Now, with new employees or new stock, I'll grant that there is a learning curve involved and one must not expect everyone to know everything all of the time. But for old, well-established products and people with anniversary pins on their name badges, well....
The products involved were Ingeo, a corn-based plastic fiber which reached the mass market in 2003, and white-heart glass beads, which are centuries old for pete's sake.
At Joann's, I asked an employee about the clearanced Ingeo quilt batts, and got in reply, "The what quilt batts?" I held the package for her to see, and she read the label and marveled aloud at the concept of a quilt batt made from corn-based plastic. My gripe here is that anyone working for Joann's for over a year might be expected to have run across Ingeo before, since it's made into fabric and yarns as well as batts. Familiarity with your store's products, get you some.
At the bead store, I asked the employee at the service desk if they had any large-holed, whiteheart glass beads...and she assumed I wanted heart-shaped glass beads, white in color. After I explained what whiteheart was, she looked it up in the computer and lo, the inventory listed a couple dozen white-heart varieties. She thanked me for enlightening her as I left.
The employees were faultlessly courteous and helpful, but the stores in question need to train better, as I am not out shopping in order to teach employees about the products they sell.