Lazy Employees Lose Kohl's An Easy $300 Sale

When husbands, boyfriends, and sons go shopping for womanly gifts, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel for store clerks—these guys usually want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible, and either they’ll decide in a snap what to buy or they’ll happily take your advice on what makes for the best gift. Either way, it’s easy money with little hassle. Somehow, though, Kohl’s jewelry counter clerks missed this bit of retail advice—here’s how they lost a $300 sale from a guy who was ready to buy and bolt earlier this week.

I usually don’t bother to go ahead and Google for an email address, however after leaving your store on Powers Blvd tonight with $500.00 still in my pocket I felt like Kohl’s was missing the boat on their male shoppers in general.

I’m 35, in sales, two kids, wife etc, and am basically the kind of male that goes into a store if its a holiday, potential disaster, or I’ll be leaving with some electronics or golf gear.

Tonight I was going into your store with the thought in mind that I can pick up a nice set of earrings or something between 200-400 dollars for this Sunday. As I walked in at about 6:40 or so, I made the quick right, walked around the counter and decided that we’re going to end up spending about 300 on a pair of earring that I thought the wife would enjoy. Now I don’t know about you, but for me this kind of decision takes about 2 minutes (Please don’t let my wife know this, as she would misinterpret my ability to quickly choose something for her as not caring enough)

So I looked up and around to locate the counter person so that way I could make the purchase, and quickly exit the store before I got caught between a crowd and a sale (This did happen to me the time I brought my daughter into your store to get a new coat because she lost her old one. I accidentally was standing in the aisle waiting to pay when had to push my kids to safety because a restocking of some items was going on in the ladies dept.)

Anyway, back to the jewelry/earrings – I am watching the counter person empty out and count up her drawer (It’s about 6:55) and it turns out she can’t hear me, or the other two gentlemen at the counter at that time. Now I am all for hiring people w/ handicaps but I do not believe this counter person was deaf, however I am unable to prove that due to her not flinching as the gentleman next to me was surely heard by someone 50 ft away.

After this, I just left.

Now, I have ran a dollar store for two years out of school for my family, I even worked for Lord and Taylors before they turned into just another store, and I can’t help but feel that if employees where trained or reminded before holidays like xmas or mothers day that people like myself would be coming into the store, usually they will have the $$ to spend and where just to come right up and say something like “Hi, do you need some help finding what your wife wants?” that you’d be doing your shareholders a favor.

A 35 yr old male who doesn’t enjoy shopping has the attention span of a 3-year-old when he is buying something that he normally wouldn’t. If you could somehow capture them as they walked though the door or wandered the aisles you’d do even better. If there is a store that does that for you that’s reasonable please let me know, I still have my $$ in my pocket tonight.

(Photo: net_efekt)


Edit Your Comment

  1. thirdbase says:

    Wow what a vivid storyteller.
    No wonder she ingnored you.
    I can’t even figure out what the hell you wrote.

  2. mgy says:

    @thirdbase: Wow, what a vivacious asshole.

  3. aparsons says:

    Worst. Email. Ever.

  4. burgundyyears says:

    Wasn’t this stolen from the plot of an episode of everybody loves raymond? It’s about as funny as that show was.

  5. CharlieInSeattle says:

    @thirdbase: I was just thinking the same thing.

  6. sauceistheboss says:

    The e-mail wasn’t bad. He certainly got his point across.

  7. Chris Walters says:

    @thirdbase & @CharlieInSeattle: Here’s a recap:

    1. He went into Kohl’s at 6:40
    2. Within a few minutes he found some earrings he wanted to buy
    3. By 6:55 he still hadn’t been helped by anyone even though there were three employees behind the counter
    4. So he left.

  8. DeltaPurser says:

    I’m tempted to read it again as I fear I may have lost the point, but…

    I don’t get it: there were no other cashiers available in the whole store? Or you just didn’t want to wait in line with the rest of the shoppers since the lady at the jewelery counter was leaving for the day?

  9. DeltaPurser says:

    @Chris Walters: Aaaahhhh… Now it makes sense! Thanks for the clarification.

  10. homerjay says:

    My eyes! The run-on sentences!

  11. dkush21 says:

    Regardless of whether or not the cashier was busy counting the money or not, when you have 3 customers waiting to be attended to, you can very well call someone else in to help or tell the customers that you will be with them shortly. Customer service really went down the tubes.

  12. laserjobs says:

    I know what the wife can get him for Father’s day. A nice big bottle of pills for that ADD.

  13. karmaghost says:

    All that just to tell us/Kohl’s that no one would help him and then he left. I’m all for detailed accounts, but that was completely unnecessary. Chris, I think you could have edited it just a bit, but I can understand why you wouldn’t want to.

  14. am84 says:

    I totally believe the part about the mad-rush for the sale items; every 40+ woman I know (including my own mom) is OBSESSED with Kohl’s. I don’t get it.

  15. mechanismatic says:

    So basically he was too lazy to flag down another employee but not too lazy to google an email address and write a sternly worded letter. The amount of effort he spent on the email would have been more productively spent finding a manager to complain to about the unhelpful associate and to purchase the earrings so that the trip wasn’t just an excuse to write an email and a waste a time on top of that.

