Switters’ Blog

A Little Story about Sears and Stupidity

Posted by switters on February 11, 2007

I’m at Sears Hardware last night and the guy ahead of me is paying for something with two hundred-dollar bills. The cashier does some little magic thing and reports that she can’t accept one because it’s fake.

She goes into a lenghty explanation about how she knows, describing paper fibers and markings, etc., to which he listens with calm disinterest. He seems not at all suprised or put out but seems to be contemplating his options for a moment. The next thing I know he is handing her a check and she is telling him that he can pay for the whole thing with the check or use the “real” bill and pay the difference with the check.

I’m not sure if she suggested paying by check or if he offered it, but I’m thinking – ah, this is clever, she’s trying to delay him while the manager comes or is going to get him to show her ID so she can make out a report or something.

He elects to pay the full balance by check. While he’s starting to fill it out, she interjects “oh yeah…” (here it comes, I’m thinking)… “make sure you write your phone number on the check.”

The guy writes seven digits in the memo portion, hands it to her, and a few seconds later, strolls casually out of the store. No ID check, no running the account number, no nothing.

She rings me up and gives me major attitude because, unbeknownst to me, the instant rebate form I present expired 6 weeks ago (I should mention that a)I got the form from an in-store display just a few minutes earlier, and b) it was clear that she already knew the expired forms were on display on the sales floor.)

As she finishes, a little annoyed that I got more of an interregation than the dude with the phony bill, I say, “so that guy before me had a bad bill huh?” She starts to give me the whole story about the fibers and such but I cut her off.

“So, the bill was phony… but, uh, I’m sure his check was good.” I say as I’m halfway out the door.

Indignantly, she answers, “Yes the check was good!”

I pause and ask how she can be sure.

“You can tell by the feel of the paper,” she snaps, “I’ve been a cashier for six years. I know.”

Folks, our country is in deep shit.

And I bet those forms are still on display.

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9 Responses to “A Little Story about Sears and Stupidity”

  1. dakeeper said

    Lol- funny you should menion that store- the one in Patchogue, right? One of the worst managed stores in this area. They’ll have opened packages on the shelves, staff nowhere to be found, even then you’re lucky if they can tie their shoes. I went in there for a mower tune-up kit. A simple plan one would think. There were about 20 tune-up kit boxes, every single one of them was opened with one or more components missing. I went through every one. I then asked the guy working there what the deal was- he says- ‘oh yeah, people open ’em up and steal the stuff out of them’…..I’m like-

    ‘do you have any in the back’?
    ‘No, this is all we have to sell’…
    ‘you can’t sell kits that are missing stuff’
    blank stare…..no response
    ‘so you just leave these out’?
    ‘uh-huh’
    ‘can I take one and get one of those spark plugs over there’?
    ‘no, sorry’
    ‘don’t you guys have security here’?
    ‘well we act as security too’
    I laugh out loud and leave the store. I don’t think I’ve been back.

    Yes, Switters, a very poor operation they have. I blame the management or lack thereof. Inexcusable. I’m sure that cashier went through rigorous secret service counterfeit training….and yes, those forms will stay there for quite awhile.

    Know where I got really good service recently? The Subway sandwich shop in Bayport. My wife and I went there and the guy who owned the place helped us. Very personable and just a plain nice guy. He also owns the one in Sayville. You don’t get that much these days in the way of friendly service. One thing that irks me more than illiterate trolls is some zit-faced malcontent that acts like he’s doing me a favor when I spend my money.

    Sears Hardware is the Bohemia Burger King of retail stores. There’s just no way you’re gonna get out of there without getting aggravated.

  2. switters said

    Sears Hardware is the Bohemia Burger King of retail stores. There’s just no way you’re gonna get out of there without getting aggravated.

    Spot-on, as usual.

    I’ve got another story about Sears Hardware, just to make it a nice round 3. My wife goes in to get bags for our Kenmore vacuum. She has what she thinks is the right number but it doesn’t seem to match. The guy she asks for help tells her she needs the model number. She responds that she doesn’t know the model number, “but its the same model as that one,” she says, pointing to a vacuum on display.

    OK, but I need the model number he says and leaves it to her to walk over to try to find a model number on the display. She can’t find the number and tells him so, to which he responds, “I’m sorry, but without the model number I can’t help you.” and slinks off to annoy another customer.

    Believe me, I never set foot in that store unless Brinkmann Hardware is closed or doesn’t have what I need. Talking about customer service, THOSE guys are awesome.

  3. dakeeper said

    Oh yes, that sounds like Sears. A familiar refrain. She was actually lucky to have spoken to anyone at all.

    Brinkmann’s is good, so is Van Kemenade paints. We’ve been there alot and they are very good.

  4. dakeeper said

    “There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others”

  5. switters said

    OK, that’s such an odd thing to come from you that I have to assume there’s a joke that I’m missing or that you’re just being ironic.

    In any case, you kinda know me sorta somewhat and you know I’m a pretty compassionate and charitable person…

    but that particular dude at Sears (who I’ve known for more than 20 years – we went to high school together) is weird.

  6. dakeeper said

    You said you liked Tom Robbins- I thought you may have heard that quote before….it doesn’t apply to the Sears guy- I just couldn’t find anything on Sayville.com worth using it for….

  7. SJDF13 said

    Wow this sounds all to familiar so here is a little thing that happened to me a few years ago on vacation in Nashville.

    I go into a Kroger’s (grocery store) to buy some chips and soda etc, get on line the clerk checks everyone out and when it gets to me, he looks at me dead in the eye and then without a word just walks away, leaving me standing there. No other registers open and I stand there for 10 minutes before someone finally comes up and helps me. I ask to see the store manager who comes out and tells me the checkers shift was over and they do not pay overtime so he left, and the person replacing him was late, nothing he could do about it.

    This was of course not good enough for me so I got on the company website as soon as I reached my friends home and wrote up a nice long polite complaint letter, and also printed it up and sent it off to the corporate headquarters. I figured nothing would happen at all so much to my surprise when I received an email back the next day apologizing, containing all kinds of special discounts as well as the the explanation that this should never had happened and that the entire store is undergoing customer service traning and that the manger in question has been replaced.

    I went back 3 or 4 days later and it was a whole different place, the manager was gone, the picture of him under store manager was replaced with someone else, and apparantly half the staff had been reassigned to other stores and extensive customer service training.

    Honestly I felt bad, 10 minutes was not a big deal and I wonder how many people lost thier jobs over that incident.

    Bottom line in business is you serve the customers needs! So complain, where I work we take complaints very seriously and work hard to resolve them so no one can complain about a service issue again. I think what it comes down to sometimes is a sense of entitlement of the people working in these jobs, you know what you chose to work there if you do not like it go work somewhere else!

  8. dakeeper said

    I agree- sometimes a letter can do wonders. It never hurts.

  9. switters said

    Honestly I felt bad, 10 minutes was not a big deal and I wonder how many people lost thier jobs over that incident.

    You really shouldn’t feel bad about this.

    I’m sure that the shakeup was due to a whole litany of things and your complaint was just the last straw (or maybe it was already in progress when they got your letter).

    Listen, I feel bad anytime anybody loses his/her job, but the truth is that there are some people who shouldn’t be working with the general public.

    To quote Judge Smails: “The world needs ditch diggers too.”

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