Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sears and Tears

by Megan Karlen

So I get home, pee, pack up the radio and go back to the R train. I ride four
or five stops to 63rd "Drive" (a whole new addition to the Queens roadways)
and I ask the token booth clerk how to get to Sears. He points up the
stairs and smiles. I go up the stairs and get to the corner. I've got to
cross the street and I see that I'm actually parallel to Queens Blvd., the
famed death road. Isn't that the road where people keep getting picked off
by cars? Anyway, sure enough the lights are whacked. When you think the
light will turn red and hardly any cars are coming, you begin to walk and
before you know it the light hasn't changed and a car or two has come blasting
through the intersection, horn-a-blaring.

So, I got very careful and then walked across the street and went into Sears. Now mind you, I called Sears earlier in the day and the guy in the electronics dept said, "Come on in, we'll just exchange it and we've got the model in stock so you're good."

Great. I got there and I thought, "Hm, I wonder if I could work at Sears
for a while?" and went downstairs to electronics and asked the girl,
Ashley, at the counter about the exchange and before I knew it I was
waiting about twenty minutes because she couldn't find the order in the
computer system and she went to another department's computers and no luck and
she went to the office and no luck and she came back to me and said, "I
can't find this order number in the computer so I can't exchange it.
You'll have to do this online."-- At which point I freaked (not really
freaked, but you know).

I said, "I'm not going to do this online because I was told I could do it here and I'm here and I've got a packing slip and invoice from Sears and I just want an exchange so I guess I'll just take this new one and leave the old one?"

And she said, "No. But wait a minute."

And she left. So I thought, while I was standing there for another fifteen
minutes, that I couldn't take the new box and walk out because it hasn't
been de-alarmed. So then I thought, maybe I should open the new box and
put the new tape deck in the old box and walk out with that. And that got
weird so I just stood there. And then I thought, "I can call Sears
customer service on my cell!"

And I did and the rep on the phone totally found my order and there was another sales person standing there and I asked her to talk to this guy and she said, "I can't help you because Ashley's already helping you and she's as good as me".

And she walked away saying she had another customer but really she was hiding in the other department. The phone rep heard it all and apologized. I asked him to wait for Ashley to come back and he said fine and when Ashley came back I told her
to talk to the guy on the phone and they had some sort of conversation and
she just kept putting in the same number that didn't work into the
computer and then she finally told the phone rep that it's not my order
number, it's their Rego Park store computer system that was obviously
broken and I said, while she was still on my phone with the other guy,
"Well there's got to be some solution," and she said - get this - "Okay,
well, I guess I'll have to do the exchange manually."

I turned to Ashley and I said, "That will work?"

And she said, "Yeah. But I'll have to get a manager to approve it though and I hope she's still here."

So we hung up with the Sears rep, who was very nice and probably from Iowa, and Ashley asked me for a state ID, etc. Not two minutes later she was calling for
the manager who showed up immediately and with the turn of a key approved
the exchange. Done. I apologized to Ashley for getting kind of mean but, "I
had come all the way there for an even exchange after calling first and
okaying it and besides, I didn't break the tape deck, it came broken."

And she said, "I don't blame you."

And as I was leaving I thought this place is a hole. If I ever had to work here I'd go mental. And I just kept wondering why, when Ashley realized the system was screwy, she didn't just process the exchange manually. And it made me really, really sad for America's youth and the malls across our country. And I went home and
plugged in the tape deck and it works just fine.


Croaky said...

I like how the second thing that happened in your story was that you peed.

Rebecca Waring said...

Megan, you should have your own blog - this was really good. I felt mad reading it. Everything is like that - it doesn't matter what you try to do, it is just one huge hassle and everyone is upset at the end of it. Sometimes I think it is because of computers. We were better off without them, but then I wouldn't have met you probably and I wouldn't be sitting here enjoying this blog. But if you'd walked out with the good tape deck, no jury of your peers would have convicted you.