Crushing Appliance Pricing

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The People You Meet

As a former employee at a big-box home improvement warehouse, I had the opportunity to meet quite a few interesting people.  Most of the individuals that came and went were pretty normal, but once in a while you came across people with a uniqueness you couldn’t forget.

Blind Ambition

One co-worker of mine was from a family of hardened boys who were never willing to admit failure, even when it was staring them in the face.  Well, that was exactly the problem with my friend; he literally couldn’t see failure or anything else for that matter if it were actually staring him in the face.
My friend had a condition with his eyes that made him almost blind from about chest-level, to the ground.  I recall one time when he wanted a soda and only had a five-dollar-bill.  Once he bought the soda, he went to grab the change and it spilled all over the floor.  His vision was so bad that he didn’t want to have to look for the coins he had dropped, so he walked away from four dollars in change lying on the floor.

Crushing Appliance

Working Blind

Because my friend was incapable of admitting any weakness, he often subjected himself to the exact same workload as everyone else.  As a lumber associate, he loaded building supplies, cut wood for customers and by all appearances; seemed to have no struggles.  However, all of that ended when he was transferred to the appliance department.

Never Admitting Fault

Because my friend was so hard-headed when it came to admitting fault, he never let anyone know about his visual impairment.  This was an issue for him as he started in the appliance department because he was expected to operate forklifts and order pickers to retrieve appliances from top stock.

No Visible Problems

My friend never admitted his visual imparity to any member of management, and went about his day-to-day tasks just as every other appliance associate did.  He retrieved merchandise out of top stock, and put it away without admitting any problems.  Management went completely unaware of any issues until one began to grow before their eyes.

A Growing Dilemma

The appliance department had a scratch-and-dent section that featured considerably marked down appliances that had been damaged in shipping.  Unfortunately, the dramatic growth of the scratch-and-dent section had nothing to do with who was delivering the product.
Whenever my friend operated any heavy equipment to retrieve merchandise, inevitably something got damaged.  This was certainly the case with the order picker since it worked by raising the operator on a platform to retrieve the heavy load, then lowering it to the ground.  While lowering the platform, my friend’s visual imparity prevented him from seeing anything below him.

Captain Crunch

As the scratch-and-dent section grew, a small group of workers who knew my friend well began to catch on to why there were so many damaged appliances.  A joke circulated that if you wanted a discounted appliance, ask Captain Crunch to bring it down for you.  If you haven’t already figured it out yet, “Captain Crunch” was a nickname my friend earned from “crunching” so many appliances.

A Mysterious Transfer

When the nickname, “Captain Crunch” became so widespread that it leaked out to customers, management finally caught on.  My friend actually never admitted to having any issues with his sight, even after he was transferred back to the building materials department.  Because it was such an issue for him, he was never even questioned about it; he was simply told that his expertise was better suited for less damageable product in the building.

Admission Brings Comfort

If I learned anything from my friend and his experience it’s that it is OK to admit fault.  Most people understood enough to see past my friend’s inability to see.  He always failed to realize that fact.  Not only did my friend struggle to see anything below his chest, but he also failed to see the level of trust and comfort relationships gain by admitting to being what we all are; flawed.
By Bart Vale

Image is licensed under CC Attribution

Bart Vale

About the Author:

Bart Vale writes for companies that sell the same forklifts in Utah his friend used to provide so many customers with amazing discounted appliances.  Bart loves writing about his unique experiences and hopes readers see the same humor in them that he does.

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