    He also doesn’t articulate what efforts he made to get her attention. He just says she didn’t hear him. Did he not say anything, or if he did, was he quiet? Why couldn’t he have walked around to where she was standing and spoke to her directly. Sure, she should have to come to him, but if she doesn’t respond, you have to be more assertive, not just give up and act like you did everything you could. You’re still out of a present for your wife and writing the email probably wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been.

  16. Mr_Human says:

    Must Consumerist print every single story about mediocre — not even scandalously bad service, but simply mediocre service — that comes its way on a Sunday afternoon?

  17. bohemian says:

    If there were three sales people and nobody could help him at the moment one of the should have at least said “we will be with you in a moment”. That lets the customer know they are aware he is there and that they are actually intent on helping him. Busy or not just ignoring someone is rude.

    @am84: Kohls does their sales in a way to play into the psyche of shopoholics. They put everything on sale at 50% off on a rotating basis if you actually pay attention. They also do these door buster sales that are ok but they build a frenzy with the limited time frame. So really there isn’t any huge bargain beyond the odd thing on the clearance rack.

  18. Rachael says:

    I’ve WORKED retail so I know the frustration of having a customer come up when you’re “counting down” for the day.

    But it takes ten seconds to ring someone up if they’re waiting there for a big sale. I know this because I’ve done it- you have to start up again on counting down if you can’t do math in your head, but big deal. You help someone, explain the situation to the next person and call over another associate, etc.

    SAY something to your customers! I can’t think of the number of times I’ve been in a store where an employee (who probably was tired and stressed out, sure) stood there, counting their till and completely ignoring me. It’s rude and the least they can do is communicate with a customer or another employee.

    A customer at a jewelry counter shouldn’t have to work hard to flag down an employee.

  19. timmus says:

    I can’t imagine anyone working for the monolithic corporate culture of Kohls has any vested interest in providing service. This would be kind of like expecting the Wal-Mart electronics department to spend time helping you select a DVD player. Perhaps it’s better to go to a locally-owned jewelry shop that wants your business.

  20. zentex says:

    @timmus: “Perhaps it’s better to go to a locally-owned jewelry shop that wants your business.”

    Exactly! You get much better items at much better prices (not to mention service). I have a loupe and my wife knows how to use it and knows what she’s looking at…I would be sleeping with the dog if I went to a BigBox and bought the garbage they sell.

  21. stuny says:

    Maybe this is the Consumerist version of a Slow News Day

  22. aristan says:

    For everyone who seems to be wondering why he didn’t just flag down someone or take his purchase to another cashier…

    Jewelry tends to be kept under lock and key in display cases. They treat it like it was made of precious jewels or something. You have to have the key. The three employees with the keys didn’t want to help.

  23. manus manum lavat says:

    Flagging down other employees would have been pointless, because the likelihood is high that even if they were allowed behind the counter, they wouldn’t have the keys to unlock the jewelry he wanted.

    I do agree that this letter is very hard to understand. I still don’t get if he was saying that there were two male employees behind the jewelry counter, or if there were two other men there trying to buy stuff. Proofread, people!

  24. GiltProto says:

    Dude, buy your wife a pre-paid gasoline card. If you’re spending that much on ear rings the wife is probably driving around in an SUV.

  25. thalia says:

    Man, that was a boring story.

    In other news, I had a coworker who was partially deaf, but she had hearing aids and could hear even better than me when she had them in. However, she even admitted to me, she loved using her hearing as an excuse to not have to do any work. If she ever got caught not doing something she was told, not paying attention, or not answering the phones, she would just play up the old “I couldn’t hear it!” card. Funny enough, when I read this story, it made me wonder if she went on to work at Kohls…

    Also, if the chick is counting up her drawer, doesn’t that signal that she’s going off-shift or the store is closing? If so, then give her a frikking break…lots of employers drill it into their employees heads that if they’re still on the clock once they’re meant to be off it (she had five mins to get off it looks like) that they won’t get paid for the extra time or the old scare tactic of telling them they’ll be fired if they go over 40 hours that week, even if just by a minute. So calm the hell down. I’d sure as heck say my employment, which includes not pissing off my employer, is alot more important than some earrings for your wife.

  26. Johnyq1982 says:

    I am sure his wife is loving this

    “I was going to get you these nice earrings, but the person took to long so I got you nothing. See I even have the cash in my pocket to prove it.”

  27. ninjatales says:

    @Mr_Human: No they don’t.

  28. JeffM says:

    Yup- that was 5 minutes I will not be getting back. Please don’t post stuff like this. It isn’t even a good example of how to get what you want.

    I’m glad I don’t have to deal with this guy on the other side of a deal.

    My advice- be less self-indulgent. He didn’t even really ask the recipient for anything.

    You could summarize as:

    -I’m in sales

  29. seamer says:

    The only place I don’t get treated like this is at an AT&T store where every employee HAS to approach you in the hopes of their commission sales. Yuck.

  30. thejakeman has died of dysentry says:

    @am84: because it appears to have MASSIVE SALE on everything.

  31. lol_wut says:

    This story was simply too much. The guy went into a store to buy his wife something for Mother’s Day. When he goes to the jewelry department, he finds the pair of earrings that “look like her” [I’m sure that was the rationale] and tries to flag down the one cashier working in that department.

    This is where the story goes south:

    She ignores him, and several other customers that were trying to get some assistance.

    OK, so he chooses to remain offended and leave the store. The offense taken is so by and large beyond the scope of what the cashier did that he decides using a search engine to find corporate members’ e-mail addresses is the only recourse he had at his disposal.

