Big Lots - How Big Retailers Go Out of Business
Management - Complaint
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS -- Have you ever wondered what causes so many retailers to have to close stores, layoff employees and liquidate their assets? I don't have to wonder because I was at Big Lots today. It was at Big Lots that I realized that corporate America has fallen so very, very far.
I can remember when businesses hired people for employees that really wanted to work. I can remember when employees were trained. I can even remember when the people left in charge (management) were in charge because they not only had more experience but also were capable of directing other employees. I can remember when being a member of management meant that you had leadership skills, customer service skills and took pride in your work.
Imagine my surprise when I encountered a manager that not only didn't have ANY leadership skills, any customer service skills, any pride in his work or place of employment, very little if any training and very bizarre and disturbing behavior. Now I realize that sometimes businesses get so big that it is often difficult to monitor all of their employees. I even realize that sometimes some employees slip through the cracks but surely Big Lots has employees in place (like district managers or regional managers) that should be monitoring management and operations at the local level. I unfortunately discovered today that apparently there is not ANYBODY in charge of the hen house in my area of the United States. Now you might be asking yourself what in the world would make me say such a thing.
Today, after arriving at the college that my son will be attending for the next several years, I realized that there may be some additional things my son would need before starting school. Now since the college has grown so much that it has encompassed a large amount of property and has virtually taken over even a small strip mall at one end of the campus, I found myself at one of the two stores left in the strip mall, Big Lots.
I entered the store thinking I would be able to make the necessary purchases and maybe even get a deal or two. I was wrong!! The store was very cluttered with unattended pallets of merchandise and pallet jacks. I mistakenly thought that perhaps they were just putting out more stock. I soon realized the clutter and impassable aisles were just a small indication of an even bigger problem. While I wasn't pleased when an employee almost ran me over with a flatbed, I was even less pleased with his rude indifference. I was soon to discover that this encounter would be the highlight of my experiences at this store location.
I completed my shopping while watching out for any additional disgruntled employees. I thought when I had made it to the checkout that the unpleasant experience was almost over. I was wrong!! What could possibly go wrong? I was checking out and within 50 feet of the door. Finally, this was going to be over! Wait, what was that price? What?! Double the amount it was supposed to be? That's not what the sign said! Sir that is wrong, let me show you where I got it and what the sign says. So I thought, well surely once I show the "manager" where it was and what the sign said that he would realize I was being charged an incorrect price. But to my utter amazement after acknowledging that the sign indicated the item I was purchasing and indicated it was half of the price I was being charged he said but not for that one! What?? What do you mean not for that one? These are all alike items! Yes he replied but that one will cost you double. I told him that it was not right to indicate an item and a price but then change it when it was being purchased. I then asked for a corporate number. It was at this point that he began to tsk, sigh and roll his eyes. As he was towering over me in my wheelchair, he continued to tsk, sigh and roll his eyes then scared me half to death when he snarled at me " Well if you are going to make a big deal out of it, I guess I will have to give it to you at that price". He then walks up to the cashier and tells her to give it to me at the advertised price. By then I just wanted to get as far away from him as possible and I was afraid to give them my Big Lots reward card as I was scared that when he found out my address he would come to my residence. I can't help wondering how many people has he scared into paying the higher price with his antics. How many parents bringing their kids to the college has he pulled this stunt on? I am giving this experience a one only because there are not any negative numbers allowed.