Shopping for holiday gifts has been interesting this season. There are more deals and discounts flying around that I don’t know where to look. I’ve been clipping 40% off coupons, saving e-coupons for online orders, and shopping with retailers where I know I can save with these promotions. I called one catalog company the other night to place an order. I needed an XXL sweater in a forest green for friend. It’s tough to find a sweater like this and when you do, it’s usually a “oner” and you need to grab it or it will be gone when you come back to order later. When I spoke with the customer service rep about my order, I explained that I needed this particular size and color. He quickly said it was out of stock then asked what my next item was. I said I didn’t have anything else. He apologized for not having what I wanted and said to have a nice day. An order-taker. Had he been a finely trained solutions provider, he would have quickly given me alternative to that XXL Forest Green sweater. He may have given other suggestions that would look just as nice, or taken the time to see if the sweater could be found in other warehouses or distribution centers. Had he taken the time to at least try to solve my dilemma, even if he didn’t produce anything in the end, I still would have shopped with this company again. The effort was there and that is worth just as much as the sweater itself. Instead, thanks to the order taker, I’ll take my business elsewhere.