People that burn my butt…

Today, my mother and I went to the Sears store at Carlingwood Shopping Centre to get a new strap for her watch. Unfortunately, despite the fact that her watch is a reasonably well-known make of watch, the shape was unusual and the watch repair kiosk didn’t carry the strap she needed. So, I suggested we simply get Mom a new watch.

So, we toddled off the the watch department (the watch repair kiosk is privately run and the watch department is Sears-run) to look at the watches.

After looking at some of the cases, we waited at the counter to be served.

There was a male clerk serving a customer and a woman doing something at the other end of the counter. We waited for about 3 or 4 minutes before the the female clerk came towards us and I thought she was going to help us. Instead, she evaded our gaze and walked out and down the aisle. I thought she must be on her break.

We waited another 3 or 4 minutes. Then, while Mom stood at the counter, I leaned over to a nearby rack and looked at the watches in the case and when I looked back a mere 6 or so seconds later, the man who had just finished with his customer (who didn’t actually want to buy anything) walked right past my mother and down the aisle.

By now, the woman clerk was back but she was standing in the aisle about 3 feet away, talking to another woman who appeared to be either a friend or a coworker who was there on her own time.

I waited for at least a full two minutes for her to acknowledge us and then finally said “Excuse me…”

Well!!! She turned her head really slowly towards me and glared at me and turned back to her friend and finished her conversation. So I said “Never mind.” and took my mother’s arm and started to walk away. The clerk said “Can I help you?”

I said “Well, I WAS going to buy a watch but obviously it is too much trouble for you to stop your private conversation while customers who have been standing here several minutes wait to be served”.

I then walked down to customer service and made a complaint.

I worked retail for QUITE a number of years. I can understand when a store is busy that customers have to stand and wait. I can understand that people have to go on breaks. I understand seeing a friend and saying hello to them. I can understand waiting on a talkative customer.

I CANNOT understand steadfastly ignoring a customer and failing to say “I will be right with you” or “I am just on my break but XXX will be right with you”.

I cannot understand standing talking to a friend and co-worker while customers, one obviously old and frail stand waiting.

The behaviour of both the clerks was inexcusable and they both lost a guaranteed sale.


  1. azahar said,

    April 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Well, I was rather partial to the suggestion of filming them with your camera or mobile phone and then showing it to the manager…

    • mudhooks said,

      April 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm

      I made a lengthy reply and realized that it wasn’t for the posting I thought it was for. Yes. I could do that. Instead, I will simply choose not to shop there, again.

      I hate that Sears store, anyway. I used to have panic attacks there because I could never find anything because it was laid out all weird and it was always really crowded with narrow aisles. One more reason not to shop there.

    • mudhooks said,

      April 22, 2009 at 3:06 pm

      I followed the link to the MSNBC story and there were a few hints there. Of course, most of them were for people who have frequent-stayer or some other special status but some good hints, anyway. I am a “squeaky wheel” (“NO! You say. “You! I can’t believe it!”) and I can assure you that I would not be “walked down”.

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