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Friday, March 4, 2011

How can I spend less if you keep trying to sell me more than I need or ask for?

Midnight Truffle
After you hear my tale of woe, you will know why I needed a Mini Blizzard. It was only $0.99. The cup was only four inches high.

I am way too cheap to buy full-price Blizzards from Dairy Queen. If I do buy anything at all from DQ, it is some sort of ice cream goody. I tried one Blizzard when they first were introduced. The sign tempts me every time I drive by on the way to anywhere in town.

But, this was a special occasion brought on by stress. I won't go into the details, but I was being pressured. How many ways can a person say "NO" before someone stops trying to force a person to buy more by repeatedly saying how you need something or how good the deal is for you? And, I don't need to hear, "Is that ALL you are going to buy?" "Ummm, yes. Haven't you understood that the last ten times I said it?"

I took to my swing and ate this Mini Blizzard, Midnight Truffle. I have only had too much chocolate two times in my life. This dessert had a golf-ball-sized hunk of dark chocolate, all gooey and chewy in the ice cream. I struggled with the last three bites.

I will go into the details. It's the commode. The flapper works. The handle works. The piece to connect the chain to  flapper broke. A friend made it work with a pair of my needle nose pliers. Then, whatever hooks the handle part inside the commode onto the chain broke. So, I have to plunge my hand into the commode to pull up the chain and flapper.

I am not going to spend money, so I used household items for quick fixes. Dental floss held the ball chain to the handle part inside the commode. That broke eventually. A small, cheap, flimsy key ring worked for a long time and rusted, I suppose.

The problem
I need something to hook the handle part and the ball chain together. But, the hole in the end of the ball chain fastener is tiny. So, really large wire won't work. The wire must be about pin or needle size. I explained in very small words to employees in two stores that I did not want to purchase anything EXCEPT something to hook the two parts together, something that would not rust right out.

Both guys heard the word "commode" and immediately blurted out "kit." I asked both to allow me to finish the first sentence. Their eyes glazed over. They looked determined when they heard I needed one thing, one tiny part. They battered me with words, explained how what I wanted did not exist anywhere, any time.

Start over
The guys had one-tracked minds. "I want something to hook together the inside of the commode handle to the ball chain,  and it does not have to be commode parts, just small enough to hook through the ball chain clasp." "Or, give me some way of fastening it."

Three hours of my life
I think part of the problem was I was in the store's electric cart, looking helpless, and obviously addle-pated. (not quite there, mentally). The men were relentless...."What you need is...a complete kit." "No."

How do you make a guy understand that, no, you don't need a new commode handle. No, I probably cannot get it off. No, the flapper is new. No, I am not sure how to get it all apart and back together. No, I cannot see through the top of my bifocals to do this. No, my hands will not allow me to get into the right position. No, I don't want to do without a commode overnight and then have to pay a plumber. NO!

My suggestion
"I was thinking of a piece of any kind of hardware or wire that would not rust and have proper tensile strength and be small diameter."

"That won't work."


"Because you need a kit."

Do you see why I needed the Blizzard?
Okay, I could have gotten a cheaper chocolate fix. But, I did not.

I bought a piece of stainless steel cable. I can untwist it and use two of the wires. Yes, indeed I did. It is my money and my storage problem. Oh, I have a basement that I can fill with parts, but I try not to.

Buying more than you need
Maybe I should say "being sold more than you need." Have you had people try to oversell? It is my money and my commode. It is something that will lie around after I take off the part I need. I finally told the last guy I would concede that I "needed" the whole kit if he was going to purchase it and come home with me and install it. Of course, I was not serious. He was just disgusted.

Your turn
Do you have a clerk or anyone try to sell you more than you need? Does the person do this, saying it is "what you need?"


  1. Awesome! I would have never made the blizzard-commode connection, but it's all so true! Doing a year of no retail shopping has forced me to find better ways to get things I need without buying them new. For house stuff, if you have Habitat ReStore near you, you can get the donated leftover "kit" parts you need, and at a fraction of the cost.

  2. ReStore is 50+ miles from here. That is always a good source for cheap building supplies. Thanks for commenting and leaving that good idea for others.


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