Monday, September 14, 2009

You can take the girl out of the South . . .

Yay for my first blog post! Normally it is Jordan's responsibility to update our blog, but lately I've been feeling like I should make an effort to chime in every so often, especially when I want to share a little gem that's so much easier to explain from the first person. Not to mention, I was fortunate enough to be put on call last night - the last shift of my set - and managed to get all the tedious housekeeping and laundry done that normally sucks up my first day off. With Jordan at work while I'm home alone, why not curl up on the couch with my Mac and a cup of tea? Here goes . . .

In keeping with our continued happiness here in Iqaluit and our quest to be involved in our new community, Jordan and I were excited to participate in our first ever Mass Registration this past Saturday. We had already discussed joining the Curling Club to learn the sport, which apparently has quite the following in town, as well as to see what other fun clubs/events we could participate in. Sadly, Jordan was scheduled to work Saturday so I headed over to the Cadet Hall with our new friend and fellow northern blogger Jaime. After a quick pit stop at Jaime's place where I turned green with envy over the size and luxury of her apartment vs. ours, we were ready to wait out the cold as we stood in the long line to get inside.

As a shift worker, my schedule makes it very hard to commit to things because I never have the same days off work. You wouldn't have known it on Saturday. I made short work of the booths, not only signing up for the Curling Club, but also the Badminton Club, Greenhouse Society and registering for a group trying to initiate the Green Bin program here in Iqaluit. For those that aren't familiar, Green Bins are a mandatory composting program in many regions in Ontario and other parts of Canada and aims to reduce the amount of bio-degradable waste headed to the landfills. It takes very little additional effort and has a positive environmental impact. Apparently I am such an obvious supporter of the program, that as I stood at the booth explain it's merits, I was asked to consider joining the Board! So all in all, it was a super fun morning and I'm excited to get involved in my new activities. My apologies to anyone that may have wanted to hang out with me on my days off - I now have none.

On with my story . . .

Following registration, I was high on community spirit and felt like a true Iqalumiuq (disclaimer: I truly have no idea of the proper use of that word and may very well have just made a fool of myself). Jaime and I were headed home in her sweet ride and stumbled upon the Arctic Ventures sealift sale so we popped in to take a look around.

Oh. My. Lord.

The only thought that entered my mind was this: I am a complete phony and have obviously not lived away from Ontario long enough. There is no way I was going to be fooled: $100 for a case of toilet paper is not a sale. Neither was the $89 for 14 boxes of Multi-Grain Cheerios that Jaime and I split on.

If I needed any another proof that I am still obviously a Southern belle, the icing on the cake was when I decided to splurge on the alleged sale price for Diet Coke at $10.99 for a 12 pack. A large sign reading "Case of Pop - $10.99" was placed on the wall, directly adjacent to the pop. So up to the cashier we go, where we were promptly informed that the pop was $12.99. I politely informed the cashier this could not be so, and would another employee please verify the price. I stood there, holding up the line, as the cashier and I waited for the employee to return. A few minutes later, after being called over by the cashier, the employee nonchalantly stated that the pop was in fact $12.99 and it was just an old sign. My suggestion to remove the "old sign" was met with a shoulder shrug. At this point, I was very close to throwing an Ontario tantrum. The only thing stopping me was the fact that I haven't known Jaime that long, and couldn't risk scaring off my new friend when I don't have many others here in town yet. Through clenched teeth, I told the cashier that in fact, I didn't want any pop. And that was that.

There is no way that any store in southern Canada could get away with advertising a price, mistakenly or otherwise, and then refuse to honour it. But here in Iqaluit, that's just how they roll. "It's an old sign" is a perfectly reasonable excuse, and if you want the item, you'll pay whatever they ask at the checkout. I may have refused out of spite, but the only one who suffers is me. Well Jordan too, because he's still stuck with water, milk and the powdered PC Iced Tea mix we hid in our luggage.

I'll give it a few more months before I start throwing out terms like Iqalumiuq and Nunavummiut again. I still need to look them up anyways.

7 comments:

Morena said...

That's hilarious. It's true that customer service isn't a proirity in some places. I've been here long enough that I probobly wouldn't have even looked at the register and notice that they were charging 12 instead of 10. It's much easier on the head to just buy what you want and let it go. You'll get there, I promise :)

Christa said...

Well, you may be happy to know that pop here is $50 for a 12 pack. Ok, that's a lie, it went down a bit when the barge got in, but not a lot! haha.

I once picked out chicken at the co-op that said it was $8.99/box on the shelf tag, got to the front and they told me it was $29.99... and I put it back. No freakin' way! I haven't been up here long enough to give in to the prices yet.

Tammy said...

I have the biggest rule of thumb ever about living in the north (I'm coming up on my one year anniversary) is:
Don't pay attention to the tags at the store...they will mislead you more times then lead you in the right direction..

I agree with Morena, I don't even pay attention to the total at the end...if I did I would probably have more to complain about then I do...and before we got our sealift we had some "nice" totals...

Don't worry you'll shed your southern demeaner, and you won't even realize it until you are gone...I went home on vacation in March and was home for a week before I realized I wasn't the same person I was when I left.

Sarah said...

I agree... I've been up north almost 6months--and have gotten to the point that I just shop for what I want. Eventually the 'shock' does wear off.. and you won't even flinch at the prices!

...I even will pay the $14.00 for the 2L box of ice cream---which when I first arrived I vowed NEVER to do that....(guess the need for ice cream was tooo strong!)

Nunavummiut Jaime said...

You used Iqalumiuq and Nunavummiut properly! I always feel self-conscious throwing them around the blog, too. haha.

Au contraire to what you were thinking, my thoughts were more along the lines of, "Wow, it's nice to hear someone take a stand! I'm so laid-back about prices, I wouldn't have even noticed the sign, or what they were charging me." It probably is your southernness showing through, because most of us who have been here awhile are content to just have what we want and shell out however much it costs. It's the wrong attitude to have here, though, because the monopolies up here just continue monopolizing our paycheques, knowing we'll never argue it. We're so used to being of the mindset, "Is the north, what do you expect?" but companies will continue to gyp us as long as we don't care.

Jaime

Neverbeen2NYC said...

What they about the price would generally not fly in America. Even if they did not honor the price, they would at least take down the sign.

When that happens to me and they don't change the price, I leave the item behind. I work in retail and am not fond of taking back unwanted items. If a store is going to play that game- they can find someone else. It may only be 50 cents or a dollar, but who knows what they will try next time...

Jackie S. Quire said...

Hey, I totally dig that you just said 'no thanks' ... I used to fight for the displayed price all the time in Rankin... but I think everyone just thought I was cheap, not protesting on principle (okay, maybe I was a BIT cheap).

The best part though is that - at least at the Rankin Northern - the cashiers fighting me on the prices were always standing in front of a 'pricing policy guarantee'