June 18th, 2016
As many of you may know, I own a retail store. We sell open box returns and new items that have box damage that we get from Amazon. Yesterday, I had an elderly couple come into the store. They’ve been in before, and they like to joke around. He likes to give me a hard time and she likes that I give him one right back. They were looking for a paper shredder and while I didn’t have one in the store, I knew I had one sitting at the warehouse.
I called our office manager and had her work her magic so I could sell the paper shredder to this customer. We agreed they would pick it up in the morning at the other store we run on the weekends at the warehouse. I arranged for my office mananger to put the shredder on the counter in the store, and she assured me it would be there.
Rushing to get her work done, she asked Marshall, our IT guy to do it. He did, but he put it on the wrong desk. He put it on the one I work at, not the one in the other store.This morning my phone buzzed and rang off the hook. Our store manager could not find the shredder for the couple and said the couple was giving him a hard time. My husband, who went into work for me today to give me a day off, was texting asking what was going on, and my clerk from my other store was calling saying the woman had called looking for me and wanted me to call her.
It was a clusterfuck. All over a paper shredder.
We messaged the office manager, who talked to the IT guy, who called my husband to tell him where he had placed it. My husband got it and brought it back to the couple. While all of the phone calls and messaging were going on, this couple ripped into my husband. They accused him of selling the shredder to someone else. Told him they were never shopping with us again, that it was poor communication, poor management, I had promised it would be there, and all of this in front of a store filled with customers.
The duration of this entire episode lasted no more than seven minutes from the time they got there until they located the shredder on my other desk. In the meantime, David, my husband, offered to refund their money, apologized for the mix up, and explained to them who was contacting whom and what was being done to locate their item. They berated him at every turn, never once understanding or showing any patience. When my husband brought the shredder to them, he insisted on opening it up, tested it for them, and showed them how it worked. He then reboxed it for them and carried it to their car.
The gentleman’s parting words to my husband were, next time I see your wife, I’m going to shoot her.
What? A misplaced paper shredder gets a death threat? He laughed it off, like it was a big joke, but in that one comment he epitomized all that’s wrong with our society. I could also add that when they were in the store yesterday, all she did was talk about her church and all the wonderful things they were doing, but that might confuse the issue.
We misplace your paper shredder for seven minutes, and you threaten to shoot me.
What have we become?