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Greek-American Stories: Kiki Gets Socked!

Listen! I have to tell someone. so, you’re IT! Going to the store, any store, has become a trial. I needed a pair of brown socks. Just one pair of brown winter socks. I know I won’t get them for Christmas. Going shopping for a pair was the best option. So, before lunch, I drove to the mall, entered and went to the section where socks, slippers, and gloves were sold. I found the right color and they were 50% wool, too. The store was crowded for that time of day. So, socks in hand, I started for the cashier and saw that there was only one aisle open. One cashier was available with so many people? I stood on line, behind a woman who had, I noticed, a couple of items. The sales guy took her items, totaled them, then and asked if she’s paying cash or credit. I noticed she had cash in her hand. Why ask? Then he asked her if she wanted a receipt. She shrugged and said, “I guess not!” “Are you sure?” he said. “You might need to return the items for some reason.” After a few seconds pause she decided to take the receipt. He asked her something else. I didn’t hear. Finally, she left in a huff and my turn came.

“Are you paying cash or credit?” he asked. “Cash!” I told him, waving the money, wondering if there was something wrong with his eyesight. He asked if I wanted a receipt. I said, “No!” “You may want to return the item for some season.” “Why would I want to return them? I need them,” I told him, smiling patiently.  “Do you want to contribute for the children in Uzbekistan?” He pointed to a large poster showing a ragged, hungry kid. “No”, said I, waiting to get my socks bagged. “Do you want to apply for the $100 certificate our store is offering? If you’re selected you could shop for that amount any time, no time limit. ” “No!’ I said for the third time. He looked up and asked, “do you have a store card with us?” My fourth, “No!” was said a little louder than the other three no’s. “Would you like to open one up with us? There are advantages.” That’s when I’d had it. “Just pack my socks and let me go home!”

He smiled and said, “you’d be missing on some very excellent bargain offers with that card, ma’am!” This guy doesn’t want to see me leave. I expected him, next to recite my ‘rights’. Really annoyed, I wanted to grab his shirt front and tell him if he doesn’t let me go, I’d stuff the socks down his throat. Then, having heard my very loud, fifth, “NO,” the store manager came forward and asked if something was wrong. “Yeah!” I said. “I want to leave the store sometime today, with these socks!” Giving me a hot glare, he said, “Heh, heh, heh. Now, now! Let’s stay civil, here.” I continued. “Instead, I’m getting a sales pitch a yard long and he’s keeping me hostage.” “Our sale people here just want to offer you every advantage.” his voice had a threat to it. “Let us not be unreasonable! He’s just doing his job! He’s new here and one of our most promising salesmen. We don’t hassle anyone.”  Suddenly, I was the hassler. “Look! I wish him luck. Just bag my socks, please!” With gloomy dejection he told the salesman to bag them. Wordlessly, looking hurt; he bagged them and turned away. Suddenly, I didn’t want them anymore. Who wants them? Every time I wear them I’ll remember I wasn’t civil, I made a salesman feel like a failure, and denied a kid in Uzbekistan a piece of bread. Well, guess what! Someone is getting a pair of brown, 50% wool socks for Christmas, without the receipt.

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