Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Revisited

Work went well enough - a full day of running all over portions of southern Arizona making deliveries and a pickup. I could be more specific, but who cares. The CEO/President of our company is coming to town - tomorrow. I have talked to this man via email in the past - a very nice person, actually.

Anyway. My daily waterings of certain plants is not enough. These plants are withering by the time I get home from work and only another good dose of water brings them back. I will have to start watering these plants twice daily during the summer. Kind of a pain - I enjoy, no love - spending time out there with "them", but this is a little excessive. If I had any thought that anytime soon my "ship would come in", I would definitely go out and buy a drip watering system, which would take care of this problem.

Now, I could "drip" water them with a hose - but there are too many of them, it would take too long. I can just about guarantee that next week, I will be applying for another 401k loan. I hate to do it, but there is too much going out and not enough coming in. A couple thousand dollars right now would take care of all of it and then some.

Customer Service. It is not an unfrequent event that I complain about poor customer service, and in recent months, Fry's Food Stores. Today was yet another adventure into that realm. I will admit here that during the summer and when I'm outside baking away - and after work - I do like to drink a few ice cold beers. Why? Because I want to, what else is there to it? I acquired a taste for beer in my early teens that has never gone away. It tastes better to me, frankly, than a glass of coke. The only thing I like better - and I like it much better - is ice cold water. Moderation of course concerning the beer.

But still. I buy it when it's on sale in 30 pack to save money. It lasts a long time, thank you. You can buy a 6 pack at 6 or 7 dollars per six pack - or you can buy 30 packs on sale for $19.99 or less and - the savings is significant. I am NOT a drunkard for those that want to know - I just like to drink a few beers.

Anyway. Fry's has the 10-for sale. Buy ten of the things that are on sale and you get $3.00 off the total bill, not to mention the stuff you are buying has already been marked down significantly from what it's normal price is. The 10 sale is mix and match, you don't have to buy 10 of any one thing. I got various items that I needed and then a few other things on sale but not the 10 sale, got a 30 pack and headed to the self-service lanes to check out. The full service lane - only one was open if I recall correctly at the time - was loaded with people. So was the self service section, but with 8 checkouts, it was bound to free up quickly.

Well, I get a checkout station quickly. First thing I do is scan the 30 pack. It's going to stop the scanning process for the attendant to verify my age. I'm standing there watching this attendant scanning an entire basket full of stuff for people who - apparently - couldn't figure out how to scan the stuff for themselves.

This woman is totally ignoring everyone - and there are other people besides me that have "frozen" scanning screens - "Please wait for an attendant". This goes on for several minutes. Now, mind you, I have scanned the 30 pack, I am just waiting for the lady to approve the sale so I can continue scanning everything else. She finally goes back to her station and then DELETES my 30 pack off the screen. If you have ever done self service, you know that everything that you scan has to go onto the table area they have next to it. It is a giant scale - every item in the store has been input into their software for it's weight. You put the item on the table, the system checks the weight and allows you to move on with scanning if the weight is correct.

Well, the 30 pack is sitting there, it's been deleted off the ticket, but the system allows me to scan on. So, scan I do. Eventually, I hear this voice: "WHO HAS THE ALCOHOL?" I couldn't believe my ears. Perhaps not as bad as hearing over the speaker system an announcement that someone needs to go over to the condom display to unlock the booth for whoever is waiting there, but still - bad enough. I have never had that happen to me - but I have both heard it done and have read about people's experience in the feeling they get when such an announcement is made and they - are the unlucky soul waiting there to get a package of condoms.

She comes over to my station where I am busily scanning away and declares that the beer didn't scan and I will have to rescan it. I looked up at her. Ma'am, I not only scanned the beer, but I sat there and waited for several minutes while you were scanning all of another customer's things. YOU deleted the beer off the ticket. At first she tried to backtrack - but that will go nowhere with me, ESPECIALLY with a person that is lying through their teeth. "Well, I had to delete your problem because I needed to take care of their problem first, and the only way I could do that was to get yours off the screen".

How long would it have taken to simply bypass the age restriction? 2 seconds? She was so intent on doing EVERYTHING for these other people that she completely ignored EVERYONE else that needed help.

The fact that she lied to me was enough to ask for store management. After several minutes, a lady walks up. No thanks. I wanted the GM, not a person that I have dealt with before that does nothing about the situation. The GM just happened to be walking by at that particular moment, so I just walked away from both of them, saying I would rather speak to this gentleman.

What happened next was interesting if nothing else. I told him about this attendant scanning every single item of a customer's purchases - at a SELF checkout station - while totally ignoring everyone else. We communicated for a short time and then he called the attendant over. I stood there and listened to this woman lying, I mean, it was too much for me to stand there and just listen to it.

What I totally forgot during this exchange was what got me going in the first place: This attendant speaking out loudly who has the alcohol and her 3 visits to my checkout station demanding that I rescan the beer.

I do trust that the GM has taken care of this woman's problem with honesty - I have seen him in action before, but - I will be contacting them again about this situation with her speaking up loud enough to make it known to everyone about the alcohol that allegedly didn't scan.

My problem with customer service in these modern times is just that: modern times has turned customer service more into a pile of s*** than anything remotely considered service. This does not apply to all companies, of course. In this case, it doesn't apply to everyone in the store, but - it applies to at least a handful of them working at the same store.

Well, whatever. I write about the things that happen in a day - this was one of them. Good things happened today too.

Regardless, I am done with this post.

ben

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