In which I will not sell to you

itemeditorimage_54c12805aa7a3I have decided something, as of yesterday.  I am no longer going to be selling furniture to anyone I know in the real world.  I will continue to recommend that people who know me in my Clark Kent guise come into my store if they need to buy stuff, but I’m not going to be your salesman.  I’ll hand you over to someone who is good at their job and let them do it and that’s going to be it.  Why, you might ask?  Because since I’ve been working at the store I’ve had four people who I know IRL come in specifically to buy from me because they knew I worked at a furniture store.  The following things have happened:

  • Person #1 bought a coffee table and a couple of other things.  The other pieces were fine but the coffee table came in broken.  Twice.
  • Person #2 bought a sofa and love seat.  They were slightly backordered when they were ordered and they proceeded to slide back repeatedly after being ordered, and took, if I remember correctly, nearly two months to come in.
  • Person #3 ordered a customized sofa and loveseat.  Normally these are pretty bulletproof in terms of coming in on time so long as they’re ordered correctly.  Note the caveat in that sentence, though.  For these folks, I discovered that what is called a “loveseat” when it is sold in the normal configuration is called a “sofa with console” if you special-order it, and so they had to wait eight weeks (normal for a special order) for the wrong goddamn loveseat to show up in the store and then eight more weeks for the one they wanted.  Of the four, this is the only one that was unambiguously and clearly my fault; that said, I blame the company because that’s completely ridiculous.
  • Person #4 ordered a loveseat that was also slightly backordered and supposed to arrive in early April.  When it finally arrived– in the middle of May– it was, inexplicably, the loveseat that they’d ordered but in the wrong fabric.  The loveseat in question cannot be special ordered and does not come in that fabric.  In other words, I couldn’t have ordered it the way they got it if I’d wanted to.  No one has any idea how the hell this one happened.  It has to have been some sort of screw-up at the factory but here’s the kicker: our company owns that factory, and we don’t sell our furniture to other furniture stores.  So it’s not like this was the way this piece gets sold at Furniture Store B and it got shipped to Furniture Store A by accident.  Even the warehouse guys at our main facility in Mississippi had no idea at all how this happened.  This is, in other words, some bullshit.

So, yeah.  I’ve learned my lesson and I’m done.  I still recommend that you buy stuff from my store– despite those four examples, this shit really doesn’t happen all that often— but apparently I’ve gotten hit with the bad-luck stick in terms of selling to people I know.  So I’m done.

I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world

walt_whitman_-_brady-handy_restored.pngThis post’s got nothing at all to do with Walt Whitman, mind you, other than that line is running through my head at the moment.  Well, actually, it’s running through my head in my preferred alternate version, which is “I sigh my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”  Why I think it’s okay for me to rewrite Whitman I don’t know, but that’s how that line always goes in my head until I remember it’s wrong, and for some reason I really prefer the sound of my version better.

I think he’ll forgive me.  He’s dead and famous and I think it’ll be okay if I mangle his immortal poetry a bit from time to time.

Today kinda sucked, speaking of barbaric yawps and the reasons for same.  Two members of the sales team/management staff are out of town, a critical warehouse guy is at National Guard training for two weeks, and… well, that’s actually more than enough given that the size of our staff isn’t that big to begin with.  Plus my printer stopped working for the entire day until an hour before close when it decided it was the right time to print every single document that I’d either deliberately or accidentally sent it for the entire day.  That meant that every invoice I wrote today meant I had to make at least one trip to the other side of the store.  Our store is big, and this is annoying.

Oh, also we hired a new fourth delivery guy last week for like the eighth time, and then today…hahashow.php.jpeg

No, we’re not allowed a second delivery crew no matter what we do.  Even when they get hired they disappear.  Woohoo!

I had two interactions with customers that burned my ass today, too, and I’m going to gripe about them even though I’m certain I’ve griped about other versions of them before.

  1. The customer who actually had the gall to get pissed when I told her we’d be able to deliver her stuff to her in three days.  This never ever happens, and was only possible because we had a couple of cancellations last night.  I tell every single customer I have to expect a 7-10 day wait for delivery until we get that second crew in place, and I put it on the invoice.  And you’re bitching about three?  She actually asked me if I was kidding.  I should have told her to go to hell.
  2. One guy (this one wasn’t mine) who got all kinds of pissed at me because his bed wasn’t in.  It was day 8.  I tell my customers to expect their stuff to be in the store within two weeks; I’ve heard people say 7-10 days, which is usually true but is not true frequently enough that I tend to just round up.  He went on a long rant about how if it wasn’t here by Thursday he was going to cancel.  Oddly, the fact that I told him several times that it was highly unlikely that his stuff would arrive by Thursday (if it ain’t on a truck on Monday, it’s probably not going to be here by Thursday) did not actually lead him to cancel– just to continue to threaten to cancel.  Like, are you literally just bitching at me to hear the sound of your voice?  I don’t care if you cancel.  I really don’t.  You’re not my customer and I’m only putting up with your shit because you’re bitching at whoever answered the phone instead of asking for your salesman, and I don’t have the energy for that when I’m the only person on my entire half of the floor and my printer doesn’t work.  Fuck off.  Other days I may have some patience for you; today is not that day.
  3. Same guy, in an entirely separate sin, made a big deal about how he’d already paid for his furniture and we’d “cashed his check.”  First of all: fuck you for writing a check.  It’s 2017, goddammit.  Second of all, find me the retail place that gives you shit before you pay for shit?  There are literally none of those.  Granted, some places give you your shit quickly after you pay for it, but every single retail establishment on the planet makes you pay for your stuff before you get it.  Third, the staff doesn’t get paid until stuff is delivered.  So nobody has gotten the– wait for it– $15 commission on the bed you bought, which is literally the cheapest bed we offer in the store.  Piss on fifteen dollars.  Okay, there’s $300 in a company account somewhere that used to be yours, assuming the check’s actually cleared by now.  So the hell what?  We’ll give it back if you cancel.  So please cancel?  Thanks.

