Trust or Stupidity?Yesterday I gave myself a full schedule (at least in the morning). Up, exercise, go to Fred Meyer's, meet friend for breakfast--all of this by 7:30. I'm an early riser, no problem with getting up. Exercise, while not my favorite thing, was managed with enough time to shower and get ready to go shopping.
I got to Fred Meyer's and wanted to get some bags of bark mulch on sale. I chased around the garden area looking for it or someone to tell me where to find it. Of course it wasn't obvious and there were no employees in the area. Finally I gave up and headed for the butter. I was planning on 30# but figured stock might be low the last day so I would grab what I could. As I was zooming over to dairy I saw an employee and asked about the mulch. Of course it is WAY outside but she told me to take the coupon to the cashier and she could ring me up and then I could go around and pick up the bags. I was running out of time but I zoomed over and grabbed all the unsalted butter on the shelf (26#). A woman did come over like she wanted butter so I left some and backed off. She went for the salted version so I went back after she was gone and grabbed the rest of the unsalted. Early bird...you know.
Off to the register. My time was running out but I thought if I could get through the line quickly and get some help with the bags of mulch I might still make it. Of course a guy was in front of me who slowed things down but I was on my schedule. I told the cashier I wanted 8 bags. She said she would call back and check on stock so I wouldn't pay for it then have to get credit if they were out. My clock was ticking but I agreed it made sense and I did appreciate her consideration for me as a customer. She called and they said they had only 6 bags left. I said I'd take them all. She rang me up, I ran for the car and shoved the butter into an insulated bag for the wait while I ate breakfast.
I jumped in the car and drove around to the gardening area. I finally saw a group of people and hoped one was an employee. I got out of the car and one of the women came over and looked at me like I was a slug in her garden and asked what I wanted (no, not "can I help you?" but "you want something?"). I explained about the 6 bags of mulch and started to pull out the receipt to show her what I had purchased. She never asked for it--just waved vaguely to an area behind a semi-trailer and said "it is over there behind the truck". No "do you need help?" or "I can show you if you want" help--just "there it is". I got back in the car and drove over to the pallet.
The mulch was there--roughly 15 bags of it. I turned to look back toward the employee but she was completely out of sight. Now, if I had had time, I might have gone back to her and indicated the misinformation and my desire to buy more but I was out of time and I knew I'd be late so I grabbed my 6 bags. I kept thinking while I was putting it in the car. No one cares that I paid for this or what amount I am taking. A less scrupulous person might grab the 8 bags originally requested or take even more than 8 bags and no one would know or care. Obviously they either lied about the quantity or didn't care to look and guessed.
Of course I only took the 6 bags but I kept thinking about how stores are struggling to stay in business and employees are struggling to keep their jobs. With the lack of service and attention--maybe it explains why businesses falter and employees are laid off. It also explains why I don't frequent stores like Fred Meyer's except when a deal pulls me there.
I have to give Home Depot a plug. I've had to go there 3 times for lava rock to resurface a path around my backyard. I'm hoping Debbie will be able to use her leaf blower without blowing away my path as happened with mulch. Every trip to Home Depot (a place I've always considered huge and impersonal) was met with helpful employees asking me if I was finding what I needed as well as an offer of assistance getting the bags into my car. Maybe their mulch is $ .50 more than Fred Meyer's but I think they earn that 50 cents and my return as a customer.