Let me start this post with this thought……………….Brick and Mortar Retail should be kissing the customer’s ass when they walk into a store these days.

The other day I walked into an Office Depot looking for a specific mini-binder solution. A sweet voice asked me if I needed any help. Being the Independent DIYer of course I said “No thanks, I’m good.”

Clearly she saw me bouncing between two aisles and a short while later she says “Are you sure I can’t help you?”

I surrendered.

Denise (I asked her name) came over. I shared what I was looking for. They don’t carry it. She really didn’t know if such a thing existed. She suggested I check online. Next she offered the idea of coming up with a creative solution – which is why she found me bouncing between aisles. I was already on that. We discussed a few. Then she said I may want to check Michaels across the street. They may have something. How about that…………Denise has now offered 3 ideas:

  • Check online
  • A Creative Solution
  • Give the sale to someone else

I grabbed the supplies for one of the creative solutions we discussed, paid, and went across the plaza to Michaels.

Looking for help I saw a gentleman. “Excuse me, can you…..” He kept walking. Retail workers these days wear headsets so maybe he was wearing one and didn’t hear me. About a minute later he is literally in my face heading right at me. I say, “Excuse me I’m looking for………” He completely ignores me and keeps walking.

WTF!!!!! (And maybe why I like to do my shopping on my own.)

Wandering aimlessly I find another employee back by the framing area. Ask her if she may be able to help. Our friend appears. She turns to him and asks if he has any ideas. He answers her. Now I’m annoyed! And here’s how it went down:

Me: “So you’ll answer her but not me when I asked you for help twice before.”

Him: “I’m off the clock. I don’t have to help.”

My body language now said it all.

Frame Lady: “I apologize sir” and tells him to go in the back.

Him: “Why are you apologizing? I’m off the clock. I don’t have to help.”

I’m standing there thinking, AYFKM?! (Google it if you don’t know or can’t figure it out)

Another woman appears out of back room:

New Lady (whispering): “I’m sorry. Can I help you?”

Me: “Nah, I’m good. I just need to go and probably never step foot back in this store again if those are the type of people Michael’s hires and trains.” That’s how pissed I was at this point.

Frame Lady: “Sir, again, I apologize. If you check over in the scrapbooking session you might find a solution.”

I said thanks and walked over that way. As I was walking over I was thinking I bet Denise would have walked with me. I ended up leaving; my blood was boiling.

I did call the store later. For two reasons. First I wanted to make sure that never happens to another customer. I actually like Michaels and I hate seeing what is happening to Brick and Mortar Retail. Second, I wanted to make sure Frame Lady and New Lady were commended on trying to defuse the situation. The manager already knew what had happened but told me that calling allowed for corrective action versus a co-worker reporting another co-worker.

20 minutes. Two very different experiences. One retailer where I will return without hesitation. The other………probably to another location about the same distance in the opposite direction.

And maybe Michaels needs to not allow their off the clock employees to wander the store.

#OfficeDepot #Michaels