Thursday, June 07, 2007

enough already

Since Daughter and I had to go grocery shopping, and the 'good' grocery store is kind of a drive and right next to our Joann Fabrics, we stopped in this morning to check out the McCall's pattern sale (rather than make a special trip...gas prices are killing me). I typically look through patterns online and choose what I think I want to buy, so I don't have to sit and look through pattern books with a toddler in tow. Makes it a quicker experience, and more pleasant for everyone involved.

Anyway, we ended up with just one pattern, which I have been coveting for ages:

McCall's M4648, sizes 2-3-4-5. It's a short or long-sleeved dress and pinafore. Love! I'm not too girly myself, and I don't typically dress Daughter in very girly-girl style, but something about this dress speaks to my inner Laura Ingalls. I must make it! I have no idea what fabrics to use or when I will even have time to dedicate to such a thing (maybe Easter next year?) but it will get sewn before she outgrows the pattern, I promise.

What's that? There's a whole pile of buttons in that photo as well? By golly, you're right. Turns out I am a total sucker for cute buttons, and dang that Joann's, they've put a TON of them on clearance. I have to admit, I sometimes create garments around the buttons. Meaning, I purchase the buttons first and then decide what to sew or knit to go with them. For example, those gold buttons with the anchors? No plan for those, but all I can picture is a navy or black dress coat for Daughter. The strawberries and apples are just adorable, and will probably grace denim jumpers for her in the coming years. The two shiny quarters will most likely end up on the denim overalls I'm making (oh yeah, we got some denim today too), and the ABCs and 123s will go into stash for future kid sweaters. So much for my moratorium on buying supplies. Woops. I'm back on the wagon right now.

Now, regarding the title of this post: I have had it up to my eyeballs with the 'tude from Joann's employees. When I worked in a fabric store, I sucked it up and made sure I was pleasant to all of my customers, even the ones I didn't like, and even when I was having a bad day. There were times in my pregnancy with Daughter when I literally threw up just before leaving home, brushed my teeth, and ran out the door. The last place I wanted to be was standing behind a retail counter talking to people about their sewing machines and quilt projects, but darn it, I did it with a (sometimes feeble) smile on my face. Because it was my JOB to do so.

The last few times I've visited the cutting counter at my local Joann's, I've gotten the distinct impression that I'm really ruining the salesgirl's day. I've stood there waiting while they re-roll bolts, pull fabric for remnants, sort stuff behind the counter, etc. I've been told I'm asking for the wrong product, or that the product I want doesn't exist when I have purchased it there several times before (and also, I'm a tad experienced at this point, and I know what I am looking for just about always). And just today I was buying denim to make another pair of overalls for Daughter, and the bolt I chose was 60" wide. The pattern I have lists requirements for 35/36" fabric, or 44/45" fabric, but not 60". This is not so unusual. However, I happen to know that they have a conversion chart behind the cutting counter (they really do, so if you need the conversion, just ask for the chart).

Here is how the conversation went:

I said, "I'm sorry, but my pattern doesn't list a 60" requirement. Do you have the conversion chart?"

The young salesgirl sighed. Right at me. She sighed.

She made an exaggerated motion to pull the laminated chart off the nail where it was hanging, tossed it on the counter and said, "here you go."

Ummm. Ok. Thanks. I scanned it as quickly as I could because I could tell I was really putting her out. Cripes, what is with that? Am I wrong in thinking she should have said, "sure, I have it right here!" Am I wrong in thinking she could have handed it to me nicely?

Whatever. I guess Joann's just doesn't have a high standard for their employees' attitudes. And unfortunately, they have a lock on fabric sales in our region (there are no more Hancock stores in NY state that I know of), so I will keep spending my money there. It's just frustrating. I'd like more polite customer service. I don't think it's too much to ask.


Cheryl said...

You handled that well. Being pregnant and "not feeling good" 99% of the time I have been flying off the handle a lot lately. I can just envision myself when the girl tossed the chart...wouldnt be pretty. Just goes to say you are a much better woman then I!

Karen said...

This must be a nationwide Joann's chain problem. Ours is the EXACT same way and anytime they get a nice, friendly employee she doesn't stay long.

I got scolded last week for not giving her my 40% coupon at the cutting counter. I had it sitting out in front of me the whole time she was cutting.

And dont' even get me started on those bogus 40% off coupons. You've won the lottery if you can find anything besides a $3.00 spool of ribbon that is not already on some measly markdown to spend it on.

Btw- cute pattern and buttons. April made that dress for her daughter last Easter. It's cuteness.

Pam said...

Hancock fabrics actually went out of business in our neck of the woods - That Joann's just has to tight of a hold in the fabric area and no one is willing to pay a little extra for service and expertise. We have the cutest quilt shop here though. Just have to watch for sales.

Don't you just want to crawl across the counter and smack that girl? Their customer service is at an all time low.

Morning Glory said...

I completely echo Karen. I think it must be a criteria for being hired by Joann's that you have to look sour and appear put out if a customer talks to you. We don't have any other fabric store options in our town either, so it's a royal pain to have to go in there.

But you're right -- the buttons look good enough to eat. I love them!

Mrs. Fierce Shoes said...

You're right about customer service probs. What is wrong with service people today? If you hate your job, get a new one! You know?