Three days ago, me and my siblings went to Greenhills Shopping Centre in San Juan. There really was no reason to go there. We were just tired of Robinson’s Ermita and in a mood to travel for 90 minutes one way to see the inside of a mall. Naturally, we were drawn to the world inside the second floor of the shopping center, a world consisting of all kinds of fake, genuine, brand new, second hand, third hand, who-knows-what-hand electronics. From phone to laptop computers to music players.
I impulsively paid 2,100 pesos and traded my 8GB 4th Generation iPod Touch for a 120 GB iPod Classic. I was excited to go home and put all the podcasts and music I’ve been downloading for some time in my new gadget. Lo and behold, the hard drive is failing, iTunes is not responding and an error dialog box pops every time I try to upload a single song. I stayed up all night but to no avail. Thank God for preventing me from smashing the thing to pieces like what I did to a memory card a few years back (anger management: improving!) Two days later, I went back to the store where I made the transaction (Stall A) with Dai and Kirk.
To cut the story short, I left with the same iPod.
(Nah, I changed my mind. I want the long version) First, Stall A said maybe I didn’t know how to put a song into an iPod (I had my first iPod 7 years ago and the saleslady didn’t even know what iTunes is FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!). Then they referred me to the original seller, Stall B because that’s how it works, they get merchandise from each other and the price goes up. When Stall B’s technician was faced with the same error in iTunes, they suggested I upgrade to a 160 GB (of course with an additional fee). I said I wanted a refund but according to them, my iPod Touch was already sold, except it’s not because it’s sitting right in front of me – I KNOW my gadget when I see it – so I told them. After that, I was escorted back to Stall A to negotiate. They agreed for a refund but they’d take 500 pesos from my money because I restored the iPod and according to them, I shouldn’t have done that because it destroyed the hard drive. SERIOUSLY. I wanted to pull the hair of the two ladies in front of me. I am weak and anger and frustration are taking their toll but I prayed to God to strengthen my patience. So I resorted to civilized negotiating and finally, begging. It looked like they were immovable so I agreed to their terms, accepting my defeat. I was prepared to have my iPod Touch and 1,600 pesos back.
Then we come to the best part.
The woman was giving me 3,000 pesos. When I questioningly looked at her, she said that my iPod was already sold. When I pointed out I just saw it not more than 30 minutes ago, she added we were talking about a refund on money and not the gadgets for they were out of the freaking question. At this point I was so mad I wanted to shout. But instead of shouting, I cried. I could have done a million things, even brought the case to the Department of Trade and Industry but I cried. It was humiliating but I didn’t mind. I’d rather cry and be thought of as a weakling than to compromise my values. Dai at this point went back to Stall B to look for the iPod. Of course it’s already sold within minutes though the receipt bore no name.
I was tired. Tired of them putting the blame on me for restoring the iPod. Tired of them conversing in their foreign language in front of us. Tired of them playing with my emotions by saying things like “Mag aaway away pa kami dahil dito, alam mo naman yung mga Muslim” (We’ll fight because of this and you know how Muslims are — their words, not mine). I mustered enough courage to sincerely thank the ladies for their time and peacefully left. It’s just not worth it. I wish I could do what Vito Corleone does when faced with illogical people: tell my friends “This person is beyond any reason“, walk out like a boss and have that person killed after a day or two. But I can’t, because this isn’t the movies.
After we left, I was still feeling sad when God, in his sometimes weird way told me it’s okay. Weird came in the form of Toys R Us’ staff dressed as Naruto characters. In an instant, Dai and I fangirled shamelessly, the incident was forgotten and my day wasn’t ruined. Of course we HAD to have a picture taken. (Actually, I can feel the anger starting while recalling the events but seeing this picture made it all go away, again. How cool is that?)
I know millions of people are being tricked every single day and I know the case of two thousand pesos is even petty but it really sucks when it happens to you. Then I remember a passage from the book I am currently reading about God bringing good and bad things to you to hone your character. I hope I’m getting better at handling bad situations. I thought of selling the faulty iPod to an unknowing buyer but decided against it because it’d be like tricking that person. Instead, I’m keeping it as a reminder — to not give in on my impulsiveness and to stay away from Greenhills as much as possible. HAHA.
Thank God for difficult people, they give me an example of what not to become.
So yeah. Thank God for difficult/bad/unreasonable/illogical/(insert every negative adjective here) people, they give me an example of what not to become.