Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pet peeve #2: Store employees who say they don't carry something when they do.

I have a serious problem with store employees who know absolutely nothing about the merchandise that they sell. It's one thing to say, "You know what? I have no idea," versus, "Nope. We don't carry that."

I can't count the times that a store employee has denied carrying a product that is there all along and has been for awhile.

I can still remember the very first time it irked me.

I was in my early twenties and had just had a baby. I was looking for one of those baby gyms, which were fairly new at that time. I went to either Walmart or Kmart and looked around. I didn't see it and looked for an employee, and naturally there was none to be found.

I finally went up to the customer service desk and asked them to page someone in the baby section. Of course, they weren't there so the young woman behind the desk said she could help me because this is her department sometimes. I told her what I was looking for and she made a I-have-no-idea-what-that-thing-is face and enthusiastically said, "I'm sorry, we don't carry those."

I raised an eyebrow skeptically at her and asked her if she knew what one was. She did not. I described what it was and she just shook her head insisting they didn't carry them. I told her flat out that I didn't believe her. Granted, I had looked around in the department and perhaps they were sold out, but I knew that they would carry them. They were the new rage! Every store was selling them. I was there at Walmart or Kmart because it would be cheaper than most other stores.

She rolled her eyes at her coworker as if to say, "Great, she's one of those kinds of customers." The audacity of her attitude was just amazing, she actually said to me, "Fine. You can just waste my time then, and we'll go look." As we approached the baby section she continued, "I have worked here for so many years and you don't! I would think that I am the one who would know what we carry and what we don't and I'm telling you that we don't have anything at all like a baby gym..."

"There it is!" I exclaimed, seeing it for the first time. It was up high on the very top of those tall shelves, which was why I missed it the first time. "I knew you had them!"

I turned to look at her and her mouth was gaping open, a bright red color began to creep across her face. The box had written in big bold letters, BABY GYM. I looked her dead in the eye, smiled gently and said, "Oh I'm sorry, now what was that you were just saying?" Just as she was about to speak, I continued, "Were you just saying that you knew what you carried and didn't you just tell me that you did not carry it? Were you not just condescending to me because you thought you knew your store better than me, when clearly you are wrong? It looks like you are the one who just wasted my time."

She just walked away without even apologizing. I made sure to go back to the front desk and show her coworker that I found the gym, not her. Her coworker grinned and even actually giggled. I've a feeling that the coworker was no fan of hers either.

This has happened time and again. I understand that not every employee knows all the merchandise they sell, or even that any employee does, but at least admit that. Don't deliberately say that the store doesn't sell them when you really don't know. Just admit that you don't know and give them your best guess on where to look, or ask someone else who might know.

Although a Walmart manager (MANAGER!) told me that they didn't sell crock pot liners when I knew that did and sure enough, there they were. *sigh* It's a serious irritation.

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