Saturday, May 17, 2008

Discount Sally

As many of you know, my husband, The Colonel, is very creative. He is a writer and an artist, and my son will have the coolest Dad helping him with school projects.

This creativity was made known to me early in our relationship. The Colonel and I were on our first vacation together, and we headed down to San Diego with another couple who we are good friends with. It was on this trip that we started talking about getting married -- and we were engaged 2 1/2 months later and married 3 months after that. I was known for trying to get deals - I shopped with coupons, and I wasn't afraid to ask for a discount if something wasn't up to snuff. On the complete other hand, The Colonel was embarrassed to use coupons, and he wouldn't bother to return an item that wasn't 100% after he bought it (case in point -- we STILL have a TV that is half green and has been since the day The Colonel got it!).

The story below is true, or mostly true, with bits of The Colonel's embellishment thrown in for entertainment purposes. The Colonel wrote it, and unleashed his creative side to me, after an experience we had in San Diego. Since this story was shared with our family and friends, I have been called Discount Sally.

Discount Sally

So far, we had eaten about five times that day, and we still had yet to make it to our dinner reservations at 8 PM at a posh seaside fish house. Stevie and I were dragging our feet.

"We told you boys weeks ago that we were going to dress up and go out for dinner," Sally said, hands on hips. So we turned off the basketball playoffs and went.

That's how we found ourselves sitting stiffly in our Sunday best in a dimly lit fishhouse by the ocean.

I was stuffed. As I mentioned, we had already consumed twice our normal daily intake that day - bacon and egg sandwiches, nachos, Chinese food, funnelcake - with very little activity between feedings.

For this fine dining event, all poor Stevie could manage to eat was a salad and a bowl of soup. I gamely nibbled a few bites of undercooked steak and a couple of shrimpy shrimp. I simply could eat no more.

Stevie and I were stuffed, happy and a bit drowsy and we amused ourselves by gazing out the windows at the nearby boardwalk where a local fruitcake was playing a fiddle and fooling around with passersby.

But the girls were not so content. "This waitress stinks," Sally suddenly stated.

"No kidding," Megan chimed in. "We had to ask three times to have our water refilled."

"Yeah! Doesn't it seem like she's treating us different than the other customers?" said Sally, sharply elbowing me in the ribs.

"Uh, sure, honey," I obligingly replied. I had no idea where this was going.

Stevie, amazingly, was now alert and paying attention, eager to assist. "Hey, she didn't even offer me ground pepper for my salad," he chimed in.

Trying to help the cause, I said: "I didn't buy new pants and shoes just to be treated like this." I even thumped my fist on the table for emphasis.

Our little group was getting rowdy. "Look," said Stevie, pointing. "Those people over there never had to ask for more water."

"What are we - second-class citizens?" said I, fueling the fire.

The girls were really in a frenzy now. The sharks smelled blood in the water. Suddenly, Discount Sally reared her head. "I think we should speak to management," she proclaimed.

What? Stevie and I looked at each other in alarm. Whoa! We hadn't bargained on this. We wanted no part of this. Our waitress wasn't really that bad. We were just having a little fun, you know? We quickly turned our interests back to the fiddler on the boardwalk.

But the girls were not to be denied. "This restaurant came highly recommended by a friend of mine," Discount Sally said. "And this treatment is unacceptable."

There was a lull in the conversation as the worst waitress in the world brought us the check. It was three figures and change. This pleased the girls not at all, and the next thing we knew, they were flagging down the manager. Goodness.

I wanted to be anywhere else. The thought of sneaking out to the men's room passed through my mind, but I decided that would be a bit cowardly. Stevie was rolling his eyes and searching desperately for somewhere to hide, like under the table. "I don't like these confrontations," he whispered to me. "I'm just a simple country mouse. I got my food and that's all I care about." I nodded in understanding.

When the manager arrived at our table, the girls lit into the poor guy like I've never seen. They beat him up one side and down the other. They tore our waitress limb from limb as they rattled off her many transgressions. How on earth could she have treated us so poorly? After all, we were from out of town! Her actions bordered on criminal.

Stevie and I stared out the window, suddenly very interested in the foolish fiddler.

The manager quickly snatched up our check. "Let me make a few changes," he hissed as he scurried away.

When the manager returned, our bill had been magically reduced by some thirty percent, down into double digits.

"We really weren't expecting this," the girls babbled gleefully. Yeah, right.

"We're sorry for the inconvenience. Please come again," the manager pleased as he quickly fled the scene.

Discount Sally strikes again.

Well, I'll have you know that I struck 2 more times recently. I walked out of Sears with a $139 digital frame that I paid $49 for AND it has a $10 rebate. And I wasn't even looking for that deal. AND, I scored on my furniture by buying the floor display and shamelessly asking for a discount. I'm offering lessons if anyone is interested. =)


Band of Brothers said...

wow you would make my grandma selma proud. she wheels and deals like nobody's business, having been a Eureka vacuum salesperson in Queens for most of her adult life. I try to find bargains, but I'm not very aggressive.

The Hooper Family said...

I'm a bargain hunter for diapers, so if you need tips in that dept., let me know :)

Terry said...

Oh what a great story! I got a good giggle out of it. I too, am like the Colonel. No confrontations for me, however, I have been getting better about making my disappointments known.

suezque said...

I love finding good deals, but I am NOT confrontational, so if its not something I can get on my own, I don't mess with it. And the time I did ask for the discount, I just got shot down anyway... I may have to take a few pointers from ya! ;-)
Hey- I get to see you in 7 DAYS!!! YAY!!! :-)

Love Bears All Things said...

Living with a Quality Control manager, I am very much aware of these kinds of situations. Sometimes I am almost afraid to assert myself when something isn't to my satisfaction lest he takes over. He is a stickler for quality in any and every area of service and product.
Mama Bear

Agnes said...

So does he really call you Discount Sally or does he call you Discount *real name*? Discount Sally has a nicer ring to it.

shell said...

you would be proud of me. the cell phone that i just bought was originally $320 and i wasn't going to pay that so i checked out the refurbished ones and it was still $99, which i thought was too high. then yesterday i checked again and the price was dropped again to only $29 so i bought it. and since it's guarenteed by at&t, i say i got a real deal!

Sally said...

Yes, it's hard to imagine that I was SHY and afraid to talk on the phone to strangers when I was younger. I would throw a fit about even calling the movie theater for a movie start time.

Obviously I've been cured of all that!

Way to go on all your discounts everyone. Lins - I'm going to use yours, and Shell - GREAT deal on the phone...what did you get?

Laura said...

I LOVE this story!