Field Trip Part 1

Alright, I know I have not been making my weekly posts, that I am SERIOUSLY overdue and that I need to make banana bread (preferably with chopped walnuts in it). It seems I have this never-ending list of stuff I need to do and it’s always stuff that needs to be at once.  It’s as if my teachers are conspiring together in a single room, possibly with tea and biscuits.

 Almost a week ago, I went on a field trip to gauge the accessibility of bookbinding materials and tools. 
The tools I ended up purchasing were:
  • Home Repair Needles, includes needles for repairing gloves, carpets, tents, awnings, upholstery and car seats!
  • Bees wax and holder
  • Snap fastener Kit
  • Precision knife
  • A set of two needles with really big eyes
  • Tailor’s Awl
  • Linen thread the shelf filler insisted was waxy (it’s not by the way, hence the extra beeswax)
In all seriousness, the ones I truly needed were the curved mattress needles; however, I figured the other needles would come in handy, as the books that list the types of needles needed are not generally helpful. You would think that people who have been making books for over ten years would be more descriptive than Miss Cleo is. “I don’t know what size, I don’t know what type, but it needs to be silver and pointy.”
What I am currently lacking:
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Hot-water bottle, approximately 7” x 12” (17.8 x 30.5cm)
  • Sixteen 6½  x 5¾  (16.5 x 14.6cm) sheets text-weight paper for the text block, grain short (fold pages in half and nest the four signatures of four folios each; round the corners)
  • 2 rivets and rivet-setting tools
  • Repositionable low-tack tape
  • Three 4 ¼” x 6 ½” (10.8 x 16.5 cm) cabinet cards
  • Forty 6” x 3 ¾” (15.2 x 9.5 cm) sheets text-weight paper, grain short
  • Forty 6” x 3 ¾” (15.2 x 9.5 cm) sheets lightweight drawing paper, grain short
  • Two 6” x 3 ¾” (15.2 x 9.5 cm) sheets lightweight chipboard rectangles
  • Two 6” x 3 ¾” (15.2 x 9.5 cm) decorative cardstock rectangles, grain short
  • Two 5” x 6” (12.7 x 15.2) cardstock rectangles for sleeves
  • Two 42” (104 cm) lengths of 1/8” (3mm) wide double-face sati n ribbon
  • Two 24” (61 cm) lengths of 1/8” (3mm) wide double-face sati n ribbon
  • Two 9” (22.9 cm) lengths of ½” to ¾” (1.3 to 2 cm) wide double-face sati n ribbon
  • PVA or strong double-stick tape
  • Super glue
  • Binder clips
Therefore, a condensed version would be:
  • Paper: text-weight, lightweight drawing paper, lightweight chipboard, decorative cardstock and normal cardstock (all short grain)
  •  Satin Ribbon: wide double-face, 1187.9cm all together, I think
  • Cabinet cards: 3 of them
  • Hot-water bottle
  • Rivets
  • Repositionable low-tack tape
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Paper-shredder
  • Guillotine
  • PVA/strong double-stick tape/Super glue
  • Binder clips
What is the difference between PVA and super glue? Aren’t they the same thing? By the way, the “needle in a stack of needles” method of hiding stuff? It works. Took me hours to find the right ones, after a while they all blurred together and I just thought “Fuck it!” snatched a multiple pack that looked like they held the vague promise of potential.
However, I was a little disappointed. I was given a spotlight gift-card for Christmas, so the first thing I did when I entered the store was to go to the first available register and ask if they could do a balance check on the card for me. Turns out the card had expired and it had nothing on it. Not entirely sure if those are the same things or that there was nothing on the card to begin with.
I had difficulties searching for my items, and I also had difficulties finding someone who could actually help me. There were only two people who were of actual assistance, one was the guy who worked for the haberdashery company and just happened to be there at the same time as I was (refilling the thread stock and other stuff like that) however he didn’t actually work for Spotlight, he just happened to be observant.
The other one was the person in charge of materials. The Spotlight at Watergardens is huge, big enough that they have different departments within the store (textiles, sowing and crafting for example) and only two people out on the “floor” (floor is Retail-lingo for area in which stock is kept, usually on a shelves. Just didn’t want people thinking Spotlight has this secret nightclub, okay?). I asked if he had any leather products available. He said he didn’t have any leather, but that he had some alternatives that looked and kind of felt like leather (they didn’t), showed them to me and let me know that I might have more luck finding what I wanted in the textiles department.
Neither of these men glared at me or gave me a look that said, “You forgot to wear your helmet today, didn’t you?” Neither of them talked to me in an abrasive or abrupt tone of voice and both of them were perfectly willing to help me to the best of their abilities, unlike some of the other employees of Spotlight.  Now you’re probably thinking, “Julia, you’re just annoyed that you couldn’t treat customers like that and get away with it.” you’d be right, I am annoyed.
I would never be able to get away with speaking to people the other customer service representatives have spoken to me. Mostly because when you work in customer service, no matter your industry, you have to act like your high-on-crack happy, ALL the time. In addition, if someone asks you help him or her, you have to help them, regardless of the fact that you have just finished your shift and you’re in the middle of picking up a few things for dinner. One time, I was in Food-works, picking up some stuff when an elderly gentleman came up to me, asked me for help and then realises that I work for Coles instead. I laughed along with him and then proceeded to help him anyway.  
And this is the reason why internet shopping has become so popular. When you walk into a store, you’re paying for a service, for a person to assist you, that’s why it costs more and when people receive shitty customer service, most of the time they won’t complain, but they will take their money and spend it elsewhere. Why should I go into Spotlight and get treated like I ride the short-bus every morning, when I can go to Amazon instead. I do not have to wait in line, I can take as long as I like, Amazon tells me to have a nice day when I am done and my order is delivered to my house.
More importantly, I do not want to treat customers like that or make them feel the way I have felt whenever I received bad customer service. I want them to walk away thinking I was helpful. I understand that some people have bad days, or that some people do not mean to give off certain impressions, but sometimes you just gotta put on your big-girl panties and grin and bear it anyway. 
It’s called professionalism and it’s not that difficult.

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