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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: A question of trust

A neighbour first introduced me to factory direct outlets in our first year in Canada. Chatting while waiting for the elevator in our apartment building, I had told her that we needed to buy bed sheets but there was nothing on sale in the weekly flyers.

She told me to check out a factory direct outlet instead of waiting until the next week’s flyers. They have the same or even better prices, she said. And it pays to go often, as their inventory is ever changing. She even very kindly offered to drive me there and so off we went, the following day. The store wasn’t fancy, as she had warned me, but then I wasn’t there for the fancy lighting or fixtures, I wanted the best prices. 

And that they had. I saw and picked up multi-packs of socks at a fraction of the department store prices. Also towels, thermal blankets... It was with an effort that I restricted myself to just the sheets, but I promised myself a shopping spree at the outlet soon. There were loads of sheets-sets to choose from and having picked up a couple, I made my way to the cashier with my neighbour.

While she was ringing the purchase through, I noticed that one of the packs was opened. Not sure if all pieces were inside, I asked the cashier if I may open it and check. 

“Of course you can,” she said. “But as there’s a long lineup today, why don’t you go home and check? If there’s anything missing, just bring it back.”

I asked her to make a notation on the bill so they would know I had asked to check at the store and she looked surprised. 

“There’s no need for that, ma’am. If there’s a problem, just bring it back and we’ll exchange it or give you a refund.”

I collected my bags and explained to my neighbour that where I come from, there might have been an altercation over their thinking I had kept the pillow cases or one of the sheets and was returning the rest. 

It’s a question of trust, I told my husband over a cup of tea that evening. Here, everyone believes the best of you. 

– MALA TRIVEDI


What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Apr 1, 2018

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