Employees at a chain of British DIY stores are being encouraged to flip through Fifty Shades of Grey and get ready to field relevant questions from curious customers, and managers "need to be aware of the implications that the film may have on stock levels." This is probably the most exciting thing to hit hardware stores since HGTV.
The Telegraph reports that the higher-ups at B&Q sent around a memo titled "Staff Briefing – Preparation for Fifty Shades of Grey Customer Queries," asking its employees to read through the book and prep for "sensitive" questions from customers hunting products such as "rope, cable ties and tape," so they can answer in a "polite, helpful and respectful manner." HQ will be sending copies around, and meanwhile HR is probably flipping its shit.
The dispatch warns:
All staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the content of Fifty Shades of Grey by reading the novel or watching the film upon its release. Copies of the book will be delivered to each store and can be lent to staff on a one week basis. Understanding the storyline and how some products that B&Q stock feature in the film will better prepare staff for incoming queries.
Queries may be unusual and sensitive in nature but staff are reminded of B&Q's commitment to assist customers in a polite, helpful and respectful manner. A level of discretion is also advised.
Store managers are requested to monitor stock levels of rope, cable ties, masking tape and duck tape to ensure that supplies do not run low.
You know what? I applaud this level of commitment to customer service. There's nothing worse than stumping a hardware store employee, whether you're asking about DIY bondage rigs or the comparative advantages of various sealants. But also: If you're going to a home improvement store in search of bondage equipment, maybe do some cursory Googling first.