A Very Special Delivery
Hey all, I've got another story for you from a few years ago.
I used to work in a big-box store. My management team at this job was really in to this idea of "do above and beyond what they need all the time", just often times didn't put it into practice.
One day, during patio season (Mid June-July) I was working in garden, and a nice older couple came in. Like many people they'd come do their shopping, and have a seat in the nice comfy patio chairs. Unfortunately, my management felt this was impeding on OTHERS buying the product, and came up to talk to me.
Manager: Pierogi! Pieorgi, those two there. Get them out of those chairs! If they want to sit in 'em, they can take 'em home. We got quotas to meet!
Me: Alright, I'll go talk to them. They just might've gotten a little tired from shopping.
Manager: That's fine, but we have benches for that.
Now, at the time I lived in a small town of about 8,000 people. Most folks either went to church with you, their kids went to school with you, or both. These folks were new to me.
Me: Hello there! Can I help ya'll today?
Man: Oh! Just what we needed! We were just enjoying this great couch! We were talking about getting us one, but we don't have a way to get it to our house.
Me: Well, we don't normally do deliveries, but let me see what I can do.
Man: Y'see Franny? Thats great customer service!! I walked away happily, looking for my manager to ask him about delivery, only to find him looking for me!
Manager: Where have you been?! There's people waiting in garden!!
Me: Those folks wanna buy that couch. Manager: Then let them! They don't need you to do that!
Me: Actually, they wanted us to deliver it. Manager: We don't do that!
Me: …I could deliver it, I have a bigger car and…
Manager: No, then you'd need to leave.
Me: They're willing to wait.
Manager: Fine, you wanna do it, Fine! Do it after your shift, but you're not getting overtime!
Me: That's fine by me.
And so I did. I got the couple's phone number and address, plugged it into my GPS, and went for it. Then I ran into a major problem:
The set was 5 assembled chairs, and a couch. At the time, I drove a Chevy Equinox, and while i could definitely fit 5 chairs, I couldn't fit the couch in one trip.
Determined, I decided to do what I had learned from being a southerner my whole life:
Rope and Duct tape fix all things.
I got all of the chairs into my vehicle, (albeit by rolling down all the windows and having the legs stick out like evil pyres of death from within..) and had one of my co-workers fetch a ladder for me. (Without my manager seeing, that is.)
I grabbed the couch, hoisting it on to the top of my car, while another of my co-workers tied it to the rear hitch of my car. (I knew that thing'd come in handy one day.) After some finangling, I got it attached, but I had one remaining problem…
My trunk, which was already ajar from the chairs inside the car, was flapping in the breeze, so to speak, like a wiggle man at a used car lot.
So, using my training as a then 20-year-old garden associate armed with only the wit of my forefathers and a roll of duct tape, I taped that son of a bitch down like I was Dexter and Jed Clampett'd it to the customer's home.
I called the customer, who met me outside, grinning from ear to ear at the sight of my amalgamation of car and chair.
Man: Now that's customer service! What do I owe you?
Now, one thing you should know about me is that I have an extremely hard time taking money from people for the things that I do. I like to be helpful, and get great joy from doing so…HOWEVER, in this particular case, I was dehydrated, most likely bleeding, and had whacked myself in the head to near concussion. I could've at least asked him for a cold drink, right?
Me: Not a thing, It's my pleasure. Thank you for shopping at ***.
I turned around to my car, when I was stopped by the man's wife, who grabbed my hand and shook it, sticking a piece of paper into it.
Me: Thank you. (opens hand) Ma'am, this is a $100 bill. I-
Woman: No, that's right. We heard your manager talking to you. You're worth a lot more than that hundred dollar bill, too. Remember that.
She reached up and patted my cheek, as only knowing, grandmotherly ladies can.
I took her words to heart. About a month later, I was "released" for "lack of customer response surveys" or something like that. The manager had me escorted out because "its just policy."
Thankfully, the security guard was a friend of mine, and let me walk out on my own, giving me a brotherly hug and handshake as I left.
I later got a job just down the road from that job, at a truck stop, and the lady and her husband came in one day, and were excited to see me. They even bragged about me to my new manager.