    Sir, you are an idiot. Hands down this has to be the biggest waste of time to get any sort of resolution on the matter. Kohl’s did not directly cost you any money. For that matter they may have SAVED you money as they enabled you as a consumer to go out and shop elsewhere.

    Perhaps you would get a better deal, but perhaps not. Kohl’s isn’t the only store in the retail landscape and they certainly aren’t the # 1 jeweler in the nation. You have options, so take advantage of those. Next time exercise a bit of tact and get a hold of another cashier and notify them of the problem you are having.

    Who knows, maybe you will get treated properly next time.

  32. muddgirl says:

    I feel for this guy, I really do.

    Except, well, he’s kinda weird, isn’t he? I mean, he’s rather insistent about being a “stereotypical guy”. If he really hated shopping that much, why didn’t he just buy any random diamond earrings off the internet? Then, instead of shopping at Kohl’s after work, he could be on the golf course, or whatever stereotypical guys do.

  33. midwestkel says:

    Holy Shit, I was at that exact store around that time, it’s in Colorado Springs! WooHoo!

  34. betatron says:

    hmmmm…. i opine that whining about free syrup (worth a quarter) makes us look silly and i get pilloried.

    Here, a guy (three guys actually) can’t get any service at the jewelry counter for 15 or 20 minutes and he gets serially reamed.

    The author and the other guys are likely to be the easiest get-in/get-out sales you can have. At least one was worth $300 bucks. Let’s pretend the other two were worth $300 also.

    Kohls could have made $900 in about 5 minutes on that register (worst case: $300/15 minutes). Instead they have three pissed off men who won’t be back and will make it a point to steer their wives/girlfriends away from Kohls when they’re out with said girlfriends/wives.

    Let’s try it agan: 15/20 minutes at the jewelry counter for a $300 purchase and he couldn’t get any help.
    Kohls: FAIL.

    i’m reminded of the time i went to a local bike shop. Had a nice road bike all picked out. I wanted to look at it. waited 10 minutes for the children running the store to get off the phone and stop counting inner tubes. “I’d like to look at the road bike up here” (pointing). Layed 25 $100 bills on the counter, one at a time, in a row, in front of two employees. “Can i look at the road bike?” counted to sixty. picked them up, one at a time, and walked out.

    9 months later they were out of business.

    The lesson i take away from this is that when a customer is trying to give you money, it’s generally more profitable to TAKE THE MONEY instead of ALIENATING THE CUSTOMER.

  35. pal003 says:

    I get what he’s saying and this problem may be a sign of the economic times. Retail stores are not hiring enough people to work there. Then there is the problem of not hiring reasonably qualified people to work.

    Since I recently found out that Kohls does give a small commission to the cashiers on jewelry sales – I don’t understand why they wouldn’t jump for a sale. I had great service at Kohls for this reason.

    I understand his frustration and wanting to publicize to Kohls to get better people. I hope other stores can too. As said above – We want You To Take Our Money!

  36. BugMeNot2 says:

    @Chris Walters: I’m not going to re-read the story, but I’m pretty sure your summary was partially incorrect. There was one employee and three customers, including the OP.

    Anyway, I’m impressed by the length the OP is willing to go to convince his wife he didn’t forget Mother’s Day. Consumerist makes a good accomplice.

    Joking!! Or am I? :P

  37. MoCo says:

    Until about six months ago, Kohl’s was one of the best retailers around. Good prices, friendly, helpful salespeople, well-organized, clean stores.

    Not any more.

    With the possible exception of the cashiers, Kohl’s employees are hardly a step above those who work at Kmart. They run when they see a customer, many can’t speak English, and most know little about the products that Kohl’s sells.

    The one redeeming factor is that Kohl’s is willing to compensate customers for inconvenience. Whenever I get crappy service there, I go to the customer service counter, tell them that I’m a dedicated customer but very unhappy today because of the lousy service, and tell them that they should give me 10% today’s purchases. Without fail, they knock 10% off.

  38. scoobydoo says:

    His story sounds typical of my experiences in all those kind of stores; Sears, Kohls, Macy’s, Carsons…

    They all have stores full of products and customers, but never any staff that feel the need to sell anything.

  39. amoeba says:

    I didn’t get the story why the sales woman didn’t hear him (if he even approached her). I got bored after reading his story.

    Kohl’s is a crappy store. So in a way I figured out that the clerk was lazy, most of the cashiers at my local Kohl’s seem upset at something when a customer approach them to check out.

    Did he get a pair of earrings? Why he doesn’t give the money to his wife?

  40. forgottenpassword says:

    Why would employees give a damn if they lost their store a sale? Unless they get a commission.

    Man, I remember in my first & only retail job I had…. I could care less about the store. They paid me jack shit & there was no way in hell would I go above & beyond for a company that seemingly didnt care enough to pay a decent wage. Fuck em!

    *note: working retail is just about one of the worst jobs there is. I’d rather shovel horse manure all day.

  41. amoeba says:

    @MoCo: I’ve tries the 10% off and never worked for me. Even the people @ customer service are a bunch of lazy women.

  42. amoeba says:

    Oops!. I’ve tried.

  43. timmus says:

    Granted this may be just an isolated instance, but it’s poor form for an activism/reporting blog to NOT indicate where the incident was. Powers Boulevard. For all we know, this could have been in Sao Paulo or Johannesburg.

