A Tale of Two B2B Brain Wedgies

Wedgie expert

I was already running late when I stopped by Costco to pick up diapers and laundry detergent.

Two things. That's it. Of course because I was in a hurry, and after one full circle pass, I forgot (again) that the diapers had been moved to the very back of the warehouse.


So I went all the way back again and dumped the diapers into the cart next to the detergent. As I made it up the to the check-out stands, I scanned the open ones quickly to pick my safest and quickest bet.

I got behind a mother and her two children with what seemed like a quick-moving line. However, I watched the lines on either side of me recede while the mother in front of me unloaded her bottomless cart onto the check-out counter belt.

My list of to-do's beeped incessantly in my head like an alarm clock just out of reach. The line to the left of me cleared out and so I moved over to it; I could feel the mother's eyes on me.

Too bad, so sad. Daddy's gotta get home. I checked out and quickly looked at the sales receipt and thought, "Wow, that was cheaper than I thought. Cool."

That should've been my first clue, but off to the exit I go! If you're familiar with Costco or Sam's Club you know that you have to show a store clerk your receipt at the exit and they review to ensure everything you bought is on the receipt and in your cart.

"Sir, do you have another receipt?" the kind store clerk asked.

"Um, no, that's it," I answered.

She looked at me and frowned. "I'm sorry, sir. Only the diapers are on the receipt. They must've missed this at check out. Let get someone to help you."

"But how could they miss that? There were only two things? Do I need to go back to check-out?" I asked, feeling time rake it's razor blade nails down my head and back.

"No, sir. Just give me your credit card and wait here. We'll take care of it. I'm really sorry for the inconvenience."

You've got to be kidding, thought. Two things. That's it. And so I waited. And I waited. And I almost fled with just the diapers, but while I waited the mother I had originally gotten in line behind cruised out the door with her burgeoning basket and two kids in two.

She smiled at me as she passed.

Seven minutes later in total (I timed it), I was checked out and on my way, frustrated yet relieved I'd be going home with the family goods.

Two things:

  1. Don't rush your marketing and PR out the door unless you've proofread and proofread again. I don't care what your competition is doing and what race you're in. The karmic haunting is palatable.
  2. Take care of your customers, whether they're the idiot, you are -- or both.

Thank you. Don't forget to join me and special guest Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, CEO of Xceptional HR and master blogger of Blogging4Jobs, for a live webinar Digital Storytelling -- What really sells with social - this Thursday, September 22, 1-2 pm ET (10-11 am PT).

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