How Money Loses Its Fools

or Extended Tales of Poor Customer Service

or or This is the Last One of These, I Swear

On walking towards the store one Saturday morn I noticed, on the corner across from my store, a tattered man with equally tattered clothing. Besides him stood an eight foot tall picket sign. As the signs on this particular corner are usually of a “end of the world” or “work for food” nature, I didn’t pay it any read at first. Just before I crossed, however, I glanced at the sign.

Sure enough, it was the end of the world… “OfficeMax Store Closing Sale – Everything up to 30% off!”

Our normal clientele has already given us their condolences and moved on to the competition. The majority of shoppers we’re getting these days are strangers. They’ve been lured in by our state of the art SPHP network – Strategicly Placed Homeless Person network.

Kicked out of vans at key locations throughout town, they stand on street corners funneling the savvy consumers toward us. And, in this age of cell phones and bluebe… blackberries, one savvy shopper can beget another, who’ll beget another.

Theoretically, such begetting becomes easier when both parties are in the same building. Thus should have been the case when the lady in aisle 4 called her friend about the “deals” we were having. Unbeknownst to her, said friend was in aisle 2. I was in aisle 3 listening to each end of the conversation:

“Where are you?”
“Aisle two.”
“Your breaking up…”

Hey, somebody had to end the chatter…

It was about that time I took my leave of aisle 3 because the daily turnip truck was due by with it’s delivery of dolts ready to buy anything in sight.

These are the types who stand underneath a 4×40 ft neon yellow banner reading “Store Closing” and ask if “You’re really closing?” To which the agreed upon reply has been that this is just a clever marketing campaign designed to boost sales, and promptly follow that with a pair of child safety scissors up the nose!

These are the types who’ll buy the Telzon (our pricing/ item scanning tricorder) just because it had a wad of price stickers all over it.

“Ma’am, why do you have our Telzon?”
“The scan gun.”
*rip* “THIS THING!”
“I’m buying it.”
“It’s not for sale.”
“But, it’s got a sticker on it.”
“Ma’am, do you know what this is?”
“Then why are you buying it?”
“It’s eight dollars, that’s a good price.”

There is just no answer that can adequately combat that logic except walking away.

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Written by

Ryan Livingston

Ryan Livingston