Posts Tagged ‘bag’

Itchy Panties

July 14, 2011

So a very natural looking woman comes up to the register with a ball of clothes. By natural I mean, the idea of hippie comes to mind, but that’s so decades ago. This is one of those all-natural people, which is fine, as long as I don’t smell body-odor–this is generally worse when I go to an all-natural foods-type grocery store and smell body odor, it definitely ruins one’s appetite. So anyhow, she has that ‘look’, which generally doesn’t mean anything, but thankfully usually means she’ll have an eco-friendly bag, which she does. The main issue is her bundle or ball of clothing

I really could not tell what I was looking at as I grabbed the ball and attempted to pull out pieces of clothing. At the same time I’m pulling, I hear a coworker on the walkie-talkie say, “Look at all these panties she tried on! I wonder if she bought any?” I have no idea what she’s talking about, until it falls into the palm of my hand–one underwear, inside-out. And then another, and another, I’m standing staring at a bunch of worn panties. I pray, I pray to all who can hear me not speaking it aloud, “Please tell me she didn’t try these on!” Yet, bikini bottoms also emerge, and even though I’m being careful, they’re all inside-out, and I’m accidentally touching hygenic-liners, I’m touching the parts of panties that touch the various places I don’t generally think about touching at work, literally.

My hands start to itch. I wonder if it’s my imagination. I suddenly wish I had super-sight, or I could take the time to look closely at my fingers. I imagine little critters and things crawling all up and down my hands, and up my arm. Even now, I feel uncomfortable and dirty. Yet, I struggle through it. I scan every single one of these panties, attempting to put them right-side out, but I have to touch so many things in order to do so. I quickly pack it into her eco-friendly bag, and after she leaves, I beg someone to watch the registers for me.

I definitely need to wash my hands.

Customer Types:

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Shoplifter: The New Kids

October 18, 2010

“Folded clothes will eventually be touched;
But buying customers are here right now.”

I might have been schooled today by young shoplifters who unknowingly played the stealing game better than I. For one, we’re having a big visit tomorrow, so many people were spending time folding–yet, as big managers have said before, “I don’t care if the store looks like a tornado hit, if there are customers, and you make money, I’m happy.” Who cares if you folded the entire store beautifully, if you spent the entire day ignoring customers? Seriously, I was working my butt off today, trying to make money–our store has been having trouble, people have been losing hours, and yet the people who could be helping coworkers earn more hours are just standing around folding.

This struck a huge chord once I realized there were shoplifters. One of the new coworkers later said, “Oh, I said hi to them.” AND? No announcement of their arrival? Not a care to keep an eye on them and treat them like customers? Shoplifters and thieves have a hard time stealing if there is actual customer service going on around them. I was amazed when I saw them casually walking in the back of the store with their bags full and they were smiling and having fun. Why? Because no one was around them, at all. I rushed by, because I was helping several customers at one time, and said on the walkie-talkie, “THERE ARE SHOPLIFTERS IN THE STORE! They are obviously enjoying themselves, because their bags are full!” Everyone else sprung to action, because they saw who I saw, and instantly recognized them as shoplifters. As I’ve said, it’s sad when shoplifters look like shoplifters. Even worse, there were four of them!

I tried to finish with my customers, but I was burdened with too many, while trying to keep an eye on these shoplifters–even though I’m not trained to deal with them, I’m expected to deal with them. So I’m searching for a bag to get the price, seeing three coworkers at the cash register as I groan to myself. I walk by the shoplifters swearing, saying I’m looking for a bag–which ironically, I know they picked up one of our bags and filled it with clothes. They started to talk to me, saying, “Whoa, you just swore!” I talked to them about ‘the bag’ and refused to leave the area they were in–it was quite obvious they wanted the clothes in the front of the store.

Eventually, I had to move. No one was helping me deal with them, and I actually had customers waiting for me in the fitting room. This always irritates me to no end. As I turn to walk away, they leave, with the bag. Here, they were in a win-win situation. There was no tag on the outside of the bag–they are inside–so I couldn’t say, “Hey, that’s our bag!” They can just say, “I already bought it!” Nor can I legally look into their bag, even if it beeped when they left–although, it didn’t beep because these bags had no sensors on them, nor did the clothes they stole have sensors. I was in a helpless position, and all I could do was stop them from stealing more clothes. Instead, I grabbed all the bags of the same type and put sensors on them immediately.

