Thursday, November 17, 2011

Errands

I know I said I would write more about Lyon, and I will.  But I want to share with you the grueling, excruciating, ridiculous process it takes to run one errand in France.

Last week I bought an iPhone case for Mr. Oil at Darty.  He didn't like it (surprise, surprise).  So I went back to the store today to a)return the case and b)purchase an immersion blender (gotta support my new soup habit). 

Ready to run an errand with me? Here's what we have to do:

1. Go to cash register. Explain I want to return something.  Get sent to the basement.
2. Go to basement level. See crazy long line. Looks like the same line I know I have to wait in for the blender. 
3. Go get blender. By that I mean, go wander around the blender section until I find an employee willing to talk to me.  Then, point to blender I want.  Get told they are all out. Point to another. Get told they are all out.  Then said employee looks for the cheapest immersion blender in the computer, and lo and behold, informs me that I can purchase only the immersion blender that I originally asked for. 
4. Pay for blender. Get ticket.
5. Return to crazy long line. Wait.
6. Wait, while watching random French rap videos.
7. Get to the front, give in my ticket for the blender and explain about the return.  That employee takes my ticket and promptly disappears. But not before informing me that I have to wait in a separate line at the cash register next to him in order to do the return.
8. Wait for the guy to reappear with my blender.
9. Watch more French rap videos.
10. Wait in the other line to return item. Hand the guy the item, only to get handed a ticket and informed that now I have to go back to the cash register I started at in (1).
11. Wait for my blender.  The guy never comes back but somehow my blender has appeared on the counter. 
12. Take my blender, go back upstairs to the original cash register. Wait in the line. Hand in my ticket for the return. Get my money refunded.

I'm not sure whether this is all part of France's ploy to ensure the maximum number of people are employed at every store, or just to discourage you from doing nice things like trying to buy your husband an iPhone case that he may or may not like. 

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