    I used to read the “Bad Service” blog on LiveJournal until its regulars pretty much stopped citing any details, thus turning into a group of whiners. I came to Consumerist because it was similar but had rich detail, and have been here ever since. Let’s not go down the Bad Service blog road.

  44. buzzair says:

    “Now I am all for hiring people w/ handicaps but I do not believe this counter person was deaf, however I am unable to prove that due to her not flinching as the gentleman next to me was surely heard by someone 50 ft away.”

    What??? It seems to me that you more or less DID prove it. Or rather the guy beside you did. What a huge contradiction that statement was.

    What if she was deaf? Did you try and make eye contact? Did wave your hands or perhaps tap her shoulder?

    Oh but wait…maybe Kohl’s doesn’t have the same excellent equal opportunity philosophy as you do for hiring HANDICAPS.

    I know you were probably trying to make a joke but I am deaf and I found that comment offensive. Deaf people don’t see their deafness as a handicap but that’s a whole other issue and debate.

    I also realize that you may have very well come in contact with a deaf person and you handled it very poorly.

    I would laugh my ass off if she really was deaf because then you got all huffy and pissed off for nothing but your own ignorance.

  45. ChuckECheese says:

    @buzzair: If the salesperson were deaf, s/he would compensate by using sight to take stock of the surrounding customers, thus looking up at some point. Especially if there were 2 or 3 people there.

    What this looks like to me was that the cashier was counting money and couldn’t be interrupted.

  46. wring says:

    well everyone’s crabby today

  47. MrMold says:

    Just did a turn at the retail hell. Let’s see, he wants to buy jewelry for $3.00 and gets WATB because she doesn’t prostrate before his magnificence. For three bucks at qutting time you can kiss my overworked @ss. You want deferential service…go pay for it. That means that you will pay about 3K for a Timex. Otherwise grow the f*ck up. I teach fifth graders with better manners and more patience. I’m in sales. That sounds very much like, “I bribe with hookers, booze and little boys so my sleazy buyer will send a little biz my way.”

    If Wankerstein is truly in sales, then he should have an idea about her plight and some empathy. Since he is all ‘I AM Great and MIGHTY Consumer…Tremble at my HUGE Purchase of $2.89!!!!!’ I can only assume he is WATB because slavery was outlawed.

  48. ryanv1978 says:

    who buys jewelry at Kohl’s?

  49. I don’t get this story. Customer is surprised minimum wage employees didn’t care about a sale?

    Customer is surprised that minimum wage employees… that don’t care about customers… additionally don’t care about stereotype of male customers that supposedly want to get in and out of store quickly?

    Customer is surprised that minimum wage employees… that don’t care about customers… that additionally don’t care about stereotype of male customers that supposedly want to get in and out of store quickly… also don’t care that someone might want to part with some cash on a pricey item?

    Well… let’s just say I’m surprised he’s surprised.

  50. ChuckECheese says:

    @ryanv1978: Guys that “have ran” dollar stores and worked at “Lord and Taylors” buy jewelry at Kohl’s. I can’t believe that anybody who has ever set foot in a dollar store would complain about the merchandising anywhere else.

    This post really is a sort of anthropology piece, providing insight into the habits of homo sapiens suburbis.

    I hope “the wife” got some good stripmall bling, and maybe dinner at Mimi’s.

  51. mechanismatic says:

    To anyone who thinks flagging down an employee with a key is important, you’re missing a connection. If you find any employee and if they are at all helpful, they will know, or at least know how to find, a person who does have the key or a manager who can assist you.

    Kohl’s may have lost a $300 dollar sale, but the employee didn’t. She probably wanted to go home. I’ve been both a customer and an employee at stores that were closing soon. The employees just want to go home and the customers don’t have consideration for that. The customers want service the same as if the store just opened and the employees don’t have consideration for that. Don’t be surprised if things like this happen near closing.

  52. e.varden says:

    What are you? Some self-explanatory prick?

    Do your job for the customer., 9-5 or get lost.

  53. dulcinea47 says:

    It’s Mother’s day, not wives’ day.

  54. e.varden says:


    So. I, the purchaser must read the mood of the seller-c+nt so as to adjust where my wallet should come free?

    Excuse me?

    Since when has the sales-staff’s “mood” been an excuse for sales engagement? i.e client engagement?

    Bottom line:

    Sell real. Or go home and gasp the exhaust-pipe of your Buick. We’ve seen you before.


  55. newspapersaredead says:

    I’m still laughing at the part where he said he had to buy his daughter a new coat because “she lost her old one”. The rest of the post was just filler material to me.

  56. EllenRose says:

    I didn’t have any trouble with the OP’s letter. But I’ve had this kind of trouble with storefolk. In a drugstore once, hoping for a quick dinner at the counter. (This was in the days when drugstores often had lunch counters.)

    Two gals behind the counter totally ignored several of us trying to order – ignored us for at least ten minutes before they started cleaning the grill to close.

    There was an angry deputation looking for the manager. He didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Haven’t shopped there since.

  57. EllenRose says:

    And come to think of it, I was in a post office once. One poor guy was trying to serve a line that went out both the inner and outer doors.

    Two women clerks were wandering slowly, slowly, around behind the counter. They were not only goofing off, they were goofing off AT us.

