Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Have a Bone to Pick with Walgreens

After two hour long therapy sessions with my daughters today, I stopped by Walgreens.
I had been studying my weekly circular, had found a deal for a great toothbrush for free and was anxious to practice my extreme couponing.

If only I knew then what I know now...
Please hang on to your hats as I try to explain this transaction as only a Liberal Arts/English major can.

I had a $2 coupon for an Oral B toothbrush from a recent Sunday coupon insert.
This particular toothbrush was on sale for $4.99 with $2.00 in Register Rewards.
After my coupon, the toothbrush should ring up at $2.99. 
Because I had scored some Register Rewards from a previous purchase, I was also planning to use those to cover my out of pocket for the day.
Then, with the earned $2 more in Register Rewards, the toothbrush actually should only have cost me $.99.

Toothbrush regular price = $5.99
Toothbrush sale price = $4.99
$4.99 - MFR Coupon ($2) = $2.99
$2.99 - $2 earned in Register Rewards = $.99
Paid for with another Register Reward from a previous purchase = FREE toothbrush.

I entered Walgreens and went straight to the toothbrush aisle. 
I found said "yellow ticket" that marks the sale items, checked and rechecked to make sure I had the correct product, took one toothbrush off the shelf and took it to the check-out counter.
I handed the clerk the toothbrush and my coupon.

The only way I know to describe what happened next is to give you the play by play:

Clerk: That's $6.01

Me: as I'm swiping my debit card like a do-do bird...What?

Clerk: 6 dollars and 1 cent.

Me: as I'm typing in my PIN...How can it be $6.01?  It's on sale for $4.99 and I have a coupon for $2 off?

Clerk: It didn't ring up on sale; it rang up for $7.49

Me: Huh?

Clerk: It rang up for $7.49

Me: assuming I had somehow miscalculated something somewhere...Ok, well I'll just use some of my Register Rewards to pay for it.  I pulled out a $5 and $1 Register Reward.

The clerk scanned my Register Rewards and the register would not take either one of them.

Clerk: You won't be able to use these.

Me: Why?

Clerk: Because you didn't buy enough stuff. 

Now, I know your Register Rewards can't equal more than your total...I was already digging for the penny I thought I needed to complete this transaction.

Clerk: You have to buy something else if you want to use these.

Me: stunned that the clerk assumed I was just going to pay $6.01 for a TOOTHBRUSH!  Well, then, I need to swap this toothbrush for the one that is on sale; then I won't need to use my Register Rewards.

Clerk: looking at me like I have just asked her to rearrange the entire toothbrush section in every Walgreens store in the Southeastern region of the United States.
I'll have to call a manager.

Me: after realizing the clerk really would rather not call the manager; she'd rather I just buy the dang toothbrush for $6.01
Please call the manager.

Clerk: shouting into the microphone...I need a manager at the front register!
Please add a heavy sigh and eye rolling to the visual you have so far.
I really try my best to keep my patience with young clerks who I know are just trying to make a buck...but I swear, all I could think of at this point was Bon Qui Qui

Clerk: literally shooing me to the register directly across from her...He's gonna probably take you over there...Who's next??

A nice young assistant manager makes his way to the front

Asst Mgr: Do you need a refund?

Clerk: Yeah, over there, the lady with the toothbrush
I swear her eyes rolled again.

Asst Mgr: Yes, Ma'am?

I explained the whole scenario to the nice young assistant manager. 

Asst Mgr: No problem; let's just go check real quick and make sure this is the right toothbrush.

I walked with the nice young assistant manager to the toothbrush section, pointed out the yellow tag and showed him where I got the toothbrush.  Sure enough; I had the correct toothbrush.  Neither I nor the nice young assistant manager had any idea why the heck the toothbrush was ringing up $7.49.

The nice young assistant manager and I returned to the register; he punched a bunch of buttons on the cash register, handed me $.54, scanned a random box of crackers and gave me $2 in Register Rewards. 

Asst Mgr: Sorry for all your trouble.

Me: Huh??

Let's review the math, shall we?
My debit card has been debited $6.01.  I've been handed $.54 to make it all better.  That means my free toothbrush just cost me $5.45
Even with the $2 in Register Rewards, my toothbrush was still $3.45
And he wouldn't give me my coupon back because it had been used!!!!
Now with the loss of my $2 coupon, my free toothbrush was costing me $5.45.

Like I said, HUH??

Asst Mgr: I adjusted the price you paid to reflect the difference between the the price that came up and the actual price...the difference after tax is $.54

Me: remembering that I'm an English major and this nice young assistant manager must be a math major...he probably knows something I don't know.
Uh, oh, ok...thanks

I took my toothbrush in my little Walgreens bag and headed to my car.
I could not, however, shake this nagging feeling.
I sat in my car and looked at my receipt.
Then, I wanted to kick myself.
I came by to pick up a free toothbrush and I was leaving with a $5 toothbrush;
For the record, I have NEVER paid $5 for a toothbrush.