I then had to leave for my lunch break. In that time, they actually returned twice–with us communicating to all the other stores nearby that these people are shoplifters. I was amused to hear, they came and tried to steal something, but they beeped at the door. Later, I found they tried to steal another one of my bags, but threw it in a corner when it beeped. At least I saved that bag. It just becomes tiresome when I have to deal with these shoplifters, and work hard to sell to customers, while I have to watch other people walking around ignoring customers, folding, and generally not carrying the weight of their own paychecks. Retail is killing me.

Shoplifter: The Legitimate Thief

September 2, 2010

Stealing is stealing. I’m sorry. Yet, some boldfaced people use legitimacy, and some lying, to bend the rules and steal in wholly different ways. As many people know, I don’t like cashiering because I believe cashiers only work to take money away from the store–in the form of discounts–and do not do much to add to the sales, or amount people buy. They are like used-car salesmen trying to sell people what they didn’t know they needed–discounts and credit cards.

A customer comes up, she’s a regular, and up until now, I always thought she was a reasonable shopper. In recent days, I’ve been trapped as a cashier against my will, because people aren’t available to work. She comes up with a leather bag. This is the same leather bag she bought only seven days ago with a huge discount coupon. How do I know? Because I sold her this expensive item thinking, “Wow, she spends money easily.” Well I was wrong.

She was returning the bag, saying she lost the receipt. I looked at her skeptically. I told her we can look up the transaction with the credit card we used, because I was the cashier who helped her and gave her the discount. I told her we needed to be fair. She couldn’t remember what credit card she used. I remembered. This, I pulled up the transaction, and she had saved over fifty-dollars ($50).

What she had ‘attempted’ to do was return the item without a receipt, hoping to get a merchandise credit for the full amount, since the item was still new. She was trying to cheat the system by saying she lost the receipt with the discount, just so she could get $50 more to spend. This, my friends, is a liar and a thief. She just doesn’t think she is. The worse part, if she runs into a novice or unaware cashier, they would have given her the merchandise credit, and she could just say, “The cashier did it, I didn’t do anything wrong!” I also hear she comes in trying this scam all the time. In this case, a cashier did save money for the store. No discounts for you lady, sell crazy someplace else!

You Can Have This Back…

August 19, 2010

Whenever the store opens, we always expect the returns to come in. I’m always waiting for the first return, so I can get it done with. Today, the woman comes in with a bag, ready to return. She hands me items that can’t be returned, but really, I don’t care. I don’t want issues, stress, or arguments at the beginning of the day, because I’ll have several more hours of legitimate irritation time anyway. So I just take the return, as she rummages through my counter–looking at things she’s not supposed to, grabbing coupons that are for buying customers and putting them in her purse. She’s really pushing my patience-buttons, but I let her do as she pleases, as long as I can get her out.

After the transaction, she hands me the bag she brought the returns in with, and says to me, “You can have this back.” Okay, thanks. I look at the bag from another store, a competitor, and let my eyes roll deeply into my skull, as I crumple it and throw it in the trash. “Thanks. Have a great day.”

Customer Type: The Blind, Capitalist, The Dumb

The Scavenger Hunter

June 14, 2010

When a woman or a man comes to me saying they’re looking for some clothes for certain weather, they want certain details, colors, etc. and possibly several outfits to mix-and-match with–I am more than glad to help. This is called Building a Sale. We can walk around and discuss what colors they already have, and what will add to or expand their collection. We can talk about the places they’re visiting and where they are from, to get an idea of what is versatile and has long-lasting use. It is my pleasure to find them some of the coolest items we have, some of the most interesting choices and color palettes.

