Lisa Martin (lisamartin) wrote in bad_service,
Lisa Martin
lisamartin
bad_service

Am I a bad customer?

I know I must be. I go into a place to spend my money and I expect that the staff there have basic abilities. I expect basic customer service (greeting, ability to do whatever they are being paid to do, etc), I expect that they will have at least a sliver of common sense or ability to use certain senses (you do not put a blind person on door watcher just as you wouldn't put a deaf person on phones), and I expect that in return, I will treat that person who is being paid to do a service as an intelligent life form (I do not talk down to my service providers unless they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt they can not handle multi-syllable words).



Background : I am overweight, pregnant and handicapped. I have difficulty walking due to all 3 (the third created the first incidentally). I do the best I can within my limits and while I do prefer to use a courtesy scooter, I do not expect special treatment. I get my own items, put my own items up on the belt, take them out and load my own car and then bring the scooter back (and plug it in!) for the next person.

I go into Wal-Mart yesterday, see no scooters and ask if the greeter knows if they have any on the other side. I have no idea if this is knowledge they would have or not, but I have spoken to some who either did know (they had just come from there) or used a walkie-talkie to check. She looks at the scooters in the corral where she is and notices they are all bagged (broken), looks at me and says, "Yeah, there are some on the other side." I take a cart for walking assistance and begin walking to the other side. Due to over exertion at my daughter's doctor earlier, I am in worse shape than usual and walking very slowly. It takes me just over 4 minutes to walk to the other side of the store and find that the only scooters over there are also broken. At this point, I am annoyed, but figure how could she have known, (walkie talkie, yes she has one and so does the other greeter), but why send a handi walking all over the place if you don't know for sure?

I am determined to get what I came for anyway and start the slow walk to the Rubbermaid aisles. We are repacking the garage and I needed a couple of the footlocker crates. I find the aisle, my 7 year old daughter helps me load the crates into my cart and we head back to the registers. On the way, I see a Halloween display of Halloween packing tape at $2.97 for 75% off. We had needed packing tape a few times in the past couple weeks, and I figure $.75 for a roll of tape is pretty good, so I grab one. I get to the register and take the tape out, and offer to move the crates around if the cashier needs to check the inside. She says no, it is fine and rings me up. The tape rang up normal price and I mention it is Halloween and should be 75% off. She calls over to the next register, which is empty but has 2 cashiers chatting at it. One of the cashiers comes over to help and #1 explains it rang up wrong, how does she fix it? I am quiet at this point, as I have no idea how to fix the error in their system as I have never used a Wal-Mart register. When the conversation turns to 'How do I know how much it is?' I told #1 what the price should be and how I got it. (3/2/2=0.75x3=2.25 3-2.25=0.75). She then gets loud and complains about how nothing ever rings up right, how do they expect her to be able to do her job right, etc and #2 comes back to help figure out the price.

Once again, I explain, to #2 this time, how to get the price of the item. She looks at me, then she and #1 begin arguing about how to get the price and what the price should be. They turn to me a couple times and once ask what the price is, argue, then look back at me and tell me there is NO WAY I could have known that. I offer, a bit snarkily by now as it had been nearly 6 minutes of this, that if they really want, I can do it on my calculator for them so they can see what it is. #2 bangs on the console for a sec and puts in $.99 and says, something like, "That is the price. it is 1 @ 3 for $3."

"No, that isn't the price. That is 66% off, not 75%. Those are NOT the same." Yes, I was pissed by now. I offered again the actual price, backed up by my calculator, when #2 walks away and says, "I dunno, YOU figure it out."

#3 comes over and says, "What on earth is the issue over here?" to #1. #1 explains the problem. #3, God bless her says, "Oooookaaay. That just means it is $.75." I could have jumped for joy, instead I turned and said, "Thank you, I have been trying to explain that for 5 minutes!" #1 then laughs and says, "How am I supposed to know how to do that, I flunked math!"

My reply? And yes, by now, I was not a good customer anymore, "Well, good thing you work as a cashier and don't work with numbers or anything, huh?" She was not amused, I was beyond caring at a person who was proud and joking around about not being able to perform their job's basic functions. (Edited as I was typing quickly and accidentally put 'basic society' which I did not intend.)

I wish my tale was over, but I hobbled back out of the store, watched by the same greeter as above almost the entire way from the registers, by the way. This entire trip, including the 7 minutes at the register and hobbling to one area and then out had taken almost 40 minutes, I was walking that slowly. I was in bad shape. It took me over 3 minutes from the register to the door. I see 3 teens run past with unbagged video games while I am walking out, but the greeter says nothing and the alarms didn't go off, so I think nothing of it. Until I get to the door.

She stops me and my daughter for my receipt. Apparently unbelievably slow, limping, handicapped, pregnant women with a young child pushing a cart with 2 Rubbermaid containers is a red flag these days. I laughed a bit and asked her if she was serious, and she looked at me like I had threatened her and said, "Absolutely I am serious, I need your receipt for these two items. Now." So now, not only do I think she is being unreasonable, but now she is being rude as well, in addition, it is incredibly painful to walk, but it borders on excruciating to have to stop and stand still after I have finally gotten moving. I dug my receipt back out as she read it like it held the secrets of the universe on it, freaking studied the damn thing and double checked it 2 times as I stood there rocking from one foot to the other in pain. Other customers were giving this woman dirty looks for this, ones who had been walking behind me or had seen me heading to the door while in line. I did hear one echo my, "Are you serious?" as they walked past as well. She finally hands my receipt back and actually straightens her back haughtily before saying, "I guess you can go."

No thank you, no I'm sorry, no it's policy. "I guess you can go."

By now, I was infuriated and disgusted at these people and how I was treated. From entering the store to leaving, every employee but one was an idiot. And if their attitude were anything to go by, they were proud of how they treated me and that they were stupid.

As an aside, I found out later that while a greeter does have the right to ask me to stop to check the inside of the crates (which she didn't), she ONLY is permitted to do that if the ALARM goes off. Which it did not. So as a triple whammy to her treatment, she did it just to be in my way when there was no reason at all for it.

ADDED EDIT : I never said what I said was 'right' or 'polite'. I added it as it was part of the story and I would have been lying to make myself look better to have left it out. In addition, the cashier did call me a liar, raise her voice to me to do so, and then continue having an argument when I was offering to HELP her. (I have been a teacher of both normal and disabled kids in the past.) I really didn't think this would be so much of an issue to everyone, but there you have it.
Tags: crab battle, defensive much?, dialogue seems slightly... exaggerated, fluffed-up angry snoot poodle tone, hot fresh wank in 30 min or less, i accidentally a customer suck, internet lawyering, lots and lots and lots of words, post drastically edited, wal*mart/tarjay/costco, wank, you don't *always* gotta speak up
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