I have worked in customer service all my working life...as a result I am now burdened with a severe hatred for establishments where customer service is crap.
Today I trotted off to Toys R Us with my 4 year old in tow with the promise of getting him a new bike (a big boys bike with no stabilisers!). I go to the above named store in Livingston where I find the perfect bike, 4 year old duly tries it and loves it but..they have none left in stock!! I explain this to my 4 year old..cue major tantrum cause he's not getting the bike he now loves more than power rangers!
I duly seek out an employee, which in itself is no easy task to see if by some miracle they have one in stock hiding somewhere. I am met by a Royal Blue Fleeced person (not sure if male or female due to long greasy hair hanging in face) who tells me that there are no bikes hiding on the premises. So being me I ask "Could you check Newcraighall?" Some 20 minutes later the Royal Blue Fleeced wonder returns to tell me "Newcraighall store have 10 in stock" Yippee I think and off I trot with said 4 year old explaining he can have his new best bike but will need to wait a while longer (cue-big grin!!) across the Lothians to Newcraighall.
Some 30 minutes later, I arrive at my 2nd Toys R Us of the day and head straight for the bike section - ignoring 4 year old begging for every toy on the way past - only to discover...no bike of the type I have come for!!!!! WHAT!!!!!! So I take a deep breath and again seek out an employee.
15 minutes later, I am greeted by a youth who is obviously on school holidays and working an extra shift to pay for his cannabis habit. I explain the scenario, want bike, Livingston not got it, they called here you have 10, can't find them, where are they, can I have one?. His answer?....No. WHAT???? By now I am going slightly mad. The youth tries to tell me his computer is showing 10 but that is 10 he doesn't have but might have when the stock arrives. WHAT??? " Speak english please" is my first thought but it actually comes out as "Are you winding me up?" Youth explains someone else made an error and should have spotted that there may or may not have been stock in the store. So I say to Youth "Ok quick check, someone should have known that when the computer said there was 10 that the computer could have been lying?" "Yes" says cannabis habit youth. I don't fucking believe this. He rambles on about some other irrelevant shit blaming everyone from the bike maker to Tony Blair along the way.
So now I'm giving it..."get me the manager" as 4 year old who is very perceptive starts wailing "am i not getting my bike mummy?" 20 minutes later...Manager appears. I know is is the manager because she is not wearing a fleece and has a mobile attached to her so is obviously very important. Canabis Youth explains his version of my problem. Manager shrugs, "If we don't have the bike we don't have the bike, tough, I'll speak to her" WHAT?? am I deaf?? Does she think I can't hear her all of 2 feet away from me? Now I am totally pissed off.
"Hello, I hear you have a problem?" she says. No shit sherlock. So quite frankly by now I've just about lost the will to live with this lot. I launch into a speech which lasts a good 5 minutes and causes other shoppers to stop and stare and includes the words arsehole and incompetent several times. "I'm sorry, it's been a mistake...let me just check with someone else" WHAT??? Who the fuck else is she going to consult? The Queen, Osama Bin Laden? Anyway she goes off to consult...a Royal Blue Fleeced youth! Yes..now we'll get some answers those fleeces equal true power.
20 minutes later...result..."We made a mistake, we've got the bike in stock after all, no-one actually went to the stock room to look, just on the screen and that isn't always accurate" says Manager. WHAT???? Holy fuck. "Funny, I can't remember selling any in the last day or so" laughs Youth. Funny? He thinks it's funny? Do I look like I'm laughing? I've been in here over an hour now, Laughing I am not. I glance round and see a little audience has formed listening.
"So" Says Manager "Sorry about that...I'll just arrange for someone to get the bike down and if you take this ticket to the till you can pay for it". My Response after fighting, cursing and waiting for over an hour. "Stick your bloody bike, I don't want it!" I turn on my heel and flounce out of the store in dramatic fashion dragging 4 year old with me.
I spent at least 2 weeks in this bloody shop before santa appeared waiting with half the parents in Edinburgh at that irritating desk thing which is never staffed waiting on a variety of toys to slide down the little chute thing. I know I am not alone.
Oh and one other thing...a store for kids with no toilet??? How fucking sensible is that? If you're keeping the public hanging about with 4 year old's for over an hour and have no toilet eventually a 4 year old will piss on your floor!!!!
End result? - My son got a new shiny Bmx big boys bike from Halfords. Lovely service. He loves it more than power rangers and scooby doo so I know it's good!!