When someone comes to me with a random shirt out of the sale area which has been out for weeks, asking me to find another color or size–I am less than glad to help. Especially, when they follow me around. Especially, especially, when they pick up more items and then ask for that, because they have developed the mutant power to find the last one of every item as long as it isn’t in their size. Really? Maybe you need a mutant seeing-eye-dog who can smell sizes for you instead? I have customers that actually want to buy something.

There is an old woman who comes with her daughter and without missing a beat, they will send me on more scavenger hunts than a pirate holding a map with one-thousand giant, red ‘X’s written on it.
“I want that scarf, where is it? Do you have more?” When I can’t find it, noting they are two on mannequins, I go and pull one down. “I want the other one, too.” She needs both of them to compare, but will eventually give one back so I can climb back up and put it on the mannequin again. I walk away, and a minute later, “These sandals, do you have them in a size-8?” There is only one left in the store, and it’s the wrong size, so I tell her. “So you don’t have any in a size-8?” She asks me rudely and exasperated, as if she’s been looking hard–but instead, she had someone else looking for something for her while I looked for the shoes. I snort silently, as I tell her it’s probably on a mannequin. So I go around, lifting our twenty pound mannequins in front of her, crouching on the dirty floor, trying hard not to drop them as I check their feet; she follows me around, watching. They are all size-9. By the time I make it to the front of the store and have checked nearly a dozen mannequins, she says, “Oh you poor boy, nevermind already.” After asking me to find a pair of shorts, a belt, and a bag, she pulls me yet again and points at a display way up on top, “I think I know where the sandals are.” My face is blank, but I get the sandals, and amazingly, they are the only size-8’s left in the store, used as display pieces. They needed to put pins in the sandals for this display, and I take them out, handing them to her, and she starts to ask, “Is this okay…” As I walk away. I really don’t care, if you don’t want them, just throw them somewhere. I already destroyed five visual displays for you. I look around at all the other customers who are actually buying things, and actually need real help, but instead I’m stuck with this old woman.

I go into the fitting room saying I can’t handle this woman anymore. All I’m doing is scavenger hunts, for nearly an hour, and the place is busy. So I trade places with the person in the fitting room and they go to the sales floor to find the woman. “Where is she?” “Trust me, she’ll find you.” Of course, you already know whats going to happen. While I’m hiding in the fitting room, she arrives with her daughter to try on everything I had to pull off, pull down, and pull out for her. I clench my fists and bite my lip as I give them their room. “I can’t find them,” my coworker comes back. “Yes, because obviously, she had to come and try it while I’m in here.”

So we switch again, and I run to the front of the store to hide. Gosh, guess what, she comes looking for me in the front of the store to find something else for her. My eyes roll into my head…

The very next day, I’m working, and seriously, she’s there again. She greets me with a look of disdain, “Oh, it’s you again!” Wow, I was thinking the exact same thing! We must be soul-mates. She automatically asks me to find some shorts she can’t find, thankfully they’re too big to be on a mannequin. I search everywhere and find nothing, saying maybe a shoplifter stole it. And then, I look in the same pile she’s standing by, and it’s right there. Wow, now she’s being a pain-in-the-butt and a waste of my time. I run away to hide for a while, and as expected, when I appear on the sales floor she’s standing there and says, “There you are, I need you to find something…”

Why? Seriously, why? I hate being reduced to a retail slave.

Customer Type: Capitalist, Micromanagement, Scavenger Hunter

Shoplifter: Hey, What’s Up?

May 21, 2010

I am at the register, trapped being a cashier. Even then, I always look up, I always check my surroundings, and just as our usual shoplifter walks in, I see him. Tall, skinny, shades, with tattoos down his arms, and carrying his open backpack in his hand. I tell people to keep an eye on him since I am stuck with a customer. I watch as he moves, and then stop watching when a coworker takes over. So I continue to help my customer at the register, and the shoplifter comes up to me, stopping and smiling, he says, “Hey, what’s up?” Then, he walks away and leaves.

The Old Man and The Bag, Chapter Two.

