Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Morons--I don't know how to do that

Friday I went to a couple of Walmarts, a Michaels, and a Hobby Lobby. I should have done all of that about a week earlier, but I was concentrating on the garden project, and then there was all that rain, and the day after that they were advising everyone to stay at home if you did not absolutely have to be out.

I didn't think that a craft project qualified as something I absolutely had to go out for.

So Friday morning I hit all the usual places (except for Jo Ann's Fabric), looking for stuff to make a witch hat and other stuff that might go with a witch costume. Next month we'll be promoting the new Harry Potter movie, and also Saturday I'll have a use for some the costume, so I need to get on with making the hat.

At the first Walmart I did not find the textured felt that I needed, and I was about to leave when I thought I might as well look over the discounted fabric. And I found a remnant that I wanted, and I found some other interesting black fabric that almost matches I dress that I have. So I thought that I should have about two yards of this fabric, just in case I should want to add something to the dress.

Now, cutting fabric is not brain surgery, but you aren't allowed to do it yourself in the store, and you can't just get any passing employee to do it for you either. There are a limited number of people at a Walmart who are allowed to perform that particular task, and also they have to have this particular gizmo to put a proper sales tag on the fabric which is different from most of the other sales tags, and there are a limited number of these gizmos to go around and a limited number of employees who use them.

So I did not see an employee in the fabric department, and after looking around a bit for one I figured that she was either on break, or else she'd been ordered to go off and do something that wasn't normally supposed to be her job, because the store thinks that just waiting around to help someone doesn't count as work and they find other things for you to do on the other side of the store if you don't look like you are busy. So I hoped that she wasn't on break and wouldn't mind being pulled away from this other thing that really isn't part of her job, and I went off to find someone to page her.

And the closest other department was photo, and there were two of them and they looked rather busy. But it doesn't take much time to page someone. I did the polite thing and waited for someone to stop looking for something and told one of them that I needed help in the fabric department.

Now, if I had been really lucky, one of them would have been the employee that I needed. Otherwise it would just take a second for one of them to page the person I needed.

Instead I was told "I don't really know how to page anyone."

I have never been told that before.

I just stared at her a bit, and she said that she would find someone who could help me.

I went back to the fabric department, but I didn't hear anyone paged on the speakers. But that didn't necessarily mean that no one had been called to help me, cause most of them carry walkie talkies now, and I figured that someone passed along the message that way and someone would come and help me. I again hoped that someone's break didn't get interrupted.

But no one came. Another employee passed me, and this employee was a lot more helpful than the one I first talked to, and she just asked if I needed something. And then she said she'd find someone. And then she came back and said that the girl who normally worked there hadn't come to work that day because she had a sick relative who lived in one of the areas without power, and she'd gone to help out with that and possibly take the sick relative to the hospital.

Anyway, this employee said that she would cut the fabric herself, only the little gizmo that makes the sales tag wasn't there. I guess it wasn't there because they don't leave it there overnight, and the girl who normal works there hadn't gone to get it, so it was in an office or something. So she called someone else from another department who uses the same sort of gizmo, and someone came and cut the fabric for me. This particular employee said she had been going back and forth between two departments all morning.

So I got my fabric and all was well, and I went on to the next place to look for the textured felt, which I ended up getting at Hobby Lobby, the last place I went to that day.

But I thought it was really weird that the girl in the photo department told me that she didn't know how to page anyone.

I haven't worked for Walmart, but there was a time that I did work in several Walmarts, when I had worked for a vendor. And there was also a summer that I worked for Kmart. And I knew how to page people at both places. If you work for Walmart or Kmart or in another place like that, you are always running in to customers who need something that you can't do or you don't know where something is or you do know what to do but you can't help them because you've just clocked out, and you have to get someone else to help them. So paging is like the first thing that they teach you when you go to work at one of those places. And this girl was telling me that she didn't really know how to do that.

What's up with that?

4 comments:

dmarks said...

I've probably vented on this before, but this reminds me of an experiences I had at Sears.

I went to buy a power tool that cost about $30. Like I usually do, I paid cash. They asked me my phone number. I did not want to be in the database, so I gave the phone number for the time. She tried to put that in, and she told me that it was a valid number, and that I had to give a valid phone number in order to pay cash for something at Sears.

Ridiculous. I asked to speak to a manager. I was then told "We don't have managers".

I left the tool on the counter and went home.

Ananda girl said...

Aaaggghhh. That would have driven me crazy. I am not good at waiting, though I would have been polite too.

Amazing that she did not know how to page! She must have been very new or too rattled about the person in the hospital to think right.

I'm the sort who would have set the fabric up for cutting... as if I was going to do it myself and hope I frightened an employee into running over to help me before I cut something. Then I would have stood there feeling foolish as I was not helped until I gave up... and put the fabric back where I got it. As I left an employee would magically show up and I'd be running back to get the fabric before the employee could vanish again.

Why didn't they want people outside? The thunder storms? We have only once been advised to stay inside... because of smoke from a forest fire. I heard we had to be inside when ST. Helens blew her lid too. I missed that one.

dmarks said...

My Walmart does not do fabric at all anymore. They closed that department down earlier this year. Jo Ann usually has a nice long line waiting for the fabric cutters.

laughingattheslut said...

I guess the girl was sort of new, and maybe she didn't know the particular person to page, but unless it was her first day I can't imagine that she was totally unfamilar with the process of paging. And even if it was her first day, she would have just told her co-worker and he could have done it. It's just not one of those things that you say, "I don't know how to do that" and then do nothing about it.

As for us staying indoors Thursday, there had been a lot of accidents in the rain, and then traffic problems, and then flash floods and more traffic problems. I don't think that there would have been a flood between me and the Walmart or Hobby Lobby, but with all the places that you weren't supposed to drive I imagine that there was more traffic in the places that were safe, and it just didn't seem worth the effort to get out in it.

Oh, and yes, a lot of the Walmarts have either stopped selling fabric or have made the fabric and craft area smaller. This is especially annoying to people in small towns, since it was the Walmart that put the local fabric store out of business in the first place, forcing everyone to buy all their fabric and craft stuff at Walmart, and now Walmart doesn't have the stuff either.