This morning, in response to yesterday's post, Michelle asks, "So what about those of us who have stores with good customer service?"
My response? Sheer, unadulterated, green-eyed, shopping cart rage, on the verge of losing it, envy! Don't get me wrong; I love Brooklyn. I love the people here. But GF and I have often noticed the the only thing worse than the salespeople in most Brooklyn stores is the people shopping in Brooklyn Stores. I exempt most "Mom & Pop" or "boutique" types of stores, but once a store gets more than three aisles or has to hire people they don't actually know in their daily lives, its a steep downhill ride.
As I alluded to yesterday, the shelves at Target were strangely bare on Saturday. The express checkout was stacked 20-30 people deep. And this is one of the good places to go. In the same "mall", there used to be a Caldor, or it might have been a Marshall's. (Actually, I'm pretty sure both have been in the same space, but the experience was indistinguishable.) Going in there was horrible. First of all the salespeople had no idea where anything was. Maybe they were all hired that morning. Their idea of stocking shelves was to roll a palette-jack piled high with merchandise into the middle of an aisle and walk away. There was merchandise on the floors and just plain strewn all over the place. Trying to pay for stuff, we had to wait in line while the cashier and manager had a screaming fight over whether or not the cashier was taking too many breaks. And the most amazing sight in the store was the three women opening the little eggs and trying on pantyhose in the middle of the store!
Most people love a visit to Home Depot. All I've got to say is, "you've never been to the one in Red Hook, Brooklyn." Once again, about 50% of the staff knows what the stuff is in their own department. Try to find some item in another department and the knowledge drops to about 20% of the folks working there. But that's O.K. Long before you get frustrated with the guy who can't tell you where the 1/2" cove molding is, (much less what it is), you'll be frustrated with the inability to get any of their attention to ask the question in the first place. And good luck getting someone to show up this week to help you get something off of the shelf that's 16' off the ground. The one thing we have had burned into our brains is that you don't want to show up 1/2 hour after sundown on Saturday. The Hassid do-it-yourselfers show up en-masse as soon as the Sabbath is over. And there's at least five in every family.
Our nearest grocery store has renovated in the last couple of years. Its now bright and shiny and the aisles our now wide enough to have two carts pass each other without wiping all of the "Fruity Bran Flakes" off of the shelf. Or it would be if the store did their re-stocking while closed like they do in the rest of America. So every aisle has a stack of boxes waiting to be shelved or a kid on a rolling cart stocking the high shelves. And the stack is always blocking access to the tomato paste you went there for in the first place.
So, yeah Michelle. I'm totally jealous. But on the other hand, as I may have mentioned before, I've got 12 really good restaurants just in the 3 surrounding blocks. And they all deliver if I'm too lazy to walk 3 blocks. I guess I can live with the trade-offs. (And the first person to mention Dominos is gonna get such a knock up-side the head. I think we've covered that.)