Posts Tagged ‘bling’

The Old, The Blind, and The Hungry

February 14, 2011

Nearing the end of my shift. My day was going pretty well. It’s the last thirty-minutes you least expect the demanding customers to come and verbally assault you.

The Old.
An older woman comes up to me, with her tall, round husband behind her. “Do you have cut-offs?”
I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind is denim cut with those strings hanging off the bottom–something I can’t imagine either of them wearing. So I reply, “We don’t have any denim shorts.”
“What do you have?”
“I have khaki, plain-cotton material shorts.”
She yells at me, with a bitter tone, “Yes! That’s what I’ve been asking for! Cut-offs!” She does a sigh, growl at me.
As I take her to the table, I make time to tell her, “They haven’t called it cut-offs for a long time, they call it shorts these days. It’ll help you find what you’re looking for.”
So we get to the table. “What’s your largest size,” she asks. Oh well, we don’t carry sizes-44 or 46 in the store. I tell her to try department stores, they generally have a larger selection and supply of sizes on hand.

Customer Types: FashioNOTstas, Guessing Game

The Blind.
It’s an Indian couple, from India, and from all I’ve heard about the culture, the wisdom, and wonder, I’ve rarely met respectable people from there who fill me with a sense of awe and enlightenment. This couple kept asking me for discounts, and how much cheaper they can get our new product. Over-and-over again, they ask. By the time the wife comes and pokes a shirt in my face, I’m already disappointed.
“There are no mediums, I want a medium.”
I look around, because I know there is a huge supply of them somewhere. I know I’ve seen them.
“They’re right here!” She’s standing next to our sale wall, and there the shirts are smashed all together in our ‘Small’ section. I blindly grab for a size, pull it out, and obviously, what size is it? Medium. I give it to her. I’m so happy she actually spent one-second trying to find the size, since even a blind man could find it. Of course, she decides she doesn’t want the one that she wanted, and asks someone else for a medium we don’t have–that must give her some form of satisfaction, right? Easier to save money if you keep asking for things we don’t have, and the things we do have, you don’t want.

Customer Types: The Blind, The Riddler

The Hungry.
A woman approaches me, holding a bag of chocolates, the expensive sort–but she’s dressed very slovenly, so it seems like a rare treat for her. Her manners are just as slovenly, so she isn’t some princess in disguise. She has the look of what some call, “White Trash,” but as I’ve only seen it in movies, I can’t tell if it’s entirely accurate.

As she shoves a chocolate into her mouth, she shouts at me, while chewing, “You work here?” I look at my headset and my name-tag, and I suddenly wonder why I even wear these things. When I don’t wear them, people actually don’t ask if I work here, they just ask me for help. She tells me, well more she commands me to follow her. “Come with me.”

So we go to a mannequin, and it’s wearing a sweater, a sale sweater–and again I swear under my breath wondering why they don’t update our mannequins. I tell her it’s on sale, so it’s probably in the sale section. She shoves another chocolate into her mouth, with her daughter and husband in tow. I feel like a duck with babies following me. So they all stand there and watch me looking through the sale section.
“Is it there? Can you find it?”
“Not yet.”
“Is that it?”
“No.” Together you have six-arms, minus two for the chocolate-eater, I’m only so fast by myself. I feel like I’m picking cherries, with three bosses watching me.
“Is it the last one?”
I continue to look, “It might be.”
“Can you get it off the mannequin?”
“Yes, I might have to.”
“Well, go get it!” She shoves a chocolate-covered strawberry in her mouth at the same time.
Seriously, am I here to be demanded of? All I can reply is, “Yes-sir!”
I go to the mannequin, with the ducks in tow, and I take the sweater off and hand it to the daughter.
“Thank you,” the woman’s tone is much kinder now, but a bit too late.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations, Micromanagement, Modern Slave-Owner

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Shoplifter: How to Spot Them

June 1, 2010

Recently, some have challenged me, questioning how I can point out shoplifters–especially professionals. There are certain things you need to be a good shoplifter, partly I get this from observation, understanding, and my background in Psychology.

One of the most important things you need is a bag. You cannot steal unless you have a bag. I often give these people the opportunity to take off the clothes, mentioning it isn’t in the fitting room anymore, so I’ll save the room for them to finish changing. (Although there are some who will put on clothes and then walk out, but if you are aware in a fitting room, even on the sales floor, it isn’t hard to notice something isn’t right. I have also seen shoplifters walk out with entire piles of clothing. Once, a District Manager found her staff being lazy, so she actually moved an entire table out of the store, hiding it, then asked them, “What’s going on here? Why is there a table missing?”) I do not say people steal only with bags, but regardless, it is far easier to walk out of a store with stolen merchandise in a bag–unless it is a holiday or the salespeople are lazy, ignorant, or partially blind. I actually would think it’s disgraceful to steal from a blind person, but that’s my personal feelings.

As for bag-people, if they ask for a bag, you have zero-obligation to give them a bag unless they’ve made a purchase. Yes, I’ve made a shoplifter buy a pair of socks for a bag, just ensuring that he use his bag to steal from other stores than my own. A majority are left with the bags they have, which are generally easy to access with wide openings. Backpacks, yes, are left unzipped. Yet, others use shopping bags which are used and recycled far more than they should be. Others purchase special purses and bags for this purpose. Regardless, they should have a wide opening for easy access.

Secondly, a shoplifter has to know where you are. This is more crucial. If a salesperson is standing right next to a shoplifter, they can’t steal–and they can’t steal if they don’t know where all the salespeople are. (Once more we do have the blindness aspect, but that’s just crude.) This is one reason I move so quickly and randomly on the sales floor–you never know where I am or where I’ll appear. As some have told me, “You think there are people who generally don’t steal, but when they see no one is around, they are tempted to steal?” If no one is around, it’s our fault–or the fault of the staff on hand.

Shoplifters must pay as much attention to the salespeople as they do to the clothes, most often, they’ll spend more time finding out who works here and where they are located, before they can start stealing. Most customers don’t even see me coming, since I approach them from behind, surprising them with a greeting. Even shoplifters who are professionals, and know only to look for salespeople right before they steal something already catch the attention of a good salesperson–because that look almost always means, “I need help, where is a salesperson?” Giving the ‘look’, and then saying, “Oh, I’m just looking,” is already a warning-sign. If they are just looking, but not just looking at clothes, they have issues.

There are others who distract you by making you look away or get something for them. In this situation, it isn’t hard to ask someone else to get the item, while you wait with the shoplifter. I don’t know about everyone else, but I use my peripheral vision more than my center of gaze when looking at anything. One time shoplifters have distracted a coworker in order to walk out with a pile of clothing–literally, an entire pile walked right out of the store.

Shoplifters cannot help but act in a very particular fashion, even if they try to hide it. There are essential, basic needs they have in order to function, once you understand this, you understand the shoplifter. In the end, I still believe in the main idea–Treat Everyone Like Shoplifter. Give them good service, pay attention to them, watch them shop and help them by seeing what they look at, what interests them. Shoplifters can’t steal easily if you’re helping them the entire time.