February 5, 2007

The single most dumbfounding retail experience in my life

Yesterday I did some shopping for the kids. First store was ok, kinda crowded and I was shoved twice by a couple of rude ladies, but there were a few good bargains. Got some sweats sets and undies for the kids.

Second store was an experience. I didn't know stores like this still existed. It's a kinda department store, called "Shirkat al bee3 wal masnoo3at" ( Company for sale and products?) Kinda like Omar Effendi for those who know it.

Anyway, I went upstairs to the clothes section and looked at some kids' clothes and pj's, underware and such.
Everything is behind a counter.
You have to wait for the lady to get you what you want.
I waited my turn.
I ask for girls pj's for a 7 yr old.
She brings out a pair with pants too long for me.
She said I could roll them up.

Ok, next I found an outfit for Safiyah, held on to that and got PJs for me, kids undershirts, and a couple other things.

For each department the lady has to write out a receipt.
Kids, underthings, Pjs, each their own little paper written out on a little pad with carbon paper. I said "A3mel behom eh dol?" (what do I do with these?)
She said. "Awel mara tege hina?" (first time here?) with an about to crack up look on her face.
I said yea, and she told me I had to take them down stairs to pay and pick up.
The saleslady then complained of a headache.
I was getting there too.
When I was finally done upstairs I have to take the little papers down to where you pay and pick up your stuff.
I saw a cute little rug for the girls' room so I picked that up too.
Got a little paper for that one too.
So I go to the little desk for paying.
I wait for her to acknowledge me.
I place my stack of papers on her desk to get her attention.
She was looking at her big book of graph paper.
I said "Law Samaht" (excuse me) into the little hole in the glass.
She finally notices me and took my papers.
She added them up, not once , not twice but FIVE times on the calculator.
She copies it all down in her big book.
She makes some scribble on the back of each paper with her pen.
She complained of a headache too.
She then stamped each one with a big stamp on the back.
She added them up a couple more times and gave me my total, and my stack of papers.
I paid her and smiled that I was almost done!
Then, I go to the pick up place where some poor bloke had to keep bringing stuff from upstairs down there.
The guy there inspects my little papers.
My stuff was the only stuff on the shelf, he looked at each paper and gave them to me, department by department and put each paper in its own little box.
Finally I was done!

After all that, I didn't even get a "receipt". Good GOD, what a hassle. No wonder everyone has a headache! Cash registers would be a great investment here folks.


  1. it's left over from the communist give-everyone-a-job days.

  2. Aaaaagh. Are you sure you weren't on Egyptian Candid Camera?? :)

  3. hehe! I did feel like laughing!

  4. Anonymous2:37 PM


    Mona, that was too funny, you explained the frustration and odd humor ofthat expereince perfectly...Can we send this to the CEO of this company! HA!Remember when we first went to those stores???

    love eman

  5. Yea, my first feeling was...weird then scared. Alhamdullilah for Carrefour and other normal, self serve stores!


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