Last night, a woman comes up to the register with a pile of clothes and a previous purchase in a crushed, wrinkled bag–obviously a return or exchange. The state of one’s shopping bag says a great deal about the shopper, mind you. Which she let me know, was an exchange because she got wrong sizes. She also pulled out a tiny bottle of what amounts to a sample sized bottle of perfume, saying that she was surprised there was no sprayer–thus she opened it (violently?) and it has spilled all over the place, so she doesn’t want it–handing me vial with 1/4th its contents missing.I could already tell I’d be dealing with a neanderthal.
After I entered all her items, she decides to check if she got all the right sizes. Lo and behold, she got an XL instead of a L. (Who didn’t see that coming the moment she stepped to the register with eight shirts in her hand?) So I went to get the shirt from the children’s section. The piles here are neatly folded except for her meanderings–which equals everything above XL thrown asunder, and if you know clothing, XL is on the bottom of each pile, so everywhere I could see explosions of turned over piles. There at the top of one of her disasters was the Large-size she missed.
We have a promotion in which we must manually spread discounts between two items (50% and 50%), which she allowed me to complete before saying, “Wait, I want to see what I actually need.” Lo and behold, yet again, she chooses each item that was part of a ‘two item’ combination, thus leaving the single items with a full discount amounting to 100% off.
This left me with the task of starting the transaction over once again. Which is when I find out another coworker gave her an accidental discount far beyond 50%, closer to 75%-off for each item–which the customer reminded me, I needed to honor. I note, she did not remind me politely. Thus I had to price override every single item, and reapply the discount to 75%-off. Along with the scent she returned, and a hat and slippers she added to the transaction, she had a balance of about $15
She was incredulous with paying $15 (after getting 75%-off everything else). Thus she requested I recheck everything to make sure that it was done correctly, to the point she didn’t believe the cash register. I mean seriously, who trusts the calculations of a computer, right? Seriously? So I needed to use a calculator to verify the transaction.
(Amusingly, she returned 4 shirts, and bought 4 shirts thus canceling out each other to $0. She was also dealing with $23 from buying the hat and slippers which is more than the $8 for the returned scent which she exploded elsewhere. What is $23 minus $8? Is it $15? Congratulations if you know this, it’s math they usually teach you in first-grade. The fact she could not do the math on her own, did not trust the computer, and required me to calculate it, made me stop and breathe for ten seconds, because I was so furious I couldn’t even press calculator buttons correctly at this point.)
When my hands shake, that’s a very frustrating time.
After finishing the transaction, I was reminded by a manager this is something we always deal with. Which brings the good point that maybe I shouldn’t work in retail anymore, because the fact of demoralization as a part of work and life is not satisfactory nor does it make any actual sense. I don’t recall the job saying, “You shall be insulted, demoralized, and your self-esteem shaken by working in retail.” In a sense, it was like saying my friends were right five years ago when I retired from the world, retail is not a place for me, and I have too much self-respect and dignity to stand there and be spoken to unintelligably.
Confucius would say, you control the words you speak, you do not control what these words mean.
Customer Terms: Micromanagement
Tags: calculate, calculator, confucius, disbelief, discount, exchange, extra, fury, incredulous, large, mess, override, percent, perfume, promotion, rage, retail, return, sale, sales, salesperson, size, toss, violent, wrinkled, wrong