Thursday, January 11, 2007

A caulking we will go

This guy came in Saturday morning. I've seen him in fairly regularly because he's a contractor and usually returns stuff he doesn't need or hasn't used to re-do whatever house he's working on a the moment. He must have avoided the Wal-Mart during December though, because his January return was one for the record books.

He came in and set his stuff down by the handicapped register (the one at Customer Service that's always a little shorter than the rest) and started pulling receipts out of a plastic Wal-Mart bag like they were candy. And he had about five bags of stuff with him.

I go over and ask "Do you need help sir?" He says no, he's got to get organized first. I leave him be. Unless they're fairly sharp, they're usually not able to organize that big a mess. Sure enough, ten minutes later he asks for help.

His problem is that he bought stuff to fix up this house at Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Lowe's. So before I start looking through any of the 50 or so receipts he's got for anything, I'm like "Give me the stuff and I'll see if it actually came from here." Less than half the stuff he had actually came from Wal-Mart.

And he had these sheets. I knew it was Target before I even picked it up, because the packaging was nothing like ours, but he was "sure this is Wal-Mart." I picked it up, looked at the bar code and then pointed "Sir, look right here — marketed by TARGET International." "Oh, I guess that's Target then." Uh huh.

He had paint, caulk, a caulking gun, more paint, paint brushes, rollers and all sorts of other mess. But the piece de resistance was FORTY — yes, FORTY — outlet covers.

And this genius, on this particular receipt, had decided to do the self-checkout on this one. Now, he had about eight different types of outlet covers, but only two sizes — small and large. So in his infinite wisdom, he decided that all the large ones were the same and all the small ones were the same. So he scanned eight of the big ones (using the same UPC) and then 32 of the small ones (using the same UPC) even though there probably weren't even that many of either of them in inventory. And customers wonder why there are never any of what they want on the shelf. It's because of stupid crap like that.

And it gets better. The ones he picked to scan were twenty-four cents. They should have been eight-eight cents or ninety-seven cents. I tell him and he's like "Do I get that much back?" I'm like "No, you get back what you paid."

So I start counting. And I count. I count how many he bought. And how many he had. And he keeps trying to INTERRUPT me. I finally ask him "Sir, please, I don't want to make a mistake with your money." That seems to simmer him down for a minute or two.

I have stacks of outlet covers all over the counter. Finally, he gets $27 and change back. And then he tries to TAKE BACK the stuff I just returned. I'm like "No, that's mine. You just returned it. The Home Depot and Target stuff are already in your cart."

He's like "Oh, my mistake." Dude, either you're a crook or so scatterbrained I so would not want you working on my house!


FARfetched said...

My two cents are on scatterbrained. Someone with his act together would have already had the merchandise sorted & he wouldn't have had to lug two-thirds of it in and out of the store.

Besides, I've never heard of a real contractor buying stuff at Wal-Mart. My recent home improvement project was all through Home Depot — they have accounts for contractors and expect you to return stuff you don't use.

Anonymous said...

I agree with farfetched. I'm also wondering why, if he does this all the time, he doesn't just save the outlet covers for his next project.

Mistress Weatherwax said...

I think this is the guy we've always heard about, "my cousin knows a guy who can fix up your house for you and he's not too expensive and does a pretty good job" kinda guy.

I just wanna say that I am loving this blog, it's the first I have ever bothered with to be honest. It's like watching a car wreck, I can't not look at it! I used to live the the states and hated Wal-Mart but I had no idea how much I could have taken them for ;o) I now live in the UK and we have ASDA which is part of the Wal-Mart family (it says so on the bag and all) but they sell pornographic magazines and music with explicit lyrics. Guess the whole "family friendly" BS depends on where your family lives hmmm?

Anonymous said...

Anything one may possibly need and stop shopping for Jax and whack!

Rob the Webkahunah said...

To be fair... most contractors return stuff that they haven't used on the job at hand, because they only get paid for the materials they use on job at hand... and they certainly don't get paid well enough to sit on a few hundred dollars worth of leftover inventory like wal-mart can.

As far as accounts with home depot go, they run you through a credit check for that. If your credit sucks, you have to pay out-of-pocket for everything before getting paid for the job. a few bucks at wal-mart is an easier pill to swallow for a small contractor than a hundred for similar stuff at Home depot or lowes.

Love the blog... keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Love your Blog. Until recently I was a CSS at Wal-Mart. Management in my store just didn't get that I was retired and didn't need the job.....they sure were surprised when I got to the point that I'd had enough with all the BS (their's and the customer's) handed in my vest, badge, and discount cards.
Just loved the phone calls for the next few days from my ex-store's assistant and co-managers.

Anonymous said...

You should know that self checkout won't allow for scanning in the manner described. I'm really quite shocked to learn that you don't know one must scan and then PLACE THE ITEM IN THE BAG. That said, there really is no way the customer you dealt with could have checked himself out in the manner you described; scanning one product over and over again without placing it in the bag.

The more I read your blog, the more I'm convinced you should stick to simply relating amusing stories and circumstances which occur within and along side the confines of your corral.

I'm just sayin' that you're a specialist. Focus on that and leave the rest to, well, chance. It's not your business.



Etmorpi said...

Jess = Genius.

Ok, smartpant, I've seen the self-checkout thing go down. Here's how it works, try to imagine it with me:

Scan Item A. *beep*
Place Item "B" in bag.
Scan Item A. *beep*
Place Item "C" in bag.
Scan Item A. *beep*
Place Item "D" in bag.

Is it really that difficult to figure out?

Please also keep in mind that not all stores use the same checkout system. Some are more "sophisticated" than others.