May 20, 2010

I’m sitting in the back, eating my lunch, on break. A coworker comes up to me and says, “Your favorite customer is here.”
And I was thinking, “Well, I have so many…”
“The bag-man is here. He was calling me the store’s name, as if that’s my name. And he was asking for you.”
I stopped eating. Seriously, am I that important to this man?
“He kept asking for the tall guy with the black hair.”
Lovely, just great, some crazy old man needs me.
“He told me to prove to him there are no more bags left.”
Really, how do you do this? It’s like proving there’s no cake because we ate it all by cutting our stomachs open. So she was in the back looking for more bags, which don’t exist, which is also a paradox. Instead, she sends yet another manager to help the man.
I lean back and I tell her, “Did you see that movie, ‘As Good As It Gets’?”
“Yeah.”
“I’m the waitress.”

~’Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City “Sailor wanna hump-hump” bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his whiskey? Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.’~

I wondered if he’d be at my house asking why I wasn’t at work today, offering to help my son who doesn’t exist, and sending a doctor over to make sure my nonexistent boy isn’t ill anymore.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Micromanagement. The Riddler

The Old Man and the Bag

May 15, 2010

Chapter One.

He was an old man who wandered alone in his flip-flops through the mall I work and he had in his pocket eighty-four dollars and seventy-nine cents always without buying anything new. In the first forty days he bought and returned the same bag over and over again. But after forty days we were without his bag, and my managers had told me that the old man was now definitely and finally crazy, which he showed by yelling at me, yelling at himself, and I had called the managers to deal with him, because his bag was gone, and he was mad. I had seen the old man come in each day to buy a bag then return it, saying he’d come back and buy it later and I always had some naive coworkers help him, listen to him rambling about his son and daughter, who probably do not exist, while holding onto the bag he’d buy and return, then buy and return again. His clothes dirty, aged and wrinkled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat.

The old man was thin and Asian with deep wrinkles on his forehead, which creased whenever he spoke. While yelling at himself, he once left his clothes and Walkman in our tables, and then went away, forgetting he even did so. We returned it to him when he came back again. He came today, asking for his bag, but it was not there. We had finally sold them all. He yelled at me, telling me to prove they were all gone, to show him there were no more. Is this an oxymoron? He would not stop yelling. I ruined his habit, his daily routine which made him feel safe, for he is a crazy man that I once pitied and humored for his loneliness. Yet, I despise being yelled at and threw him to a manager instead. From now on, I will not be helping him anymore.

Shoplifter- Caution, Keep Clear

May 13, 2010

I’m walking near the front of the store and I see two women who look like shoplifters–and coworkers have said previously, “Don’t judge people like that!” and right after this a manager of another store said, “Did you see those two women, they just stole from my store!” I eventually found the stolen shorts thrown under a rack. I don’t know what’s worse–that I can spot a shoplifter or that they make themselves so obvious.

Okay, so, the shoplifters outside walk into a store right across from us, and I notice how they have this big, colorful shopping bag. When they leave, they aren’t carrying it anymore. Soon, I see another man leaving carrying that colorful bag–they’re tag-teaming! (Tag-team is when one shoplifter goes in to distract everyone, and then another less obvious shoplifter–who generally doesn’t dress the same–enters and steals while everyone else is distracted.) I watch the two women enter the next store as all the employees converge on them–I assume the women are loud and obnoxious. Either way, the man proceeds to enter the store and starts to throw things into his bag, and me and my coworkers are standing there watching, since I don’t know what to do really. Customers outside that store are just standing and watching as he leaves with his bags full of clothes.

Later, my manager says, “And all the customers in our store didn’t have anyone to help them.” As I think to myself, “Seriously?” If that were in our store, and has previously happened, she drags me out and tells me to follow them around and not let them out of my sight–what happens to the customers there?

I get off work soon after this debacle. I know the direction the shoplifters went, and I think about which stores would be the best to hit, considering the type of stores they visit. So I walk up, and lo-and-behold, there they are in a kitchen store ‘browsing’. Nearby is another clothing store where a previous coworker is managing, so I go in, and tell him about the women as they walk by. And I’m standing there pointing at them as they look at us, and they walk away.

I tell the same manager this story, and I get the reply, “I knew someone who was trying to be brave like that and he got stabbed.” Thanks? All I could really reply was, “I’m also packing.” Just don’t tell anyone.