Every time I venture out into the world of retail, I always come away astonished that it is a service-based economy that keeps this great nation of ours spinning and churning.
The majority of the sales clerks I encounter make it clear they could not be more bored or put upon with having to help me. I am an unwelcome interruption to their busy schedule of yawning and looking at their cuticles. It has come to the point that I’m surprised by decent service because it’s an exception rather than the rule. And when I do run across someone who is kind and helpful, I want to put them in my shopping bag and take them home and fix up a room for them and feed them ice cream.
As you know, from a previous post, I recently purchased an iPod so that I could listen to it while I pretend to exercise. The thing is though, the iPod itself is like cocaine. Because soon after I got it, I started craving all the iPod accessories and well, today I found myself in Worst Buy at 9am trying to score an iTrip – a car adapter/charger/player. An iThingee if you will. And you know you’ve got a problem when instead of buying a nice pair of shoes, or at least something you can show your girlfriends, you’re buying something that plugs in. And no one would have predicted that.
After I made my purchase, I rushed out to my car and right there in the parking lot, I ripped the package open and plugged the iThingee in and started pushing buttons. And nothing happened. So in a fit of ingenuity, I tried reading the instructions. But I couldn’t. Not because they weren’t in English, but because the print – it is so small. And in order to read the instructions I would have had to set them up on the dashboard and then climb into the backseat. So I went back to randomly pushing buttons and jiggling cords and plugging and unplugging and still, nothing. Finally I gave up and went back into the store to see if I could lure some young thing to my car to help me. Want some candy little sales person? Come, get into my car. Heheheh….
If you’ve ever been to Worst Buy then you know Dwight from The Office oversees his vast empire from the podium at the front door. And if there is anything that indicates who is important and in charge, it’s someone standing behind a podium wearing a polo shirt with donut crumbs down the front and a pencil behind his ear.
So I approached Dwight and politely explained to him that I had just purchased an iThingee and I couldn’t seem to get it to work and I even admitted that I was sure that it was just me and that maybe he could have someone help me. Please. Pretty please. Sweet helpless little old lady smile.
“Well, feel free to go back and see if you can find someone,” he suggested. At this point I paused and stared at him until he pulled the pencil from behind his ear and started nervously drumming it on the podium.
“Um, well, since you’re in charge here, Dwight” I said slowly, “I thought maybe YOU could do that.” And then I gave him the bug eye. You know the bug eye, you’ve given it to your kids, your dog and maybe even your spouse. He sighed and in return gave me the “you idiot” look. He turned to his telephone and in an overstated manner designed to demonstrate what a huge effort he was making on my behalf, he pushed a few buttons with his pencil. “Uh, yeah, this is Dwight,” he breathed into the phone with smoldering self-importance. “I need to see you up front.” When he hung up, he made a move to put the pencil behind his ear with some flourish, but ended up nearly stabbing himself in the eye instead. And then it was my turn to give him the “you idiot” look.
Just then the same sweet young girl who helped me pick out my iThingee came up front and agreed to go with me to my car. In about two seconds, she had it working. And she didn’t even sigh or make me feel stupid. She smiled and said she was happy to help. I officially love her and want to kiss her or give her some candy or pay for her college. Because good service goes a long way with me.