Friday, April 18, 2014

Today's RANT!

Note:  Please hang with me thru this...  it has a happy ending!

While the work I did at the tail end of my career was at a VERY high level, part of the package I offered was customer service....  According to Wikipedia, "Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation."

Today started out wonderfully; I woke up on time, got through shower, etc, and was on the road to picking up things from 3 different sources.  It's Good Friday and it was going to be a good Friday!  I had to adjust the original order of my stops but it was not throwing a wrench into the workings of my day.

The first stop was a fabric store, which will remain unnamed.   I picked up what I went for (a year long, monthly obligation) and waited for appointment #2. 

While I waited, I wandered around the fabric store and picked up some clearance fabric that I could use.  As I neared the cutting table, I noted that 2 ladies had seated themselves at a nearby table, had bolts of fabric all over the table, and were in a deep discussion about the pros and cons of the fabrics.  

The employees doing the measuring and cutting of the fabric were both busy.

I should note that it is fairly common practice in fabric shops to allow customers to set their choices down (bolts of fabric can get heavy and bulky) and the store will provide some type of symbol (a placard, a bean bag, etc) to put on top of your pile so that everyone knows it belongs to someone and wasn't just abandoned.

As I look around for a place to set my fabric down, I see a container with laminated cards proclaiming "MY STASH" at the table filled by the ladies and their bolts of fabric.  I set down my bolts of fabric near the end of a cutting table and placed one of the placards on top of the bolts and waited my turn.

The ladies at the table spoke to me and I turned around to respond to them.  While we chatted, I was never more than 2 steps from MY STASH. 

An employee (its best NOT to ask me to describe her but I am fairly certain she had warts on her long pointy nose) came toward the three of us carrying my fabric choices and asked if belonged to any of us.  I explained that it was mine and I was waiting my turn. 

She proceeded to scold me, and I use this description based on the tone of her voice, and tell me that fabric selections are to go HERE (pointing to the table where the two ladies sat), not HERE (pointing to where I had set it).   I explained that I put it there because the ladies had their choices laid out......

The employee interrupted me and AGAIN explained that they go HERE and not THERE...  If they are put THERE, they would be put away.

I noted that I put the MY STASH placard on top so everyone would know it was wanted by someone and that I.....

Interrupted again, she said it didn't matter, it went HERE and not THERE or it would be put back.

I responded, in what I intended to be a calm voice (but can admit that it could have been dripping with something), that she could put it back if she wanted and then I could leave without buying anything.

The employee then pushed the lady's stuff aside and set my fabric down on the already full table...  saying that it goes HERE.

To be fair to her, maybe I looked like a 4 year old child and maybe it looked like I WASN'T there to spend $.  I made it out of the store without telling her how I thought MAYBE there could be a sign with rules listed...  Including the HERE and not THERE part....   (and exactly where that sign could be placed).

My previous experience with this same store was that I bought a part for a sewing machine; not a special part, just a part off a wall of sewing machine parts.   I ended up not needing it.   It was never opened, it still had their price sticker on it, was not damaged in any way, AND they had record of the purchase in their computer..... But I couldn't return it because I didn't have the receipt.  Result:  No receipt / store credit only.

<  R  O  L  L  I  N  G      M  Y     E  Y  E  S  >

Then I see my doctor a couple hours later...   my beloved doctor at Midwestern University in Glendale... and he stays late (the office closed at 3 today) to help me... and because we stayed so late, takes us out the back door when we are done. 

Three weeks ago when I separated a rib from cartilage, my allotted 10 minutes of doctor time at this office turned into 45 minutes...  they worked on me for 45 minutes and got the pain level down from 'excruciating' to 'tolerable' before they would let me leave.

Two examples... opposite end of the spectrum.    

I KNOW you are wondering why I go back to example #1?   I am ready for your question and I can tell you why:  They offer the pattern and fabric for a quilt top, as a block of the month, for $10.  Apparently I can be bought, but I will apparently bitch about it. 

Should you have a bad experience, may you follow it up with a good one....  from someone.... or someplace....  to cleanse your palate and reset your faith.  Sometimes, that is all we can hope for...  a reset.


  1. Wow, I just can't believe you kept your cool. I would have felt so disrespected. Maybe you should a new store to shop at. I have already told a few people about this and they were just as shocked that lady treated you like that. They owe you a big apology. And they need to make a sign to say the fabric goes HERE and not THERE!!!

  2. I am stunned that a quilt shop of all places would treat a customer in this manner! There are so many shops in the valley AND you can find almost all of the fabric they carry online and at far better prices. I like being able to touch and see my fabric before buying it and make an effort to support my local quilt shops even if it means paying more for my fabric. But behavior like this is exactly what will send me looking elsewhere for my fabric and supplies. Quilting is something I do purely for pleasure and I surely would not want to shop at a place where I am not appreciated and treated poorly be the employees.

    You've been very kind to the shop by not sharing their name. I hope you call the owner and speak with him/her about your experience. Imagine the response if you shared this information at a guild meeting!

  3. Thank you everyone for your comments here and on FB - the FB comments were serious, fun, and some were even hysterical. This post has received the highest number of 'reads' and 'shares' ever on my blog - so its certainly something that people feel strongly about. I am realistic enough to know that I can not expect stellar customer service all the time but I don't think we should be expected to accept bad customer service... I have taken your advice and forwarded the link for this post to the fabric store. Hopefully, they will help their employees consider the situation, the customer, and how their actions affect a customer. I highly doubt that the store will close its doors if I no longer shop there but I don't think the loss of any business is their goal.