So GLaDOS already died this morning. It requested a firmware upgrade, I allowed it, and it RRoD’d. Subsequently it refuses to connect to the wi-fi, even after I restored it to factory settings. Lovely.
So I packaged it up and took it back to Babies-R-Us to exchange it for a new one. The woman at the return desk was very helpful, looked a few things up, and then gave me a gift card with a balance of $218. This seemed a bit superfluous to me, as I was just going to pick up another one, but whatever. Policy is policy.
So I head back to the Baby Monitor aisle and, of course, they don’t have a GLaDOS in stock.
“No worries,” I think, “I’ll just order one online.”
As I’m on my way out I bring up their website on my phone and start the process of ordering a new one. And here’s what comes up:
So the bastards have somehow short-changed me out of $50. Fortunately I’m still just outside the store, so I turn around and walk right back in. Unfortunately, I get stuck in line behind an Indian man who’s demanding to buy 30 cases of “stage 3” vegetarian baby food and is irate that they won’t let him into their storeroom to physically check their inventory before he drives to out the Katy Mills store.
They bring a manager over to distract him, and I go to the counter and explain what’s happened.
She pauses for a moment, confers with another manager (one that’s not being insulted in Bengali), and says they can’t give me the full amount on the gift card because they don’t know how much was actually paid for GLaDOS.
“I don’t care about the gift card. I want the same item, I just want one that works.”
“I understand sir.”
“Clearly, you don’t. The item that was purchased was broken. I would like to exchange it for one that works. Why can’t you just order another one into the store and I’ll swap it out?”
“No I…uh…well, yeah…I can do that.”
So she goes back to wrangle with a computer for 10 minutes, requests a bunch of demographic information from me, and then comes back up to the counter looking sheepish.
“Okay, I ordered it and it will be delivered directly to your house.”
“Yeah. But there’s a $1.52 charge.”
“Er…what? Isn’t shipping free?”
“It is. I don’t know why. The computer just says $1.52 is due.”
“So I have to pay an additional buck-fifty just to exchange this…for the exact same item? Do you know how utterly…”
“It would take at least another 20 minutes to figure out why it’s charging me that wouldn’t it?”
“I don’t think so. But I’d need to get my manager to do it.”
I look over at the manager who’s now physically blocking the door to the Customer Service closet because the Indian guy seems to think they’re hiding baby food in there, and is trying to peer in.
“Fine. I’ll pay a dollar fifty just to be able to get out of here. “
So, as befitting canon, I’ve killed the original GLaDOS, and GLaDOS 2.0 is on the way.
And if I never set foot in another Babies-R-Us it’ll be too soon…