Saturday, October 10, 2009

Customer Dis-service

Now that my blogs here are syncing with Facebook, I may actually increase my readership so I'll try to blog more. To be perfectly honest, I fell in a rut and forgot all about the damn thing until I saw the sync feature the other day. Whatever, it's no excuse, I know. And that's not even why we're here.

Here's the story. Last night I went into Academy Sports (just like a Sports Authority for those of you that don't have one in your part of the country). I was there to get some ammo for one or all of my handguns. I heard they're fairly well stocked with decent prices. In today's economy, under today's administration, you often can't find ammo and when you do... it comes at a premium. So we went to look.

Keep in mind, this is the first time I'm in this store. I walk in with 2 buddies and we have NO idea where the ammo is so we're confusedly scanning the hovering signs, randomly pointing the directions of what we believe to our intended direction. All the while there are about 5 employees just to our left, in their own conversation. No welcome, nothing about helping us find our way. I don't think they saw us. So we wander around the perimeter of the store.

And lo and behold, the ammo section! Here is where the event took place that nearly had me banned for life. If I was the man I was 5 years ago, I'd have been arrested. 3 years ago banned. Now... I just walked away and took the hit internally in blood pressure points.

Here's what happened (or didn't happen). I ask the guys at the counter "Hey, do you have any .45acp ammo?" - no response. My buddy Eric asks the same thing to the other guy behind the counter - no response. I ask the 2nd guy myself by leaning into the counter and very carefully saying, "Dooo YOUUUU have AAAAny FOOOOOrty-FIVE ammo?" and this time I got a response. He looks up and says, "NO!" as if that was the 43rd time I'd asked him that question. I immediately lost my mind and had to get out of there. Walking away the first guy goes, "Just .45 Long Colt." and I stopped in my tracks and then said, as I started walking away again, "Oh, he DID hear me. Just took him 6 minutes to process the question and figure out an answer."

There were other calibers I needed but not from this piece of shit - not from either of them. So I told my buddy Eric that I would be walking around the store because I didn't want to have to choke someone in the ammo department and my other friend Rusty (who may get angrier than me) came with me. I was so tempted to say something to a manager but when I got to the front I saw the same 5 still standing there doing their best mannequin impressions that I realized it just wasn't worth it. We found Eric and left.

Alright boys and girls, it's philosophy time now that you have the story. What in the world is going on? You work in the gun section of a sports shop. This is not McDonald's, you're not plunging toilets in a high school. There's a good fuckin chance, you took that job because you have an interest in it. 3 men come up looking to spend money and you can't even muster up the energy to say yes or no. That is the kind of "I don't want to work for it, I want it handed to me" attitude I expect from the liberals. But we're in the south in a sports/hunting store. It wasn't like they were busy. There was nobody else in the area. One guy was polishing a gun and the other was deep in some kind of profound thought - maybe which flavor of chewing to tobacco to use tonight, I don't know.

I think pay should be merit based, just like a commission. You don't have to make the sale but you have to sell yourself. You have to service the customer with information, friendliness, courtesy, and at the very least, the ability to turn grunts into real words. Everyone gets a little taxi cab type meter. When they succeed, the numbers go up, when they fail, the numbers go down. You control how much you earn (within your set rate, anyway).

You're not motivated inherently by the responsibilities of your job so maybe the ability to keep the lights on at home will do the trick. Lose enough money and you'll forced to be nice. I don't care if you mean it, honestly. I just won't be treated like I'm a jerk by a complete stranger that works at Academy Sports as a career for his entire life. I'm better than that.

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