I went to Paxton in KC today to buy a sheet of 3/4" oak veneered plywood and
some oak crown molding.
They did not have the molding in stock but could order it. It seemed
expensive at $7.35 per foot for poplar. I was told it would be more for
oak. I decided to pass.
What really disappointed me was the fact that they did not have any of the
plywood I wanted in the retail area. I was told that the yard was closed on
Saturday so I would have to come back during the week. I told the clerk
that they have gotten plywood for me from the yard on Saturday before. He
told me that must have been a one time thing and there was nothing he could
They had the product but did not want to take the time to get it for me.
They wanted me to come back another day when it was more convenient for
I went to Schutte Lumber and got the plywood that day. They had to go to
their yard to get it but did it with a smile. Also - they had the molding I
wanted that Paxton would have had to order. It was $4.25 per foot for oak.
I won on both counts.
Next time, I will go to Schutte first.
My name is Alex Garcia and I am the manager of the Paxton
Woodcrafters store in Kansas City. I received your post through
channels passed down from our parent company and would like to
First, I'm sorry that your visit to our store was not as you
expected. My main focus has always been good customer service and I
strive to maintain that focus as best as I can.
On Saturdays, our yard is closed and only the retail store is
open. Our policy is that we can pull stocked moldings and plywoods
from the yard on Saturdays if the items you seek are accessible.
Since we are a union yard, the retail crew is not allowed to operate
any of the machinery that would allow us access to some of the items
that we cannot reach otherwise. I would not endanger my crew by
making them pull items that are too high to pull easily. Also, the
molding that you were looking was from a particular vendor that we are
a distributor for. The molding that you found elsewhere most likely
did not come from the same vendor. I am glad that you were able to
find something that would work for you at a price that worked for you.
Again, I am sorry that your experience here was not a pleasant
one. I do wish that you had called me at the store and allowed me to
try and put things right before airing this in a public forum, as
Paxtons has always tried to maintain a good working relationship with
all of its customers. I hope that we will be better able to serve you
in the future.
Thank you for your professional and service oriented reply.
I am sure the molding was from a different supplier and was not my main
concern. As I mentioned, my main problem was the plywood. I drove quite a
ways to find that you had the product but couldn't or wouldn't get it for
Your yard does seem truly inaccessible on Saturday due to overly restrictive
union rules, but I assure you, I have been given plywood on a Saturday
before. I don't know exactly where they went to get it but I do know it was
up a flight of stairs in the back. Perhaps you could have several sheets
brought down on Friday in case a customer comes looking for it on Saturday.
You did have a nice selection but did not have 3/4" oak. I would think that
would be a popular size. Of course, it is possible there were several
sheets there Saturday morning and someone else bought them before I arrived.
I don't have a good answer for that one.
I don't want to think, however, that I have to take off work to reliably buy
plywood from your store.
I will certainly shop your store again. You offer a unique blend of wood
and woodworking products.
Thank you for your response.
You are correct in assuming that 3/4" red oak is a popular
plywood. I am reviewing our stocking practices in light of this
unfortunate event. My store is small enought that it is difficult to
keep plenty of everything on hand, so I am looking into stocking more
of what sells best and less of the others. It would be just my luck,
though, that someone will come in on a saturday to buy a sheet of teak
plywood. I am sure that you have gotten it in the past from the yard
on a saturday. As I stated, we can and will pull from the yard if the
material can be gotten safely. I did some checking and found that the
plywood you were after was on the third tier and not accessible by the
guys in my store. I will do what I can to try and make it more
convenient for more people in the future, but I am afraid that no
matter what I do, someone will walk away disappointed. Such is the
bane of retail.
On 6 Jan 2004 06:45:26 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex) wrote:
Why do you not train your Saturday workstaff to safely handle whatever
machinery is required to accomodate a customer? If you believe and
act as though you cannot, or rather will not make the effort to
satisfy your customers, you indeed are the "bane of retail" If I was
the owner of Paxton, I would simply have to fire a manager who did not
go out of the way to satisfy a customer and who had the attitude that
there is nothing you as manager could have done to prevent the loss of
He stated is was a union shop. There is a written contract and rules that
must be followed. A clerk in the store would not be allowed to operate a
fork lift. Period. I've seen cases like that and the shop hat to pay a
union guy for 8 hours work as a penalty just becuase of things like that.
