Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a matter of perspective

things have been slow at the store (west elm) the last couple of days, for obvious reasons (see previous post). there has been more traffic in the store than i had anticipated, though. tuesday i did sell $2100 worth of leather sectional to a customer. i have gone home early the last two days in an effort to cut hours and save the store money. today they called and said i didn't need to come in at all. yesterday, however, i had an interaction with a customer that blew my mind. this customer had been in the store over the weekend and purchased several items that we were going to ship to her in new mexico. i came back from my lunch break yesterday to one of my stock guys asking if i could email this customer her tracking numbers (apparently she had just called). i said, "sure," and i called her to confirm the email address. i let her know that the items would ship that day (tuesday) since there had been no ups pick-up on monday due to the fires. the customer then became upset that the items wouldn't arrive in time for her movers on thursday and her house guests on friday. she wanted us to send the items 2-day air, and of course she wasn't going to pay because "it wasn't her fault." i tried to explain that it wasn't our fault either since the city was on fire, freeways were closed and 500,000 people had been evacuated from their homes. i had one of our managers call her back to explain the situation, and he told her the same thing..."do you understand the gravity of the situation?" the customer was still irate. really...your rugs and a couple of furniture pieces compared to the loss of nearly 2000 homes and businesses and nearly 600,000 people displaced from their homes. it's times like these that really change our perspective and shake us, hopefully waking us up to some sort of reality check of what is important in life. ~aroll

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