Navy Ts.

I’m in the process of putting away clothes, and a woman stops me. She’s dressed in a basic T-shirt–and by basic, I mean one of those free shirts you get from volunteering at activities, not one you’d pay for as athletic and comfort-wear. She is also wearing an aged, khaki short, and dirty tennis shoes. I am telling you this because as a salesperson, you can get an idea of what your customer might be looking for based on their ‘wardrobe’–because many people come to shop in what they feel comfortable in. Some people will dress beautifully to shop, because they feel ‘comfortable’ looking good when they go out; the same with people who wear Ts, old shorts, and dirty tennis shoes. With this information aside…

“Excuse me, do you have any navy blue T-shirts?”
I stand for a second thinking about her question, and observing what she’s wearing, as I look around me. I answer her, matter-of-factly, “No, I’m sorry. We mostly have these shades of light blue, and these other shades, but no navy blue.” I point out the styles of T-shirts nearby, and the color assortment we carry. I tell her how the season is currently vibrant colors–and for those who know Spring, this includes pastels, etc.
She just looks at me, and turns, maybe 45-degrees. She doesn’t even take a step away from me, and asks the nearest coworker, “Excuse me, do you have navy blue T-shirts?”
Seriously, what the hell? I’m standing right here, I can still hear you. So my coworker takes her on a ‘journey’ around the store to show her all the shirts she ‘won’t’ want. By ‘won’t want’, I mean literally, I just explained her outfit, and my coworker is showing this woman all these frilly navy blue tops, and other tops which don’t match this woman and she wouldn’t even appreciate. Even worse, my coworker turns and asks, “Hey, this is navy blue, right?” Because the woman is arguing that it’s not navy blue. Seriously, if she doesn’t even know what color ‘navy blue’ is, why is she looking for it?
I answer distantly, “Sure, if you think so. Yeah.” I just walk away.

You see, as a customer, when I’m looking for something specific, I hate when salespeople give me the run-around and ‘try’ to push a sale on me showing me ‘other options’. If I ask for a silver cardigan, I don’t want to be shown red, white, or blue cardigans. I don’t want to be shown a mock-turtle neck. I don’t want to see polos, nor do I care about your specials or sales. I’m looking for a silver cardigan, if you don’t have one–say you don’t have one. Don’t waste my time. Let me look for what I need, and if anything, tell me where I can find my cardigan. Thus, I tell people if we have or do not have what they are looking for, and I give them advice where to look–if I know anyplace. I would not be like a coworker trying to show ‘other options’ which aren’t even what I asked for.

Customer Types: The Dumb

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2 Responses to “Navy Ts.”

  1. Liz Says:

    honestly, I’ve read through your blog, I also work in retail. You are probably the rudest retail assistant ever. If someone is rude to you or says something mean you’re supposed to take it with a smile. In customer service you never let your real emotions show. And why do you comment on if people speak english or not? Super rude, you should find a desk job if you don’t like people, cause you’re clearly not a people person.

    • memoirsofretail Says:

      Firstly, I am a lead salesperson where I work, tasked with actually making sales–so our store can remain open, and people can get hours to pay their bills to survive–I also have to train my coworkers not to fold or ignore customers but actually talk to and engage with them. I help nearly 100% of the customers who shop while I work. Yet, I only write about the few who stand out as the worst examples of the everyday customer, the ones who have stepped egregiously beyond the boundary of customer-salesperson relations. I am on the salesfloor–not at the register, getting yelled at by people who want to return things they’ve worn, or other things people try to get away with–I am greeting people honestly and kindly, with no action asking for disrespect or rudeness.

      At any time in our normal daily life, if someone believes they should treat another human being as a second-class citizen, as a modern-day slave, that you as a salesperson have a price-tag on your head, to treat you without dignity and without respect, such a person is part of a backward, un-evolved social caste system which doesn’t yet understand the words ‘human being’ or ‘equality’. Nothing gives a person a right to treat another less or belittle them at their leisure. Money is not power, humans created the idea of money, lost control of it, and now it controls us–outside of our imagination, money means nothing. Would you place treatment of another human being below the worth of money? If that’s how you treat your job as a retail salesperson, on your knees in reverence like a welcome mat to be stepped on, then perhaps you need a new field of work.

      As for foreign customers, our customer base is roughly 60%-80% international visitors–which also gives a pretty clear picture of how humans treat humans as they bring with them their individual cultures and beliefs. Again, I am called for many, many of the times there is ‘miscommunication’, yet I can translate at least three languages, and can work with gestures, pointing, and even one-word sentences to build entire wardrobes. I would honestly never go to a country with no basic knowledge of their language or lacking a local guide. I would think it is disrespectful to visit a place like Russia and expect them to speak to me in English. And if I did, I’d be pretty stupid to think they aren’t getting fed up with my demands; no matter how rich I am, people won’t suddenly speak my language because I want them to.

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