So let me tell you about OfficeMax. They’re closing. Going out of business. I have always liked OfficeMax. I mean we’re not tight or anything, but we have our little deal worked out. I give them business, they give me good service. It’s kind of the standard consumer/provider relationship. Nothing big.
Today they blew it.
Being the unbelievably wonderful employee that I am, I offered to streamline some of our reference methods at work during my oh-so-precious down time. I needed supplies. Supplies from OfficeMax. Unfortunately for them, they’re going out of business. Fortnately for me, they’ve got big closeout sales.
So LaDonna (coworker) and I stop by for just a second while we’re out making some marketing calls. Note that I said "just a second." Very important.
Well we go in and LaDonna sees that the printers are on sale for an awesome deal and she needs one. She goes to check them out while I find everything I need. I have to go to the bathroom…but I’ll only be a second, so I’ll just wait till we get to our next stop. I start browsing the aisles for my stuff. But now I have to go pretty bad, so I head back to the bathroom. I leave my buggy outside the door cause I’ll only be a second. The bathroom has eight stalls. Eight. Why is that important? Because out of eight stalls, you’d think ONE would have toilet paper. Even just a little bit left on a roll. No such luck.
There’s a big box that says "Scott Tissue" outside the bathroom door. I’m thinking, "maybe they were about to refill them all and just had something come up. I’ll just grab some myself." The box is empty. Hmmm…
I head up to the front of the store to find LaDonna and ask her to watch my buggy, because this is going to take me longer than I thought since I have to find someone to restock the toilet paper. I would just wait until we go somewhere else, but I really have to go. Besides, the manager should probably know that all eight stalls are out of toilet paper.
I dont calculate into my theory that there are like negative 5 employees working there today. I say negative because I think each of them were doing less there than they would have been doing if they weren’t there at all. I walk up to the cash register and ask one woman to help me. There is no one in line. She says "I’m busy." What the crap?! Okay….. so I find some random woman roaming the aisles who’s wearing a navy shirt. All of the employees wear blue shirts, so I think she might be one, despite the fact that she is doing NOTHING. She is. I tell her my situation…I desperately have to pee; there’s no toilet paper in ANY of the eight stalls; could she please grab me a roll or something.
Her: "Are you sure?"
Her: "There’s none any any of the stalls?"
Her: "Did you check?"
Me: you’ve got to be kididng me….just give me some freaking toilet paper!!! "Umm…yeah. There’s none."
Her: "Let me see…." and she begins walking towards the bathroom.
Imagine her surprise when she walks through and checks EVERY SINGLE STALL and finds that there’s no toilet paper. "Well look at that! You weren’t kidding!" Unbelievable. She walks over to the box of Scott tissue. "It’s empty," I say…."I checked." Obviously she’s not going to believe me. She checks, walks away, then goes back and checks again, just in case some has magically appeared this time. Nope, still empty. "Maybe I’ll find some," and she walks away. I stand there waiting….and waiting….and waiting….
I walk back out from the hallway into the store. She’s talking to someone in the front. Talking is not finding toilet paper. She glances up and sees me, then walks through an "Employees Only" door at the front of the store. I’m assuming that now she’s getting toilet paper.
I go and stand over by the door leading to the hallway/bathroom. On the shelf closest to the door, there happens to be big packages of toilet paper for sale. I kind of laugh. One of them is open and missing 2 rolls. I think that obviously someone has been in this situation before me and has taken the matter into their own hands.
I see the woman in the front of the store again. I turn and walk towards her. She heads back through the "Employees Only" door. This is not a fun game.
A few minutes later she comes out and I’m still standing there. I really have to pee. She says "here…" and walks towards the back of the store to the bathroom/hallway door again. I’m getting excited because I think that I’m finally getting toilet paper.
She walks into a room beside the bathroom which I assume is the breakroom because i can see coke and snack machines. She comes out with a handful of napkins. "Just use these." I just kind of look at her for a second. She opens the door from the hallway to the store and walks back into the store. I step towards her and say "There’s a big thing of toilet paper right there that’s already been opened. Can I use one of those?" She looks at the package, then says "Not unless you want to pay for it," and walks back towards the front of the store.
I laugh because I can’t believe it and I dont know what else to do. Then I go to the bathroom and use the napkins. But at least I feel better now.
I’d like to tell you that the story ends here, but sadly, there’s more.
I’ll just summarize.
I look at the Palm Zire PDAs because they are on sale. I ask the woman standing behind the electronics counter to help me, since they are in her section. She says she doesnt know anything about them and went back to what she was doing at her computer. I’m slightly frustrated, but not quite as much as I was about the toilet paper incident.
I see the manager walk up. I know he’s the manager because he’s actually wearing a name tag with his blue shirt. I ask him about PDAs, and he tells the girl behind the counter –who had just blown me off– to help me, then he walks off. She huffs and says "I’ll be right back." Then she walks off. I’m stuck standing there by myself again, getting frustrated.
I wait….and wait… and wait. LaDonna walks up and asks whats taking so long. I don’t even try to get into it. The manager walks back up a few minutes later. Nothing. Finally the woman walks up with a box and throws it to me. Yep, I said throws. Which could have been bad. Want to know why it wasnt bad? Because the box was empty. She took ten minutes to go to the back and get an empty box, which she throws at me.
I look down at the box and it’s all torn up. The plastic covering is ripped. The cardboard is ripped. The inside is empty. I look up at her, confused. "This is empty," I say, holding it out to her. "Yeah, well it’s all I’ve got," and she walks off.
I turn to the manager and say "Well can I buy one of the ones on display?" He looks very frustrated with me. "Sure," he says. "I dont care."
I look down at t
he ones on the counter. They’re scratched up pretty badly. One doesnt have the screen protector on it anymore and is looking rough. Well, if it works, it works, I figure, especially if I can get a discount on it.
"How much will you discount this one since it’s so scratched?" I ask the manager. He glances over at me, really wishing I would just go away I think, and says "None. You’ll pay full price. Besides, its the last one." I’m confused as to why that matters, but oh well. "You don’t give discounts for damaged products?" I ask. "Nope," and he walks off.
Okay, well I decide that this is enough for one day because I’m pretty angry with OfficeMax at this point. So I go to get in line. But there’s no one at the cash registers. So I kind of stand in the general vicinity of the cash registers, waiting for someone to ring me up. Nobody is there.
A woman walks up behind me and says "Where do we check out?" I tell her that I’m just kind of standing here waiting for someone to come up here and that I’m not sure where the employees are.
Just then an employee walks up and stands behind the customer service counter. I walk over to her and say "Hey….. Can I check out here?" She nods.
Just then the other woman walks up and goes "Um, ma’am, I was here first so you need to help me first." I look at her, shocked. She just blatantly lied to the cashier. What nerve! The cashier looks at me and says "I’m going to ring her up first. I’ll be with you in a minute," and kind of waves me aside so that the other woman can get in front of me.
Finally, I check out and LaDonna and I leave.
OfficeMax and I are over. Through. For good. You can have my sloppy seconds if you want them, but be warned!