The other day, I got to help celebrate Christmas with a family that I never met, and still do not know. They will never really know me and have probably since forgotten me, but they are in my mind.
Christmas is a big deal working for a major retailer. We see thousands of people in our store daily, all of them needing something. I had the opportunity to meet my family while working one night nearby the toy department (a popular department around Christmas time). The dad was in a frantic search to find a Barbie bunk-bed for his little girl. Our shelf was empty and we were the only store that was carrying this toy (an exclusive). He came to me, with his mother along (grandmother to the little princess) and needed my help.
“Do you have this toy?” he asked as he showed me a picture of it on his smart-phone.
“Hmmm…I don’t know.” was my reply.
“Can you help me look? I need it for Christmas and the website says that you have it.” he pleaded.
“Absolutely, let’s go look” I responded.
Off we went to the Barbie aisle (yes, she is that big of a retail product she has nearly an entire aisle for all her products). We found the location of where the toy was supposed to be, but it was empty.
An empty space this close to Christmas usually was not a good sign, as it indicated that the product was out of stock in our store. I used my hand-held scanner to see if our inventory reflected the “out”. It showed that we indeed did have some in stock…but where were they?
Our store has a computerized system to indicate if we have a product in stock, and if so, where the product is located in the store. It shows us if the product is either on the sales-floor or in the backroom. If in the backroom, it will also share where it is so that we can find it. It’s a great system….if we set it up correctly and do all the steps to maintain it.
This product indicated that we had some in the store and that they should be on the sales-floor. They were not anywhere to be found. Usually, this error could be caused by a number of factors, and we would just indicate that we were out-of-stock. However, I was determined that we had this item, although I had no reason to believe it was true.
I asked the man to wait for a couple of minutes, as I was going to go look for the product and find it. Eventually (after more than a couple of minutes), I did find the bunk-bed buried in a pile of other erchandise. Wow!
I excitedly hurried back to the toy department carrying the “booty” for the customer. Thankfully, they had been patient and waited for my return.
The smile that I received from the Dad was all the thanks that I needed. He and his mother repeatedly thanked me, even shook my hand.
“Merry Christmas!” I wished them as I began to walk away.
“My daughter will agree with you!” the Dad responded. “Merry Christmas to you as well!”
Christmas morning, his daughter (who I will never know) woke in the morning to find a Barbie bunk-bed under her Christmas tree. I imagine the delight in her eyes (as I have a daughter whom I have seen the same delight) as she saw it. Although I don’t know the family, and never saw the morning, I know that I got to spend a moment of their Christmas with them.