Blind To Common Sense

, , , , , | Working | January 13, 2021

My husband and I live in an apartment with slat window blinds on all the windows. They’ve been driving me crazy because they are over a foot too long, and the landlord has said we can cut them if we want. I want to take scissors to them but my husband suggests a home improvement store might have a tool to just cut them all at once since they trim blinds all the time. He calls our local big box home improvement store and they tell us sure, no problem.

We go into the store, head over to the window blinds area, and find a worker in the store’s uniform apron. We describe what we want.

Worker: “I don’t know if we can do that.”

Then, he sits and stares at us.

Husband: “Um, well, I called earlier and the guy working this morning said you could—”

Worker: “I’ve only been working here for six months; there’s a lot I don’t know yet.”

He sits and stares at us again.

Me: “Could you ask someone?”

The worker gets up and calls over someone who turns out to be his supervisor. They have a very quick conversation about the material the blinds are made out of, how to cut them, etc. The supervisor turns to us with a smile.

Supervisor: “Sure, we can get that done real quick. [Worker], you know how to use the machine, right?”

Worker: “Yes. I didn’t know that we could do this.”

He then takes our blinds and starts walking over to the machine while the supervisor walks away. 

Worker: “So, what length do you want these cut to?”

Me: “We’d like them a foot shorter.”

The worker nods. He then lays the blinds on the work table, turns his back to us, and gets to work. After a few minutes, he hands me a stack of blinds and I’m shocked. They’re all cut at widely different lengths and have black marks anywhere from a half-inch to an inch above the cut mark. He sees the look on my face and immediately gets defensive.

Worker: “I’ve only been here for a few months.”

Husband: “What? But you said you could do this—”

Worker: *Louder* “I was doing you a favor; we wouldn’t normally trim blinds you didn’t buy here!”

Me: “Whoa, nobody told us that—”

Worker: *Now shouting* “You are supposed to tell me how long you want them to be! The machine can’t measure what you cut off; it cuts to length!”

Husband: “Why didn’t you tell us that?”

Me: “We could have measured them first and subtracted a foot or something! We don’t know how your machine works!”

Worker: *Still shouting* “I was doing you a favor!”

I spot the supervisor walking out of the back room and wave to catch his attention. He starts walking over but [Worker] speed-walks over to intercept him. I can hear shouts of, “They gave the wrong measurements,” and, “We aren’t supposed to do this.”

The supervisor looks at the stack of blinds and then looks at the employee.

Supervisor: “What did you do?”

Worker: “I measured a foot from the bottom and drew my cut line, and then I tried to guess the length to put into the machine to get it to cut to that length. I got close, see?”

And he holds up the stack of blinds. The difference between the shortest and longest ones is about three inches.

The supervisor looks at the worker for a long minute and then turns to us to ask what we want done; the best he can do is even them all out at this point.

Me: “Um, so… what did you use to mark the blinds?”

The worker takes a Sharpie out of his pocket.

Husband: *Starting to freak out a bit* “You drew on our white blinds with a black Sharpie?”

Worker: “Just on the back.”

Husband: “Both sides show when the blinds are open!”

The worker looks at the blinds, takes one, and squints at the Sharpie mark on it, sticks his finger in his mouth, takes it out, and starts rubbing the mark with his wet finger.

In the end, he had marked the blinds so unevenly and badly that some were shortened by well over a foot, which meant they were now too short to cover the window. And that’s how we ended up with some brand new blinds and an apology from a supervisor who seemed very, very tired.

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