Monday, August 22, 2005

Why I hate people: Reasons #13 - 16

Whenever I need a particular item, my mother always urges me to first call the various stores that might carry it to see if they actually do. I can see the logic behind this. Theoretically it saves time, gas and ultimately money. Sounds good to me.

Realistically, it doesn't work that way. Even if you can get past the call trees. Or if you could actually speak to a knowledgeable employee. Yeah. Don't laugh. It could happen. In my dreams it does.

Usually it resembles this:

Press 1 for English. If you know the extension of the party you are trying to reach, enter that number now. Press # to listen to Muzak for the next 15 minutes while you wait for the customer service clerk to process the returns for the customers actually standing in line in the store while they discuss what they will eat for lunch and completely forget you are still on the phone. Hang up and call back and then wait another 15 minutes for them to page someone from the specific department to look for your item but not until after they take their lunch break, then return to the phone, pretending to have looked and say, "No, we are all out."

And I'm not going to get into a discussion here about minimum wage employees. But let's just say that many people who work these jobs are there simply because they, well, aren't the sharpest crayons in the box.

Not all of them, I know. I shouldn't generalize. Some are absolute gems. Very knowledgable. Incredibly helpful. Alas, those types of employees are rare. Especially at the *marts where I shop.

So I prefer to drive to the store and look for myself. Only when I absolutely must do I wish to actually speak to a store employee. Nothing personal. It's just that the following are only samples of my experiences:

Some time back, ~K~ was sick with a sore throat. She didn't like the taste of most losenges and wouldn't gargle so I was desperate to find something to relieve her pain. I had recently seen an advertisement for a (then) new product, Get Better Bears. I drove to the nearest *store.

I looked around the pharmacy area but couldn't find the item. I then asked the pharmacist himself. He should know where it's located, right? He said, "That product is too new. We don't carry it." I thanked him, turned away and walked smack into a portable display of, you guessed it, "Get Better Bears." Right next to the counter. Go Figure.

Last year, ~K~ wanted to learn to knit or crochet. I was pretty sure that I had seen kids' kits for beginners that included everything you needed to learn how to do the craft and create an item. I drove to the local hobby store and glanced through the appropriate aisles. To save time, I decided to ask the clerk standing nearby, "Do you carry kits for beginners or children that teach them how to knit or crochet?"

"Noooo," The clerk emphatically said, "but we do have this...." and she led me down the aisle and pointed to some boxes on display. They were kits. For Children.

I read them, 'cause well, I'm college edumacated, I can read.

Begin To Knit........ Begin To Crochet.......

Uhhhhhh. Huh? Did I not speak English? Was my request not clear? Did I stutter? Isn't that what I just said? Why did she say "no"?

I was speechless. I turned to my sister and gave her the "I cannot friggin' believe this shit" look. My look was mirrored in her face.

But my ultimate tale is not one I personally experienced. Just one step removed. It happened to my nieces. The same hobby store.

Picture high ceilings with a floor to ceiling display of bags and bags of "polyfill", like this.". You know. The fluffy material you stuff pillows or other crafts with.

Remember, this was a floor to ceiling display. Big. BIG. BIG. In front of the display was a desk. Behind the desk, a clerk.

My smartass precious nieces ask the clerk. So innocently,"Do you have any polyfill?"

"Oh no" said the clerk (I'll betcha it was the same one), "We don't carry anything like that here."


  • At 11:39 AM, Anonymous spork said…

    I know K's attention span is about as short as mine, but if she is still inclined to do the knitting thing.....there are some really cute beginner projects at Target.

  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Queen of the Universe said…

    We got the kits. Both of them. Now she's all into spool knitting. Keeps here busy for hours. Yes hours. Thank you Lord. Next thing we'll get is a loom. I know what you're xmas gift will probably be :)


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