As I mentioned previously, my darling fiance owns a furniture business. We have 2 stores in Pittsburgh- one in the North and one in the South. (Or one for him and one for me!) Rob manages the South store, and Lucy and I run the North store.
These stores take up almost every single bit of our time, patience, and energy on a weekly basis. But, we're very fortunate to be weathering the storm with everything that has gone on with the economy. Thankfully, we have a large and very loyal customer base which can be attributed to the fact that we have one of the few remaining solid wood, made in the USA selections of furniture or maybe to the fact that we provide what we would consider to be excellent service to our customers.
Anyone who has ever worked in retail will be able to relate to the fact that there are some customers who are easy to please, and even when they do have an issue, you will go out of your way to help them because of the way that they handle the situation. And then there are customers that no matter how much you do for them, there is going to be no pleasing them and the way they go about handling the situation makes you want to slam down the phone and refuse to answer their calls.
I have been dealing with a particular customer since March- let's call her Mrs. Grinch. Sometimes as you are working with a customer that little man in your stomach just tells you "This customer is going to be a problem!". And as I was talking with her and her husband- that little man wouldn't stop screeching at me. (Sometimes he just gently warns me- that day, he was screaming!) The thing of it was, her husband was extremely nice... and she just glared at me the entire time they were here- so I'll call him Mr. Nice Guy!
Mrs. Grinch and her husband eventually purchased a glider rocker, an end table and 2 custom sofa mates. Out of the kindness of my heart, I allowed Mr. Nice Guy and Mrs. Grinch to take my fabric samples from the store for the glider. The next day Mr. Nice Guy brought the fabric samples back and informed me that none of them pleased his wife. (Oh boy- there's 35 choices... I knew I was in trouble!) He also told me that he had been married to Mrs. Grinch for 35 years, and that he drinks- HEAVILY! After having met his wife only 2 times, I needed a drink- I could certainly understand why he might need the whole bottle.
Mrs. Grinch decided that she was going to purchase her own fabric for the cushion on her glider. After about 6 phone calls (and several aspirins)- mostly where she questioned me about the amount of fabric that the manufacturer was requiring and why it was an additional charge when she was buying the fabric- the chair was ordered- and I was ready to go insane.
Well, let's just say in the 4 months that the products have been on order, there have been some issues. It took her 6 weeks to produce her "special" fabric which then had to be UPS'd to the manufacturer and from there sent out specially to be applied to the cushions- this takes time! Her 3 Amish pieces came in several weeks ago- but she found something wrong with every one of them. One of the sofa mates was 1/16th of an inch shorter than she had requested it, and she rejected it, "That simply won't do" she told me. (Are you for real?) And she yanked a magnifying glass out of her purse to show me a microscopic nick in the back leg of the end table- that wouldn't do either.
Against my better judgement, I reordered the 3 Amish pieces for her several weeks ago. (I probably should have just given her the money back and told her to go have relations with a duck!)
Yesterday Mrs. Grinch calls me on the phone and demands to know where her furniture is. It would seem that her oldest son is getting married next weekend, and that there is no possible way that the wedding can happen if she does not have this furniture. During the course of our 2nd (and thankfully final) phone call of the day she accused me of "ruining my sons wedding" and asked me how I sleep at night. HUGH?
I've been married before, had a real wedding and everything- and as I recall there was not a glider rocker, nor was there an end table and 2 sofa mates in attendance and everything went of without a hitch- no one even complained.
One would have to ask the question- is this woman insane? She is completely obsessed with 4 pieces of furniture and she's going to let it ruin her oldest son's wedding if she does not have them? I just don't understand... But this is definitely one for the memoirs...