Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Skill (African Bum Disease!)

Monkeypipe is happy.

Yesterday I managed to perform a task which normally falls under the category of "inept" in my usual attempts to perform said task: I returned an item to a shop.

I've long been blighted by a crippling collapse of abilities verbal and reasoning when attempting to return items, even items that have been faulty, and it has always bothered me that such a simple consumer right was out of my grasp. I'm a not stupid person, and I feel that I have a way with words in certain situations, but this one, all my years of using the English language, all my experience and learning decide to go somewhere else and do something more interesting with their time.

But no more.

I returned an Airport Extreme base-station to an Apple store. It was three days past it's 14 day return policy period, but I explained that I could not get the thing to work with my machine, and that the lapse of days was partly due to the advice of the store when I had popped in to ask about why I couldn't get the thing to work. The manager was consulted, and the device was accepted back.

Why so different this time?

I didn't do my usual thing of trying to explain everything at once straight away, making it sound like some terrible Bizarro sales pitch ("me am happy with product and demand you sell me again!") - I went in, said I was returning the item, and when asked why, explained in very simple terms the problem - basically I didn't know how to make the thing work.

It sounds so easy when it's put down here in the cold light of the day after - but it was a big step for me. I'm not bitten by a bug to start buying and returning items just for the hell of it now, but it was something I had that I'd bought, but didn't need, or couldn't fit into my life at this time, and so I returned it.

Oh, and for those wondering about the title of this post - as a kid growing up in the eighties, it was often the case that if someone suggested that they held a talent in any field by declaring "skill", other kids would bring you down to Earth by informing you that Skill was actually a disease. An African Bum Disease, to be precise. Seriously. Google "Skill African Bum Disease" if you don't believe me.


pdore said...

Congratulations Jamie!! Although in a couple of years you'll probably be doing it like a native son i.e. "This (item) is a piece of *&^*!! If you don't give me my (amount of money) in ten seconds I'm going to get every one of you *&*$^*&s fired!!!"

Anonymous said...

HA! Totally! I think Americans in general have such confidence in their consumer rights that we wouldn't give it a second thought. But, Huzza, to Jamie! I know it's hard for you to deal with confrontation and here's to many more useless items that we can bring back!