on hold so much.

Mission accomplished.  As a bonus, faith in humanity restored.

Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.
Number of holds: 126
Total savings: 40% + 15% + no shipping
Coffee: 1 huge mug
Cookies: 3 small ish.
Chapters read: 4
Surprising husband with pants on Tuesday: priceless!

This effort is dedicated to Lynn, superior saleslady at men's Polo department at Herald Square Macy's, New York, NY


  1. I can't believe the saleslady at your store wouldn't order them for you, but YAY you for being so patient with Lynn; many people would not have been. And look how you were rewarded for your effort.

    My faith in humanity was restored on Black Friday, by a young lady that gave me an extra (much-sought-after) TV her group had grabbed. She remembered I had been ahead of them in the line outside the store, and felt bad that they got two and I didn't get one myself (because I refused to run through the store to fight for them). I love moments like that! :)

  2. I love this story. I think your patience was commendable. I am going to have to remember that when I wait on the phone the next time.