The case of the “Atomic Desk”

I learn new things everyday. But the things I learn, generally they don’t always come in the most subtle of ways.

The other night I learned I will never buy a glass top desk or outdoor table…EVER. And after some research, I will avoid any glass in any future furniture, period. Sadly, I can’t avoid ovens though. We will have to face the glass of an oven and hope for the best. Maybe we can buy special glass doors for future ovens?

And while I’m on the tangent, I will no longer purchase anything with the word, “atomic” in it out of fear of it exploding in my face.

What on earth am I on about you’re probably wondering.

The case of the “Atomic Desk!”

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For real. The exploding of a desk into thousands upon thousands of little pieces. Pieces of glass even lodged into the wall. Glass that has shattered and flown into 3 bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry, toilet, shower and the front patio.

Totally not making it up. Thank JESUS no one was hurt and my husband is in tact with a few cuts on his arms to show as battle wounds.

Yesterday afternoon hubs and I went out to the shops and stopped at Comfort Style to look at a desk for his mom (MIL). Off first interaction, their customer service was pretty blaze to say the least. However the desk was pretty darn solid.

We left to pick up a few groceries then I went back to the car while hubs went in to buy the desk. I thought it was for Nate’s mom, and Nate would use it for the mean time out in the living area, so I quickly shut up about finding a cheaper used wood desk at the thrift shop to make pretty. This is my idea for everything lately.

So he was gone for about 15 minutes, and I thought he was coming back with a desk. Nope, apparently he went back and forth with the lady, because regardless of the poor customer service in a remote mining town if you want something now, as in the next few weeks, you gosta put up with the mouthy biatches. This is what I’m learning anyway. I’m still not buying it. I’m the queen of walking out of places when I’m not respected as a customer. However, this is the second time since being in town that we’ve had bad service (everyone else has been uber friendly!) and both times I kept my nice girl cool, and went along with a purchase. Look how far I’ve come 😉

Anyway, apparently Nate said he would take the desk regardless of the price and them not willing to budge on it. The lady is all, that’s nice, we don’t have any in stock. Hubby says okay, I’ll take the floor model then, but can you deliver? Her response being, I’ve gotta get a truck to deliver. Well Nate is thinking no shit sherlock, you’re a furniture store who offers delivery…haven’t you got a truck? But homeboy is well-mannered and thought Mama wants the desk, I will put up with mouthy girl and still buy this desk. But with is being put together it won’t fit in any of our cars. So, he proceeds back to me in the car and laughs about the desk. He told the girl, he’d get back to her.

We came home without the desk, mama wants the desk and offers to go with him in her ute and they would take the desk a part and put it in the back. Right-o. I stayed home.

Fast forward a couple of hours, MIL is sitting in the backyard on the patio talking to Nate’s brother, I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner not realizing Nate was carrying in the desk. The next thing you know there is this massive explosion and the sound of shattering glass. It felt like it went on for ages. I felt like I was still for ages not knowing what on bloody earth to do. Clearly it was coming from Nate’s direction.

I run on the other side of breakfast bar in the kitchen and Nate is just standing there facing the wall holding a palm size piece of glass in either hand absolutely quiet. Meanwhile I can’t even get to him because there is glass e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

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Absolutely e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

I’m like, “Are you okay?!” He was so bloody quiet it frightened me! Meanwhile, MIL comes running in on the phone asking what is going on and sees the glass. Nate managed to mumble, “I’m fine.” But I’m totally not believing him after that sound and the sight in front of me. MIL and I are both standing on one side of the room trying to figure out how to get to him. Mind you, Nathan is barefoot. (No shoes in the house rule!)

So I try to go into cool, calm emergency mode and run back into the kitchen, grab a towel, throw my slippers on and walk across the glass to get to Nate. He has some blood dripping from his arms and is really shaken up. I wipe some of the blood off and ask him if he’s hurt anywhere else and he shakes his head.

