I had to go to Office Depot today. We're almost out of printer paper, and the ink is low and I still have Christmas letters to finish printing. I had a flyer they'd mailed me that showed some of their paper was buy 2 get 1 free. When I got there I saw the paper but it was "Bright" white. I really prefer the "not as bright" white so I looked around for an employee.
I saw a woman (actually I just saw her arms) working in an aisle so I poked my head around and asked, "Excuse me, are you an employee or a contractor?" She didn't answer so I walked my whole body around. When I did, she looked up at me and smiled. A lovely, beautiful smile. I saw she had an OD shirt on so I figured she was an employee. I asked, "can you help me?" and held out my flyer.
I started peppering her with questions and she motioned to me that she couldn't speak...and then I realized why she'd hadn't answered me. She was deaf! Nonetheless, and not the least bit intimidated, she took my coupon and marched over to the display and showed me where the SKU matched the coupon. I pointed to the one next to it (the slightly stupid paper) and she shook her head no and pointed to the SKU again. But then she walked all around the section, presumably seeing if she could find me a better deal!
I don't know much sign language -- okay, confession. I know how to sign "Thank you" and the words to "Jesus Loves Me". So I signed thank you (I didn't think this was the moment for songfest), picked up my paper, and went to the cashier.
I have to tell you -- two weeks ago I was in this store and the young man at the shipping part jumped through hoops and bent over backward to save me tons of money to ship something to my parents. I was fully prepared to pay an arm and a leg since the gift was very special, but this young man initiated it all!
And today, when I went to the cashier, she rang up my transactions separately so I could not only get the buy 2 get one free, but also the $10 off $50 spent.
I love my local Office Depot. Or perhaps I love what a tight economy has done for customer service. Frankly, the businesses don't have to keep problem employees anymore and they know it. As for me, as a boss, I'd rather have a cheerful employee with whom I have trouble communicating than an obstreperous one who speaks English clearly.
In case you're ever near my area, it's the one at Spectrum Center. Love them!