I turned the engine off and went back inside.

You should have seen the look on Bon Qui Qui the sales clerk's face when I re-entered the store.

Me: May I please speak to that same assistant manager again?

Clerk: I guess...yelling into the microphone again...I need a manager up front again!
Then to me, I don't even know that guy's name, so maybe somebody will show up.

At this point the nice young assistant manager comes from the back with a coke and a bag of chips in his hands.  Great, he's either on a break or getting ready to go on a break.  This ought to earn me some points...not.

Me: I'm sorry; I know you love us coupon ladies...but could you please just look at this again and help me understand?

Asst Mgr: with an unbelieving look on his face...O...K...

The nice young assistant manager tries to explain to me one more time why the $.54 refund should make me happy.
I tried then to explain to him why I still wasn't happy.
Neither of us budged.

Me:  Listen, I think what would be best is if I just return this toothbrush, the cracker Register Rewards, and the $.54.  Then, you can credit my $6.01 back to my debit card, give me my coupon back and I'll be out of your hair.

Asst Mgr: Well, ok...if that's what you want to do.

At this point we go back to the original coupon is in that drawer.  The nice young assistant manager begins punching buttons again with my receipt. 

Me: I will need a receipt that shows my credit please.

Asst Mgr: I'm just going to cancel out the transaction like it never happened.

Me: But, I will get a receipt, right?

Asst Mgr: I'll have to do it as a return in order to get a receipt, so I'll just do it that way.

Me: Thanks.

While the nice young assistant manager is punching in more buttons, I swear to you by all that is right in this world that Bon Qui Qui the sales clerk is standing within hearing distance at the corner of the counter explaining to another clerk about the "toothbrush lady."

: /

Please bear with me just a few more minutes folks, cause it ain't over yet.

The nice young assistant manager handed me a credit receipt and my coupon.  The receipt said $-8.01

Me: Wait, now it's credited me too much!

Asst Mgr: No, it credited you the original amount of the toothbrush which is what you paid.

Me: That would be the original amount of the toothbrush ($7.49) + tax, which would equal $8.01...are you just going to keep my coupon for the $2 difference.

Asst Mgr: No, you paid $8.01 so I'm crediting you back $8.01

I promise you...the nice young assistant manager was holding both of my receipts in his hand.  One was for a debit of $6.01 and the other was a credit for $8.01...

I am 100% positive that I was wrong about one thing today...the nice young assistant manager is definitely NOT a math major.

After 2 hours of therapy and 45 minutes arguing over a toothbrush at Walgreens, I was spent...I had nothing more to give.
I tucked my tail and left Walgreens without my toothbrush but having somehow made $2.

I would rather have my toothbrush.

Have I mentioned what a fan I'm becoming of CVS??

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Garden Update - An Unwelcome Visitor

Every day my youngest and I start off by checking the garden.  I with my coffee in my hand and she in her pajamas :)

We check the tomatoes first and make sure that they are all standing up...remember, I forgot to pull those suckers off, so now each tomato plant (all 20 of them) looks like an octopus...arms and legs jutting out from every corner :)  Some of the tomatoes growing on these noodly arms are the size of large oranges or small grapefruit, so you can imagine the weight.  I do not want my beloved tomatoes to touch the ground, so I've had to work hard helping them back up each day...

Because of all the extra nurturing I've been providing my sweet tomatoes, I am that much more paranoid about some pesky critter (my neighbor's dog Henry) checking out my garden early in the mornings before we get best guess is that Henry takes a morning nap in the shade of my tomato jungle!  I'm making plans to surprise him one morning and chase him with a stick when he least expects it.

All of the tomato plants I repotted in order to save the ones in the bed have lived except for one.  I like to think this tomato died so that the rest could live :)  The tomato plants in the pots have to be watered more than the ones in the bed.  I think it has something to do with potting soil and being in pots, my youngest and I usually give them their last drink around dusk.  One day we found these two gang members:

Do you see them???
Do you see the two interlopers???
Do you think these pesky worms have any idea how hard I have worked in my garden?
Do you think these awful  brown speckled fellas have any idea how much I went through to save the very tomato plants they have chosen to squat on??
Do you think they even care??

This worm in particular tried to act all nonchalant like he was just rolling around whistling...not really up to anything...maybe even a new tomato plant inspector :/

Does he think I'm stupid????
At least Henry takes off running when he hears me coming!
This dude was soo arrogant!

At this point my youngest actually said, "Awww Mommy, he's kinda cute!"


Now, let me clear something up here.
I NEVER thought this worm was cute.


As far as I'm concerned, worms are small snakes and you know how I feel about snakes.

But, it's hard to kill something when your 6 year old is standing there talking about how cute it is...

