01 Jun Take me out
Last week was Herculean. 5 trainings in 4 cities and two states. (Insanity is a permanent state, I mean Illinois and California in this case.)
I committed to having fun through it all as impossible as it felt. Got 4 hours of sleep three nights in a row. Mixed my #’s and written out numbers in that last sentence- still sleep deprived.
Wheels fell off the wagon a little bit. Had a skinned knee or two- nothing overly traumatic. Couldn’t wait for the weekend.
Woke up early. Started reorganizing my house. Shifted into super mom. Went for a walk with my son up the mountain. Snack. Sunscreen rubdown and a swim. He went underwater trying to get the prism (don’t tell anyone) that we hid in our swimsuits to get into the pool.
Snacked again. I decided to go to IKEA. I was tired of not having room for all the ‘stuff’. Decided I was going to get a bookcase and somehow tie it down to the car. I’d figure that out when I got there.
Son slept on the way. LIfted his carseat out of the car and wheeled him around IKEA. Organization thing here and there. Realized I didn’t need a bookcase – i just needed to move the one downstairs upstairs. Still spent $180 on decorative and organizational stuff.
Check out stand. The woman behind the counter was not very friendly. I was tired. My son was waking up. I just wanted out of there.
She began to admonish me for picking up the display pillow by accident. It seems the display items have a YELLOW tag on them instead of a WHITE one. Duh. Seriously, it was really hard to tell the difference. I asked if I could buy it anyway- she was so incredibly rude, “NO. You cannot.”
Whatever. I didn’t try to ‘shine through her mind’ like i normally do – I just decided to get out of there. The rug I wanted didn’t have a price. It was a weird looking rug. Can you look it up? I ask. Begrudgingly she does.
Just get me out of here I am thinking and smiling to myself. I roll out. I have too much stuff. I balance the car seat and all the crap. I get to my car and realize i am missing the pillow shams. CRAP. I drop the glass lamp. I break it. CRAP.
Okay.Â Let the glass lamp go.. I REALLY wanted the pillow shams.Â So I roll back in.
I wheel back to the register. It has been maybe 6 minutes.. maybe 8 minutes.
“Excuse me Miss, did I leave my pillow shams here?” NO MA”AM she yells at me and turns away. “Can I get a copy of my receipt I want to check to see if I was charged for them.”
She begins to yell at me that I have my receipt and that she doesn’t know what kind of game i am playing.
A manager comes over and asks what is going on. “Hey, I just need to see a copy of my receipt – is it possible to get one.”
She is yelling behind him about me. She calls him over and starts whispering to him and saying I left the store 30 minutes before. I walk over. She tells him she has information for him and she will call him on the phone.
He tells me he will get the receipt upstairs. I wait. I am laughing at how silly this is. She is on the phone covertly telling him the weird red head with her baby is pulling a scam that I left the story 30 minutes before and she gave me my receipt and all my merchandise.
(I know this because the customer standing in front of her stopped by me on the way out the door and asked if I wanted him to stay for morale support. He explained the woman was very upset toward me and telling the manager I was stealing.Â Nah.Â thanks though.Â I’m okay, I say.)
I decided to just try and make things better. “Hey, listen, I’m sure you did give me a receipt I just can’t find it now. I am just trying to..”
She interrupts me and it sounded like she said “I could take you out..”
Like , um, violence? I looked at her and said, Lady, once i hit 40 I was sure that’d be the end to the recess brawls what are you talking about.
Suddenly manager guy is there. He gives me the receipt. (Printed 11 minutes after the original receipt date- so much for her 1/2 hour theory.)
I tell the manager, “Hey, listen. I’m not pulling a scam here and I am unsure what to do. You can come to my car and search for the pillow shams. We are talking $30 here.”
He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He said he’d just credit my card. “um. I want the pillow shams can we do that?”
THe guy next to him said if I did leave them there on accident they were already restocked and not to worry about it.
Meanwhile, crazy woman is going OFF to everyone who will listen that I had my receipt and I was there 45 minutes earlier. It was really a crazy moment.
I was allowed to go get the shams. As I walked back by happy woman she was STILL admonishing me and actually pointing as I walked by. I thanked her for treating me so well and left the store.
Instant Customer Service is gonna getcha. I teach customer service and I deserved everything I got that day. You see, in Chicago I had a cab driver pick me up from the airport at 12:30am. When I gave him the address where we were going he took 10 minutes trying to pull it up on the GPS. He then started driving and informed me that I’d have to pay meter and a half.
As he drove me through some crazy neighborhoods and what seemed to be abandoned areas – I started getting really nervous. I blew up at the guy. I actually threw him the F-bomb and told him I’d report him.
When I called the cab complaint line it turned out he was entitled to meter and a half and he wasn’t scamming me.
I was mortified at my behavior. I was an ass. I gave him a $60 to try and make up for it.
The emotional center of our brain does not have language. Something was going on with me that night and thus my stupid actions.
I wonder what was going on with Sherlyn at IKEA? Did i remind her of someone she hated? Was it my perfume or lack thereof?
Â THose on the front line of customer service usually just grow a thin veneer of professionalism not outright hostility.Â I sort of like the latter better.Â I’m a little tired of the passive agressive I’m smiling at you and i hate you customer service I get normally.
Stay tuned for the rest of the story.Â I gotta a little 2 year old demanding customer service from me right now.. I gotta run…
Elena WoodheadPosted at 08:21h, 04 June
Hello, a few months back I was in the “looking for a job” market, and I came across your ad looking for a personal assistant. Long story short, I was able to keep the job I have and I didnt apply for yours. But I kept your website and blog on my favorites because I liked you so much. This last entry had me laughing so hard I was crying and not because it was particularily funny, but because I related to everything you went through at Ikea or any other customer service based store… I too am a single mom of two (17 and 19 now) and now that both are in the working world, I tell them often about how to treat people. I worked retail during my 20’s and I think it made me a better person in how I treat the people behind the counter. I’m babbling, not enough caffeine…but just wanted to say “you go girl!” and enjoy those pillow shams..