Today, Tuesday, May 1, 2012, between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., I walked into the Staples located at Doc Stone Shopping Center in Stafford, Virginia. I stood behind an African American couple who was being taken care of by a sales associate named Bill. When they walked away, I stepped up, Bill walked away, said something funny to his female colleague behind a photocopy machine, went to the side counter, looked at a machine and then left the department.
The girl at the photocopy machine eventually raised her eyes and addressing herself to me and my daughter, inquired, "Do you want a printing job done?" I said "Yes." In my hands I had a sheet of paper with a prayer typed on it and several Staples-bought papers with a scroll parchment design on them. I handed them to the girl and said, "I would like this prayer photocopied unto one of these scroll papers."
The first thing out of her mouth was, "This cannot be done." As I have had this job done six times before in this same store, and it is my understanding that Staples is in the printing field, I looked at her and said, "I've had this done here before; you cannot tell me it cannot be done. You take the sheet with the prayer and put it on the window. You stick the other paper where the paper goes you hit the print button."
Then, when I said, "Never mind, I'll do it myself. Which is your color copier?" she says to me, "If we do this, the way you want it to be done, it's going to come up on the rolled-up section of the scroll." I replied that this had been done in the store six times before. When she saw that I was getting upset, then and only then did she say, "I don't know how to do it." At which point, I indicated that a manager had to be called into the department to do it.
She went to get the manager and Bill came back, confronted me at the desk and said, "Did you say something to upset that sales associate?" At first, I thought he was a manager. When I looked at his name tag, I realized he was another sales associate. At that point, I reiterated that I wanted to speak to a manager. With an attitude and a sarcastic laugh, he said, "Yes, I'm surely going to get a manager."
I do not know this person from here to Kingdom come. When the manager came, I reiterated all that had happened, while the female associate kept interjecting, "I told you I didn't know how to do it. I didn't say it couldn't be done." Then, the manager did the job and I paid my 11 cents. I don't know what Staples policy is on customer service or what their training measures are. But I can tell you this: it will be a cold day in Hell before I ever put a foot in their store again.