Remember how I said I had to order a tire from Wal-Mart? Well I went there this morning to have it put on. I got there around 8:45 and the girl who I ordered it from bumped me to the front of the line. So I walk around for a bit, then come back around 9:45 (she said it would take about an hour). I sit at the bench for another hour when she finally says that my car is ready.
I get up to pay and she says that it will be $304. I almost shit a brick. How the hell is a $64 tire now costing me over three hundred??? She informs that is the price for four new tires. I explain that I did not need four new tires, just the one. She seems horrified once she realizes she screwed up. She tells the one guy and he gets pissed off and goes out to get my car. He does about 50 mph around the building (believe it or not, my lawnmower of a car can actually go over 45).
I sit there for another ten minutes, when another guy comes in and yells at me: “HEY, WHICH TIRE NEEDED REPLACED!?” I explain that it is the front, driver side. This is now the fourth time I have told someone this. I sit there for another half hour and they finally have my car done. The girl comes up to me with my keys and she apologizes and gives me a $50 Wal-Mart gift card, which was very nice of her.
As I sat there though, I noticed how inefficient their system was. They need to have someone at the counter at all times, someone who checks you in and takes your keys. This person then relays the information to the technicians inside. The way they do it now, you stand at a fence and wait for one of the techs to notice you and stop what they are doing to come get your information. Why would you constantly interrupt their work like that?
At one point, one of the techs comes in and says that it will probably be a four hour wait for tires! He then informs the girl (she is the manager) that he is taking his break. WTF? I cannot imagine when I was a cook if there were checks pouring out of the printer walking out and announcing that even though folks might not get their food for awhile, I was heading on break. I get that they are entitled to a break, but the manager needs to step in and make an executive decision.
Also, it would probably be a good idea to throw the sign out that says “Never a wait for an oil change…” The guy that came in right after me, for an oil change, was still there when I left. They told him 30 minutes. He did not look too pleased.
At least there were some funny people to laugh at. One family came in to buy tires for their daughter who was coming home from college. The one girl was pissed that they did not have some kind of appointment card. She bitches up and down about it, while answering texts every two seconds. Umm, just punch it into your phone. Set up a reminder. Not difficult. Also, her brother, who was probably in his 20s, got into an argument with his mom that he was NOT GOING TO THE DENTIST. He would just skip the appointment! He could not believe she would make him go to the dentist. He practically threw a temper tantrum.
About ten people would come up and look out the window to see if their car was ready and respond the same way “you got to be fuckin’ kiddin’ me.” You would think this would be an indicator to the manager that their operation is flawed. The phone rings constantly, I got to the point that I wanted to just answer it and be like “Thanks for calling the Wal-Mart Tire/Lube Center, you would be better off going someplace else.”
The employees are also so pleasant! Aside from the manager (she actually was nice), everyone else seemed pissed off if they had to do any work that did not involve stocking windshield wiper fluid. A lady asks this one girl if she can make her a key and the girl rolls her eyes and comes over to the counter. She slams everything around and then just hands the key to the lady and storms off. I guess when you go for low prices, you must expect low service standards. At another point, over the walkie-talkies, someone was asking about something in a department. The employees then got into an argument over the walkies. It escalated to the point that the main boss (I am guessing a general manager) comes over the walkies and says “stop arguing and focus on the customer.” They ignore him and he has to then say again “Enough! I don’t care whose problem it is, just help the customer.”
I am sure working at Wal-Mart during this time of year is very stressful, but c’mon Wal-Mart, go out and spend a little more money and maybe pay some people with half a personality.