I’m starting to think Nowheresville has tainted me somehow and I’ve forgotten how to interact with the rest of the world. Either that, or I’m just running into every pissed off customer service employee on the defensive. Something, but much like my encounter with Lowe’s last week, I ran into a similar problem at Walmart looking for replacement tires.
I pulled up to the TLE side of the building, parked, and got all the kids unloaded. It was cloudy and about to rain so I was in a hurry, but I had planned on doing more shopping while we were waiting so it wasn’t actually lack of time making me anxious. This particular Walmart has the old style TLE with the little kiosk outside where you check in before you actually go inside the little shop door. So I’m standing there with the Twins in their stroller and Little bouncing around being particularly defiant testing me. I was weary, but I wasn’t impatient while waiting for the employee to come around. He was with a customer when we pulled up, it wasn’t a huge deal.
So he eventually makes his way around to me. I smiled and explained I needed two tires for my car. Before I even finished my sentence he snapped: “well what size? You have to get a quote first.”
I gave him a funny look, and replied: “I’m not sure what size, it’s sitting over there. I don’t really need a quote. I just need the tires. As long as you have two of the same size I don’t really care about the price.”
“Well I’ll write down the size for you, but you have to go inside and get a quote.”
So I complied, take my little piece of paper inside and wait in line for some one to come to the desk. The guy eventually wanders in around fifteen minutes later, takes care of a few people in front of us and then gets to us. I walk up with a smile hand him the paper and explain that I’d like to buy some tires.
He looks at me with kind of a snide grimace takes the paper and walks back over to the computer. A few moments later, he comes back and says: “the computers are down, I can’t get you a quote I’m sorry.”
I reply: “Oh, well that’s fine. As long as you have two of the same size I don’t really care about price. I just really need them, and I’m here so whatever you have will be okay.”
His response: “but I can’t get you a quote. The computers are down. I’m sorry. I can’t do anything.”
Me: “you aren’t going to sell me tires because the computers are down? You can’t just go look for the size in the warehouse and put them on my car? Okay… Well I need tires. Where else am I supposed to go get them?”
Him: “Let me get you someone else to talk to.”
At that point I was pretty frustrated trying to wrangle Little, who was beginning to wander and get into things after being stuck in the tiny space between the shop and the check in desk, so my voice was strained but I wasn’t yelling or hateful. It was a genuine question. I just moved to this town and the only place I could find in my usual drive abouts with tires was Walmart. I hadn’t seen anywhere else, the kids were getting restless, it was late and I just wanted tires on my car so I could finish up some other errands while we were out.
This guy, just assumed I was being a jerk to be a jerk or get a discount or something because when he called up to the front office he said: “hi, this is (whatever his name was) in TLE. I need some assistance please. There’s a lady back here that wants tires, and the computers are down. Will you come fight with her?”
So an entire team of managers comes back to TLE ready for a fight, and I’m just standing there like: “No, I understand you can’t help me right now. That’s fine. Literally, where else can I get tires around here? I just moved and don’t know where anything is. I just come here for my groceries, so I figured I’d come here for tires. If you can’t sell me some, could you at least tell me where else to go?”
After that they were all as friendly as could be. Still not very helpful since there really wasn’t anywhere else close by with tires, but at least not defensive or combative. We had a conversation instead of a stand off. So… I still don’t have tires. Even after all of that I still don’t have tires lol.
We didn’t get any of our other errands done either after an hour of trying to figure that out, but in kind of glad I didn’t have to go anywhere. I feel like I need to hide and regroup a bit until I can figure out what happened to my communication skills lol. I’ve either been dropped on a different planet somewhere in the night, or the cultural differences moving from rural to back to suburban Midwest USA are much greater than I thought.