Thinking Outside The Gender Toybox

, , , | Right | June 21, 2018

(A woman calls the store with a question about a return.)

Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

Woman: “Yes, I was just wondering if I could bring an item in for return without the receipt?”

Me: “We accept most things for return without a receipt for store credit, but what’s the item?”

Woman: “Well, my little boy came to the store the other day with his grandma and he picked out a girl’s toy. Despite my telling his grandmother not to let him buy things like that, she let him, anyway. And he ripped into the box before I could take it away from him, so it’s slightly ripped on the corner. I wasn’t sure if I could still return it, since the packaging is damaged and I don’t have the receipt. Really, I just want to exchange it for an appropriate toy for a boy. Can I do that? “

Me: *slightly taken aback* “Uh, yeah, that should be fine.”

Woman: “Great! I’ll be in soon!”

(I end the call, shake my head in wonder, and go on with my day. A few hours later, the woman comes in to return the item, which for the record IS a popular, girly, pink toy, but it’s one that I’ve seen both girls and boys buy.)

Woman: “Were you the lady I talked to on the phone earlier?”

Me: “I believe so. You wanted to return this for store credit, right?”

Woman: “Uh, no. I want cash back for it.”

Me: “Oh. Err, I might be able to look up the transaction. Did you pay with [various methods of payment]?”

Woman: “No, it wasn’t me that bought it, remember? It was his grandmother. Also, it was his birthday money, so it would have been cash. But I know what time and day they came here; is that enough to go by?”

(It is, though it takes a long time and I have other customers, so a coworker comes over to help. The entire time my coworker is looking for the transaction, the woman is talking.)

Woman: “It’s hilarious that he keeps getting this stuff. He’s only in second grade, but keeps choosing these pink and purple girl’s toys no matter what I do! His grandmother is no help; in fact, she encourages it! The only thing I can think of is that he’s trying to impress the girls at school, and we just can’t have that, now, can we?”

(My coworker eventually found the woman’s receipt and returned the item. When everything was finally done, she ended up buying a cheap black and blue toy monster truck, making sure to mention how much more he’d like that toy than the silly pink one. I feel sorry for the poor kid.)

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