Monday, October 28, 2013

Barnes and Noble: Go Away, Big Green Monster... or not.

A few weeks ago we were spending some time out of the house at a local Barnes and Noble.  As we sat at the kiddie table reading books with Olivia, I noticed some fliers talking about a Halloween story time.  The picture looked like the cover from the book "Go Away, Big Green Monster" and it said that would be the featured story of the day.  Olivia has this book on her kindle and it adds the parts to the monsters face as it is read to her and then takes them away.  She really likes it, so I made sure to note in my phone calendar the date and time.

I have been to a story time at the library where this was used.  They added pieces of felt to the picture as each page went to make the scary monster and then took the pieces away as they go away in the story.  I've been to multiple Barnes and Noble story times in the past, so I was expecting something along those lines.

We arrived a few minutes before 11.  We waited and waited and nothing was happening at the story time spot.  So at 11 I went to the desk and asked.  The guy said, "Oh, well, story time is at 11:30".  I told him that the fliers and the big poster when you walk in the store all said 11.  He said, "I believe you that they say that, but story time isn't until 11:30".  Umm... great.  I was annoyed.  Not only was it on the two publications I had seen, but then I found a flier with all of their store events for the whole month of October and it said 11 there too.  How do you publish it wrong in 3 different places?

Olivia busied herself during the half hour by reading books, playing with stuffed animals on the shelves and playing at the train table.

On the page that had all of the in store events listed, it said that "Go Away, Big Green Monster" would be the feature, but that there would also be a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog.  I knew Olivia would love that.

We sat down and waited for story time to start.  Clifford walked in and Olivia hopped right out of her seat.  Everyone else sat still, but she yelled out "It's Clifford the Big Red dog!!" and squealed in delight.
This is her looking at me with a look of "do you see what I see?" :)

She would sit and be enthralled, and then jump up and say something like, "Clifford as big red ears" or other related observations.  Later, Michael said, "She sure knows how to draw attention to herself." Umm, yep.  I have a feeling I know where her personality is headed. :)

The lady read two books and then the kids got a badge and a trick or treat bag.  Olivia tried giving her badge to Clifford. :)

Then we went on a "tour" around the store.  You could wear your costume if you wanted, but only one kid was dressed up.  There were three stations and each one handed out a piece of candy.  Of course, I missed the part where she gave Clifford a hug. :(

A little blurry, but that's Olivia grabbing Clifford's tail on the walk through the store.  Oops.

So after we stopped at all three spots, we assumed that we were headed back to the story time spot.  Nope.  The lady started telling everyone thanks for coming.

In case you missed it... "Go Away, Big Green Monster" was never read.  If you know me, you can imagine how this went over.  First, you had the wrong time printed on everything and then you didn't even read the story that was plastered all over your posters and fliers?!  Not acceptable.  So I went to the customer service desk and asked to speak to the manager.  I explained that it was incredibly inconvenient to have a two year old who had to wait a half hour for a story time to start and then not even get the story she had been promised all morning.  The "manager" (I'm not sure she was a true manager) was not nice at all.  She acted like I was the one in the wrong.  She told me that story time is always at 11:30.  I asked why it was then printed in 3 different places that it was at 11.  She said, "Well, we don't print that stuff.  Someone made a mistake.".  Yeah. I know.  Someone did.  And it wasn't me!  Then she asked if I had gone to the website (I hadn't, but since have and it is stated 11 as well).  She said, "I don't know what to tell you.  Story time has been at 11:30 for ten years."  Really?  That is your response to me?  Then she said, "And it was never suppose to be Go Away Big Green Monster, it was suppose to be Clifford".  She whipped out her event page to try to prove me wrong, but of course it stated that it was to be both.  She responded with, "I don't know.  It was a misprint I guess."  So helpful, huh?!?

Of course, Olivia didn't mind.  She enjoyed Clifford and just went with the flow.  I, however, had some issues with this.  First, two separate employees acted like I was the crazy/wrong one. This does not sit well with me.  I choose my battles, and I generally only choose the ones where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am right.  Don't act like I'm the idiot for not knowing story time has been at 11:30 for ten years when everything I read said 11. Second, they essentially made me look like a liar to my daughter.  If you are going to spend all that money on posters and color printed fliers and banners on your website, why in the world wouldn't you be doing what it says?  And how are you the manager but have no clue what is going on?  Maybe it's crazy pregnancy hormones....... but probably not.

So I did the next best thing and emailed customer support.  I got an automated email back saying I would have a response in 12 to 24 hours.  That was 2 days ago.  I'm still waiting.

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