Now that I've exposed myself as being no better than Hitler, I might as well forge on ahead by revealing myself as a giant nerd. I read graphic novels. Not just comics but graphic novels. Especially Hellboy. And to buy and Hellboy or B.P.R.D from Chapters I have to order them in.
Why? Because they never have the fucking things in store.
So I have to order them from Chapters Indigo Kiosk whateverthefuckit'scalled. And I always do this from in the store. Because I normally put in my order while I paying for other things. That way I'm not doing anything that if the order gets fucked up could be blamed on me. I have one of the staff do it.
The single most important thing I have learned about this process in the last couple of months is, this system either works surprisingly well or it will become a like pulling fucking teeth.
A few of the books I've ordered have come in in a matter of days, the record being three days. From order place to having the book in my hands. Which I thought was pretty damned awesome. And then it all kind of fell apart. I placed an order for one book, got the standard speach about how it would be delivered to the store in a week or two. They'd call when it got there.
I wait. A week. Two weeks. I get an email. My order has been cancelled, would I like to replace the order? Well since it's a brand new book, there is no way it's out of print yet, I paid for it, I still want the damned thing, yes I want to replace the order. So I jump through the hoops. And I wait. Another week. Two weeks.
I call the store. No, they don't have my book. I'll have to wait more. And wait I do. Another week. I call again. They give me their toll free number to call. And after waiting ten minutes on hold I get to talk to a real live person.
"It looks like your order was cancelled." He says.
"I know it was cancelled. That's why I placed the order again."
"Yes, I see that. But it was cancelled again."
"And why would that be?"
"The order was placed at a warehouse that doesn't keep that book in stock. So they can't ship it out to you."
"And was anyone going to let me know about all this?"
"I mean, I paid for the book and no one actually told me that it's not coming. I even called the store and they didn't tell me that. So I've paid for something that I'm not going to get. Don't you think I'd probably want my money back or something? Has my account been credited for the amount I paid or anything like that?"
"Well you would have to go in to the store to have your account credited."
"But no one called or emailed to let me know that I needed to do that. They didn't even let me know the damned book wasn't coming. I kept getting people telling it was coming as a matter of fact. So how exactly was I supposed to know that I'd have to go in to the store to get my money back?"
"Um... I don't know."
Ah, he doesn't know. No shit! I can hear him clacking away at his keyboard.
"Actually, the book is available from another warehouse."
"Another warehouse has that book in stock. Did you want me to order it from there?"
What do you think? "Yes, yes I do."
"Okay, it should be there in a few days."
"Just to clarify, you're telling me your warehouses don't communicate? If an order can't be filled at one it doesn't just move on over to the other? And if it can't be filled and they know that they still send out emails asking if you want to replace your order? And they only send out one of those? And then they just leave you hanging? And no one lets the customer know that their item isn't coming, ever and they need to go to the store to get their money back? So maybe they'll just forget about it and you get to keep the thirty odd dollars it costs for a book? I don't get it."
There's a long pause. "I'm sorry you've had so much trouble with this order."
"Yeah, me too."
"Thank you for calling Chapters." blah, blah, blah.
My book was at the store in four days. I waited over a month for something that should have taken four days. And just to top it all off, when I was asking about this kind of shit at the store the girl helping me told me what I've come to understand completely. "The system kind of sucks. It works really well or stuff like this happens. It's kind of frustrating."
Really? I hadn't noticed.
"And they've never tried to fix this problem?"
She just laughed and shook her head.