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Carol Perkins: Invisible Customers

Previous Column: Store Bought

By Carol Perkins

We were back in Glasgow from an appointment in Gallatin before I noticed that my purse was gone. Panic fell like fog. I had left it in a cart at Wal-Mart. When I told Guy, his only comment was, "I guess we'll have to go back." BACK meant another three-hour round trip.

As he drove, I dialed every number I could find for customer service, deli, technical department, and pharmacy, but no one answered. It's a good thing I gave up. Once back, I dashed inside, and luckily, two cart attendants stood inside the door. One of them said they had turned in a small bag to customer service. "Oh, thank you so much," I said.

I rushed to customer service to see a line and a single server. However, there was a person behind a computer without customers. "Excuse me," I said as I made my way to her, assuring others I wasn't breaking line. "I want to see if my purse is here."

Even though I stood in front of the lady, I was invisible. Never even looked up. The other girl must have thought I'd broken the line, "Can I help YOU?" I explained. "No purse been turned in here," she said with a scolding, fiery tone. She might have been eighteen. Even when I explained what the guy had said, she brushed me off. She obviously missed the People Skills Class.

When another worker rounded the corner, I said, "Can you please help me." She knocked on the customer service door and soon, I held my purse. Relieved and grateful, I thought about the goodness in most people and decided that the rude woman might not have known, but she could have said, "Let me check the office." It would have taken five seconds.

Is there ever a reason to ignore customers in touching distance as if you don't know they're there? Dealing with the public is not easy, but a happy face keeps customers coming.

As an aside, when I was a teen, I avoided a business in town because the owner made me feel if I was wasting my time browsing the racks. When I grew up and could afford to shop there, I didn't. We all have those stories that stick like mud pies to the roof of our mouths.

You can contact Carol at

This story was posted on 2022-01-27 12:16:28
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