Shoppers’ Paradise? God forbid!
I had heard of a couple of shoppers’ paradises in Purasawalkam. My sisters and I needed to buy some steel plates and so in we trotted into one of the biggest stores which boasts of branches all over Chennai. The crowds were daunting, which only proved that the sales were skyrocketing. What put us off totally was the attitude of the salespeople within, who had most certainly made a habit of getting out of the wrong side of their beds! They wallowed in their misery, not a smile or polite remark cracking their grumpy exteriors. When we asked for the plate section, we were pointed towards an even grumpier soul. Miles and miles of plates littered the area, but not the kind we were looking for, mom being rather particular about her choices.
Meanwhile I had bought something small, and I made my way out to call up Mom to ask if we could pick up some other plates. Cell phones have a nasty habit of switching off at inopportune moments, much like the staff within the store, and even as I made my call and moved back in, two huge bulldog-like men growled at me, asking me to deposit my bag outside. I protested that I had only gone to make a call, but the growls increased in intensity, and they only piped down when I asked for the manager in my sternest voice possible.
Meanwhile the plates had been located but the snails disguised as salesgirls took their own sweet time in making up the bill, sending us all over the place to collect our parcel. And finally at the collection counter, the frowning beauty there sent our packet flying across the counter, even as our plates landed with a giant crash inches away from us. That was when I took a grave vow, like Bhishmacharya... never again would I set foot on this store or any of its branches, where, despite being named after a gem, the people within were no gems... just a whole lot of boors who should never have been in sales ever!
The day had not ended yet. Off we went to another huge store, which claimed to have everything under the sun, except good tempers! Once again we waded our way through to find an onion pink printed polycot sari, again courtesy Mom who had loved it on someone else! As we made our winding way across bales of cloth and baleful glares [since all we wanted was one measly sari!], my sister decided to buy a blouse piece. Half an hour later, she regretted ever having walked into the shop, for one blouse piece warranted no attention whatsoever. The salesgirl was rude since the sale was just a drop in the ocean! Another vow was taken, this time by all three of us! Never again!
By this time we were hungry enough to eat a horse apiece, and we needed to find a good vegetarian joint. But the best one was off limits, because we had just got in foul moods, out of the store with the same name! God forbid!