The Era of the Clueless - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-01-2012, 03:40 PM   #15
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It helps, if you live long enough in an area, to be able to get the scoop on where the knowledgeable ones are. For example, I have had reliable and knowledgeable service at Winks Hardware and Parkrose Hardware here in Portland. I think there are others.

Sometimes the clue, fairly or unfairly, is when I, as a 70 year old, meet up with a salesperson older than I am. That often means they have been hired because they know something and have the experience, not because of their cuteness factor or their willingness to work for next to nothing.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:31 PM   #16
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Hi folks! Having recently worked at Home Depot I found your comments interesting. It is true that the retailers pretty much do a crappy job of training their help. Ace Hardware (at least here ) seems to be the exception. They apparently hire knowledgeable people. Home Depot does have a few professionals in various departments who really do know what they are doing but as you might guess they are not always there. Most of Home Depots employees are part-time and are making only a little above minimum with no benefits and are instructed to "help" people even if it is in another department. This, of course, sets them up for failure. Picture yourself working for $9.35 an hour and try to cut these people a little slack. You might even do them the favor of teaching them so that the next time someone comes in with a similiar request thay actually could be of some assistance. I know it's annoying but it is not always their fault. When I worked there I was always willing to let people know that I might not know the answer but if I could find someone who worked there who did I would track him down.
As a side note, for every customer who knows what he wants there are any number who want to buy "That little thing that holds the framitz on the back of the doohickey. I think they are blue."
For every annoying sales person there are dozens of annoying customers. I try not to be one. Life is too short to let little things annoy me.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:42 PM   #17
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The most important Sales advice I ever got was

You have 2 ears and 1 mouth use them accordingly".

True that!
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:49 PM   #18
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As a side note, for every customer who knows what he wants there are any number who want to buy "That little thing that holds the framitz on the back of the doohickey. I think they are blue."
.

The best laugh I have had today!




Yeah, but why is it, when I know what I need, I get the 5th degree? But when I need that blue doohickey thingmabob, there isn't a sales person within a bazillion miles? Murphys Law?
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:23 PM   #19
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Robin --

One of the primary reasons that you will get the "what do you want to use it for" question is because people who work at these stores field hundreds of questions a day. Sometimes it takes them a second to zone in on exactly what you are asking.

Secondly, some items have a dozen or more names, depending on who is asking, and some of the names are used for multiple items. Many times a day, someone will ask for an item by name that could reference several items in the store, possibly in different departments.

Thirdly, it would surprise you how often a customer will ask for something very, very specific, and when you take them to that exact item, they will berate you and call you ignorant and march off, eventually picking up something totally different. Just because a customer SOUNDS like he knows what he wants doesn't mean he does. The salesman's job is to get the person the right item.

I worked at an Ace Hardware for a number of years. I recall a customer who came in and asked for a gas water heater. I took him to the water heaters, and pointed out our selection of gas water heaters. He said, "No, this is the one I want, here." I said, "That one is electric, not gas". He said, "No, it isn't. It's gas." I said, "No sir, these are the gas ones over here." He said, "Listen buddy, I work in a trailer factory all day, and my job is to hook up the gas lines to the water heaters. I know what I'm talking about." I said, "So, then, where do you plan to connect the gas line on this water heater?" He pointed to the drain valve. I then realized that his job at the factory was to hook up the drain line that drains the water heater under the floor, and all along he though he was hooking up gas lines. This did not sound like a good situation, so I refused to sell him a water heater. He clearly did not know what he was doing. He called me almost every name I was aware of, and stormed out. He went to the other hardware store up the street, and bought himself a "gas" water heater. That night, his home exploded.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:24 PM   #20
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I second that ACE seems to be the exception. I think it is because Ace is a franchise and is usually locally owned and run. I believe Home Depot is corporate owned. It also helps when you get to know the people that work there. The people at our local ACE love when I go visit them because I am always working on some weird project. In the beginning, they would try to help me by showing me how my creations couldn't possibly work. After several successful experiments they became legitimately curious about my projects and my unusual methods. One of the guys even wanted to duplicate my magnetic guitar pickup. I try to remember that it is hard for some people to think outside the box.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:31 PM   #21
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Paul, Good for you. How horrid would you have felt if you had sold it to him and then his house exploded? I hope no one was hurt.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:29 PM   #22
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I recently purchased a 120 VAC push button for my trailer dolly. I wanted to use the light in the push button with 12VDC, so I needed a 12VDC bulb. The one in the button was a small bayonet bulb, like I had seen in so many cars. I was surprised that they made a 120VAC version.

I went to Canadian Tire and there was a young kid stocking the light bulb section. I thought, "what luck, this should be easy". I presented the bulb and said, "I want something with this base, and is good for 12V". He looked blankly at the bulb and said that he had never seen anything like that. I was a bit surprised, especially when a quick scan of the rack that he was stocking turned up a package of two lights that were perfect. I pointed them out to him and he looked at me like I had said something stupid and says, "that's not exactly like the bulb you showed me".


I just said that it, “would do” and walked away.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:35 PM   #23
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Thanks for the laugh . . . . I can play this exchange, with no problems, in my mind. Sad isn't it?
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:06 AM   #24
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Talking What time is it?

The one we have is we were shopping at a bookstore and as we were checking out, noticing that the young woman clerk was wearing a watch, asked her for the time. She walked several steps away, looked at a desk mounted clock and told us the time. Upon asking if the watch on her wrist didn't work, she replied that it was analog and she could only read digital clocks.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:00 AM   #25
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yeah,,well,,, my wife thinks its rude when i hold up my hand to stop them and say again,,,,i want a(fill in the blank), not help in knowing that i need a (same fill in)!
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:16 AM   #26
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....... He went to the other hardware store up the street, and bought himself a "gas" water heater. That night, his home exploded.

Don't mess with Darwin.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:27 AM   #27
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At least it sounds like it is not just a female thing. I get so tired of dealing with car repair people who assume, since you are female, that you know nothing. Often, they look right over my head to the hubby. I admit that it has become easier to just let him do this sort of thing.
On occasion though, I am nasty in the computer stores. If they ask me what I want, I launch into discourse that demonstrates that, no, I don't need help.

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Old 04-02-2012, 02:25 PM   #28
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Paul, Good for you. How horrid would you have felt if you had sold it to him and then his house exploded? I hope no one was hurt.
Sadly, he and his young son were both killed. It made a lasting impression on me, and the lesson I learned became part of my employee training.
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