OK, so most of us already heart Trader Joe’s, but gotta share this story. My latest experience brings my love to a whole new level of lifelong devotion. At the risk of exposing my idiocy to the world, I will tell you why. After a whirlwind morning, I dropped Sam off at school and headed on over to Trader Joe’s. Folks, let me highlight to you that this move entailed “crossing the River.” That’s a big, big thing here in Richmond, crossing that mighty James River, even if you are only going five minutes away. You’ve still crossed that River, bless your heart!
So after braving the River (and showing my Southsider passport), I got “all the way” over to Short Pump. When I was almost through filling my cart, a sudden flash of horror shot through me like a tremor! OH NO! Say it isn’t so! Oh, it was so all right! I had taken my wallet out of my bag to help Sam order some Yu Gi Oh cards off Amazon (another story entirely.) Eternally distracted, I forgot to put it back in my bag before heading out the door. So there I was with no wallet, no ID, and no money whatsoever. Dang it!
First trying not to freak out, I scanned the store to see if there was anyone I knew who might make me a short-term loan. Nope. (The odds were slim to begin with anyway. If I knew anyone there, probably already would have run into them by then.) Before leaving the store and conceding defeat to make the trek home, I scoured my brain for anything that might work. Was there any earthly way to pay for this stuff so I wouldn’t have to CROSS THE RIVER TWO MORE TIMES to go get my wallet and come all the way back? Dear God, please help me find a way! (Yes, this is a first-world problem, I know.)
One idea popped into my head. Hey, how about if my husband gave his credit card number over the phone to the manager? I figured that was worth a shot at least, so I reluctantly went over to the manager and asked. He replied, “We can’t do that — for your own protection.”
I wanted to reply, “Don’t protect me!” However, I did not and thanked him.
He replied, “Just take it.”
“Take it?” I asked. What the heck did he mean?
“Sure, just take it, and come back later with your wallet.” He nodded his head like it was no big deal.
“You mean, just take everything without paying for it?” What in the world? From a national chain?
“Yes, take it.” He shrugged his shoulders.
“Are you sure?” I just couldn’t process his goodwill.
“Well, that’s what I would want to happen to me if I were in the same situation.”
Wow! It was hard to argue with that. I was at a loss for words. Was he for real?
“When can you come back?” he asked.
“Well, I’m going out of town tomorrow…” Man, I was pushing my luck here.
“Next week? How about next week?”
“Yes, next week is great!”
So a clerk rang me up, and he told her not to put the transaction all the way through. He gave me a copy of the receipt and kept one for himself. Of course I had to make a crack to him as I was walking out the door. “Great prices! You are just giving stuff away!”
As I got to my car and unloaded the groceries, I realized another amazing thing — he never even asked my name.
THANK YOU, TRADER JOE’S!!