Posts Tagged ‘asking’

Can You Speak Slower?

July 12, 2011

A customer approaches the cash register. He’s holding a large pile of clothes, and I ask, simply, “Ready?” Sometimes I can’t tell if people speak English, and he looked quite iffy. He didn’t look at me and walked by my register, then stopped and turned back to face me. “Are you ready?” What comes from his mouth in the next few seconds bewilders me.

He replies, slightly confused and slightly irritated, “Can you speak slower?”
Okay, so I tell myself, he’s just visiting and doesn’t speak English–although normally, people who don’t speak English can’t say, “Can you speak slower,” usually they say, “I don’t understand,” or “No English.”
So I repeat myself, this time, much, much slower, “You ready?”
He casually places his pile down, and replies, “Yes, my wife is still shopping. I’m going to pay now, and wait for her outside.”

Wait, what? Yes, what just happened? So he doesn’t understand, “Are you ready?”, but can spit out an entire on-going sentence about himself and his wife? Yes. So where did he need me to slow down? Was it the are, the you, or the ready?

Some people make no sense at all.

Customer Types: The Deaf, The Dumb, Learn the Language

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I Wear It While Fishing

March 31, 2011

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.”
“Excuse me?”
“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?”
“What?”
“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

Double Duty Dumb

August 23, 2010

First, I have an old man who is looking for two cuts of denim, one we carry, one we don’t. One is a high-rise, especially made for conservative men. The other is a higher-rise, but also baggy. We can call it Baggy. Well I show him to the high-rise we carry in-store, telling him the Baggy is only online.

A small, tiny woman gets my attention while I’m still helping the man. The woman asks me, “Hello, I can looking for a boot-cut,” she pauses for a long time, “For women.” Well that’s helpful. Suddenly, another small, tiny woman appears. I ask if they are looking for dress pants or jeans. They look at me blankly. So I take them to the denim, and they say they want the other option. At this time, most of our dress pants are on sale, including the boot-cut style.
I ask, “What size are you looking for?”
“One-petite.”
“We don’t carry that size in the store, they do carry it online. Our smallest size in-store is usually two-short…”
“Okay, two-short.”
“I”m sorry, these pants have been on sale for a long time, and all these pants are in larger sizes.”
“Do you have it any place else?”
“We do have some non-sale pants,” so I walk to another wall to show them the dress pants we do have in their size. Of course, these dress pants are flared-leg.
“I don’t want flare, I want boot-cut.”
“All the boot-cut are on sale.”
“Where are they?”
“We just came from there. We don’t have your size.”
“Here is a two-short.”
“This is flare-leg.”
“I don’t want flare, I want boot-cut.”
“We don’t have your size in boot-cut, only in the flare.”
“I want boot-cut.”
Anything I say, only gets a reply of, “I want boot-cut.” So I decide to walk away.

I find the old man looking at the lowest, tightest fitting jeans we have, which is entirely different from what he asked for.
I take him back to our high-rise denim.
“Where is the Baggy?”
“We don’t carry it in-store anymore. It is only available on-line. We do have a loose-style over here which is similar to the Baggy.”
“So that’s where the Baggy is?”
“No, it’s similar to the Baggy.”
“So where is the Baggy?”
“It’s only available online.”
“So what is that?” He points at the loose-style.
“It’s the loose-style.”
“Where is the Baggy?”
“We don’t have any, but the loose-style is the closest to it.”  Then I walked away. I can only take so much redundancy. How do these people find the doors to get out of their own homes?

Customer Types: The Blind, The Deaf, The Dumb, Micromanagement,  The Questioner