Tuesday, October 6, 2009

They're Called "Instructions"

On Friday we had an elderly couple come into the store and immediately ask for a manager. So I got him for them and went on my way. Over the course of the next hour, I passed by them several times as the manager showed them the phones. I guess they were the type of customers that think they have to speak to a manager to get any kind of service. There are plenty of those out there.

But whatever, I went on my way, helping customers find what they wanted and doing whatever else it is that I do. About an hour later, the manager has finally taken the couple to the register with their selection - a thirty dollar phone COMPLETE WITH ANSWERING MACHINE! OH BOY!

Anyway, he proceeded to ring them up as I passed by, but after about twenty minutes of seeing him up there with them, I began to wonder what was taking so long. So while I was leading another customer over to the folder aisle, I took a glance at the couple. They'd made our manager take the phone out of the box, plug it in, and were trying to make him set it up for them.

Again, as I've mentioned before, we don't know everything about every product made, including the setup procedure. We're going to do exactly what you SHOULD have done - READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.

Finally, after another twenty minutes, he gets them out of the store. A short while later, the phone rings, and an old man asks for the manager by name. It's gotta be them.

I give the call to the manager and he talks with the guy for a while. In the meantime, I go back to helping people. Eventually, I hear a page over the loudspeaker for me to come to the front. The manager, holding the phone in one hand while taking in a different customer's copy order, asks me to go online and try to find out how to set the clock on their stupid phone. So I went to AT&T's website and downloaded the same instruction manual that came IN THE BOX with that phone. Oh, look at that, you have to press the "Clock" button to change the clock. How innovative.

I relay the information to the manager and he finally gets off the phone about ten minutes later.

Another ten minutes go by, and the phone is ringing again. I answer the phone, and this time the guy assumes I'm the manager he dealt with before, because he simply says, "Now it says that it's Sunday. How do I change that?"

I didn't bother trying to tell him who I was. "Did you read the instructions, Sir?"

"The what?"

"There should've been an instruction manual that came with the phone."

"A manual, huh?" he says as though it's a foreign concept. "I just want to change the day so that it's correct. How do I do that?"

I grind my teeth and tell him to hold on. Then I dial the copy department where the manager is. When answers, I say, "Do you want me to just get AT&T's number for this guy? He's on the phone again!"

With a roll of the eyes, the manager tells me not to worry about it and picks up the phone. For the next half hour, he's trying to handle copy orders (our copy department associate that was scheduled at that time is still new so she's not entirely familiar with everything), and handle this guy on the phone. Eventually he got the guy taken care of.

The best part? Right on the second or third page of the manual I downloaded (again, the same one that's in the box) was a big bold message over the top that read, "If you need technical support with this product, please feel free to call our toll-free number!" and it lists the number.

Shopping tip of the day for 10/6/09: Don't throw your keys at me and expect me to pick through them to find your rewards card. If you want the savings, the least you can do is go through the effort of finding YOUR stupid card for me.

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