Sometimes I Have to Wonder

I’ve written about retail shopping before, but things never seem to change. And it tends to be particularly applicable to Staples—an office supply store—and McDonalds restaurants.

It most certainly appears that both of these establishments go out of their way to hire some of their managers from the same place: Planet Dummy, located in a faraway solar system called Stupid Major!

I needed a couple of reams of paper for my printer, so I went—as I usually do—to Staples; it’s not very far from my home.

There were, maybe, 10-customers in the store. And I counted 5-employees: one doing cash register duty, and the other four seemed to wondering around the store aisles.

I picked up my two reams of paper and headed for the cash register. Ironically, five other customers made identical decisions, and four of them beat me to the register.

So the register line went from ZERO customers to SIX. And to make matters worse, the cashier made a mistake of the first customer in the line and we had to wait for the KEY.

I thought for sure that a call would go out to Planet Dummy asking for a little register help. It didn’t, and the rest of us waited seemingly forever to get through that line.

Note: I didn’t wait, I dropped my two reams of paper on a nearby table and walked out of the store.

Another customer followed me out of the store, leaving a shopping cart loaded with merchandise that had to be worth about $300.

In the meantime, those other employees just kept wondering the aisles, apparently completely oblivious to the situation at the cash register. And the cashier didn’t seem to think about calling for help.

I have no idea what kind of training these folks receive, but the use of good old common sense isn’t part of it.

This is not an uncommon occurrence at Staples; I shop there all the time rather than drive several miles out of me way. I just make up my mind to tolerate these types of mindless and unnecessary delays. But I simply was not in the mood for it this time.

I blame senior management, not the clerks, themselves. Retail management is not very swift as a rule, and Staples is on a par with similar competitors. They all tend to use the same manual of hiring practices, ever careful not to hire individuals who can think for themselves, thereby perpetuating the pool of potential senior managers!

Now, as for McDonalds . . .

There is no need to harp on the gross ineptness of McDonalds managers—and please note that this does not apply to ALL of then, just MOST of them.

But the unfortunate simple reality is that there are managers working for McDonalds who, if they had just TWO fewer brain cells, would require someone to water them twice a week.

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