    I can understand why clerks might prefer goofing off. I cannot understand why their boss wouldn’t fire them.

  58. deserthiker says:

    People go to Kohls and expect service? I go there because it’s cheap and the help leaves me alone.

    When I want to get jewelry, I go to a JEWELER. You know, like Target.

  59. UNDERSTAR says:


  60. Eric1285 says:

    If a customer can’t even form a coherent sentence in writing, I wouldn’t even bother trying to serve him or her. The lost sale is not worth the headache of trying to decipher the meaning of unintelligible ramblings.

  61. RamonaImber says:

    Been here before, kind of. I walked into a “You Bake” pizza place ten
    minutes before closing, asked for a pepperoni pizza. The employees were
    cleaning up and rarin’ to leave and didn’t want to make anything. They had
    just put away all the ingredients. They offered me something different they
    had already made.

    I politely said, “No thanks, I’ll go somewhere else,” and turned to leave.
    As I was going through the door, one of the employees said, “Well, f— you,

    I wrote a letter to the store owner, decided against mailing it and just
    went in the next morning and handed it to him. He fired the employee on the

    I don’t care if it’s fifteen seconds before the store closes; someone walks
    in, you help them.

  62. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    lol wut

  63. joellevand says:

    I love stories about mediocre customer service: the dividing line on the Consumerist between the have and have not worked retail becomes very clear.

  64. Lance Uppercut says:

    Kohl’s goal is to be a self service store. They don’t advertise that fact since it doesn’t sound very attractive.

    Their payroll dollars are heavily budgeted towards overnight and early morning stocking. Their goal is to have every size, color, style, etc. available so you can grab it yourself. That obviously doesn’t always happen.

  65. atypicalxian says:

    I worked at Service Merchandise (if anyone remembers that) in college and I know what it’s like to earn zip and deal with idiotic customers, especially at closing time.

    That being said, there’s no way I’d be able to get away with treating a customer like this clerk did. I go to stores and I’m appalled at the low quality of customer service (granted, I live in NJ). I’ve heard the excuse that these clerks just make minimum wage, so why should they expend any real effort? Well, so did I, I tried to do a decent job at it regardless. If they can’t handle doing a job right at that level, why should anyone entrust them with a more responsible job at higher pay?

  66. dragonlor20 says:

    A couple of things here:

    First, this guy was ready to be angry from the moment he walked into the store. I get customers like this from time to time. He was probably angry about having to buy the gift in the first place, didn’t want to spend the money anyhow, and wanted a good reason to have both of those things. I have no reason to trust his babble about the clerk anyhow. I have seen the kinds of complaints that people will sit down and write about retail workers, and 99.9% of the time, the customer is the one having the off day, not necessarily the retail worker.

    Second, if we assume this guy is 100% accurate in his description of the situation, the issue isn’t usually a customer service issue but a payroll issue. When the economy takes a dive, stores start stretching their resources pretty thin, and the end result of that is tired and disgruntled workers that aren’t (and quite literally can’t be) as attentive as they could if they were being paid better and staffed well. Most retail workers I know like people, and they like to help people find what they need, but at some point you simply aren’t getting paid to mess with a guy like this one.

  67. nardo218 says:

    wtf? So he’s whining the sales WOMAN didn’t drop everything in the middle of her job and put all her attention on HIM. Cuz that’s what women are for, flattering and assisting men.

  68. nardo218 says:

    @timmus: Decent service is a little necesary when all the products are locked under a case.

  69. drjayphd says:

    @nardo218: I’m fairly certain it had nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with employees not doing their jobs and attending to customers. I’m guessing a simple “I’ll be with you in one second” would’ve sufficed.

  70. TangDrinker says:

    I think he was most upset by not finding out what the sale price would be when the earrings were rung up. When you shop at Kohls, everything rings up at a lower price. It’s like magic.

  71. renilyn says:

    @midwestkel: I gotta laugh, as I sit here in the Springs myself… I knew EXACTLY the store that he meant in the email. I tell ya, there are two here, and I wouldnt step foot in the one on Powers if you paid me. Circle, I’m there… no way on Powers. Though I figure most of the shit on Powers is like that :)

  72. mechanismatic says:

    @e.varden: I’m not saying the customer has to do anything. I’m just saying don’t be surprised if you get poor service near closing because the employees are going to have other things on their minds, like going home. If you do experience this and aren’t happy, talk to a manager. I’m not saying you have to accept it, I’m just trying to set the right expectation for what you might see happening. Personally, I wouldn’t be buying something that fast, that ill-advised, and that close to closing.

  73. j-yo says:

    I’m sure the guy has a legit complaint but it’s hard to tell when someone can’t decide whether he’s sending a complaint or writing what he considers to be a witty missive. So he ended up doing a half-assed job of both.

  74. deserthiker says:


    Truer words were never spoken but you forgot cooking and cleaning.

  75. ian937262 says:

    What blows my mind is why stories about a single employee (one person) get put up here. They’re just one damn employee. Waste of time, not something to judge a corporation by, unless the person is violating laws and the company doesn’t respond with punishment.

  76. snclfe says:

    @burgundyyears: Anytime you can dis a crappy post while also dissing a crappy sit-com – kudos! Masterful!
    And after Googling:
    “dollar store” “35 year old jackass”
    I learned that the poster is actually the head writer for Life According to Jim.

