Saturday, December 08, 2007

Customer Service

Yesterday Sunny and I went to do a little shopping.

I was going to get one thing, some ammo for my rifle. I decided on K-Mart for the simple reason it’s the closest store to my house that sells ammo.

We left pretty much as soon as Sunny got in from work. Because it was so early (about 8.30 in the morning), when we arrived at K-Mart there were literally only about three or four other shoppers in the store.

So I head to sporting goods and arrive there to find it completely unmanned. Obviously, the ammunition is kept under lock and key, so I needed an assistant to get it for me. After waiting five minutes to see if anyone would show up, I went to find someone.

A few aisles down I see two women wearing K-Mart smocks. The two were just standing there, chatting away, so I walked up.

“Excuse me.” I said.

Ok, imagine going to a really, really classy black-tie dinner party wearing a pair of Bermuda shorts and a stained “No fat chicks” T-shirt. Then imagine squatting on the table halfway through desert and taking a crap on the hostess’s plate…that’s the look these two women gave me.

I mean, come on, they were gossiping! That’s far more important than them actually doing there jobs.

“Yeah?” One of them said.

“I need some assistance in sporting goods.” I said.

One of them gave the other what she thought was a ‘stealth’ eye-roll and without a word, took off towards sporting goods. I followed.

What surprised me was that she got within 20 feet of the sporting goods cash register, then picked up a phone and paged someone to help me. Then, without a word, she walked back and continued chatting it up with the other K-Mart monkey.

Ok, I know that she probably didn’t have the key to open the ammo case. My point is that she didn’t know that’s what I wanted. In other words, rather than spend 5 seconds to find out if she could help, she’d much rather finish her conversation than do her job.

So I find myself waiting in sporting goods for twenty goddamn minutes. No one shows up, and this time, Sunny heads off to find someone.

A few minutes later I hear another page go out over the PA system. A few minutes later, Sunny arrives back.

Again, no-one shows up and we end up waiting another 20 minutes.

At this point I’m getting pretty pissed off. I’ve been waiting nearly an hour to buy a box of Dynapoints. There are less than 4 other customers in the store and at least 10 staff members. I don’t think I’m too out of line to expect to get some service within an hour of asking for it when there’s more than 2 staff members for every customer in the store.

So I head back to the two K-Mart Monkeys who are still chatting away.

“Excuse me.” I say.


“Look, I’ve been waiting for nearly an hour now and I’ve asked two different people for help in sporting goods and no-one’s shown up. I just need a box of Dynapoints.”

In return I get a theatrical sigh, and she heads to yet another phone and starts to put out another page.

“You know what?” I said. “Don’t fucking bother. I don’t have another half hour to waste.”

So I head back to sporting goods, get Sunny and we leave the store. What pisses me off even more is that as we get to the door, there are no less than six employees standing around the customer service desk (how’s that for irony?) just chatting away.

I really felt like going over there, telling them how shitty their service was and how I wouldn’t be coming back. Then I realized that they probably wouldn’t give a shit, so we just left.

So we drive across town to Walmart. In Walmart, despite the fact the place was already half full of customers, I get to sporting goods and find someone actually at the register. Not only do I get served right then and there, I buy the same ammo, only I get a box of 550 rounds instead of 500…and it’s ten bucks cheaper.

No wonder K-Mart was nearly empty. For some reason people don’t like paying more for shit service.

1 comment:

amanda said...

I hate k-mart, it's so dirty. I remember loving it when I was a kid, but I went in there about a month ago because Alex wanted to go in, it was gross.. just gross.