Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Yeah, We've Got That"...
...unless they're talking about TRUST in Customers!

It all started when I visited a STAPLES' Office equipment store here in Southern Oregon this fine afternoon. Staples' is a big monolithic chain outfit that insitutes nationwide "Policy" for all its stores. ("Policy" being, "laws/rules set down in print so Employees Don't Have To Think For Themselves".) All I wanted to do was to make several photocopies of some items. When I asked if the clerk if could give me one of those little 'key-gizmos' with which to turn on the copy machine, he kept asking me if I was going to use my debit card or utilize an "exact-change" method"...finally, after he'd said that several times, I asked him what he meant by "exact change". I told the clerk that I didn't know how many copies I'd be making; I'd planned to run 'em off, then bring 'em up to the counter and pay for 'em, like always.
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That's when he told me that Staples doesn't utilize the familiar pay-as-you-go method of making copies anymore. Either you have to know exactly how much you are gonna spend making copies, or you have to access your debit card to finance a purchase of copies which might, in my case, total a buck and a half, 'cos I didn't know how many copies I wanted to make, and I really don't like to open up my Debit Card for teeny-tiny amounts. In short, Staples' couldn't TRUST me enough to get a copier key from the clerk, and then walk 10 or 12 feet to the copy machine, make my copies in PLAIN SIGHT, then return to the counter, still in plain sight, and PAY! And you know what THAT is? It's pure unadulterated CHICKEN SHIT.
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I was INSULTED. I have absolutely NO POLICE RECORD, I don't steal; I believe in being honest, and I conduct myself with HIGH PRINCIPLES. I asked the clerk, "what, do you think I'm going to actually STEAL $1.50 worth of copies and risk getting arrested for a buck and a half?"All the clerk could do was shrug his shoulders. So I went and found the manager; by this time I was getting REALLY ANGRY. I told him what I'd told the clerk..."what, do you think I'm going to STEAL COPIES and go on the RUN?" I can just see it now...FBI pictures of me in the Post Office, saying I'm "wanted" for photocopy theft...I gave the Manager a face-full of complaints, and there was nothing he could do about it. As Is Usually The Case In Business These Days.
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Actually, he offered to make my copies for me. In short, he would've had to go get the almighty Photocopier Key himself, and he was gonna make the copies for me while I stood there waiting. I told him, "Don't make any special gestures for me". I don't want preferential treatment anywhere. I only ask that people treat me FAIRLY. For his part, the manager said that in the past, people have left the store without paying for their copies. Now, I'm not dumb; I asked him, "well, how many copies would a person have to steal to cause you guys to lose money?", and he told me about Someone involved with a local Democratic Party organization in this county, who photocopied a whole bunch of campaign literature (you know, the political crap you see stuffed beneath windshield wipers, on doorknobs, and such) and left without paying. Gosh. I was gonna vote Democrat in the upcoming election...
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The manager used the old axiom, "a few people make it bad for everybody". Look...even if I PLANNED to steal, I can't run anymore! I've got vertigo and arthritis; it would be quite a sight, me on the run from the Photocopy Police. Something that came to mind later on...if, If, IF someone stole several crates of photocopies, ISN'T A CLERK ON DUTY TO SEE WHAT'S GOING ON??? You know, someone behind the counter Who Is Actually Paying Attention To His/Her Job so a potential COPY THIEF can't walk out with a pallet full of copies! I'm thinking, "well, you guys at Staples had better upgrade your POLICY and not let customers operate copy machines any more (whether they've prepaid or are using their debit cards) or something like THIS might happen...
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OH MY GOSH! CAUGHT IN THE ACT! I'M TRYING TO STEAL A "STAPLES" COPY MACHINE HERE! SOMEBODY LOCK ME UP NOW! OH MY GOSH, DON'T LET ANYONE IN THE STORE ANYMORE JUST IN CASE THEY TRY TO STEAL OFFICE FURNITURE OR COMPUTER SYSTEMS! Well, I'm gonna make things easy for Staples'. They need not worry about lil' ol' me. I'll never go into one of their stores EVER AGAIN. And if I feel this way about "policy", how many others out there feel the way I do about this "don't trust anyone" type of business climate?

Hey, Staples...uh...the Economy is bad, you know...might not be a good time to implement CHICKEN-SHIT policies on customers who just want a few copies, who might come back in later and buy a printer, perhaps. I know I've been thinking about getting a printer someday...but now I know where I WON'T buy it. Harrumph! Obviously, the Next Level of Policy Development will see the Staples' chain instituting a policy of "Customer Hands-Off", in which Customers Can Never Touch A Staples' Copy Machine Ever Again. In that case, maybe Staples' would be better off taking the Copy Machines OFF the floor and puttin' em in the back room, next to the Time Clock.
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There. "That Was Easy." Hell hath no fury like a Blogger Scorned. After leaving Staples, I went down to the 7-11 Store and made photocopies for 10 cents each, which is CHEAPER than Staples' charges anyway. I made 3 copies and spent thirty cents.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Another example of over reaction. If he knew it was the Democratic party that walked without paying why didn't he talk to them! Oh, I suppose they would have denied it anyway.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Idaho Escapee said...

Wow, Mari...you were just here! Anyway, I was too busy being ticked off by 'policy', so I didn't ask to think how he found out who the thief was. But honest, that's what the manager told me. Do I sense scandal brewing here? By the way, I told the Staples' manager I was gonna blog this. He asked for my blog address. Heads will ROLL at Staples', ha Ha HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

6:52 PM  

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