Big Lots - 1, Jon - 0

So we arrive in Milwaukee after our 15 hour, cross-country drive and realize the rental house is short a few things. We mapquest the nearest Walmart and lo and behold, across the street is one of Jon's favorite stores, Big Lots (purveyor of clearance home decor). Super!

We enter. Jon stares at a discount grill for 20 minutes straight. I purchase shades for the Moroccan lamps (yup, those) and plastic storage containers for the basement. We leave.

Lampshades are ginormous and look ridiculous and won't work. Snippet of ensuing conversation:

Jon: Hey, let's return them and I'll get that $70 grill.
Me: We already have a grill.
Jon: It was $30 from Walmart!
Me: And it works. Sorry, friend.
Jon (under his breath): We shall see.

We return a few days later to Big Lots. It is 9:01 on a Saturday morning; the store has just opened and we are the first customers. There is one employee stationed at the front of the store. I walk my Big Lots bag over to her and deposit the lampshades - with tags - on the counter. I would like to return these, I say. Do you have the receipt, she counters. No, but the tags are intact and store credit is fine, I reply.

"We cannot accept any return items without a receipt."


"Jon" (Satan?): This is ridiculous! What kind of customer service is this? Do you see the Big Lots tag on the lamps? See them? (Grabs them and shakes them furiously.) And the shades are wrapped in plastic - your plastic. They have never been used! I demand that you accept these!

Saleswoman: We cannot accept return items without a receipt. (Points to a very large sign above her head that clearly states the store policy.)

"Jon": I want to speak to the manager. Where is the manager? Yes, get the manager. (Hissing!) This is asinine!

Manager: I am sorry, but we cannot accept return items without the receipt. (Points to sign.)

"Jon": This is appalling customer service! How do you expect to keep customers? I am never shopping here again. Never! Mark my words - never!

He storms out of the automated doors and turns and stares at me with his arms crossed, tapping his foot like an insane person, which he clearly is, and waits for me to join him.

A dustbunny rolls by. The sound of a clock ticking. Wind.

Saleswoman and I look at each other in complete disbelief. My hands are in the air holding one of the lampshades while my mouth hangs open like I'm coming down from a root canal. No one moves.

That is, until Jon reenters the store.

AND proceeds to fiddle with the $70 grill as if nothing has happened. Ten feet from terrified employee and mortified spouse. I turn and walk as quickly as possible to the back of the store and decide to amnesia the entire episode, thereby making it possible for me to consider having future children with husband.

Clearly, we don't purchase anything. As we walk towards the exit doors - I'm in a speedwalk to avoid eye contact with employee or manager (who has remained by the counter to watch over Jon) - Jon stops to speak one more time with the saleswoman.

AND . . . he apologizes.
To which she replies, thank you. Asswipe. (Okay, I imagined that last part.)

And yes, we've been back.
No such thing as shame over here. Nope.

[This really happened! Minus the dustbunny part.]


  1. I am still upset about the Big Lots incident. What a ridiculous policy!

  2. omg... I'm dying. Like to keep from laughing out loud at my desk I am basically crying. Wow. Who is this Milwaukee Jon????

  3. Tears are streaming down my face. Hilarious. My favorite new use of the english language: "I decide to amnesia..."