Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another tale from The Far Side...Real-life Drama

I told you all a story several weeks ago about a strange and wacky trip to Walmart and told you that trips like that are part of the reason that I like to shop once-a-month.

Well, how about another tale?

I had actually forgotten this story until the children reminded me and you'll see why they can't forget it! ...It became a "lesson" from which I taught my children about a lot of things!

To start with, all of us were on this trip, all 8 of us! We needed to run into Walmart (and I mean run, for you see, I really like to get in and out of there as quickly as possible!).

....So, we are checking out and thinking that we are going to get out this time without incident and feeling pretty happy about that. Well, we have something like a paper carton of ice cream and a bottle of soap and a small box of laundry powders and the cashier is putting them all in one bag. Normally, I don't even pay any attention to how they are bagged because I'm usually making sure the kids are doing what they are told or I'm still unloading the buggy. Well, the cashier just happens to say something about bagging them that way and my DH said, "Well, as a matter of fact, I would like the ice cream bagged separate." (We live like half an hour from town and its just safer that way, ya know?) Well, the cashier goes on some big 'green' spill and says that she is going to bag them that way to save on bags and something about landfills and blah blah blah. Well, my mouth just dropped and so did the kids. My kids are used to being taught to respect and submit to their elders (they had never seen someone challenge their parents in that manner! must have been a real shock, ya know!?) and they've heard the story of my first job a thousand times and how my boss held to the policy that "the customer is ALWAYS right".

Well, my DH did not want to make a scene. He simply said that we live in another county, and picked up another plastic bag and laid it in the buggy. But as soon as we got to the van and me and the children were in, he did step out of the van and call the manager!

Now, just in case you don't see the problem...our order was more than big enough to cover her whole day's pay- and much more than that plastic bag cost! And we were paying for these items and didn't want the chance of them being ruined before we made it home! (ice cream+liquid soap+powdered soap= a potential mess) ..AND, she brought it up and we made a request and she DID THE OPPOSITE! And did I mention that WE WERE PAYING FOR THE STUFF!!???

So, you know what my kids got on the way home don't you?
"What's wrong with what she did?"
"When you are employed some where, how does the employer make money to pay you?"
"Should you be nice to the people who pay your employer so he can pay you?"
"How will you do business?"
"Shouldn't you always try to accommodate your customer?"
"Should you tell your customer how YOU are going to do what they want OR should you let the
customer tell you how to do what THEY want?"
"When YOU are employed by a company, and represent that company, should you really promote your own ideas and agendas that could be contrary to the job that you are expected to do, WHILE YOU ARE ON THE JOB?"
"What kind of attitude should you have if you are working with and for the public?"

Just this past week, I purposely went to a store where I'm treated better as a customer to avoid a store where I was not treated properly as a customer. (And I just might write and tell them that I did and why! And as frugal as I am, I was willing to pay slightly more for service in this purchase.)

Teach your children well! No one else will do it!


Joy said...

I do the same thing..go somewhere that I know they like their customers rather than other places. It seems we always have the same things happen at Wal-Mart. I gotta another story that just happened from there!
My dh went in to get a battery for his truck, he took his old battery in as well. He got the battery and some other little things as well. When he was checking out the cashier told him his total was eight dollars and some change. My dh says" uhh no that is wrong I just bought a battery too". He said the cashier told him that the battery WAS on there and to go ahead and pay now. So my dh says again "It can't be it cost more than eight dollars". He said at this point the woman yells at him "I think I know what I am doing here and you don't yes it is on there now pay!" My dh can't stand to be yelled at of course like anyone else so he pays then gets his reciept and it isn't on there. So he goes back to stand in line because he doesn't want to "steal" the battery. He said the lady was plum mad at this point. He pointed out to her that the battery was not on there and she started getting louder he said at this point she said " I am NOT looking at that reciept I know how to ring ppl up and I know that is was on there and that is that!" So at this point dh says whats a person to do she won't listen to him.
It just goes to show you that ppl have no morals these days and well I know the public is hard to work for and there are horrible ppl that are mean spirited to cashiers but at the same time, how do you think she represented her job?
I hope I never treat ppl in such a manner.

