Home Supply Chain vs. Bird Food Chain

Tony’s on vacation and right before he left, he ordered some doorknobs for his house from the local (kind of…it’s a chain) home supply store. He got a phone call a couple of days ago, saying they were in, so I went in today to pick them up, as today was the first day I really had time. So I went in and like Tony said the guy said on his machine, I went to the hardware counter. Well, the guy there was completely useless and didn’t know anything. He sent me up to the Customer Service counter, where the lady told me that I was there too early and the manager of the hardware department wouldn’t be in until 2:00 or 2:30. Not only that, but since the doorknobs hadn’t been paid for when we ordered them, they would only be at the hardware counter. Since I didn’t know how long the second trip was going to take and I had an appointment across town that I had to be at by 3:30, I decided it’d have to be a lot later than 2:00 or 2:30; I wasn’t going to risk missing that just to be there as soon as he got there, so I went to my appointment and went back to the store at about 4:30. I went to the hardware department, thinking I’d skip a step. Well, I made an extra one for myself instead. The girl there told me that “We don’t keep any merchandise here, you’ll have to go to Customer Service.” When I explained that, earlier, the lady told me they’d only be at the hardware department, she just repeated herself. So, irritated, I walked to the Customer Service counter. This time, I got a different lady, who obviously didn’t know what she was doing either, as she was thinking I needed to talk to some other lady who had left at 4:00. Fortunately, the lady at the Customer Service counter listened when I told her that the last person I’d talked to said that I needed to talk to the manager at the hardware department. By the time all the phone calls were made, I was sent back to the hardware department, where the same girl asked what they’d said. I told her I needed to talk to the manager and when he came over I explained myself. He said they were right there and I finally got them. When I talked to Tony, he said that getting the doors wouldn’t be such a hassle and I told him that if they were as much trouble as the knobs, I was going to stand in the middle of the store and scream. I’d probably embarrass myself. *grin* Anyway, if it weren’t the only hardware store in town (why is that?), I’d avoid that place like a plague. Okay, maybe not that much, but I’d do whatever I could to avoid going there.

Oh, I almost forgot the “vs.” part. So after I went to the supply store, I went to a bird food chain, where I was getting a bag of bird food (which was also a purchase on Tony’s behalf, but it wasn’t pre-ordered or anything. He said to put it on his card (they make cards and when you buy enough of the same food, you get a free bag of that particular food). When I got there and was checking out, I told the guy I wanted to put it on someone else’s card and he said that’d be fine. I didn’t realize (or forgot, depending on how you want to put it) that he’d not bought any of that kind of food there, so he didn’t have a card. After the guy looked through all his cards, he explained, very civilly and quite politely, that there wasn’t one for Tony and would I like to make another one. So we did that and that went really well, overall. Wonder why that one went so much easier. Especially considering I was riled up from being at the home supply store (I kind of expected the irritation to color the rest of my day). Whatever the case may be, I’m all for going back to the bird store, even if I’m not as much of a bird fanatic as Tony is.

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2 thoughts on “Home Supply Chain vs. Bird Food Chain

  1. It sounds like the hardware store here in Robertson, Western Cape, South Africa (also the only one in town). Nice anecdote (be prepared): At 10 AM sharp staff gets coffee and everybody at the counter is suddenly engaged on their telephones for 10 to 15 minutes to the expense of the waiting customers. Who are they talking to so suddenly? we wondered once.Guess ….Good, very good; indeed they are talking with each other.

  2. Wow. That seems like that’s even worse than having to run back and forth between people who don’t know what they’re doing.

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