Where’s the Manager!

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

This woman went to the store to exchange the washing machine she bought there two months ago. She took out the receipt and pointed out to the salesperson the amount of time covered by the guarantee for them to exchange the appliance.

“This is the second time I’ve been here. The last time they sent me a repairman who managed to fix it. But it’s broke again and I don’t want another repairman. The guarantee says that if the unit breaks down within a period of three months, you have the obligation to replace it. It cost me 300 CUCs [$330 USD] and you know how hard it is to come up with money like that here.”

I was among a few people nearby who were listening to the argument being laid out by the woman and we were waiting anxiously to hear the salesperson’s response.

“We can’t honor that right now because we don’t have any units available,” he responded.

“What did you say?” she asked, metamorphosed. “It is not possible for you to sell a product without having an alternative for cases like this. Look… where’s the administrator or manager?” she demanded.

“They’re not here right now. Both of them went to the factory,” the man replied.

“That is not acceptable,” she fired back.

“But what can I do?” he interrupted, apparently embarrassed. “I can’t do that kind of paperwork without their authorization.”

“Sir? Isn’t it better for her to return the washing machine and for you to give her money back?” I said, trying to be helpful in the situation.

“Yes. I really need a washing machine, but if there isn’t a replacement then I want my money back,” the woman reflected in a sarcastic yet firm tone.

In the meantime a crowd had formed, curious about the reason for the argument. The woman then remarked: “Take a good look. I wouldn’t want to have to go to jail for putting the washing machine as a hat of one of you people!

The woman could have been my sister, or simply me, experiencing such humiliation in the flesh.