How Unprofessional Sales Environments Hurt America

I just got back from picking up some bottled water at a Walgreen’s store. I had to find the first person (dressed in some tennis shoes, blue jeans, and old t-shirt) that seemed busy putting some stuff away to ask if they worked there. They admitted they did. “O.K., then, can you explain something to me then?” “What?!” She asked shocked that someone had a question. “What’s going on here?” I pointed to mass quantities of a product of water marked with two different prices listed.

This was, keep in mind, after asking another clerk how much another product was with no price on it or listed on the shelf at all. “Um, I don’t know. I think that’s wrong,” She said. “I know it’s wrong,” I replied. “I’m asking you, what is the actual price?” “Um, I don’t know,” she said. “How many ounces are in it?” After five minutes of price guessing various products, and the water scenario, I walked over to a Halloween aisle where I was considering buying some merchandise there.

Suddenly, a blast of noise disrupts my confused, yet peaceful shopping… (INTERCOM) “ATTENTION SHOPPERS! WALGREENS WILL BE CLOSED IN 20 MINUTES! YOU NOW NEED TO BRING ALL OF YOUR ITEMS – HAHAHAHAH! TEE HEEEH! GIGGLE GIGGLE! (The girl on the intercom busts out laughing for some unknown reason, then – SILENCE)! I look at my time piece, twenty minutes to go, and they are trying to kick me out. I resume trying to concentrate again on some interesting items. Then suddenly again, INTERCOM) “ATTENTION SHOPPERS! THE STORE WILL BE CLOSING IS 20 MINUTES! BRING YOUR PURCHASES…. AHAHAHAHAH! (again the clerk busts out in annoying laughter).

A few of us customers look at each other and shake our heads. People start to file out of the store, putting items back on the shelf. I forgot my Halloween party purchases and decide to spend my money at a better store that does not try chase me out twenty minutes before closing, knows how to price things, and knows how to use a freaking intercom. I get in a short line (by now most everyone in the store left), and buy my water from the heavyset woman behind the desk with some prison looking tattoos, in a t-shirt about three sizes too small that she is spilling out of in every direction.

“Why do you chase people out twenty minutes before you close?” I asked. “We have to say that, she replies. Do you want a bag?! “Yes. You’re losing twenty minutes worth of business.” I respond. “Store policy!” She snaps. Handing me my water without a bag. “Thank you.” I say. “Have a good night.” I hear no reply, and leave the store.

Walgreen’s stock at present is in a state of decline. When management is allowed to fail at one location, it often does at other locations, and those localized blunders add up to an entire corporate landscape of ineptitude and error. And then, people like you and I are told these companies are “too big to fail” and we are forced to bail them out. No. We need to let them fail. May only the strong survive – or at least, those who know how to price their products, cease to chase away customers, and know how to use a freaking intercom without playing like its comic relief at the local high school.