I walk across more glass to the front door and get his sandals, then slowly shake off some glass on his feet and put his sandals on. We walk outside, he drinks a coke for a sugar rush and I sat there with him for a few minutes to really make sure he was okay and that he didn’t have any glass stuck anywhere else.

Seriously God was there in that moment because that glass top literally exploded as he was carrying it in his arms. He did not drop it. Somehow he managed to shut his eyes in time…because it’s terrifying to think how bad that could have really been.

We were all shaking pretty badly. I wanted to make sure we were all okay before we started to clean up. Trust me, the glass wasn’t going anywhere. So while the MIL and I cursed the store and thought of all the scenarios of what they would say as we took back a plastic container full of broken glass, we spent the next few hours sweeping, picking up and vacuuming glass.

Nate was in the main entry area when it exploded. It went into all 3 bedrooms and the shower down the hall, the laundry room which was right next to entry area and there is a toilet in the laundry area which had the door closed. Surely there would be no glass there…wrong! There was. It was in the front patio since the screen door was open, it was in the dining room, the kitchen and the living room. It hit every. single. room. in the house.

There was even a piece lodged in the wall right in front of Nathan! Later his dad found some knicks in the wall head level to Nathan where other pieces hit. I think the biggest size left of the desk was the size of a hand.

The explosion was so loud that Nate’s brother heard it over the phone while MIL was in the backyard. Poor kid is like, “Bloody hell! What is going on?!”

So sadly, I lost a pair of slippers, there will be glass found for years to come, my husband is fully intact and is only sporting one band-aid at work today, but sadly we had to throw dinner away.

I was looking forward to those roasted potatoes too! Crazy enough, the first time I ran back into the kitchen to grab the towel I thought of all the things I needed to turn off so I didn’t start a fire as well. I turned off the oven and the frying pan that was cooking the meat. Four hours later I dumped it in the trash and at 10:30 p.m. we were eating McDonald’s burgers, fries and shakes while we watched the rerun of the Closing Ceremony.

———

Nathan said it best, “just because you can make money off of something doesn’t mean you should.”

MIL and I went back to Country Style today thinking they were never going to believe us. Really, an exploding desk? Well I guess there have been crazier things in life, granted we have been shot at! Lol… But we weren’t looking forward to having them tell us no we will not refund your money. We even put all the glass in a container and took it with us! Evidence! You couldn’t just make that up. If you were to drop it, it would have turned out a whole lot different.

Anyway the happy two ladies were on the phone when we walked in, so we politely waited until one of them was off and I let MIL tell the story. She was nice, and told them exactly what happened.

They were completely un-phased. As if people come in on a regular basis with our story. Seriously?

I interjected. I was calm, polite and nice and I wanted them to know in no uncertain terms is it okay for a glass desk top to explode without a reason in someone’s home. It isn’t just about getting our money back, but someone in corporate and your supplier needs to be contacted. My head keeps going back to, what if there was a baby laying there, or kids running around? Or even an elder person. Glass just can’t be exploding like that! I understand accidents. I really do, but when you know something has a chance of harming someone and you’re willing to take your chances instead to make money because that’s what you do as a “business”- is completely unacceptable.

I vent, still they’re nonchalant.

Actually, the one closest to me and the younger of the two- her first response to all of this, “It’s not our fault, we’re not responsible…we don’t make it. We just get it from our supplier.”

I wish I would have reacted more to this. Maybe like smack her in the head. Instead, I nicely said I know this isn’t your fault, but someone still needs to be contacted about this so this doesn’t happen to someone else with a less fortunate turn out.

What I WISH I would have said is, “I don’t care who made it, YOU as a business are responsible for any products in this store and should stand behind anything and everything you sell. As a seller, you’ve now taken on that responsibility. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE!”

Sadly enough, it’s rare to find people, let alone businesses who will take accountability. There is always a reason, and it’s always someone elses fault. Due to nature, due to reasons out of our control, due to this, blah, blah, blah. Even if only 2 glass tops will explode per 500 batch, I wouldn’t sell the products to my customer. I wouldn’t have it in stock, it’s not worth it. There are plenty of other options. But I understand that’s how businesses work. “It’s how they make money.” Rah, rah, rah. Well I hope that profit was worth the potential harm you have and will cause your customers.

