Every time I have ever been to Wal-Mart, which these days is perhaps just a couple times a year when my sense of saving time over rules my distaste for the cheap Chinese crap that stocks their shelves, is a customer service nightmare. I have come to expect it though I still don't accept it. So when I was in need of a gallon of paint for my remodeling project, I wasn't surprised to see no employees around. I walked over to the neighboring sporting goods section where I usually find someone but in this case, it too was vacant. I continued on to lay away, which I've heard it once again, a busy place these days but it too was vacant. No dice in electronics or jewelry. I ended up walking clear to the opposite side of the store before I found a lady stocking shelves of jelly and kindly asked her to page someone to help me in the paint department.
I walked clear back to the opposite side of the store and ended up standing there for a few minutes before finally I heard the page over the intercom. Five minutes rolled by and nobody showed up. I spun the phone around at the paint counter and inspected the keypad. There were buttons for various departments and so I selected the customer service department and pushed the button. Nothing happened. After pushing all the other buttons, I determined that they must be only for picking up a call from that area and not placing one. Now I had a dilemma. I didn't know any extension numbers except the one I was at so what was I to do. I hit the redial button and waited to see where it would take me.
A lady that sounded an awful lot like the one stocking jelly answered and asked what I wanted. I explained that I was a customer who had someone paged to the paint department five minutes ago and no one had showed up. I asked if she could page someone else. She did and another five minutes would go by so I rechecked the sporting goods desk and then repeated the redial and request. Another page and another five minutes. So I did yet check of the sporting goods desk and another redial and this time politely asked if there were any employees at the store at all who were interested in trading paint for cash. She muttered about someone being out for lunch (it was two o'clock) and said she would get someone back there.
The page came out over the intercom and then less than fifteen seconds later, it repeated again. That is when I heard a lady say very loudly from a nearby aisle, "Gosh dang, give me a chance to get back there will yah!"
When the rough looking lady showed up at the paint counter, she sarcastically said that they didn't even give her a chance to get back there before repeating the page. I sarcastically replied back that perhaps if she had answered the three previous pages spread over fifteen minutes, they wouldn't have been so quick to repage you. That caught her by surprise and I had to wait for a few seconds before she came up with an excuse. I knew it was coming by the look in her eyes and when she told me she had been over at the sporting goods counter helping someone, it was all I could do not to say bullshit in a loud voice. Instead I politely asked when they had moved the sporting goods area to the front of the store since the old sporting goods desk which I had checked several times over the last fifteen minutes had been obviously vacant.
At this point, we both knew that she had been lying and so I just interrupted the discussion by telling her what color I needed for my gallon of paint. We then spent the next ten minutes in silence as she went about mixing it up. The rest of my China-Mart journey was uneventful but it wouldn't be but ten minutes later and I would be up to my neck in another customer service fiasco. More on that in another post.