Sunday, March 11, 2012

Have A Seat

A couple of weeks ago, I did a major clean-out of my office. This was necessitated by the quantity of stuff I had piled up, as well as the purchase of a new all-in-one printer/scanner/fax that I had to buy. I had to make the purchase because my old fax machine came under a recall and I was sent an email to unplug it immediately or it might catch fire.

On top of that, my second desk had been confiscated by my husband over a year ago. He took over the small spare room for his office and computer. Yes, we are like a little office building with living space.

Anyway, I decided I missed my second desk, so I bought another. I also frequently need a second seat in here. I was using a stool but the thing had wheels on it. It thought nothing of scooting away and leaving me in the floor when I went to sit on it.

During my clean, I pitched the thing out the door. I wanted no more part of that!

My husband very accommodatingly went to the office supply store and brought home a desk chair for me. He found a great bargain with a 70 percent mark down.

It is a lovely chair.

It also fits him perfectly and me not at all. You see, he is 6' 2" tall and I'm 5' 2" tall. So a chair that is perfect for him makes me look like a little child sitting on a grand throne.

After a few attempts to sit in the chair, I determined it would not do. Since he was using a kitchen chair at his desk, I suggested he take this wonderful chair he had purchased for his very own, and I buy me another.

So last night we went to dinner and stopped in one of the two office supply stores. I tried out several chairs. The really comfortable ones were out of my price range, but I finally found a small, yet durable-looking one, that I thought would work fine.

We brought it home in a box, for it had to be assembled. My husband patiently sat with the directions and put the chair to together.

When he finished, we stood and looked at it.

The chair looked drunk.

Somehow it was completely off kilter, with the right side pushed forward and the left side to the rear. I sat in and it there was no way it was usable. Well, at least not as I am presently proportioned.

This morning we loaded the chair back into the car and drove to Roanoke to the store. We explained the problem to the sales clerk, who agreed that the chair looked crooked.

He fetched another from the rear. When he began opening the box, I thought he might put it together to ensure that it was just an anomaly with the chair we'd hauled home. And that was what he suggested, as he handed out some parts, that we put the chair together before we left to see if it would be satisfactory.

However, by "we" he did not mean himself or someone else in the store. He meant us. And us alone, without a smidgeon of assistance from any one there.

So we sat in the floor at the front door of Staples and put the chair together.

The clerk wandered off and left us to mull over the parts and figure out how to assemble the chair. I was miffed at this terrible lack of service, to be sure. After all, they were getting a completely assembled chair out of the deal, even if it was a crooked one. Plus we had driven no short distance to make this return.

I made a point of spreading things out all over the front of the store. It was, though, about 11:15 on a Sunday morning, and there were not many shoppers.

I am sure we were quite the spectacle, my white-headed husband on his knees trying to put the chair together while I read the instructions to him (he did not have his glasses) and handed him parts. However, we assembled the chair and pronounced it serviceable.

Customer service at all of the national chain office supply stores in this area is abysmal. I am an office supply junkie and have always loved going to look at stationary, ink pens, planners, and the like. I still like to do that but I find myself shying away from purchases or asking questions of the employees. Unfortunately, the help is either nonexistent because there aren't enough people on the floor, or the people who are there are among the most sour and unhelpful in the valley.

I realize that the economy is tough, but it's tough all over. I don't necessarily expect service with a smile, though it would be nice. But at least make some effort to do the job.


  1. What you have to go through to get a sober chair!
    I wonder if stores in other areas are like this or is it just the Roanoke area? I'll have to ask my daughter in Raleigh how their customer service is.

    1. Customer service at these stores has never been the best but in the last six months has grown worse.

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  3. Sis,
    Kudos for James!!!!Nothing like a man who can fanagle something new for himself out of his wifes wants!!!! LOL!!!!! But on a serious side note, I would have told that clerk where he could stick that chair. Staples knows nothing about customer service. Never have, never will. Next time call me, I usually have several extra nice chairs here that I would be glad to give you for free!!!


    1. I will remember that! Thanks for the offer.

  4. Darn! I was hoping you'd post pictures!

    1. I didn't think they would turn out so that you could see how crooked the chair was.

  5. Knew there was a reason I tend not to frequent Staples--aside from the fact they aren't as convenient as Office Depot (it being in the same shopping center as my bank, grocery store and favorite used book store). Glad the second chair went together better than the first!

    1. Yes, me too! We don't have an Office Depot anywhere close. I wish we did.

  6. Cliffhanger...did the second chair come out straight or crooked?

    1. It was straight. It came back home with us.

  7. Do you think they are just rubbish or that they deliberately didn't help so there was no liability on them should you sit on it it break? In my vast experience of shopping in America (about 3 trips in my whole life) when a lightbulb - strip light - broke in a New York trumpet shop they practically screamed at me to 'get back' and then checked that I wasn't hurt at least 40 times.... I presumed liability then too, but it COULD have been genuine terror/concern.

    Hello by the way - like the header banner.

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  9. I noticed the same thing, Anita. Customer service is at a new low. Very few places care anymore. We had a horrible time with Best Buy last year. We tried to buy a refridgerator and 4 months later we still didn't have it! We ended up going somewhere else. Never will go back to Best buy either.

    I'm glad you ended up with a straight chair in the end!


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