Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Laziness does not pay

I needed more solution for the Scooba. The only (and I do mean only) downside I’ve found to this particular little robot is that it really means it when it says ‘only use this solution, or plain white vinegar – nothing else!’. It will literally shut down on you – its sensors know, people.

Yes they do.

And, given the shocking variety of sticky what-nots that end up on my floor, I’ve found the vinegar just doesn’t work. Clorox, yes. Vinegar, eh, not so much. Terrible shame, really, because the vinegar is much cheaper…but I digress.

Anyway, I was about out of the solution (oh, the horror). There is one store in town that carries it (even though there are three (3) stores which sell the Scooba robot, but that’s another rant for another day). Fortunately, this store also has that thing where you can order online and pick up in the store – no shipping costs, and all your stuff is sitting there waiting for you when you arrive.

Let me hear the lazy say, “Oh yeah!”

I hate wandering through the store looking for a bottle of cleaning solution. It is never where I think it’s going to be (either with the robots, or with the other cleaning supplies – it will be in one, or the other, but never the section I go to first).

I’m too lazy for that kind of crap. Also, wandering through Linens N Things is a perilous journey, one I seldom complete without large bite marks in my wallet. And I really-really hate it when, after thirty minutes of wandering, asking four people, each of whom asked three other people who also didn’t know, you discover that they just plain are out of the stuff.

I really like being able to make somebody else go through that process. Somebody who works there, who can ask themselves to check in the back and see if there’s any back there.

If I could just find an option where they also bring it out to my car (along with a nice frappucino, and perhaps a masseuse to work on those shoulders of mine), man, I’d be set.

OK. So. I lazily went online and lazily placed my order this morning. In due course I lazily checked my email and got the confirmation that my two crummy bottles of solution were ready for me to haul my lazy butt in there to pick up.

When I got a good break in my workflow, I lazily picked up my keys and walked languidly out the door. Went to the bank, where with a great lack of hurry-up on me I filled out a deposit slip and put a $5 check into the savings account (yes, five whole dollars; do try to contain your envy, people). Went next door to Linens N Things, already contemplating getting actual food for lunch.

Someplace with actual flatware, know what I’m saying?

Because! I wasn’t going to be spending any time at all wandering through this store on a quest for Scooba cleanser. Oh no! Some poor clerk at the store was going to have done that! All I needed to do was swoop-n-grab, people…I’d have a solid forty minutes left on my lunch hour ha ha, HA! (So, possibly, I was also being punished for impending gluttony…)

I walked into the store. I breezed up to the customer service counter. I handed the nice lady the email confirmation which stated, and I quote, “Your items are ready for pickup.”

“Oh, OK,” she said, nervously, diving for the phone. “I’ve never done one of these before…”

{Dials phone} “Hi Person #1, I’ve got a guest up here who has an online order to pick up? It’s for two bottles of Clorox? Oh. OK.” {hangs up} {redials} “Hi Person #2, I’ve got a guest up here…”

Oh dear.

But almost immediately, Person #2 bustled efficiently up to the front of the store with my two crummy bottles of cleaning solution. Woo hoo!

Now, here’s what I’m thinking is going to happen next. I will show her my ID and the credit card I used to buy these, she does some clerical thing that finalizes the order, and off I will go into the noon rush in search of a flatware-owning restaurant.



I could stand there at the cash register for about, no, seriously, twenty minutes while she tries, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, to finalize my order on their phone system.

{cheerful voice}
“HELLO! And welcome to the automated store pickup line! If you are calling about THIS, press 1! If you are calling about THAT, press 2! If you are calling about an order we can’t find from a store which we are going to refuse to acknowledge in any way, please press 3!”

The automated system could not recognize their store number. It refused to acknowledge their phone as being one of ‘theirs’. It couldn’t find my order number. It wouldn’t give us a human, either. Oooooh, it said it would, but it lied, people – IT LIED.

“Press 0 at any time for an operator…” {boop!} {pause} “HELLO! And welcome to the automated store pickup line!…”

The poor kid trying to handle the mess was getting more and more flustered by the minute. Soon she was resorting to the oldest trick in the book, hitting a bunch of random numbers very hard and very fast in the hopes that the system would wig out and transfer you to a human to preserve its programming.

