Your appointment’s at 12, but we won’t be open

So for every good experience, there’s an equal and opposite bad experience.  Or something like that.  Maybe I just made that up.  But yeah, yesterday I had a good experience with my pedicure.  So naturally, after yesterday’s success, today would be a complete fail.  Because that’s just how life is.

So I had an online voucher for Ciao Bella Studios from Dealathons.  Yes, I know I probably sound like some sort of spa junkie or something right now.  Trust me, I’m not.  I just jump on the opportunity to buy a good online deal and then they pile up and then I have to use them all around the same time before they expire on me.  I’ll admit it’s a bit of a problem.  But I’m dealing with it.

So last week, I called them to make an appointment.  I made it for today because it was my day off.  When I asked her for the available times, she said 11:30am and later.  So I asked for 11:30.  And then she asked if I could come at 12.  So I said okay.  And then I thought, why tell me 11:30 is an option, when really it isn’t?  Why bother giving me a choice when clearly I don’t have one?  That should have been my first sign that there would be a problem.

Ciao Bella Studios is on Victoria Drive in Vancouver.  So it is sort of out of my way.  But it seemed like a good idea at the time.  A time when I bought more online vouchers than I should have and am now paying the price.  But nevertheless, I went there.  And I was early.  I’m always either super early or a little bit late for things.  But no matter, it allowed me time to scope out the area.  But when I found the place, it was closed.  Even though the times on the door and on the website said that they opened at 10am.  What the hell?  But I thought maybe that’s why she had asked me to come at 12, because maybe she wanted to just open the store at the time of the day’s first appointment?  But that’s still false advertising for anyone hoping to drop in.

They confirmed my appointment and then the store wasn't even open

So I gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited around the area until it was actually 12pm.  I went to a dollar store that was pretty crappy.  Didn’t buy anything there.  And I went to the SPCA Thirft Store as well.  Didn’t buy anything there either.  Though I was tempted to buy the Trump: The Game board game.  My family watches The Celebrity Apprentice, so it would have been a good idea.  I actually kind of regret not buying it.  Would it be worth it going back there to make that purchase?  There was no price tag and I didn’t bother asking how much it was.  Now I’m having non-buyer’s remorse.

Okay, maybe it's a good thing I didn't buy this

When I went back at 12pm, there was still no one there.  I had called them twice, which was pointless, seeing as there was no one inside to answer the phone so it went straight to voicemail.  I walked around a bit and when I came back there was another girl waiting outside.  She was waiting to go in for tanning.  She asked me if I was there for tanning as well.  I should have been like “Yes, because I’m so pale…”.  I think tanning is pretty much one of the only beauty regimens that I don’t need.  I was there for waxing, if you must know.

She said she’d been there before and they usually never open at 10, even though they’re supposed to.  Something about the person not being able to get up early enough to make it there?  But I mean come on, it’s a fucking business, you can’t just advertise your store hours and then not be there.  That’s kind of ridiculous.  And what’s more ridiculous is when you schedule an appointment for someone at a certain time and then don’t even show up to open the place.  I can’t even call it bad customer service, because I didn’t even get any service.  I don’t know even know what to call it other than complete unreliability.

The girl told me there were other places around there for waxing, but I explained to her how I had the online voucher so it had already been paid for and I needed to use it.  She thought about leaving, but she said the fact that I had an appointment must mean that the person would be showing up.  And so we continued to wait.  I called the Dealathons customer service line and explained the situation to a representative there.  He asked me if I was at the right place.  I assured him that I was.  He said he would try to contact them and then call me back.  The other girl remarked that he was probably just calling the store number, that no one was there to answer.  I agreed that she was probably right.

Because my phone is a piece of shit, somehow I missed his call back even though my phone did not ring at all, nor show any indication that I was receiving a call.  I checked my voicemail, called him back, and yeah, he had just been calling the store.  He said he would get in contact with them in the next few days and figure something out.  I told him I didn’t want to have to reschedule this, seeing as I’d come all the way out there and made the appointment in advance, and there was no way for me to guarantee that this wouldn’t happen again.  I’m hoping at this point that they will just allow me a refund, or at least a refund in Dealathon dollars so that I can make a different purchase.

So I completely wasted my time on my day off.  I could have slept in and not left the house.  But one good thing I got out of going all the way to Victoria Drive, was that one of the ways I spent passing the time before what I thought would be my appointment was going into Calabria Bakery.  All I bought was muffins, but they were good muffins.  The one I ate had walnuts in it and was really good.  If I’m ever in that area again, hopefully not because I’m giving Ciao Bella a second chance, I’ll be sure to buy some more baked good from them.

Now this is a good business

I finally stopped waiting and left around 12:40, and the other girl left shortly after.  And I’m pretty sure that no one showed up and that they’ve just continued to stay closed for the day.  Yeah, that’s good for business.  Because if anyone had bothered to show up and open the place, they would have received the two voicemail messages I left them and would have hopefully called me back to apologize.  But they didn’t.  So I can only assume that the place is still closed.  What a fail.  For them and for me.  And for the girl who wanted a tan.  Maybe this was a sign for me that I should only be redeeming one online voucher per week?  Or a wanring to stop buying them because bad things can happen?  Who knows?  All I know is I won’t be going back, regardless of whether or not they’re open.

At least I got some good muffins out of this

I don’t have a Costco card

Yeah, it’s true.  Shocking, I know.  For someone who loves grocery shopping and food and good deals to the extent that I do, how could I not?  And wait a minute, did I not just go to Costco this past weekend?  Why yes, I did.  I don’t let lacking things that may seem like necessities hold me back.  One would think that the two essentials for a shopping trip at Costco would be 1) a Costco card, and 2) a car.  I have neither of those things.  But I have a friend who has both.

Why don’t I just get a car and a Costco card of my own?  I don’t know if it would be worth it.  I don’t go that often.  It’s really just a once in a long while type thing.  Which is why I make such a big deal out of it when I go.  If I frequented the place, it would just be another random grocery shopping trip.  But I actually couldn’t remember the last time I’d been there up until this past weekend.  And so it was exciting.

The main thing I noticed when I entered, is how damn crowded it was.  I mean it was to be expected, as I know there exist many crazy people like myself who want their food and fast and in bulk and will not let anything get in the way of that.  I get that, I do.  But there’s no reason for shoving and rudeness.  I think I’m pretty good at masterfully maneuvering my shopping cart around the store in an efficient manner.  And I like that I’m able to do so without being overly aggressive, as some tend to be.  I’m not a professional, as I do not frequent the place, so maybe I haven’t quite learned the best tactics yet.  But I think I was too in awe of all my surroundings to behave with any sort of aggression.  I guess I would liken it to being a kid in a candy store, even though I know that sounds cliche.

One of my problems is I’m very indecisive.  Walking through the candy aisle alone could take forever.  I didn’t know where to go first or what I wanted to get.  There was so much in sight.  And then there were so many similar items, I had to defer to my friend a few times for her expertise regarding price and quality and taste.  I am so grateful that she was there for me in my time of need.

My major weakness when it comes to Costco, or any grocery store for that matter, is the baked goods section.  I could spend forever in there.  Debating what to get.  Trying to determine how much I can actually buy without worrying about expiration dates.  And also worrying about how much is too much for my family to consume, because whatever I bring home from there they are likely to eat right away.  For example, I bought one of those huge things of croissants.  How did they taste?  I don’t know.  I never even got any before my family devoured them all in less than two days.

Empty box of croissants which I did not get to eat

From the baked goods section, I also purchased blueberry muffins, apple muffins, white bread, whole wheat bread, tortillas, and cookies.  I would have bough strudel and pie as well, but there was only so much room in the cart.  I also don’t want to be responsible for my family ending up with health problems because I’ve constantly brought home too many sweet and fattening foods.

They have blueberries in them, so they're healthy, right?

I must say I was rather disappointed by the lack of samples.  I remember a time way back when Costco was filled with samples.  I mean wasn’t that the main reason some people used to go there?  But all I got in this trip sample wise was two small pieces of cheese.  I mean it was good cheese, but still.  I had to wait in lineups for it.  And the people who wait in line for samples can be very aggressive.  There was another lineup for some sort of oatmeal thing, but we decided against it.  Didn’t seem worth the wait or the agony of dealing with the other people who wanted it so badly.

One essential I had to buy there was potato salad.  I love Costco potato salad.  One time I was helping organize a volunteer event and the food came from Costco.  And one of the food items was potato salad.  Ever since then, it’s been one of my favourite things.  I could probably just eat the whole tub in one sitting if I had no self control.

It's really that good

I also bough two bags of Ruffles potato chips and a bag of Munchies.  Because I had to.  I’m pretty sure I spent way too long there.  When my friend suggested we head over to the checkout, I said wait, let me quickly get some chips first.  I know chips aren’t exactly most people’s idea of “grocery shopping”.  But whatever.  And before you call me a pig, remember, there are seven people in my family.  So don’t judge me.  I’m just trying being the wonderful daughter and sister that I am and bringing home food for the family.

It was a giant bag. I couldn't not buy them.

I also bought five pizzas.  I know that sounds excessive, but really it isn’t.  There were these large thin crust pizzas that were two for something.  So I bought two.  And then there was a three pack of Dr. Oetker pizzas.  So naturally I went with both options.  Why wouldn’t I?

It's spinach pizza, so it's healthy, right?

In order to counter all the unhealthy things I purchased, which also included some cinnamon bun strudel bars in a box, I did also make some healthy choices.  Yes, apparently I am capable of doing so.  I also bought almond soy milk, spinach, broccoli, strawberries, orange juice, yogurt, mulitgrain cheerios, and Kashi Go lean crunch cereal.  Granted, the juice and the soy milk are pretty much the only things that have been touched.  Although I did have some yogurt and add some spinach to my wrap.  So there.

The multigrain version's actually really good

One thing that slipped my mind, was the fact that since I did not own a Costco card myself, I would have to pay cash so that my friend could make the purchase.  But I forgot.  And I never carry cash with me.  I had maybe $40 on me by fluke.  But I spent $180.  And Costco has the audacity to not take Visa.  Luckily, my friend had enough money in her account to cover it.  After that, we went to the bank where I withdrew the money I owed her.  I then handed her the cash and she stepped up to the machine and deposited the money I had just withdrawn.  It probably looked like some sort of shady drug deal.

All in all, my shopping trip was a success.  I was happy with my purchases, as was my family.  I don’t think I’m overly obsessive when it comes to buying groceries.  I just enjoy it more than the average person.  And I believe that the trip is truly a success when my shopping cart is as full as I can possibly make it.