But then, Mr. Cocky Worm just couldn't get enough...
He thought he was in the clear...
He thought he was such a ladies' man...

And, then we caught him!!
Red Handed!
With his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak!

Can you believe this devil?????
Eating my tomato leaf as he smirks smiles for the camera!

Please take a good look at him because this was the last picture taken of him in his short life.

The moral of this story is...
Hell hath no fury like a woman and her 6 year old scorned!
and most importantly

Don't mess with my tomatoes...or you'll get smooshed!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner - Book Review

Summary : The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner is told from Bree Tanner's perspective, describing life as a newborn vampire who is unable to control her bloodlust and has no choice but to follow and believe what she is told by her leader, Riley.  Bree's secret creator, Victoria, is an evil vampire set on revenge against Bella Swann, the heroine of the Twilight series.  Victoria has sworn revenge on Edward Cullen for killing her mate by creating an army of newborn vampires to kill those most dear to Edward, his family and most importantly Bella. 

Bree and the other newborns are kept in the dark about Victoria's true intentions and are told the Cullens are evil vampires who want to destroy them.  If the Cullens of Twilight are examples of high society vampires, then Bree's "family" of newborn vampires are the underground, the lowest of the low, the psycho monsters of nightmares. They will kill each other just as well as strangers. Bree and the other newborn vampires are not taught the rules of vampire life and/or how to live among humans; they are essentially being "bred" as killing machines.

During the brief moments when her need for blood is not driving her with the crowd, Bree practices controlling her thoughts and analyzing her situation. She is smart enough to know that something isn't quite right.  She also accidently witnesses a visit by a group of cloaked strangers and realizes something much bigger is happening than what she and the others are being told.  Bree has enough sense to make the decision to flee during the attack so that hopefully Victoria and Riley will think that she is dead and no one will search for her. 
Eclipse and The Short 2nd Life overlap when Carlisle Cullen captures Bree during the attack.  Unbeknownst to the newborn army, the Cullens have been forewarned and are ready to fight; the newborns never had a chance.  Bree begs Carlisle Cullen to spare her life, and Carlisle agrees to give her a chance if she will make an effort to learn to control herself.  When the four Volturi guard members arrive, however, the leader of the guard, Jane, dismisses Bree's request, asks her a series of questions, and then has her destroyed, without so much as a blink of an eye.
The scene between the Cullens and Bree and then Jane and Bree is played out in both books almost word for word except, of course the difference in perspective.  In The Short 2nd Life Bree also chooses to share information about the Volturi with Edward (who she knows is a mindreader) before she dies.  In Eclipse Edward knows the Volturi are behind the attack, but how he knows is never made clear.   The ending is the same though; Bree is destroyed before we ever really get to know her or who she could have been. 

My Thoughts : My oldest daughter read this before I did and warned me that it was "slow."  I was reluctant to read this book when it was first announced once I found out it was a "novella."  I wasn't sure of the point, and I'm honestly still not.  I pushed my way through this short episode, and then asked my daughter a series of questions to which she replied, "Mom, You did READ Eclipse, didn't you?"

So, I re-read Eclipse.  In Eclipse once the Cullens put together what is happening, where the threat originates and why, Jasper tells an intriguing story about another newborn vampire army of which he was actually a member.  The dangers of unguided newborns are described, and Jasper explains this historical event as the reason there are strict Volturi rules about newborns.  I probably didn't pay as much attention to this part of the story on my first read...simply because I was so caught up in the action, but I did see the significance the 2nd time around.  The significance of this history I believe will continue to play out as the Volturi again visit the Cullen's to investigate both Bella's immortality as well as the birth of Bella and Edvard's child in Breaking Dawn.

In the foreward of The Short Second Life... Meyer explains that she herself became attached to Bree and wanted her readers to have more of an explanation of who Bree was and Bree's "story."  Maybe Meyer felt that with the release of the movie version of Eclipse, that many readers needed a reminder of what the story was about since in the midst of Twilightmania, many other readers, like me, were flying through the novels to get to the end.  When I re-read Eclipse, I couldn't tell if Meyer intended for Edward to read Bree's mind, and this made me a little suspicious of Meyer's intentions.  If she was so attached to this character as she wrote the story, I would think that she would have had this backstory in mind all along?  Then, I wondered if I was just a little jaded suspecting Meyer of trying to sell another book since the Twilight saga is over??  I hope this is not the case.

I haven't read any other reviews of The Short Second Life...yet...on purpose.  I'm anxious to see what other readers thought.  
I also have not seen the movie version of Eclipse yet.  I will see it, but I'm anal about reading the books first...and in this situation, it was even more important...I didn't want my understanding of The Short Second Life... to be tainted in any way by Hollywood. 

Have I mentioned I'm a little OCD about certain things? ;)