  77. coffee177 says:

    After re-reading the letter and article and some comments, I have to agree totally with the situation.

    This problem is not just at Kohls. Its about everywhere in retail. At one time I was in sales and earned up to 13% commission on furniture. It was a nice living. However, Somewhere down the line companies have stripped the commission away to almost nothing and hired in teenage flunkies to take the place of skilled sales staff and management. Therefore, The quality of service has gone down in many retail places.

  78. doc10house says:

    So he wants to be accosted as he walks in the door? Really?

    It’s things like that that MAKE most men hate shopping.

  79. LUV2CattleCall says:


    Funny you say that because I have ADD/ADHD/whatever the hell it’s called these days and the whole time, while I was reading his novel, I kept thinking “This sounds like me when the ADDerall wears off!”

  80. bonzombiekitty says:

    Not that the guy doesn’t have a legit complaint, but there’s two problems with his reaction to the situation.

    1. The letter is long and rambling. The entire thing could have easily been cut by more than half and been communicated much more effectively.

    2. That there’s even a letter in the first place. This is an over reaction to one instance of mediocre/bad service. The situation should first have been dealt with the store manager. That’s where you can get the most immediate resolution to your problem. If that fails, or there is a chronic issue that has not been addressed, that’s when you should be sending letters to corporate. Sending letters for single instances of bad service is just going to make them not take other letters as seriously.

  81. gig says:

    I don’t think this guy’s complaint was so much about an isolated incidence of bad service. I think his message is that stores, including Kohls, should profile shoppers and tend to them accordingly, and because they didn’t do that in his case, they lost a quick sale.

    His shopper type would include all narcissistic men shopping in a woman’s department of any sort, who is 35 with an attention span of 3 (his words, not mine), who hate shopping for anyone other than themselves and who are willing to spend a decent amount of money on the spot without question if the entire transaction takes no more than 60 seconds.

    This shopper type should be spotted when they walk in the door or while they are walking down the aisle. A clerk should be clairvoyant and know instantly by the look on the face or fidgety movements that they must tend to this type of shopper immediately. I think that is his point. I think he wouldn’t have cared if the counter person called him a stupid jerk so long as he left with his earrings in under one minute.

  82. BigElectricCat says:

    @Original Poster: “Now I am all for hiring people w/ handicaps but I do not believe this counter person was deaf”

    Yeah, um, about that? >:(

    I’m a hearing-impaired disabled veteran. Deafness and/or hearing loss is, generally speaking, an invisible disability, pal. That means that, most of the time, you can’t tell if someone is hearing-impaired just by looking at them.

    I don’t know how you expect to be able to magically tell who’s deaf and who isn’t, mister. And IMO, your comment was arrogant and offensive. It sounds to me like you’re some sort of overprivileged suburban type who expects to be able to wave his Platinum card around and then be fed grapes by a bevy of scantily-clad shopgirls.

    Well, you know what?

    (signs obscene comment at screen) you, pal.

  83. RINO-Marty says:

    Handicaps are one thing, but the electronics departments at Kmart and Wal-Mart generally seem totally unprepared for the possibility that somebody will come up and try to buy something. On several occasions at each store, confusion bordering on pandemonium ensued when I tried to buy a TV or DVD player. Sometimes nobody able to actually unlock the merchandize cabinets was around. Sometimes nobody able to go into the stock room and check stock was around. Sometimes the sales clerks were actually unable to recall how to even ask somebody to pull a boxed unit from the back. And at Wal-Mart, many of the display items are often completely out of stock. And when they are out of stock, the sales force is totally unable to even hazard a guesstimate about when new units might arrive.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have this theory about retailers who are unable to handle customer who want to buy something or who seem never to have even considered the possibility that that may occur: they will go out of business.

    This goes for Circuit City, too, where I am either harassed by mosquito clouds of pushy sales people (when I’m browsing) or I am literally unable to find anybody to take my order when I’m ready to buy. The last time, this was a $2400 TV I tried for about 25 minutes to buy before I gave up and went to Best Buy.

  84. says:

    this happens all the time in retail though. they’re just not trained to talk to customers. they’re told to mention the sales and specials, but not a genuine “what are you looking for today?” plenty of people come into stores with a specific item in mind (especially men) and no one is there to help them.

  85. Wormfather says:

    “Please don’t let my wife know this, as she would misinterpret my ability to quickly choose something for her as not caring enough)”

    THIS!!!! My fiancee is the same way, why do I have to spend 3 hours deciding what I like to validate it, or more importantly, why do you?

  86. Wormfather says:

    How did Consumerist become troll-central?

  87. Wormfather says:

    @BigElectricCat: I aggree with most of what you said, also, I’m not the original poster but…

    “you’re some sort of overprivileged suburban type who expects to be able to wave his Platinum card around and then be fed grapes by a bevy of scantily-clad shopgirls.”

    I do, I do. And I dont see anything wrong with that. Oh, and please tell the girls that I like my grapes to be white, seedless and peeled. TYVM!

  88. katekate says:

    I think everybody’s missing the point that the jewelry cases are LOCKED, and only jewelry department employees and I assume store managers would have the key. So dude needed one of them and couldn’t just go to anybody to get help. Not to mention, shit, there were 3 people standing there and they ignored him.

  89. 7thton says:

    Wow, this is one of the worst complaint letters I’ve read.

  90. Jim says:

    That’s it.

