I was looking for some basic craft construction paper - the kind you use in school for simple, cheap projects - and I decided to go to my local Michael's as I assumed they would have a large selection than some place like WalMart or Target. I also just enjoy browsing the store, which is full of fun stuff, especially for holiday seasons! I want to say now, that until this moment I'd never had a problem with Michael's.
I walk in and immediately notice the place is in an upheaval, as they're apparently not only stocking items but rearranging for some holiday displays. That's fine - the basic craft items are always in the same place anyway (I've been sent here before for random stuff by my mom and my boss). I've never bought construction paper there before, and the employees are obviously busy, so even though I'm in a hurry I decide I'll look for the paper myself - afterall, it's a well-organized store and construction paper is very common, so how hard can it be?
I literally went up and down all the isles on one side of the store - the side with all the craft pieces, straight down to the framing. Okaaay, maybe it's with the poster board and yarn for some reason... nope, not there either! Obviously it's not with the holiday decorations - that leaves only the isle displays! But, no luck there either.
Not wanting to be a bother, but still needing my construction paper I decide to approach an employee stocking items by the card paper (where I initially expected to find construction paper). Her response was, "I have no idea. Check the kid section, it's a couple of isles down. 9 or 10 maybe." I explained I already looked there and she tells me, "well look again, it must be there. Or ask someone else." Right. I double check and it's still not there. There's not even a sign or an empty space or anything for it. I find another employee who also tells me they're not sure where it is.
Third time's a charm, maybe? The next employee I find is by the poster board, in the back right corner. I explain the situation and he just stares at me. I stare back, a little uncomfortable and wondering if maybe I've got something in my teeth... until he says, "I don't think we carry that item." I explain it's a common craft item, sold everywhere, and as Michael's is a craft store, and is he sure they're not carrying any, is it maybe in the back room somewhere (I'm thinking they're just out). He then says, "I don't even know what that is and I think you're making it up. I've never heard of construction paper, it sounds weird, and you're messing with me when I'm trying to do my job! We don't sell weird or imaginary stuff!"
I just stand there stunned for a bit and then walk away, to find a manager. The manager was VERY helpful, and informed me they indeed sold construction paper (and that it exists, to my relief, as I was starting to think I'd entered the Twilight Zone or something), but that they hadn't stocked it yet in the frenzy. She was kind enough to get me a pack from the back and check me out, apologizing profusely for her employees and that she'd speak to them. She offered me credit but I hardly ever shop there so I decline and just said thank you. Overall, it was just an incredibly strange situation and I just can't believe someone working at a craft store - let alone a human being - isn't aware of construction paper?? Is it not as common as I think it is? I assumed everyone must've come across it at some point or another during their childhood at least...