Taking your argument a bit more, why does he not have someone available 24/7
just in case a customer wants something?
Sometimes there just is no way to satisfy a customer. There are
restrictions in a union shop. That does not mean the owner wants the union,
most don't, but the labor laws allow it and he must comply with the contract
True, some customers cannot or will not be satisfied. However,
"union" shop is another way of saying, that the workers are more
important than the customer. As far as having someone 24/7, yes he
should, IF the retail outlet was open 24/7. If the retail outlet is
open on a Saturday, it is incumbent on the establishment to meet a
reasonable customer request, such as being able to purchase a STOCK
item. If union rules interfere with doing business, I think the
employer should be allowed, no, encouraged to dump the union unless
politicians in the union's pockets have made it illegal.
whine, whine, whine...the store could ALSO choose to be closed on
Saturdays so the employees could spend time with their families. There
are always going to be disgruntled shoppers no matter what. As long as
a store serves the needs of the bulk of the paying customers, then they
Neither my wife nor I currently belong to a union, but because of
unions, we have a decent standard of living as wages are based on
matching the salaries of the union shops. There's two sides to every
story, Clif. :)
Yes Dave, the store could close on Saturday, then this topic would NOT
have been under discussion. My complaint was that although the store
was "open for business", the union was able to DICTATE to the business
owners what sort of business they could be open FOR.
As far as comparable salaries go, if you depend on someone else to
bargain FOR you, even by proxy, you are not truly free to earn as much
as you might otherwise be able to. In my profession,
consulting/IT/business change management, I have been able to work
diligently enough to earn several hundreds of thousands each year.
Pretty good for a person with a Loyala Univ Info Systems Bachelors
One does NOT need to belong to a union to earn a "decent standard of
living wage", he or she just needs to be as LAZY as your typical union
EMPLOYEE. Remember, a 40 hour workweek is for 1) losers and 2) those
who do not desire to make as much as they are able to earn.
Gosh Dave, A poor attempt at humor from a guy who does not even bother
to accurately understand the contents of a message to which he is
replying. I said "several hundred thousand" Not a couple. in any
case, "overtime is a concept invented for the non business owners,
just ask anyone who owns and operates a business that he/she has
started what hours they work. Only EMPLOYEES and the dumb masses look
at each and every hour as a goal in and of themselves. To an OWNER,
the goal is success.
Oh, by the way, I too am glad you are NOT me, I couldn't stand myself
for being a sheeple such as yourself.
Remember, TANSTAAFL, There Ain't No Such Tthing Aas A Free Lunch
R.A. Heinlein, in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Nah, you didn't forget. As a former business owner(?) you should be
aware of all the items you have negated in this thread. I guess you
have forgotten what it was like to be truly free and responsible for
yourself. Free to succeed or fail.
However, this has no real bearing on the fact that IF a business is
open to the public, it should never allow EMPLOYEES(unions) to dictate
how that business should be operated.
It is not a matter of training. We are all well versed in the
use of the machinery that is required. It is a matter of company
policy. We make every effort to satisfy the needs of our customers
and we are mostly successful. Unfortunately, there are times when we
cannot (not "will not") do what is required to get the customer what
he or she wants. My explanation to Rob was not intended to start a
discourse on the evils of unions, but simply to offer an explanation
of one of the reasons the policy is in place. The overriding factor
is not the union rules as much as it is the safety of my employees.
As I stated in a previous post, if we can get to it we will get it for
you. Most of my customers are aware of my policies and will call in
advance to find out if the items they need are available or if we can
make sure that what they need is available.
We at Paxtons are committed to good customer service and strive
to make sure that your visit is a pleasant one.
ps. I sure am glad that you're not the owner of Paxtons!
Alex, just ignore Clif. He's a loose cannon with little concept of how
to run a business. Any reasonable person would understand the concept
of not getting everything they want, when the want it, at a price they
want to pay, at a location of their choosing, as nothing more than the
childish "me, me, me" attitude that it is. Let HIM start up a similar
business and see how far he can take his concepts.
Ah, dave and rob,
I have never said I wanted everything, just the same accessibility to
marketable goods WHENEVER the retail location was open without having
to hear, as a customer how "union rulkes" forbids employees that are
properly trained from doing the job. What job you might ask, the job
of the business to sell merchandise.
All the rest of your discussion aside, it IS apparrent that, at least
at that paxton's location, the management believes more in serving the
employees than in serving the customer.
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