    So one (possibly three) guy(s) got ignored at a store. Everybody jumps in about what a jerk he is.

    Look at pretty much every other post on this site. It’s all one person who got crappy service at one place, quite often from one employee.

    Why attack this guy?

    His email isn’t overly long, most of you actually apparently read the whole thing. His email isn’t vicious, he doesn’t call for an immediate firing or anything. His email is, generally, grammatically correct. His email doesn’t cite his long history of spending with Kohl’s, which is something that also typically warrants attacks here. His email pretty closely follows the Consumerist guide to a complaint email.

    Yet here’s the whole list of blame-the-customer cliches, including my personal favorite from ryanv1978: “who buys jewelry at Kohl’s?”

    I can’t take it anymore. Who still shops at (insert place any post on the site is about)? Lots of people moron, that’s why they are in business. I’m absolutely sick to death of “Who still shops at ____?” in every thread.

    Stop Blaming the Victim

  91. dragonlor20 says:

    @katekate: True. IF and ONLY IF we want to take a one-sided, obviously misplaced frustration as a good basis for fact.

    There really isn’t a lot in his letter that leads me to believe this guy is not a sleezebag.

  92. joellevand says:

    @Jim: You know that just because an email is posted here doesn’t make the OP the victim, right?

    This guy is lazy, straight up. I mean, here’s how it goes down for me. I walk into Target (I hate Kohls, but I won’t hold it against him). I get ignored. Either I get a manager to do what I need (works 90% of the time) or I shrug, walk out, and go to another store.

    Also, re-read the post. She’s counting down the drawer at almost 7pm, which is Sunday closing time for most stores. He says “tonight”. He was probably shopping for his wife’s gift on Mother’s Day, making him lazy and inconsiderate. At the end of the night for the whole store, the idea probably was to get these guys out before closing, as for many places it’s SOP that you cannot lock the doors till every last straggler is out. Now, I’m not sure if when he says “tonight” meant on the evening of mother’s day, but considering the actions going on in the story, I’d imagine he was, and this girl wanted to go home for mother’s day. It is not her fault he waited until the last minute to buy his wife a gift. It’s his. Period.

    I believe it would be an *entirely* different story if he were actually wronged in some way, went to a manager, and the manager said STFU. But he didn’t. He didn’t bother escalating the issue. He went home and fired off an email to the consumerist, probably to show his wife “effort” he put in to his last minute, lazy purchase.

    It’s real simple. Escalate the issue then and there or go somewhere else to buy your wife’s present. Or, better yet, don’t wait until the day of a holiday to buy your wife a present.

  93. Jim says:

    @joellevand: While I hate to question your ability to determine a person’s complete identity, profile, and habits by inferences made from one mid-sized internet post, I think you (among others, this is by no means a personal attack) are missing the issue:

    He went to a store to buy something he needed an employee’s help with. The employee ignored him. He couldn’t spend the money he had there because they wouldn’t provide him the means to. No judgement of his (or their) motivations, attitudes, socio-economic background, or laziness.

    “Also, re-read the post. She’s counting down the drawer at almost 7pm.”

    “Almost”. “ALMOST”. The sign on the door doesn’t say “Open at about 9:00 until almost 7:00”.

    “It would be an entirely different story…” if he went to a manager, but he didn’t. Judging from the lacking availability of staff he noted in his complaint, how was he to find a manager? Ask the jewelry counter employee?

    I think “Victim” is used in a pretty flippant manner on most posts, but there’s clearly a willing customer (regardless of whether he’s desparate or not), and an employee who failed to put forth the slightest effort to let him spend his money in what should have been a quick, hassle-free transaction.

    If that doesn’t make a legit post, Gawker might as well shut this site down because the overwhelming majority of the posts here are exactly the same thing, with different details.

  94. vdragonmpc says:

    Please, I have some beautiful pictures of employees at Best Buy in Colonial Heights
    Virginia. I went with my brother in law to pick up an amp for his truck. In a moment of impulse I grabbed a spool of DVD-rs that were on sale. We were separated in line and after he checked out he had to wait for me. I have a picture of him damn near asleep while I waited and waited to be checked out as only ONE checkout was open on a saturday at 4pm. I have a shot of 4-5 employees at the security reciept checker, 4-5 including the store manager at geek squad and 4 in the DVDs
    laughing and talking. No one came near the registers… Suddenly they realized
    pictures were taken and all 3 registers
    went into service and the 15 person deep line was checked out.

    Advice: whip out the cell and take some
    candid shots, someone will take notice.

  95. scarysnow says:

    What a lucky gal. Earrings from Kohl’s. How did she ever hook this star?

  96. hogfan11 says:

    The title is “easy $300 sale”. If this dude’s verbal skills are comparable to his writing skills, I would debate the ease of the sale. I can imagine him speaking in long, rambling, sentences with no breaks for breath. I can imagine the poor lady behind the counter trying to interpret his nonsensical speech. And while I do agree that customer service has taken a noticeable downturn, I find it hard to believe that the lady didn’t even address the customers. To me it sounds like this guy fabricated the incident in a drunken stupor then tried to post his recollections while in a hungover haze.

  97. beboptheflop says:

    I doubt sincerly that this guy was being ignored by the sales associate. Most jewlery departments work (but not sure about Kohl’s because don’t think of it as a place to buy jewlery) on a commission and ignoring the customer would be like turning down money that would go in their pocket. They guy probably saw two other customers in front of him and wanted to be helped first and when he was told that he had to wait, he probably got “upset” and left. God forbid he spends more than 30 minutes looking for a gift for his wife and the mother of his children. What an Asshat.

