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Retribution - LBC Post

This week's Loose Blogger Consortium post is entitled RETRIBUTION, suggested by me.

Back in the day, when I was this housebound young mother with two young children, I was definitely over-protected.  Yes, it's dangerous being a foreigner, when you're as vulnerable as a young mother can be, with small kids, but still!  I hardly ever got to go out as my husband, with his busy daily commute, had no time to take me and the kids.  Living in a combined family in India, having come out of Ireland, things were very different for me than they would have been back home.  Here, all the shopping was done by other family members.  All I had to do was stay at home and look after babies.  Which was great a lot of the time, but somewhat monotonous at other times.

Of course I broke out of that gilded cage after a while.  I'd have gone crazy otherwise.  I remember one or two incidents that happened along the way which made me feel helpless and angry.

A saleswoman for a well known washing powder brand was coming around the doors, asking people to take a sample of the product at the reduced price of one hundred rupees.  I had a hundred rupee note in my purse and as I didn't get to handle much money back then, I was guarding that note with my life as I'd forgotten to ask my husband for money that morning.  I hated having an empty purse.  However, when the woman, in Hindi, told me that the packet of washing powder was a two-for-the-price-of-one deal, I just couldn't resist the bargain.  Perhaps it just made me feel like part of the world again.  So I agreed to take the product.  I don't know why I bothered, someone else in the house saw to buying these items.  But I wanted my own, I suppose.

I felt like a first class idiot when I realized, having handed the precious note over,  that two-for-the-price-of-one deal turned out to be the full-sized packet of washing powder - which was about ten rupees cheaper than the market rate at the time - and the second packet, just a sample pack - a sachet.  I had understood that the deal was for two full-sized packets.  I was about to change my mind about buying the powder, but my money had disappeared into the woman's bag.  She grinned broadly at me.  I was furious. No, I hadn't really been fooled.  But the woman had got one up on me and she knew it. So did I. You must understand, this was a really big deal for me right then.  If I'd had a computer, I'd probably have taken it out and dashed off an email to the customer service department that multi-national who produces the soap powder and complained indignantly about how their sales people were duping customers.  I'd have probably given them all a good laugh if I had. But it's just the way I was feeling.

My husband was out of the house so I wouldn't be able to get any money from him until the evening and my purse was empty.  I didn't need to buy anything, but there was that issue of  hating to have an empty purse.  It made me feel like a nobody.  But most of all, I was furious with that woman.  She had mislead me and had done it on purpose too, I was convinced of it.   I remembered her triumphant laugh as she walked away and I seethed inwardly. I remember thinking that I hoped the same thing would happen to her one day and that I'd be there to see it happen.  Nasty eh?  I'm surprised myself at my vengeful attitude.  I had it bad.  And as I'd never seen the woman before, I was unlikely to even recognize her if I ever saw her again.

Imagine my surprise when, a couple of hours later, the same woman appeared on my doorstep.  She wasn't smiling now.  She was very upset.  She asked me how many packs of the powder had she'd sold and I told her one.  By now I'd overcome my embarrassment about having been fooled and told her that I was planning to write to her company and complain that two-for-the price-of-one should be exactly what it said it was. But she wasn't listening, she kept on chattering away, a look of utter despair on her face.  My mother-in-law came out and asked what was the matter.  The woman explained that she had been selling promotional packs of the powder that day and that when she'd got back to base and checked her stock, she was about half-a-dozen packs short.  She thought that she'd probably forgotten to collect the money for the packs and was going back to all the houses where she'd sold the packs to ask if she'd forgotten to take the money. Personally, I didn't think it was possible for her to have forgotten to take money, but then, that was just my impression. I'd found her very quick to snatch mine.

"Poor thing," said my mother-in-law, as the woman hurried away to the next house.  "She'll have to pay for the missing packs from her own pocket if she can't find the missing money.  She's spent the whole day walking around in the sun to sell washing powder. This is a big loss for her.

I felt really bad then.  Now it was she who was helpless and in a really bad way.  I seriously wouldn't have wished that situation on anyone, the one she was going through right then.  And to think I actually got to see the retribution!

But I made it a point after that to get more proactive and involved in the household affairs.  And to get out more.  I certainly didn't like what was happening to me under those particular circumstances, nor did I like the person I was in the process of becoming.

Photos courtesy of iStock


  1. Jack had a great phrase for when someone did something nasty: 'They are not out of this world yet!' Meaning they might well have their own comeuppance some day.

  2. Can't help admiring that girl though! Great saleswoman.

  3. Great story. Also the very reason I got out of sales - it was way too easy to get people to buy things they did not want or need.

    Retribution can take many forms and to simply say it is nopt helpful or right though is taking the easy way out.Punishmenty takes many forms, not all mean, nasty or bad.

  4. What a great post- thoroughly enjoyed all of it!

  5. The biter bit.

    How unusual to find the satisfaction you sought so quickly.

  6. Great story! I had some ladies come by my house selling a cleaning product the other day. But when I answered the door, I didn't understand her chinese, and I thought she was someone from the apartment complex coming to take care of something. It wasn't until she actually started using the product on my stove that I realized she was a salesman. I asked them how much it cost, and they told me a ridiculous price. I asked where I could buy it, and they told me the name of the store, but told me they could sell me a case of it for a special price. Needless to say, I told them I wasn't interested. But I did get my stove cleaned for free. :D That could be considered retribution. lol

  7. Brilliant post Gaelikaa!
    That streak you didn't like is in each one of us, given certain circumstances, but few would readily admit to it. Your honesty is lovely!

  8. @Grannymar - No doubt about it, Jack was a wise man.

  9. @Rummuser - I knew you'd probably say that.

  10. @Shackman - Sales is not for everyone is it? It certainly wouldn't be for me.

  11. @Shelly - Thank you. Your own blog has some great stories.

  12. @Blackwatertown - Well, that's the whole point, you see!

  13. Delirious - Good that you got your stove cleaned.

  14. @Mimi - Thanks so much. I wasn't sure if anyone would 'get' what I was trying to say, but you did. Thank heavens, at least my writing is getting through.

  15. @Mimi - Thanks so much. I wasn't sure if anyone would 'get' what I was trying to say, but you did. Thank heavens, at least my writing is getting through.


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