Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Didn't Mean to Start a Fight

I didn't mean to fight with the people in the store. All I wanted was trifold brochure paper, white, matte finish. There wasn't any. The little tag on the shelf said, "Temporarily Out of Stock, Place Order in This Store" or something like that. The little tag was there three days ago, too, when I was there last. On Monday, the salesperson said to wait a few days and it would probably be in, might be in already, just not put on the shelf yet. She showed three in stock. Now I was thinking that the inventory was in error and the item would never be reordered because the system showed three in stock and no sales. When the salesperson told me to wait a few days and it would probably be in, I told her I thought there was an inventory error, but her only offer then was to see if another store had it.

I'm sure she would have investigated and fixed the problem if she could. I suppose she didn't know how. She didn't know how to order the paper either. She called someone else over. This person said that "a number would help". I offered to go get the number off the shelf. She gave me a pen and paper. When I came back, she was doing something else and didn't seem to see me standing there. Another salesperson asked if she could help and I told her I wanted to order this paper that wasn't in stock and gave her the numbers. She spent 15 minutes on the phone arranging to get the paper from another store. Then she said it would be a few days because they would have to have it sent over UPS.

By then, I could see that this was going to cost them time and money that they would not be able to recoup on my little sale. I could see why they would be irritated with me for insisting on it, as they all seemed to be. But I was already mad by then, because my expectations had been set by the little tag that implied that they would care about my problem and fix it for me.

It would have been better if I had not put so much stock in the little tag and had listened to the people more carefully. They were trying to tell me something else entirely.

It is my problem that I get mad about little things like this and I promise that I am working on it, but I still appeal to all store owners and service managers everywhere. Please do not put up little tags, or signs of any kind, if the people don't believe in what they say.


It must have just been the full moon. On my trip back to pick up the paper, everyone was on their very best behavior -- gentle, caring, kind -- including me!


Blogger Miz said...

are you saying that you put the "cuss" in Customer Service?

5:59 AM  

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