  98. Eels says:

    If my husband bought me earrings worth $300 from Kohl’s, I would divorce him.

    Then again, when you’re the manager of a dollar store Kohl’s is probably classy to you. Kohl’s = a dollar store for clothes.

  99. suzapalooza says:

    Any employee who counts their drawer BEFORE the store closes should be fired. The store business hours are stated for a reason. If the customer was in the store prior to closing, he should be taken care of regardless if it goes beyond closing time (within reason). I’ve never worked a retail position where this was not the rule. The manager at this Kohl’s needs a kick in the a** for not training his employees better. Too many places to shop these days for bad service to be tolerated.

    On the other hand, anyone who hits a store less than an hour before closing time in a non-emergency shopping situation should be drawn and quartered. Was he high?

  100. Superawesomerad says:

    Congrats letter writer, you are the most boring person on Earth.

  101. radio1 says:

    I don’t know… Why wouldn’t you just walk up to the person and asked to be helped.

    Initiative is a good thing.

    But, you know it would not be out of line for anyone to suggest that a vclerk ignored the guy, too…

  102. thwarted says:

    Who goes to Kohl’s for jewelry?

  103. silentluciditi says:

    Speaking from experience with this store, I am not surprised. I’m actually surprised there was someone at the jewelry counter in the first place, because I’ve actually never seen anyone there when I’ve visited the store. Cashiers are at a premium even in the normal checkout lanes, and the store often looks like a war zone.

  104. LUV2CattleCall says:

    @Eels: I consider myself and my girlfriend to be well off, but if she ever made a comment as asinine and shallow as yours, I’d first take whatever amount of money I was going to spend on the gift and give it to the Red Cross, then tell her she can find all her stuff on eBay. Thankfully, she’s expressed numerous times that she’d rather me make that donation to the Red Cross than buy jewelry/other not-so-practical gifts.

    Seriously, you not only fell right into the hands of the marketing people at the jewelry firms, but you seem rather petty and materialistic.

    As much as people on this thread are enjoying giving the OP heat, you have to give him credit for going through the effort (even if it was last minute) of trying to find a gift, and then taking the time to contact the store about the incident that got in the way of getting his wife the gift.

    Feel free to take your stimulus check to your local Costco to get a membership, and a bulk pack of Midol.

  105. RokMartian says:

    Holy crap – this has to be one of the worst non-news story. Ever.

  106. Superawesomerad says:

    @LUV2CattleCall: Wow, that joke went a mile over your head.

  107. Superawesomerad says:

    @Superawesomerad: And a shitty PMS remark, too! Your girlfriend is a lucky woman.

  108. Lambasted says:

    I would have walked out too. If a store doesn’t want my business, I’ll take it elsewhere. Unlike the lady trying to purchase Adobe software online who was willing to be ignored for two weeks, at least this guy was smart enough to walk away from a bad situation. Bravo to him for not being a victim!!!

  109. god_forbids says:

    Store probably closes at 7. Sales people have lives too, sometimes we wanna go home to our families and not spend an extra hour shutting up shop so you can walk in at the last minute and try to buy something. Like I care if corporate makes more $$$ today?

  110. doc10house says:

    @Eels: Yep. Everyone knows that’s what love is. The number of zeroes after the price of the shit he buys you.

  111. MissBelle49 says:

    I have taken my shoes off, so you can walk in mine for a day at Kohl’s

    Yep I am an employee.
    Our store is bare bones on employees, now we can bring in more employees for sure, but those employees would be there to be making up prices of mds to cover the cost of payroll.
    So live with a little inconvience and get low prices, or get full service and pay the price for it. But remember the cashiers do not do the scheduling. management does.

    Thank Goodness the majority of my customers are great, but you always have the one or two that think they can bully their way thru.
    300,00 earrings , please. do you really think Kohls lost 300.00?
    And I have to say what a guy, waiting until 5 minutes before a store closes to buy a Mothers Day gift. The gift was a chore for you not something you WANTED to do for a loved one.
    So I assume thus your “I am in a hurry” attutude.

  112. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    Waaaah, you didn’t work hard enough to make me spend my money.

  113. angrycandy says:

    Wait… a wage slave gets paid $7/hour and works a ten hour shift ending at 7:00. She’s yelled at all the time by customers and staff. She has to clock out at 7:00 sharp or her boss gets pissed at her for “wasting” company money. If she works over to help a customer, she doesn’t get paid and misses the bus. She doesn’t get a commission or have any incentive to help rude, arrogant customers.

    So… A rude, arrogant customer comes in. Instead of politely asking if she could help (or, if she were ending her shift, call someone else to help him), he stands there passive-agressing. Then he walks his rude, arrogant, rich, 3-year-old attention-spanned self out to his car and writes a letter referring to “shareholders.”

    This poor lady has never been a “shareholder” in her life.

    W. T. F.

  114. planetdaddy says:

    OOOOOOO…Impatient man keeps his money, and why is this a story?

  115. kalim4c says:

    What time does Kohls close? There is nothing more aggrivating than a customer who comes in at the last minute, assuring everyone that he will be quick omly to hang around after close, preventing everyone from going home.