Dear Borders

By Elie - 8:27 AM

Dear Borders,

I don't buy books a lot from your store but once in a while, I do walk in for little necessities such as stationary and gifts. I've never quite put a lot of hope in retail staffs because I too was a retail person during my secondary school breaks but what I had to go through on the 29th of August 2014, Friday, at Borders, The Curve, was something I never thought would happen.

You see, I walked in with a lot of hopes in buying craft stickers (Or fancy stickers as written on your price tag) for a little handwork I am working on. I was in a little bit of hurry seeing as that my father was actually waiting for me so I approached the information counter to ask if you did carry these stickers. Your extremely disinterested staff not only pretended to not hear me to the first time but also then told me that Borders didn't have such things after I described them to him for better understanding and asked me to try out at the children's section if I wanted to buy stickers.

Of course, my immediate reaction was to run over to another bookstore located at The Curve because I truly needed these craft stickers but they didn't quite have what I had in mind. With that, I ran straight back to Borders AGAIN because I just wouldn't believe that as a distinctive bookstore that has complete sets of stationary being sold, you won't have little packs of these stickers lying around. I searched around aisle after aisle and there they were right in front of my eyes.

Craft stickers.

The best part of this was that the information counter was right in front of this aisle but the staff who was initially there was nowhere to be found. I swear if he was there, I would have taken everything off the shelf and slapped it on his counter. I have no idea if your staff is new; which I doubt because seriously who puts new staffs at information counters, or that he was blatantly lazy to guide a customer to the right aisle because he was comfortably seated behind the information counter...of which by now should be torn apart because it gives no information whatsoever.

My anger subsided just as quickly as it had rise and I took my packs of stickers to the cashier counter so I could join my father again and go home. There was nothing I could do by then but leave myself a reminder at the back of my head to let this issue be heard by someone who actually wants to help in Borders; perhaps your social media page. While I happily expected to be done at Borders, something else as horrific as this happened. Bear in mind this was all on the same floor, in the same outlet and all in the span of 15 minutes; including running to the other bookstore.

There were two young staffs standing behind the cashier counter and I approached the one who was standing hoping to pay immediately. Instead, he merely stared at my packs of stickers then engaged in a conversation like this with the seated staff:

Translation in italics.

Standing staff A: Weih, kau je la you serve. Kau cashier kan? Dude, you should come to service (the customer). You're a cashier.
Seated staff B: Kau dekat je, tak boleh serve ke? You're closer (to the counter), why can't you serve (the customer)?

At this point I was already annoyed by this pushing of responsibility because let's face it, how hard was it to scan the bar codes, take my money and let me be on my way? Apparently, it was very hard because staff A unwillingly picked up the scanner towards the bar code and...that was it. I wasn't told verbally how much it costs nor was I shown at the display that was facing inwards how much it was. Of course then I had to make a mental calculation based on the prices I saw and paid him what was due and expected my change from him.

What he did next is something nobody will ever expect. Guess what, guess what? He held onto my money. He didn't punch it into the system, the money drawer never popped out and nothing happened next. He just held onto the notes I had passed him and engaged in a yet another conversation with the seated staff. AGAIN.

Seated staff B: Weih mana ah, si Anuar? Where is Anuar? (I assume this is another colleague)
Standing staff A: Mana aku tau, tandas kot! I have no idea, probably the toilet.

DID I NEED TO KNOW THIS, BORDERS? Did I need to know where your other staffs were? I just wanted my stickers and change. That's it. I will also assume at this moment that seated staff B could see how annoyed I was in my facial expression because this happened next:

Seated staff B: Weih kau tak nak bagi balance ke? Don't you want to give (the customer) her balance?
Standing staff A: Aku tahu la bodoh, 30 sen je. Kejap la. I know, stupid. It's just 30 cents, just hang on.

So not only did I have to listen in on knowing where your other staff was, I also have to listen in on your staffs verbally abusing each other and demeaning the value of money, however little the amount. I was of course given my change due but not without making disgruntled and extremely unsatisfied gestures such as a loud, "TSK" to them when they were speaking to one another instead of doing their work. I understand how all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy but is there not a more appropriate time for such childishness to happen, such as when there isn't a customer in front of you?

And here I am, Borders. Appealing to you to please keep your staff in check. These are one of the worst experiences I have ever had with retail staffs and don't tell me they're just having a shitty day because I was once in a position like that and I have come to understand that regardless how rubbish a day you're living, a job is a job and there are guidelines to your job that should be followed. Please, Borders, get someone to train your staff properly before allowing them to come out to the store front and tarnish the reputation of your stores. In case you're also asking, no, I do not have their identifications because none of your staffs are wearing name tags but I do have my receipt well kept in my wallet.

You do have craft stickers in the store, I do not need to know where Anuar (whoever this is...) is at and 30 cents is still money. Your service sucks.

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