Monday, February 20, 2012

The Gift of Nothing

Working at a gift shop, we do lots of gift wrapping.  In fact, it's something we ask customers if they would like.

 "Would you like this gift wrapped?"                      "Can we wrap this for you today?" 
                                  "Is any of this a gift that you would like wrapped?"

On any given day, there's always a lot of gift wrapping going on.  It's all hands on deck and we help each other check customers out, bag up their items and wrap gifts.

On Saturday,  I stepped in and helped sweet Ally find a box for a necklace that was to be wrapped.  She had one box already but asked me if I could see if there was a better one. I looked to see and brought out one that I thought was bigger.  I placed the necklace in the box then went to pick out the gift bag and tissue.

The customer waited patiently while I wrapped.  I handed it off to her when I was finished and she was out the door. 

About an hour later, Ally came up to me with the box that had the necklace in it.  About a second went by before I realized what I had done. 

UH.  OH.


Yep.  There were 2 boxes on the gift wrap table.  The one Ally had tried out and the one I brought out.  Apparently I put the necklace in the box then laid it down to go get the gift bag and tissue.  When I came back I picked up the empty box and wrapped it.  ONLY.  ME. 

The next several minutes I went into panic mode and scrambled around to get the customer's name pulled up on the computer so I could get her phone number.  Only there were other people on the computers checking out customers so it felt like hours!  I had to wait for a computer to be freed up....hours and hours (well, probably only a minute really).  I was picturing the customer already at lunch with the gift recipient and watching with pride as her friend opened the gift.  PANIC.

I found the number and dialed it.  Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring.  Answering Machine.  DANG! I left a goofy message and told her what I'd done and please call me back asap!  I may have even said we had a 911 situation here. 

I let about 10 minutes go which I could accomplish nothing because I was thinking about the gift of nothing being opened. 

I dialed the number again.  This time she answered!

Me:  Hey, it's Julia at......

Her:  Yeah, I got your message.             (her tone was flatline)

Me:  I am so sorry.  So very sorry.  We have your gift wrap........   (my tone was syrupy)

Her:  I'll be up there in a little while.      (put out)

So I wrapped the real gift and wrote a note of apology for the inconvenience I caused her....and then hid when she came back to get it.  I am here to tell you, this bothered me a whole lot more than it did her. 

Slow down.  Slow down.  Slow down.  My mantra for the rest of that day.

1 comment:

  1. it happens. In fact... I had a similar experience this past week... the lady at the shop was not very nice when I told her part of the item I bought was not in the gift when my daughter unwrapped it. She told me to "take another" (little basket)..but I don't think she believed me. I was almost to the car when she came running after me and said she found the little basket in the desk drawer... the one that didn't get wrapped with my gift.... I felt better... but she should have believed me from the beginning and searched the drawers to see if the other sales lady that had originally helped me had found it and put it aside. (small shop with only two women that work there) This was a long commment...sorry.... ha