One of the things I had to do for work this past weekend was to shop the competition. I didn't expect much, but heck, I didn't think the experience would be that bad.

I went to competitor S. When I got to the department I planned to shop, I was on the cell phone with Rich. I spent the time on the phone completely ignored. Ok, I get that. However, once I got off the phone and walked around looking intently at their merchandise for two circuits of their in store promotional DVD!

One salesperson was helping a couple, but there were four other associates in the department and a bunch of customers over by me. Two employees were behind the cash wrap, one was walking with that purposeful "I've got places to go and things to do" walk, but he wasn't doing anything. I was not the only customer he didn't help in the entire time I was there. I don't think he ever helped anyone.

The fourth person was the manager who was busy straightening a display. (Several of my new coworkers came from store S, and I understand that this manager is supposed to be out on a medical leave-but the store insists that he come to work.) I give him a pass, because I know his sense of obligation all too well.

With all that time of looking and being ignored, I learned a bunch on my own about the product I was pretending to shop for. (Heck, if i wasn't so broke, I'd buy one). After about 40-45 minutes, my phone rings. It's Donna, calling to tell me she's arrived at home. I step outside of the department I was trying to get help in, as she knew of my homework assignment and might ask questions that I didn't want those associates to hear.

The gentleman in the next department heard me say "I've been in store S for about 45 minutes so far and no one wants to help me with anything in that department." No sooner did I get off the phone, did he ask me what he could help me with.

I was telling him that I'd spent at least 40 minutes in the next department with no help. He apologized that he couldn't help me, and hollered over to one of the people holding the counter up to come help the lady who wanted to buy something!

Once she came over, the associate was helpful, even printing out a product information sheet about the item I was considering. However, it took far too long to get that help. Most people wouldn't last 5 minutes.

The good and the bad about not wearing my watch lately is that I had no idea how long I had been waiting. I left, thanking the young woman for the information. When I got in my car, I was shocked. I had spent ONE HOUR in that store!

Keep it up, guys. You'll make my job that much easier! :)


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