You just don’t tell a customer it’s not the businesses fault, especially not the first words out of your mouth. Why the flying monkey balls would I ever go back to buy anything from you when you won’t even mutter a, “Wow, I’m sorry. Let me refund you your money and I’ll see about who I can contact regarding the safety of this.” Never an apology, nothing.

It was pathetic to see a business with not only such bad customer service, but bad customer service in a situation like this. We didn’t run in the store abusing them or threatening them. We didn’t raise our voices or get angry, although I was stern in my voice. All we wanted was a refund and accountability that this would be looked into so it didn’t happen to someone else. My husband could have been seriously injured. And someone else’s family member in the future can be seriously hurt. In a part of my speech as I was talking I saw a photo of a baby and I said, “Can you imagine if that little baby had been laying nearby? I know you’ll refund our money, but please do talk to someone about this so no one else gets hurt.” By the look on the younger of the two face…I’m guessing that was her baby.

I wasn’t trying to get personal as an attack, but I wanted to make it personal in their own hearts that glass exploding like that is completely unacceptable. Yet, it was like they were zombies without personalities. All 3 people we came in contact with over a 3 day period, pretty much not human. See people, this is why we drink bottled water here.

The older lady in the back as MIL was explaining the explosion was nodding her head and all, “Yea, it does that when it explodes or shatters…Yup. Exactly that. Really tiny pieces.” Seriously? They never admitted to it happening before with that specific desk, but their reaction said it all.

They wanted nothing to do with the glass. We offered it to them. No such luck. They told us to keep it and do whatever we pleased with it. However, they did want their 2 metal frames back. So the older of the two walked out to the ute with me and while I couldn’t figure out how to open the cover on the back, I heard her talking to another employee who had just come over. I wish I hadn’t walked away and listened closer, but I did hear her talk about how they’ve had this happen to the glass top patio tables.

Well then maybe you shouldn’t sell the bloody exploding things! There’s a thought.

I know Comfort Style isn’t the only retailer who sells exploding glass in their furniture, but as I’m talking about my experience as a customer from their store, all other retailers should take the precaution as well.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is the case of the exploding “Atomic Desk.”

BOOM!

**Update**

I went in today to pick up the refund because, “they didn’t have enough money in the register to refund cash” yesterday. Good news is, no arguments… but their customer service yet again was terrible. I don’t even think the guy talked to me. Oh wait, he said, “for Nathan?” Dude, like really, you’re in RETAIL in a CUSTOMER SERVICE position.

You might as well have one of the non-English speaking foreigners working in your spot because even though you can’t understand them, they SMILE, and are kind and giggle really cute. Maybe you should take notes the next time you go to Subway or Woolies. Or a happy pill. Or manners pill. Or just maybe one for a personality.

Maybe I’m just a bit too demanding after working retail myself. But it isn’t that hard to say, “Sorry for the inconvenience of not only having a 4-foot glass table top explode in your husbands face, but glass covering your home with dents and scratches on walls and floors, but having to spend 4-hours cleaning, the inconvenience of lugging back the desk in pieces, and then having to come back again, which makes 3 days in a row seeing your grumpy faces to finally collect the cash refund because you didn’t have any yesterday.” You’re welcome Comfort Style, Karratha.

Thank you for proving my point of why shopping at places with bad service is never a good idea.

*This is my experience from shopping at a Comfort Style store in Karratha. I have not experienced any other of their store locations.  
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One comment

  1. mrskristenrogers · · Reply

    Ok, first of all, that is the MOST ironic name for a product that I have EVER seen!! That is ridiculous! At first, when you mentioned that Nathan was carrying it, I thought it has been dropped….but it exploded?! Horrible.

    I am so glad that all of you guys are ok. You are right, things could have been much worse and it is by the grace of God that is wasn’t!

    And seriously, you can get better customer service in Cali…and that is saying A LOT! =)

    Miss you!! ❤

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