So then…I try to gently, but urgently, stuff the four brand new dresses into my suitcase, but it.will.not.zip.
(Mama says that proper ladies don’t sweat — they glisten. Well, I am glistening buckets.) My flight home to Los Angeles leaves VERY soon.
I look frantically at Bianca the sales lady – hoping she has a solution for these four gorgeous dresses I just bought at Janelle’s, my favorite New York dress shop.
She asks, “Can’t you just carry them on the plane?” I point to my jam-packed carry-on bag.
Bianca says, “Well, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to stop to shop on your way to the airport…”
I point to the huge “ONE-DAY ONLY SALE: 60% OFF” sign next to the register. I shoot her an exasperated, “Where are your priorities?” expression.
I’m a corporate cutie in my 30’s, so the dresses are a must!
Bianca brightens and says, “How about if I ship them to you in LA — then you won’t have to pay any sales tax.”
Bianca is my new best friend.
Since I live in an apartment, I give her my company’s address so someone can sign for the package.
So I whisk off to LA, secure in the knowledge that my treasures will arrive at my company’s West Coast warehouse in a matter of days.
A week goes by. No mention of the dresses arriving.
I visit Octavio, the warehouse manager, to ask if any packages have arrived for me from Janelle’s Dress Shop in New York.
Nope. But he says he’ll ask around. He nods sagely as though I’ve tasked him with a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes.
Two days later, Octavio comes to my office, with hands clasped in front of him, and delivers his report.
“Your package did arrive.”
“That’s great!” I say.
“But the guys in Receiving thought it was a Return.”
“A Return. We ship products out and sometimes the overstocks or damages get returned to us. But sometimes the stores send us the wrong Returns – like tablecloths or plastic bowls,” he says.
“Yeah, one time, even a case of basketballs,” he says.
“Oh, OK. But I can have the dresses, right?”
“Well, the unspoken warehouse policy is that whoever opens a wrong Return, gets to keep the merchandise.”
“Oh.” I ponder the ethics of that for a moment. And marvel at the fun sort of “Mystery Grab Bag” atmosphere that must pervade the Warehouse Receiving department.
But then I snap back to my hard-won stunning silk dresses and ask, “OK, but we can get the dresses back from whichever worker accidentally opened that package, right?”
“You don’t want them back.”
“What? Of course I want them back! They’re beautiful! And expensive! And I love them!”
Octavio shakes his head firmly. “You don’t want them back.”
“Why not?” I ask.
“Hugo was the one who opened the package. So he gave the dresses away.”
“Can’t he return them?” I implore.
“No. Hugo gave two to his wife. And two to his mistress. His mistress is much shorter and…well…skinnier than you, so she had to cut them across the middle to make them into a short top and a small skirt.”
I gasp. I literally gasp.
My sumptuous corporate silk dresses slashed in half to make a crop top and mini skirt for a sexy little Carmelita!
“But… the wife?” I ask hopefully. “Maybe the wife didn’t harm her dresses? Maybe—”
“No, her dresses are fine. But the wife found out about the mistress, so she moved back to Mexico.”
I stare at him blankly.
“With the dresses,” he adds.
I momentarily toy with the idea of hunting Hugo’s wife down in Mexico and demanding my wayward wardrobe.
I then consider hunting Hugo down and slapping him silly for his irresponsible Lothario behavior. Good God, man! Keep it in your pants – or at least exercise discretion!
So now I’m filling out the claim form for the American Express Purchase Protection Program in hopes of being reimbursed for the disappearing dresses!
I’m trying to figure out how to phrase it so that it doesn’t sound crazy like “a dog ate my homework.”
But how exactly do you explain that half of your dresses are being held hostage in an international adultery scandal – and the other half were massacred to make a Hoochie Mama outfit for a short, skinny harlot?
— Darcy Perdu
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(Ever had something special go missing? Or opened a package that contained something surprising? Or a funny misunderstanding at work? Share your stories in the Comments Section.)