Fawlty Towers and Hardware stores

There is a large hardware store chain in Australia that is doing badly. So badly in fact that they've decided to close down. This story comes to you from an encounter I had earlier this year.

A lot of people that know of Fawlty Towers would have used the phrase 'this place is like Fawlty Towers' or something similar. I have certainly used it on a number of occasions, and most recently at a large hardware in question.

I went in to look at pots and found the perfect one that I wanted. That's great but there was only one, and I needed two. I spoke with a chap about this lonesome pot and he couldn't find a friend to go with it either. He said that I should go to the service counter and enquire about more stock. I took the pot to the counter, explained my predicament and watched as the person typed away on the computer looking at the inventory system.

Counter Person: Okay, the system says that there are 4 pots in stock.
Me: But I only found one, and **** staff member could only find one as well. There are no more pots of this type
Counter Person: Yeah what we usually do is whatever the program says we have in stock, we half it and subtract 1.
Me: So the system says there a 4 pots.
Counter Person: Yes
Me: And if we half that, that is two and then subtract 1 we have 1.
Counter Person: Yes
Me: And that 1 happens to be this pot right here.
Counter Person: nods.
Me: So when will more stock be ordered in
Counter Person: It wont because the system says that there are 4 pots
Me: But we already established that there is only 1 pot, and I'd like to order another pot because I need 2 pots
Counter Person: You cant place an order for an item when the system says that we have the item in stock.
Me: But you don't have it in stock which is why I want to order one in
Counter Person: Well you could place an order online
Me: ?
Counter Person: If you place an order online, then when we go to get the pot we'll see that it is not there and place an order for another one
Me: But we already know the pot is not there, so why can't we place an order for one now?
Counter Person: Because the system says that there are 4 in stock.

Sounds crazy right? Well that was the encounter that I had, and now it seems that with their fire sale they don't seem to be able to get that right either.

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