I’m minding my own business, meaning I’m doing something, and a couple comes up to me asking if I work here.
“Yes, can I help you?”
“We are looking for a cap.”
Obviously, my first consideration is a baseball cap, as it is the most general.
“No, we are looking for a fisherman’s cap.”
I obviously know what a fisherman’s cap looks like, as I work in the fashion industry. “I’m sorry, we don’t carry hats like that.”
“You do!” She yells at me suddenly.
“Yes, we used to, like two years ago.”
“You have them now! They bought one yesterday from your store!”
“We don’t carry anything like that. Are you sure it was our store?” Just great, I’m working with hearsay from people who may or may not know what a fisherman’s cap is.
“You have them! It is a wide-brimmed cap…”
“I know what a fisherman’s cap is.” I also know I don’t like being yelled at for no particular reason. I consider, perhaps they don’t know what such a hat is. So I show them fedoras, and no, they yell, a fisherman’s cap, glaring at me as if I don’t know what it is. Seriously? This issue of customers thinking they know more about fashion than people who work with it every day is getting a little taxing. Also, customers who suddenly know more about the product we carry than the people who work there is a little daunting, and excessive. I just tell them that no we don’t carry it.
So to prove me wrong, obviously, they get their cell phones and call their friends. By now I am left to assume they didn’t go to this store, but another one of our stores. After getting off the phone, they instead decide to ask for the same hat from another, much newer coworker. At the same time, I ask our merchandising people if they know of any ‘fisherman’s hats’ that are supposed to be here or coming in soon. No one has any idea what they are talking about. And for some reason it turns back upon me to call another store to see if they carry this elusive hat. As the couple is standing there staring at us, I decide to go into the back of the store to make my phone call.
So I dial the number.
“Hello, thank you for calling, how can I help you?”
“Hello, I’m calling from another store. I was wondering if you could find an item for me.”
“Okay, what are you looking for?”
“A fisherman’s cap.”
“A fisherman’s cap. It has a wide-brim.”
“We don’t carry that.”
“I know. This couple is here saying they bought one from your store yesterday. They said it was wide-brimmed. I showed them everything we have, like fedoras, baseball caps, military caps…”
“That’s the same things we have. We don’t carry anything like that. I’m sorry.” We both laugh a little, awkwardly.
I thank her for her time, saying I kind of expected this. She says to try the children’s department, which is where we have wide-brimmed hats for kids.
I find the merchandising person again, and we locate the children’s version of a safari hat, which is as close as you can get to a fisherman’s cap in our store. I try to tell the woman this is the only hat we have, but she only looks at me and walks away. So I have the merchandising person find her and show her the hat, since she’s obviously ignoring me now. So they talk, and the merchandiser comes to me.
“You know what she said?”
“She said she’s looking for a beanie.”
Okay, sure. Because obviously, whenever I go fishing, I wear my fishing beanie–the wide-brimmed style. You know it’s all the rage among sports fishermen. I’m sure it was featured in a fashion magazine recently. Thank you very much. Shall we top it all off? Yes? She also signed up for a credit card! I swear to you, we promote the most irritating of customers to keep coming back to our stores.
Customer Types: Don’t Kill the Messenger, The Dumb, FashioNOTstas, Guessing Game, Lowered Expectations, The Riddler, Unapologetic
Tags: ask, asking, baseball, beanie, call, calling, cap, card, child, children, credit, customer, department, fedora, find, finding, fish, fisherman, fisherman's, fishing, hat, ignorant, kid, kids, laugh, locate, locating, military, promote, promotion, retail, rude, safari, sales, salesperson, search, searching, service, store, yell, yelling, yesterday