Column: Customer service makes shopping an unpleasant experience

This hasn’t always been the case. Back when you could walk in a store and pick up your size knowing it was going to fit, then, yes, shopping was fun. Back when people who worked in stores acted as if they were glad you were in the shop, whether they were or not and assisted you with a smile, then, yes, shopping was pleasant.

Lean years, money wise, gaining weight and not knowing my size, not finding someone who actually wanted to help me understand how the same pair of pants in the same size but in a different color could fit so differently, nor wanted to get off his or her cell phone long enough to answer a question, has changed the shopping experiences and my love of shopping to nothing short of something akin to pulling teeth.

The only places I actually love to shop are the grocery stores and, now, stores I used to not want to be caught in by anyone I knew.

All of this is leading to one thing today’s shopping experience. I had a list of seven things I wanted to recently buy. Only two were absolutely necessary; the other five were things I wanted because I had an idea.

There is one store I tend to forget about, but, last week, I went into Big Lots, was greeted with a smile and a big hello,’ and then left to my own devices to find some of the things on the list.

Talk about excited I found all seven things from entirely different categories, got help when I asked for it and upon checking out, when the line got more than three people long, another register opened. How amazing is that? Oh, and did I forget to mention how nice the cashier was?

Where else can you go to find landscape fabric, zip ties, large, coconut hanging baskets, computer mice, light bulbs, a tray and more all in one place for all just a tad above $20 and have the employees be so nice?

As much as I love perusing the aisles of grocery stores, there is always an exception to the rule.

Publix has, in my opinion, the best customer service, and I have respect for the butchers as well. Without naming names, mainly because one big-box grocer hires people who seem to know when you’re going to ask for help and make a hasty retreat.

One, even though it is a nice store with good selections, lacks in customer service. One has employees that have no clue what is in their produce section and could not produce a smile if they had to.

It just amazes me that in this day and time, with jobs so hard to come by, that employees are allowed to sit and socialize and get angry if you interrupt a phone call or a text.