TalesFromRetail: Some People Really Don’t Like Change

It’s been a while since I last posted but this is a story that was just too good to not tell imo.

So I’ve been working at this hardware store in the paint department for about a year. The whole store is currently undergoing a pretty major rejuvenation project including new desks for several departments including mine.

Our new desk was installed overnight Tuesday into Wednesday so as not to interrupt the shopping experience for our customers. The front of our new desk faces the color wall so we can help customers with color options easier as well as to keep our line out of the main store aisle when we get busy. We also now have a dedicated pick up area for customers to come and grab their paints when we are finished to save room at our new front area.

So getting onto the story, I closed Wednesday night and so had to work most of the night solo. It wasn’t too busy so I was able to chat with our customers about the products, projects, and generalities of life. About halfway through my shift I noticed customers coming up to the pick up window and trying to place their orders with me. I would just motion them over to the new front and work through it with them and most people really appreciated the new desk. After the 4th or 5th customer I decided to put up a temporary sign letting people know about the pick up area. Quick run to get printer paper and few strokes of a large sharpie later and a sign was born. I hung it up and continued about my night.

Enter a very irritable contractor. This is a guy who has been known to sit at the opening at the back of our previously open desk and demand help so he wouldn’t have to wait in line and would make your life hell if you didn’t immediately start on his order. I could see him coming as soon as he walked in the door, he began his march over to the paint desk. I was down an aisle grabbing something whilst keeping an eye on him from my periphery. The look on his face as he tried to register what had happened to the desk was mildly amusing but he didn’t ask any questions as he looked at the pick up area. I assumed he was looking at some of the new signage and premixed stains in that area so I left him to his own devices.

I continued cleaning for a few minutes before he started clearing his throat to get my attention. I see he is still at the pick up window but maybe he has a question so I engaged him.

Me: Hello sir, do you need help with anything? any questions?

Ac: I’ve been standing here for 5 minutes and you’ve been sitting there twiddling your thumbs, you need to help people like me.

Me: Ok

AC: I need 30 gallons of stain in 4 different colors

Me: Alright, well this is the pick up window so if you don’t mind lets go over to the front of the desk where I can ask you some –

AC: Why should I?

Me: Excuse me.

AC: Why should I have to go out of my way, for you?

Me: Well there more room over there and that will help us both out in terms of getting your order straight. Plus that is where we are supposed to help out customers now.

AC: Why?

Me: Why what?

AC: Why do you get to decide where you help customers? I am choosing to come here so I should get to choose where you help me. You get a new setup and feel like you’re better than us? Well you aren’t and your old desk was better for helping people like me.

Me: Um …

AC: Now make my stain in color1 color2 color3 color4 and do it right.

He walks away at this point and I am flabbergasted. I start typing in his order and think that maybe I should call the night MOD to let them know that his guy is walking around probably belittling other people.

Me: Hey just a heads up, there is a contractor from company name who caused quite a scene walking around. He is straight up yelling at other associates so just thought I’d let you know.

MOD: Did anyone else see this?

Me: yeah pretty sure the guys over at the service desk saw it.

MOD: Okay, don’t start his order until you hear from me again.

Me: Okay.

I go back to cleaning but am still shaken up by this whole thing. I hear the customer service phone ring from their desk across the way but I don’t hear the conversation. After 5 minutes or so I get another call.

MOD: Hey its name, don’t make that guys order. When he comes back up give me a call immediately.

Me: Roger that.

As I hang up the phone up comes our favorite contractor practically fuming from the ears. I immediately pick the phone back and let the manager know that he’s here. As I set it down he jumps down my throat.

AC: I don’t see my stain, I better not have to wait for your incompetent ass.

Me: I apologize sir but my Manager is on his way up here to talk to you as we speak.

AC: Good maybe I can get him to put you people in your place.

An awkward silence follows that comment as I see my manager round the corner.

MOD to AC: Hi there, I understand you are unhappy with something about the store and our employees?

AC: You bet your ass I do. Where do they get off telling a customer like me how and where they will help me. This new stuff your store is putting up is terrible and confusing. And your employees seem to think they are better than me with all that fancy new stuff you are giving them. I want you to make an example of this one here who can’t even make paint right as a show of good faith for keeping me as a customer.

I can see the manger’s face start to twitch in anger at this dude’s statement.

MOD: Please follow me sir.

I see him start following the manager over towards the customer service desk as well as the exit. All is quiet for a moment and then:

AC: What do you mean I can’t come back? I have a right to spend money where I want! I’ll talk to my lawyer, I’m gonna call corporate and every one of you will be out of a job I swear to Christ!

our AP guy comes up from the back office and then I don’t hear anything else. As I am clocking out for the day my manager comes up and tells me that this contractor is not allowed in the store again and that no one should have to put up with people like him. Haven’t heard anything else about this but it was nice to see a manager take care of a problem like this.

TLDR: Contractor is angry that things changed and gets banned from the store for his tantrum.

By: thefrozenpeppers