I look forward to the rare occasions I have time to kill, even if it means picking up baby wash and diapers. And so one day I did.

On this perfect day, Watson’s Drugstore had just what I needed and (one) more- baby wash was being offered as a buy-one, take-one promotion.

I encountered a similar problem with their buy-one, take-one promos in the past, and so I made sure that I could buy one and take another variant of the same product. Even if it already said “any variant” under the sale sign, I had to make sure, because with Watson’s (and all other affiliates of SM for that matter), as you will later find out, one never knows.  True enough, the sales lady confirmed that it was, and that was that. Or so I thought.

Upon checking out, I saw that they had charged me for both bottles of baby wash. The cashier had no clue  that they were on sale and kept insisting they weren’t- because it didn’t come up on the cash register. I then prompted her to walk over to the baby section so that she could see for herself that ALL the aisles for that baby wash had a buy one take one sign up. She instead told someone else to check and seeing as it was not within her capabilities to understand further ration or argument, I then asked to speak with the manager on duty to claim what was mine by right– regardless of whether or not the item was on sale.   The very fact that there were so many signs was proof enough that it was my right to demand for the free item. With that she asked another sales lady who then shrugged her shoulders, got back to me and replied this: “Hindi ko po alam eh.” (which is Filipino for I don’t know).

I am writing this because I did not have enough time to give the nonexistent manager a piece of my mind and to warn all of you that in Watson’s, buy one take one really means BUY ONE, BUY ANOTHER ONE.

I should probably also mention that prior to that, the girl from the Shisheido counter offered to sell me a product under the table. But that’s another story among many others  in a series that I am considering writing more and more, which I am going to entitle “The SM Diaries”.

In spite of SM’s long standing reputation for having the worst customer service, the densest crowds (no matter what time of year), and being a greedy corporate tree-cutting giant, my biggest dilemma is that I actually like their products. They’re cheap, of acceptable quality and if you look well enough, tasteful at times. But it’s days like that spiteful day, that my patience and time took precedence over what I could have purchased elsewhere– perhaps not with a free bottle of baby wash, but at least with my wits intact.