How To Lose A Sale, The Staples Way

It feels like forever since I’ve walked out of a store in a huff. 🙂
I stopped in the local Staples this evening, on the way to doing some work in the data-center. The p-Touch labeler had run out of ribbon when I was there last and I was going to walk in, grab one, and expense it later. Easy.
So I walk in, find my ribbon, and go up to the register. I get in line RIGHT behind a dad who is stocking up for school. He has a shopping cart FULL of tiny little items which are clearly for his two children. Now, if I’m him, I notice the guy standing behind me with one item and I let him go first, but hey, he’s got two kids to wrangle and I’m sure he didn’t notice me. It’s all cool.
This is the only register with its light lit, but I look down the row and see two other registers with people standing behind them, and no lines, with a third employee near both of them. As I walk over, I can tell that they’re just standing around bullshitting, it’s clear from the conversation.
I ask them “Are any of you guys actually open?”. It is at this point that they all stop jabbering, and start focus on their cleaning, or sorting or whatever the hell it was they were pretending to do. One of them says, “oh she’ll take care of you over there,” gesturing to the sole cashier who’s going to be occupied for the next 20 minutes dealing with 300 tiny pencils and pens.
“Ah,” I said, “I see,” and tossed my pTouch ribbon towards the nearest flat surface (which I think was a display stand for some obviously unrelated product) and walked out. I proceeded to drive up the road 100′ to the Office Depot, where I found it for $1.00 less and got a whole lot better service, in and out in three minutes.
I’m sure those little mallrat teenagers were like, “oh, man, that oldster was such a dick man!!!” or something stupid like that. But, for me, the “Easy Button” answer was “Go to Office Depot”.

One thought on “How To Lose A Sale, The Staples Way

  1. That’s happened to me at least a half dozen times at various Staples locations.
    I wonder sometimes how Staples would stay in business if they treated their enterprise customers as badly as their retail ones.
    My solution is to always buy online but if I need it right away I go to Costco.

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