Friday, April 10, 2009


What is it about fabric stores and me? I'm not referring to the attraction I have for fabrics. I know what that is. It's an addiction. What I want to know is this: why I do have so many issues with the clerks at the only JoAnn Fabrics store in my town? If I had problems once in awhile, I'd think it was purely by coincidence that the clerks' bad days and my visits occured at the same times. I'm beginning to think it's something else, but what could it be? I know it simply can't be ME. My attitude is just fine until I walk into that store.
I was trying to do something nice for my mom this week. I went to the fabric store to buy some flannel, which was on sale. Mom makes lap robes for nursing home residents and it's a very nice thing she does. There is no longer a fabric store close to her and since she's 85 and doesn't drive as much as she used to, I usually get fabric for her or take her out to shop for some when I'm visiting.
The fabric stores' management is very sly about what it puts on sale and when. For instance, the pretty printed flannel Mom loves went on sale earlier this week, but the plain colors she likes to use to compliment the prints didn't go on sale until Thursday. That meant another trip for me. Don't company management personnel care about saving customers time and fuel? I think not. Then there are the discount coupons which keep us going back to the store. They sometimes last for only three days. Mine often expire before they can be used.
I went to JoAnn's on Monday and bought some cheerful flannel prints I'm sure Mom will like. I went back today to buy some plain flannel. I drug the big heavy bag of printed flannel back into the store so I wouldn't have to guess at matching colors. For once, I didn't have to stand in line very long at the cutting counter. I had my fabric cut and went to the checkout counter where there WAS a long line. At the head of the line was a rude woman talking on a cell phone and oblivious to those behind her. She was completely engrosssed in her private conversation (which all of us could hear). A clerk asked her to move over so we could go around her and she refused. Then she ignored the plea from the person behind her and continued to stand there blocking the rest of the line.
If any of you shop at the newer JoAnn Fabrics stores you know how they corral their customers single-file instead of allowing them to choose which counter they'd like to use to pay for purchases. That was the reason none of us could go around the woman on the cell phone. She did finally move and after a few other people moved, I was able to navigate to a clerk - and I use the term "clerk" lightly. Perhaps she was new or only worked weekends. I only know that standing at her counter for 30 minutes was just too much - not in line - AT the register.
She went from one register to another, with me and my yards and yards of flannel in tow. As we moved from counter to counter, she said, "These things just aren't working right" - referring to the cash registers. She asked a manager to come over but the manager couldn't figure out the problem. Another person tried, and finally, after I'd been standing there for what seemed like forever, the three put their heads together and decided to ring the purchases manually. Why didn't they do that after the first register "failed to work properly"?
I honestly think it was clerk error because no one else seemed to be having a difficult time with her register. The final blow was when this dear woman suggested I couldn't use my two measly coupons on the small items I'd chosen for myself. She was about to disqualify the coupons when I sighed loudly and looked at my watch. I guess maybe she felt sorry for me, because she then said, "Well, we'll try them". I thought, you betcha' we'll try them! They went through just fine. I wrote my check, half-heartedly accepted her apology, and left the store - vowing once again to never return. But they know I'm hooked and can't stay away....

No comments: