Sunday, May 18, 2008

Typical Jewish Store "Sale"

Our realtor, as a thank you gift, gave us a gift certificate when we closed on our last week. The gift certificate was to a local Jewish book store. The store is moving, so they are having a "moving sale." Big posters in the windows. A poster showing what stickers meant on the products (red=half off, blue=buy one, get one half off, etc). So, I went in to spend my gift certificate, hoping to get a good bargain. Except that NOTHING had stickers on it. And, not surprisingly, each product I about which I inquired wasn't "on sale." And I really could find NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, that had ANY kind of sticker on it except the price tag.

Some sale.

This is the same store where, a year and a half ago, I had an altercation with the proprietor's wife. She was running the Lulav and Esrog sale. I three out of four minim from a friend in New York (Lulav, Esrog, Hadassim), but the fourth, the Aravos, which dry out VERY quickly, I get wherever I happen to live. So, I walked into the store and asked for Aravos. She gives a packet. I asked how much they cost. Her answer? EIGHT DOLLARS (yes, that's $8)!! I said, "I beg your pardon?" and she repeated the price. I said, "Eight dollars for a couple of willow branches?!" She said, "If you don't like it, you can go them yourself!" I informed her it was a ridiculous price, and she insisted they were eight dollars. During the argument, the proprietor, her husband, came in and asked what was going on, growing concerned that there was an argument going on with a customer. At first, she ignored him. He then took her by the arm and loudly insisted on knowing what was going on, at which point she informed him I was refusing to pay eight dollars for the Aravos.

His answer? He yelled, "THEY'RE THREE DOLLARS, NOT EIGHT!!!"

Now that was very nice of him to be honest. As I walked out, having paid THREE dollars instead of eight, I turned to the woman (her husband was no longer in the room), and told her that if anyone bought just Aravos, or didn't buy an Esrog from them and she sold the other three minim individually, that she needs to refund five dollars to EACH of those people. She gave me a dirty look, and as a rule, unless I'm given a gift certificate, I NEVER walk into this store anymore.

What bothered me, though, wasn't the mistake in price. I can see that. What bothered me was that it was about thirty hours before the start of Succos, when most everyone had already bought their Daled Minim, and I was the ONLY one who made noise about the price. I guess everyone else just thought that it's the "cost of being frum" and never really thought to ask about the price.


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