Nothing doing.

Eventually (and by ‘eventually’ I mean, ‘when I had about fifteen minutes left on my lunch hour, which is not really even enough time to pull through Fat on a Bun for drive-thru slop, especially considering I still need to fill up the minivan’), she got to a person.

Who promptly told her he couldn’t do anything for her, and she’d just have to enter it manually. You know, in the XJ9/QED/BBQ system? Just put in your FIN, PIN, WIN, DIN and QIN, plus the customer’s order number, the SKU, the PEW and the PHEW numbers, and she’d be set.

OK? OK. Thanks for calling, buh-bye!!

Person #2 hung up.

She looked a bit queasy. She had just gotten through telling me she could neither do this later nor just forget the whole thing and let me buy the solution “a-la carte” at this point, because…well, it was complicated but I think there was something about a nuclear bomb going off in the manager’s office which would eradicate all life as we know it, send interest rates skyrocketing and simultaneously cause bunions to appear on the feet of all dog owners within a sixty mile radius and we wouldn’t want that now, would we.

She took in a breath, and let it out again. And then she said, “OK, so, I’m going to have to…do this…”

There was a pause. Then she pulled her head up, looked me dead in the eye and said, quite firmly, “Thank you very much, ma’am, please have a nice day, I will handle this later.” (I suspect that ‘later’ should be pronounced, ‘when I darn well feel like it which, at this point, might be NEVER’.)

I thanked her for her help, grabbed my bag and split out of there like a low-flying bat out of heck.

On my way out the door…

…right next to the door…

…easily spotted by even the least observant among us…

An end cap, filled with Scooba cleaner. I would not have had to go more than ten feet into that store to grab it with my own lily white hands, and certainly would not have had the twenty minute purgatory of “please press one NOW” I endured with my fellow Tormented Ones via speakerphone.

I then filled up Homer the Odyssey and rushed through a drive thru where I was given onion rings I might just put up on eBay seeing as how they are obviously vintage, possibly from the mid-40s, and probably worth big money by now.

Eisenhower Generation Onion Rings, people.

That’s what they are.


Laziness does not pay. Laziness does not pay.


Jeanne said...

Oh, doesn't it just figure?!? Sometimes I think the Universal Life Force Thingamajigie just sits up there and laughs and laughs...

Anonymous said...

Or you could go for the ultimate in laziness and have it delivered right to your door. Amazon. $7.99. Eligible for free shipping. It's a good thing!

Oh yes, this is my idea of shopping these days. The guy who drives the little brown truck knows my neighborhood well!

I followed you here from the Fool. Love your blog!!

PH said...

You are so very patient. After 5 minutes of her not being able to clear the order I would have said, "I'm so sorry you are having this issue but I have in my hand a receipt that says I paid for these so I'll just take them home now and you can spend all the time you need getting it entered into the system". I mean really - why wait!?

Susan said...

Oh come on, you know if you hadn't pre-ordered the Scooba solution it would NOT have been on that end display. That's just the way things work.

My own personal version of the Scooba is the Tassimo that Englishman HAD TO HAVE for Christmas last year. I have lost years, gained wrinkles and gone grayer whilst wandering the aisles of Linens N Beyond Target searching, searching, searching for T-disks that Englishman always promises he will order on-line directly from Braun after making me observe the web shopping over his shoulder for half an hour with a toddler whining and climbing my wilting frame while he is comfortably seated in the office chair but then for some reason decides after I leave the room and think we're all set NOT to click on the [PLACE ORDER] button and further neglects to tell me until we are OUT OF BLOODY COFFEE which is as dire an emergency for an Employed Mother as there could be where flowing blood is not involved.

Which not only supports your laziness does not pay theory but adds another element to it: Not only will you pay for your own laziness, you will pay for other people's too.

Not that I'm cynical or resentful or anything.

Amy Lane said...

MY GODS you are funny! I am so cracking up...laziness only pays when you are this freakin' hilarious!!!