Yesterday was my son’s birthday party. He turned two, and all of his friends came over.

As a dad, I had to try to get things ready. I put together a water table, cooked food for a Dr. Seuss themed party (Yes, I did make Green Eggs N Ham which you can see on my Facebook page), and helped my wife decorate.

The day before, I inflated this ball pit thing. It took forever but it was pretty cute. It was not that expensive, I think only like $35 bucks. Yet, it took a while to inflate each area.

Well, when I woke up yesterday, I noticed the bottom was deflated. Nervous, I inflated it again and hoped that it would be okay for the party. I really hoped so because I dumped 250 balls in this thing.

Well, it was not, it had a hole in it. I was a little bummed, but not that worried since we had so many other toys.

Towards the end of the party, I decided to try to deflate this ball pit as much as possible and return it to Toys R Us. I had the receipt, the Rewards Card and the credit card it was puchased on. My wife and I decided to get some toddler trampoline instead.

When I got to the Toys R Us in Sanford, FL, I went to the return area and explained my situation. The guy behind the counter looked at me funny and called up a manager.

The manager came up and rolled her eyes after I explained that I got a defective ball pit thingy and I did not want it anymore. She looked and said….

“Well, I will take it back, but not the ball pit balls.”

The ball pit balls (250 pack) was $25 dollars and I would have no use for it. I was confused.

“Why won’t you take back the balls? I told you that this thing has a hole in it and…”

The manager interrupted me “Whatever…I will take it all back.” Once again she rolled her eyes.

At this point, I was angry. I HATE BEING DISRESPECTED! Last time I checked, I was the consumer.

So I looked at the woman and asked her what her problem was. She said …

“I get it, the party is over and you used the ball pit. Now you want your money back.”

Quickly (and very quickly) I responded….

“Oh, so I am a scum bag. I will tell you what. Why don’t you grab a pump from the back and pump this stupid thing up. Then. lets wait a while for it to deflate. I would hate for you to think I am a criminal! DO IT!”

She said “No, it’s fine.”

“No, it is not fine. Basically, you are trying to embarrass me over $35 bucks. Guess what, most consumers are not out there to pull a fast one. I sure am not. I have come to Toys R Us for over 20 years. Pull up my name, see how many returns I have. Maybe two. Maybe. So you think I am going to give my wife and son high fives outside because I won the war with Toys R Us. I got my $35 bucks!”

She tried to hurry up the transaction because people started to stare. Yes, I was that guy. The one that when I left the store everyone giggles about.

But I was not done…..

“So what if I was the criminal you say I am. What if I did pull a fast one after the party. Where is the rule that I can not return it. WHERE! I know about the video game rule. I know about the “No Receipt” rule. Where is the rule that I can not return this stupid ball thing.”

Quickly, she handed my my $90 (Ball pit thing and two bags of balls) with no apology. A manager who has trained in customer service handed me money like I am a prostitute. Giving me my money so I will go away after the deed is done.

I was upset. I left without getting my son the trampoline.

Ehh, he got enough toys.

The money was not the point. Customer service these days makes no sense.

I thought about it all night and wondered how many times this has happened to me in my life. When I was 420 pounds, how many times a waiter rolled his eyes when I ordered dessert. The snicker when I asked where the Big N Tall section was at Dillards. Even now, how people have no customer service skills.

I have been in restaurants for over 15 years, but more than that, I have made people happy. I have been yelled at. I have been insulted. I have been called the devil numerous times. Yet, I never rolled my eyes. I never thought a guest was pulling a fast one. I never had an issue with buying a meal.

Never! You know why?

Because I know that if we do not take care of the guest, five million other restaurants will.

I live near a Wal Mart, Target, Best Buy, and numerous other shopping outlets. I promise when I go to get my son something, and we get a lot, I will think twice before I go to Toys R Us.

I decided to blog about it because my blog is about getting out of your comfort zone. Has this ever happened to you? Have you been disrespected by a manager or a customer service rep before? What did you do?

One thing I know…..

I do not have to take it.

And I sure as hell can blog about it.

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