Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Drag Queen was a Lady, but I wasn't

I was uncharacteristically impatient yesterday.

I am usually pretty calm and polite. I am a Southerner after all. My parents raised me right.

But yesterday, well...

My wife said she was shocked to walk out and find me yelling at the staff at Arby's in Manning, SC.

Let me back up.

Yesterday, we finally got to head off for our vacation. Because of language training and all the work my wife has had on the Poland desk, we haven't really had a vacation since last August.

So we decide to head to Savannah since my wife had never been there. The trip *should* take nine hours.

It actually took eleven and a half hours, thanks to the traffic on I-95.

So by the time we got to Manning, I was tired. And it was hot outside. And I wanted to get some gas and some food and get back on the road.

So I pull up to the pump. I swipe my card. "See cashier." So I walk inside. She said she needs to know how much I want. I want to fill it up. "Well I need a dollar amount." I don't know a dollar amount. I want to fill it up. "Well I need a dollar amount so I can activate the pump." I should have walked away. There was another station across the street. But I finally settled on $40, with the understanding that I would have to come BACK inside to get a new receipt if I used less than $40. Which of course I did.

They seem to do this to all credit card users...which seems to me to defeat the purpose of having a credit card reader at the pump....

So I was already annoyed when we drove next door to Arby's. But it is one of my favorite places, so I expected it to be good. My wife tells me what she wants, and heads to the bathroom.

So I order a combo for her and one for me. $5.89 and $5.19. They charge me $13.91.

Now I am pretty sure that a balance of $11.08 doesn't cost an additional $2.83 in tax. So I say so.

I was told I was wrong. "You'll see it on the receipt." Okay, so I pay. Maybe SC has suddently and uncharacteristically raised the sales tax dramatically.

So I look at the receipt. The tax was like $1.15. So they definitely overcharged me.

And they point to the receipt and STILL insist I was wrong. I point to the board and the prices. I add it up on my cell phone calculator to show them. And so the cashier who was training the cashier says I should get like .89 back. And I said no, it is not only .89.

This is when my wife comes out.

I was not yelling. I was, however, forcefully insisting that I get a refund of my overcharge. Not because I even cared about that amount of money, but because they were rudely insisting I was wrong.

It took the ENTIRE STAFF huddling around the register to determine she forgot to call them a combo and therefore charge me less than the charge of the individual items, and a phone call to some distant manager for me to get back my change.

Needless to say, I will pass by that exit on the way back.

But there was one Lady in my day yesterday. But not A lady. THE Lady.

The Lady Chablis.

My wife had never been to a drag show, so what better way to introduce her to this aspect of gay culture than to take her to a performance by Lady Chablis at Club One in Savannah.

It was a great performance. She is as funny today as she was when she and I worked together at a bar in Columbia more than 20 years ago.

Though to be fair, she was less of a lady than I was!


jgoshert said...

I was lucky enough to interview her once for an article for the GLBT paper in Columbus, OH, and she was just amazingly interesting to talk to. I'll never forget the interview!

Connie said...

It's not the money, it IS the point that they were wrong and tried to blow you off. I'd be ticked too. I can be very laid back and lenient about poor service, esp. with young kids who seem to be trying, but you have to draw a line sometimes. That was a perfect place for a line. Good for you. (I miss Arbys).