Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Office Depot Story

(First, sorry I wasn't around yesterday at all. Hubs and I went to Bath, which was fantastic. Of course we didn't have the camera with us, although he took some photos with his phone, which if I can get them on my computer I'll post a few tomorrow.)

Inspired by Paca's post about the evils of Verizon, I thought today might be a good day to post a chappy story. A story about why, given the choice, I will always, always shop at Office Depot (even though they treat their employees rather shittily, which I know because for a short time I worked there.)

About three and a half years ago now, I took the Princess to Office Depot. Or rather, I called Princess's Godfather and asked him to take the both of us to Office Depot, because I needed to buy an office-y gift for one of Princess's teachers.

I was basically looking at briefcases while Godfather kept an eye on Princess. At one point, he needed to get something out of his car and offered to take Princess with him. I said fine.

He wasn't gone two minutes before a breathless Office Depot employee came up to me to ask if I'd had a little girl with me, and had I given permission for someone to take her out of the store? I said yes, explained who Godfather was, and thanked the girl for her concern.

A few minutes after that, Godfather and Princess came back in. Godfather had been held by store security, who refused to let him get into his car or even into the parking lot until they'd determined that I knew Godfather, and had allowed him to take my daughter out of the store.

I found the manager to thank him, and learned that it's now part of training for Office Depot employees to note when children come into the store and who they come in with, and to keep an eye on them in the store. It's store policy.

Maybe a lot of stores do this, I don't know. And maybe Office Depot only started doing it to cover their own asses. I don't really care. It's enough for me that they do it, frankly, because I thought that was great. And I wrote a letter to their corporate office and told them so, too.

And that's why given a choice, I will always shop there.


BernardL said...

That is great news!

littlebirdblue said...

I had no idea.

Serena Joy said...

Good for Office Depot! Better safe (and a little embarrassed) than sorry.

pacatrue said...

Woohoo! I rant on a negative thing and you do the super spin turnaround and find a positive one.

Robyn said...

How fabulous.

I used to work at a toy store years ago. I was stunned and appalled at the number of parents who dropped tiny children off to 'look at the toys' while Mommy and Daddy went to J.C. Penney. I always called mall security; I didn't care one bit if the parents were embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

Meijer did something similar, only it was my husband who had not come in with us because he was parking the car and it was the bathroom, not going back out to the car. We were incredibly happy about it and made a point to tell corporate about it. I know some parents who just would have thrown a fit about the inconvience.

Bernita said...

Who cares about their reasons when child safety is the result?
This is wonderful.

December Quinn said...

bernard and lbl, I know! It is cool, and I don't know why they don't publicize it at all. I guess they don't want people thinking they can ignore their kids at Office Depot, huh. :-)

I totally agree, Serena Joy. As Michele says lower down, I know there are some (total IDIOT) parents out there who would have been pissed off for the inconvenience, but I--and Godfather, who really was inconvenienced--thought it was great and thanked them all profusely.

December Quinn said...

I think negative things are awesome too, Paca. I just didn't have anything to blog about yesterday and it reminded me.

Good for you, Robyn! I went to a Barnes & Noble a couple of years ago and a Mom had done that, dumped her kid in the children's section while she wandered the rest of the store. And of course the kid started bugging Princess, and I got so mad because, why is it my job now to watch that woman's kid?

December Quinn said...

Exactly, Michele. And if we all voice our approval of these policies, and frequent stores that have them, maybe more will follow suit. I don't expect store employees to watch my kids, but taking notice the way they would with groups of teenagers or potential shoplifters would be nice.

December Quinn said...

I agree, Bernita, it is isn't it? And the reasons don't matter. What matters is, if somehow some stranger had managed to grab my daughter that day, I would still have her now thanks to those employees.