Color Me Stupid (a Marketplace Series, part 2)

We walk in and there is just us, and one other gentleman. There are three employees standing in the back. We wait by the door with our best, “We’re lost and clueless since we’ve never done this before, can someone help us please” stares on our face, but nobody bites. Finally, I go to one of them and say, “Hi, we’d like to paint some pottery but we’ve never been here before, can you walk us through the process?”


The employee looks at me with this, “oh brother, here we go again” look on her face and says, “You pick out anything off the walls. The different colored paints are there on that wall. Pick a table, sit and paint.” No smile, but heck, it sounds simple enough! Ok. No biggie. Smiles are overrated anyways, right?

The boys picked out their pieces. We picked a table and sat down. Then we go to the paints, but we can’t figure out how to get the paint and brushes that we need. So we sit at the table, looking clueless again, hoping somebody will help. Nobody does.

My sister gets up and asks another one of the employees, and they point her to the party room area and says, “Go ahead and sit in there, and I’ll be right in to explain everything.” So she comes back to the table, grabs her stuff and happily exclaims, “Come on, they will explain everything to us, they will even show us how to paint!”

I say, “No, I think that’s the party room. There is a private party going on in there.” Then I ask another employee if I’m right. He says yes. I say, “Well, the other guy just sent my sister in there.”

“Oh, no, you can’t go in there, it’s a private party.” He says, then starts to walk off. My sister, overhearing this, turns right around with a sad look on her face and says, “Well then what do we do?”

By this point, I’m frustrated, the kids are frustrated, they just want to paint, why is this so difficult? So I tell him, “look, we’ve never done this before. We are absolutely clueless. They told us to pick our piece, find a table and paint, but HOW DO WE GET THE PAINT?”

FINALLY… he shows us where the brushes and sponges, etc are. And instructs us on how to pick our colors, and write the numbers down so we know what’s what when it’s time to refill, etc. Damn. I didn’t realize it was that hard to get some real help. But we finally did. And we got started.

In the end, I go to pay and I give the original employee my credit card. The credit card slip comes with a line for a TIP. I laughed and asked, “You guys get TIPS?”

She says, “Yes, we do.” AND SHE SMILES! Oh my God… finally a SMILE in this godforsaken place. I was tempted to not leave one. I mean, they definitely didn’t earn it. But then I thought to myself, “Maybe the reason we got shitty service is because we look like non tippers.” So I bit my tongue, and to prove her wrong, I left a tip. And we walked out.

Now we’re off to Russo’s. I asked someone if they could check to see if they had a copy of Joe Hayes, The Day It Snowed Tortillas. They did! SCORE! The boys are busy picking their own books out, and they were also going to buy a candy, a little treat for being so good all day. I walk up to the front and let them pick out their candy, and ask the other employee if she can look up another book I want to buy called, “My Name is Jose On Both Sides of the River.” They don’t have it. NO biggie. I probably got the title wrong anyways.

Then all of a sudden my sister says her son needs to go to the bathroom. The lady helping me looks up and matter-of-factly says, “The restroom is not available right now.” My sister asks her son if he can wait. He cries, “NO, I have to go pee” She looks back up at the lady with a pleading look and the lady says, “The restroom is also our lunchroom. And there is someone in there right now eating their lunch.”

My sister looks at me and I could tell she’s thinking the same as me. “Did she just say that?” But more importantly, “Is this seriously happening to us, AGAIN?” 

As she is walking out her son asked, “Mom what did she say, where are we going?”  She turns around and says in a frustrated voice, “Son, she said she will NOT let you use the restroom.!”  She turns around and tells me she’ll meet me back at Russo’s once she finds a restroom for her son. But I decide NO. I’ve actually had enough. I call my boys, take the candy out of their hand, set it on the counter along with my book, and walk out. My six year old is upset and says, “You said I could buy a candy and a book.” I tell him, “I’ll buy it somewhere else.” And we walk out.

We finally head to car and as we get in my sister asks, “Is it just me, or did we get shitty service all day today?” I was so relieved she said that and so I answered, “Thank God you said that. You didn’t seem bothered by it all day so I thought I was just imagining it. Damn, I need a Tecate after all this!”

We laughed it off on the way home.  Good customer serve must be soooo last year’s fad. Have you really bad service lately? Share your story here.

*I don’t know why the text is all different colors.. but whatever.. LOL hope you enjoyed my story anyways!


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