Just not in the mood for dicks today.  I was running from the second I got to the store until maybe half an hour ago.  I picked the boy up from my parents at 8:30, already half an hour past his bedtime, and came home and fed the pets and changed the bed and made him put his pajamas on and got him into bed and wrote a blog post and now maybe I can read and relax for a bit before go to sleep.  Will I be any more tolerant toward entitled assholes tomorrow?  No, I will not.

(Note, because I feel like I should: the vast majority of my customers are really nice people.  I interacted with way more than two people today, but damn if I wasn’t surprised that I got through those two interactions without blowing my stack.  It was a really long day.)

Blecch

It’s been a really long day and I’m tired and my sales have been utter shit this week and Iron Fist is still a really impressively bad show and oh man do I have some complaints for once I’ve finished watching the damn thing because God forbid I just stop.

Go buy a book and cheer me up.  Or, hell, download one for free.  I don’t even care which.  Don’t make me beg.  Because I totally will.

Please.

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Some more thoughts on the trip

553d0f_80d94846fdff426f85ed2a6551229b72~mv2.png_256.pngI promise I’ll stop talking about this soon, if only so that I can start griping about how bad Iron Fist is, but since the last couple of days have been one-sentence posts and at least part of the reason for this blog is so that I can remember my own life I’m gonna write about it a bit more.

  • There may or may not be a post coming about institutional sexism in the furniture business, mostly depending on what kind of a mood I’m in tomorrow.  Because… man.  Wow.
  • I got horrifyingly sick Thursday morning and had to be carted back to the hotel from the vendor meetings; I threw up a few times as well as a few other digestive horrors and spent the rest of the day in bed.  A few hours later, my roommate was also brought back to the room sick as hell, but with entirely different symptoms.  Trying to navigate around eating enough that I wasn’t passing out with the mix of diarrhea and painful gas that I was experiencing on Friday while navigating through airports and riding on planes is not an experience I care to ever repeat.
  • About 10% of the people on the trip went down on Thursday; my roommate and I were far from the only ones.  Curiously, fully half of the ones I know about were also from Indiana.  Which is weird.
  • But back to the plane thing: I didn’t mind finding out that my last flight of the trip was delayed by half an hour, because we had a 40-minute layover and that seemed a bit tight.  An hour and ten minutes, I figured, gave me enough time to grab something to eat so that I had a meal between noon and getting back home at eleven.  So you can imagine how pissed and horrified I was when I checked my phone while I was eating and discovered that my flight wasn’t fucking delayed any more.  As in they moved the departure time back and then moved it back forward again.  I was in the B terminal when I discovered this.  My gate was C24.  They counted up.  I was sweaty, completely out of breath, and violently pissed off by the time I got to my gate, and they were paging me over the intercom.
  • The fact that a sweaty, pissed-off fat man who didn’t have time to go to the bathroom after a meal and has been fighting digestive problems all day is literally the last person on earth you want to be sitting next to on a plane is not going to stop me from bitching about my seatmate tomorrow.
  • In general I didn’t like Denver very much– no one should live in a place where the air gives you diarrhea– but at this time I’m going to do the reasonable thing and not blame the city for it.  I was on the north side and pretty much confined to the hotel, the store, and the highway between.  That part of town is full of factories, warehouses and weed dispensaries with varying degrees of unclever names and it’s filthy and brown.  I’m sure there are parts of Denver that are cool and fun.  I didn’t see any of them.  But I’m sure they’re there somewhere.
  • For the record, I support marijuana legalization but generally marijuana culture annoys the piss out of me.
  • The conference itself was well worth the time, though.  As a teacher I’m not used to that, which I’ve said before– professional development is supposed to be either insulting or worthless or both.  This was a good use of both my time and the company’s money, which I find amazing.  I didn’t like the crippling illness part or being away from my family for a week but other than that it was all good.  I even met some nice people!  That doesn’t happen often.

More tomorrow.  Can’t bitch about Iron Fist if I haven’t watched it.