Well - I had quite an adventure this morning when the TRU near where I work opened up at 10 AM....
Yesterday I went there at lunch and asked if they had any in stock. They said that they didn't but the computer system indicated that they were coming in on that day's truck and to come back or call back around 6PM. I did come back at 6PM and I was told that they were behind on un-loading the truck and to check back in the morning.
At this point, this really isn't a problem, I'm very appreciative of their assistance since hitting this TRU isn't a big deal at either lunch time or after work.
Fast forward to this morning, I am the first person in the door and to my surprise, there are no 500th Vader figures on the shelf. In fact the shelf tag that had been there was now gone.
The Hasbro rep is in the store on Wednesdays so I went up to her and with a smile said "Hey Kathy, where are the 500th Vaders? They got a truck in last night with them on it" - to which she replied "I know, but all I found this morning was an empty box - the same thing happened last week."
So I go to the front desk and ask what's up and where they are. The manager of the store is there and says "We only got one case which has three pieces in it and they were purchased by the employees, that is one of the perks of working at TRU" - this infuriated me - I have always known that the employees grabbed stuff, but here is a manager advocating the practice.
So I asked him - "what's the name and number of your district manager, I would like to speak with them and have them tell me that TRU advocates that practice" - he refused to give me the name or a number explaining that TRU did advocate this practice and there was no need for me to bother a district manager.
So I headed back to over where the Hasbro rep was to tell her what happened and while I was telling her an elderly gentleman who has seen me come into that TRU regularly for over five years now came up to me and said "The district manager and her assistant district manager are having a meeting in the break room in the back, if you want to talk to her wait for the meeting to be over"
So I did.
While I was waiting, a manager from another store who was coming into this store for the meeting came past me and asked if I needed assistance. I told him what happened, what the store manager had told me about the policy and I told him I was waiting to speak with the district manager. He then told me that the store manager had lied to me, that TRU does not advocate the policy and that he would go get the district manager.
A few minutes later she came out and she allowed me to tell the story. Shortly after we were joined by her assistant who had investigated whether or not the store actually got them in and had found out they did and confirmed that all three were "purchased" by employees.
While I was standing there talking with the two district managers, who both told me that the store manager should have never told me that they were sold to employees and that was a perk of working for TRU, the manager came up and decided to chime in, his comment was "what is the difference between you (referring to me) and I (referring to himself) buying the item? you're just going to resell it on the internet" - this made both myself AND the district manager mad.
I raised my voice really loud and pointed my finger at him and said "That is where you are wrong, this toy is going to become part of a large collection that my step-son and I have been building since 1995, I don't know what YOU are going to do with it, but since you think everyone who buys stuff re-sells it on the internet, that must be your motives"
Needless to say, one of the three Vaders was put in the store manager's office for him to purchase later. The district manager got it out and gave it to me for purchase, so I was able to walk in and buy at least one. I'm of the mindset that employees should come LAST, not FIRST. I told the district manager "Make me a TRU employee, so I can come in the building at 8AM - I'll help stock the shelves and I'll buy the stuff before the door opens at 10AM and you won't even have to give me a salary - how's that for a perk?"
Some employees were smiling at me, 'cause obviously this is what this manager does - grab all of the hot toys to resell on eBay or wherever, but there was two younger guys who must have been the other two who bought the rest of the case who were giving me nasty looks. I really don't care, if I get hassled from employees at that store, I'll definitely be giving the district manager a call, she gave me her card.
I also said to the district managers - "If the store manager had said to me, 'We didn't get them in, even though the manifest said they were on the truck' - even though that's a lie, I would have believed him, thanked him for his assistance and left the building. It was the fact that he had the stones to BRAG that he and two other employees snatched them up before the store opened 'cause it was a perk of being an employee." To which the district manager replied to me, "I will be having a conversation with him with regards to how he communicates with customers in the future."
Whether or not that's a scolding or just a remark to "lie" in the future, I don't know - but I hope he gets his ass handed to him.