“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”
― Woody Allen
I told God – and all of cyberspace – my plans in yesterday’s blog, writing: “Smiggle is a terrifying place on a Saturday morning … Today is more relaxed affair … details about that tomorrow.”
I didn’t get a relaxed Sunday. I went on a harrowing Smiggle advent calendar hunt.
I have no-one to blame but myself … and that little sh#t of a shop assistant who screwed me over at the Manly Smiggle store …
But let me take a deeeeeep breathe and rewind to where it all went horribly wrong …
Mistake 1: letting the eldest buy a Smiggle advent calendar with her birthday gift cards and not forseeing this would have sisterly consequences.
Mistake 2: telling my mother the eldest had bought a Smiggle advent calendar. My mother immediately insisted I buy the youngest a matching Smiggle advent calendar from Nonna.
Mistake 3: telling the youngest that Nonna was buying her a Smiggle advent calendar.
The youngest wasn’t particularly fazed by the Smiggle advent calendar thing until one was dangled carrot-like at her. Then she became positively Violet Beauregarde-ish in her “I must have one and I MUST HAVE IT NOW” desire.
There had been an extravagant stack of Smiggle advent calendars in the store when I visited on Saturday morning, so I wasn’t anticipating it being problem. I sent Husband off to procure one after he collected the kids.
He texted to say the store was all out of calendars and had suggested he try Macquarie Centre instead. Macquarie Centre isn’t close and apparently quite terrifying since H&M opened, so he declined. I replied that I was passing a northern beaches Smiggle store at any moment and would get one there.
No dice. All out. But apparently Manly had some in stock.
My plans for Sunday didn’t involve a drive to Manly. I had my heart set on a wander around Newport Beach Markets, a lazy lunch somewhere and a few glasses of champagne in the sunshine. So I decided the youngest would just have to suck it up princess.
But DD, bless him, thought an eight-year-old’s urgent desire for a Smiggle advent calendar was a worthwhile quest. He tapped Manly Smiggle’s number into his phone and handed it to me to give the store a call.
The bloke who answered said he would put one on hold, but I’d need to collect it within 24 hours. No problem, I replied, I’ll be there in 30 minutes.
When I walked into Manly Smiggle and asked that feckless Gen Y git behind the counter for the advent calendar he’d put aside for me, he said: “Oh, I am so sorry [He wasn’t sorry AT ALL]. It’s gone. It’s store policy that if a product is put on hold, but someone else comes into the store wanting it, we have to sell it to them.”
Does the look on your face while reading that ridiculous explanation mirror the one I wore when he told me? Have your eyes gone narrow and flinty?? All WTF???
Apparently some cashed up lower northern beaches mama had swept into the store 10 minutes earlier and demanded all five remaining Smiggle advent calendars at $35 a pop.
Who DOES that?
So that feckless Gen Y git sold them all – including mine – to her.
(Spineless wuss … may he be trapped in Smiggle hell selling cupcake-shaped erasers to screaming five-year-olds until he’s 80.)
I stared at him incredulously and pointed out I’d just driven 30 farking minutes to get that farking advent calendar. He replied that he was terribly sorry but he had no choice because, you know, store policy.
He then offered to sell me the demo model – with all the windows messily ripped open – at a discounted price.
I stared at him incredulously again.
Then I frostily suggested he might want to handle such situations a little differently in future. For example, by explaining to customers that putting something on hold at Smiggle MEANS ABSOLUTELY FARK ALL, SO DON’T FARKING BOTHER.
I stomped out and texted Husband to tell him the youngest wouldn’t be getting a Smiggle advent calendar after all, with a brief rant about that little Smiggle bastard.
Husband texted back to say the sage eldest had noted: “I wonder if he got yelled at.”
When I calmed down, DD – bless him – suggested I ring every Smiggle store in a 20km radius and see if they had any stock left. So I dialled and dialled and dialled.
And the answer was no, no, no, no, no …
Finally, I came full circle to Macquarie Centre Smiggle, which still had one left … and pinky promised to put it on hold for me. The woman on the phone seemed quite perturbed about Manly Smiggle’s unique “hold” policy.
It is not a short distance from Manly to Macquarie Centre. But again, DD insisted that an eight-year-old’s newly minted desire for a Smiggle advent calendar was a worthwhile quest and drove me there through the most appalling Sunday afternoon traffic.
When we arrived, the girl behind the counter looked a little startled when I mentioned I had an advent calendar “on hold.”
Here we go again, I thought bleakly.
She went out the back and returned empty handed.
My heart sank.
But she just wanted to know the name it was being held under. I’m presuming there are desperate mums out there prepared to lie, cheat and prostitute themselves to get their hands on the elusive bloody things.
I supplied the correct name and the delighted eight-year-old got her Smiggle advent calendar just in time for December 1.
Yes, Margot. I know, I know, I know. You see, it was only a few days ago that pragmatic Margot – my former colleague and flatmate – chided on Facebook that: “You make such work for yourself. Ease up.”
But look at this little face …
As for my mother, her consoling text message was: “Your own fault, should have known I would get it for her when Ruby had one.”
Song of the day: Rolling Stones “You can’t always get what you want”