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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sears: We do that because it makes customers happy.

Seeing today’s news about Sears Holdings closing 100 to 120 Sears and K-Marts reminds me of a story of an experience I had about a two years ago.  At that time, I was just beginning to become aware of the degree that I couldn’t mentally “tough out” the pain my knees were giving me when standing up.  That’s important in working retail.

            Anyway, I applied to Sears online, and the website immediately spit out an offer of a job interview and about 25 choices of appointment times.  I picked one out for the next Monday morning.  I show up, and whoever was to do the interview must not have checked the website to know about the interview, so I had to wait until her lunch ended.  In spite of having my resume in front of her (bachelor’s degree, 30 years of experience in retail), she asks me questions (obviously scripted from above) that were befitting a high school student.  Then she tells me that, if hired, she would meet with me every morning about sales of extended warranties and amount of credit card applications filled out and approved.  To me, that sounds more like a threat than a promise.  She ended that with, “We do that because it makes customers happy.”  It sounds like management is attempting to live out a delusion, and I would predict that they aren’t even enjoying it.

         For the record, the next week, they offered me ten hours a week at the minimum wage, and I politely declined.  I have been it their Sears stores since, but haven't purchased  anything.  I think I've purchased a few dollars worth of things at K Mart, but stand amazed that they can keep the doors open with as few people as I see in there.  I remember when I was in 2nd grade, my mom got a job at K Mart, and just inside the front door there was always a huge display of pound bags of potato chips for 49 cents.  But, that was 1960. 

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