Last night my family went to your Eaton Centre store to do some holiday shopping. Kudos on getting your store so Christmas ready so soon after Halloween!
My Sister In Law (let’s call her SiL) found a few interesting holiday decorations in your Christmas department on the main level of your store and took her purchases to the counter. And waited. We noted a CSR restocking some shelves near by and asked if she could ring in our purchases.
Funny thing that phrase “ring in”. It comes from when JC Penny put bells in their cash register drawers to alert management when money was coming in.
Back to my story: her response was: “I don’t know where she is. If you want to buy that you have to go allllll the way down that way.” She says with a sweeping arm movement indicating some remote part of Tibet.
She turns back to stocking Holiday ornaments. No bells here, JC! Have a happy season!
We debate the purchase. We decide since we’re here and not in a big rush to look for another sales kiosk. We find one a few isles over in the opposite direction. Thankfully we didn’t take that Sherpa’s direction.
Getting to an available cash was no problem at all. All 4 registers were manned and humming along, ignorant to the worst recession Canada has ever experienced in our lifetime. By the way, you’re welcome for our continued custom. When we get to the desk, SiL places her glass ornaments down on the counter and asks for a box.
Really they were lovely decorations: one was a glass tree, the other a glass gift box – both hand painted and gilded with holiday cheer.
The clerk picks up the gift box decoration, looks at it and without any sense of humour says “This is already in a box.”
We blink. We’re too stunned to say anything. She. Is. Serious. Without waiting for our response she rings the items in and wraps them up in crepe paper. Kudos to her for also wrapping up the plastic box of chocolates we had picked up, in crepe paper.
SiL and I are still looking at each other in amazement. Did she really think a 2″ square glass tree decoration was a gift box? SiL asks again for a box.
“Oh no we don’t have boxes for those.”
“It’s a gift…”
She sighs and pulls out a shirt box. Like wrapping a pair of ear rings in a shipping container. We decline.
She presents SiL with the charge card slip for signature and as SiL is placing her credit card back in her purse, the clerk asks “Do you want a bag?”
Dang, I forgot. SiL’s head nearly flies off. She’s from Vermont, you see, where they don’t have crazy laws like every purchase requires we pay 0.05$ for plastic bags down there. I explain this to her.
“Why didn’t you ask if I wanted one before we finished the transaction?” Neither one of us had change.
The clerk offers no explanation and places our items to the side. She readies her station for the next purchase.
To diffuse the situation I had a bag from an earlier purchase and placed the carefully wrapped items in my bag.
“Next in line please!” Apparently we’re done and need to step aside.
I realize, Sears, that the luck of the draw might have made SiL and I encounter a couple of seasonal workers not graduated from your excellent customer service training system, but our one purchase with you has turned me off your store for a while.
Eat a microwaved bowl of dicks, Sears.