Donna said...


There is NO training in the work place anymore!

It is unacceptable that a customer should have to say or ask something more than twice! And I say twice because I'm giving SOME leeway here but it's insane how some employees will treat a customer.

Della said...

I worked in retail for seven years...WalMart to be exact. So I've been on both sides of the counter. It is hard as a cashier to be nice to some people...but it's not impossible. I was a manager up front so I saw alot of attitudes in my cashiers that were...well...dissappointing to say the least. When people aren't happy at work, it's darn near impossible , it seems, to get them to get over it long enough to be pleasant. I stopped going there unless I absolutely have to. And when I do, I know what cashiers to avoid. Stinky attitudes can really bum a gal out, ya know. Like I don't get enough of that over the course of the week at home with my kids, my hubby, and myself...I don't need it when I go out! Kuddos on the post!

~Monica~ said...

I just had a horrible customer service issue Saturday. I went in to Fashion Bug. When I was checking out the girl asked me 2 times if I wanted a FB charge, I said no thanks. Then she said "PLEASE? It will really help me out, I'll get credit for it" I said "No, I'm a stay at home mom" (which I thought implied that I make my decisions with my husband) to which she replied "I'll still get credit IF YOU ARE DENIED!" Oh, I was so furious. But I don't like confrontation so I smiled and said "I am not going to hurt my credit just so you get credit in some game" and she was so mad. SHe didn't smile through the whole transaction, didn't utter another word, and almost threw my bag of clothes at me. BTW, I emailed corporate and all I got back was "we apologize for your inconvenience". Well I will never go back in there, I was humiliated.

Donna said...

It just seems to me that there should be more PROPER training!

One of the first real jobs that I had, was tough! God blessed me, yes blessed me, with a tough boss. You did what he said, you went out of your way to make his/your customers happy, and the customer was right and your job was to not just wait on them but to cater to them, PERIOD!

I don't think he would have allowed anyone to work for them who disrespected his customers.

We have a store here in town that we've shopped at 3 times this past 8 months or so..... they act very very snooty in there-- as if they are rich and you are poor, because we tell them NO every time they ask us about some silly something like that....and they're kids! just teenagers working there!

I cannot for the life of me understand what is 1)wrong with parents who don't train these kids and 2)what's wrong with the employer that they are not training these people to use proper etiquette!

***Thanks for posting ladies!
It's comforting to know that I'm not alone! I'm not the only one feeling like an alien on MY PLANET! :-)

Organized Nutrition said...

OH, isn't it just sad when you can't even shop with out people being rude???? I love going to the stores where people are always kind! Trader joes is one of my favorites! Drive is alittle futher, but the service is sooo worth it!!! I too am a walmart banner... don't go unless I have to! I would rather pay alittle more down the road at target!

TheFiveDays said...

Aaaargh. What a pain. My husband was in Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and had a similar issue arise... the cashier didn't like what he was buying and let him know her opinion on it. Sigh.

He also recently got accused of trying to steal flooring samples at Home Depot. He couldn't get anyone in the "special services" area to help him for 20 minutes, went up front and was told that he had to pay for them in the back. He said he wasn't going back and forth and wanted to pay for them there and get going. The MANAGER told my husband he wasn't leaving without paying for them. As if he weren't practically begging for someone to just let him PAY!! He e-mailed corporate and didn't even get a return e-mail back.

It's really frustrating. I try to do as much of my shopping online now as I can.

Donna said...

Five Days,

I've seen all kinds of things, and I thought it was just my town!

It looks like this kind of thing is all over...and I can't seem to figure it all out....
-is it just that we're able to hear and read more about it on the net?
-is it the current generation and a lack in at-home training?
-is it a lack of job training?
-or is it just that I'm not the young and stupid one anymore? ;-)

Or is it a mix of all of those?

And what's strange to me is that we live in a society who MUST be politically correct and concerned for others FEELINGS, and yet it's usually those who act the worst in public! :-0