Posts Tagged ‘call’

What Are You Going To Do About It?

October 31, 2011

There is a mother-son duo who often come in to shop. The son never wants help, and acts as brusquely as possible. Read this as destroying piles of clothes, ignoring any greetings, and leaving piles of clothes when he’s done trying on. Oh, and he also speaks to you like you’re worth about as much as dog feces. Yes, one of those people. His mother is some shy, quiet, awkward thing which sort of shadows him as he walks around being some dominant male. Oddly enough, from his stature and his face, you can tell he really isn’t dominant anything. If he weren’t so rude, I might actually feel pity for him because of short comings, yet the fact he comes into my workplace and acts like a beast is sad and irritating.

Either way, I’m in the fitting room helping customers, and he comes out of no where, demanding, “I need you to get something for me.” No, not, “Are you busy,” or “Can you help me, please?” He just glares at me, demanding help, because everyone else is cashiering. I decide to humor him, and ask what he needs. “I put clothes on hold, I want you to get them.” Alright, so he tells me his name, and I look in the holding area. There is nothing. I look twice, but there is definitely nothing. He’s standing nearby with his arms crossed, watching my every move, nearly glaring at me. I tell him I can’t find the clothes, it’s not there.

“What are you going to do about it?” He yells at me, and purses his lips, as if I’m supposed to suddenly grovel at his feet, beg for his forgiveness for my mistake–or my coworkers, or his mistake, and do what? Magically wave my hands in the air and make the clothes appear? I was tempted to do just that, and say, “Poof! Darn, it usually works, too! Sorry.”

Since I’ve worked out how to streamline my thoughts, we glare at each other for a few seconds. While my mind races, “Who do you think you are? I’m going to laugh, because they probably knew how much of a jerk you were when you called and decided not to even put your clothes on hold. Maybe they lost it on purpose, too. Or maybe you called several days ago and the clothes was duly put out as we are supposed to do. Of course, if someone puts it on hold here, most coworkers never put it out, so it must have been put on hold a long, long time ago.”

“Nothing,” I finally reply, and give him a blank, emotionless gaze, waiting for his reply. Instead, he acts like a little girl and gives some sort of deep sigh, moan, and groan, and throws his fists down, stomping out of the store as his mother follows closely behind. Oh that poor old lady, I’m quite sure he’s going to take it out on her after they leave, and she’ll probably have to buy him some ice cream, with a cherry on top. You know, sometimes, manners actually get you somewhere. There is actual truth in “The Right to Refuse Service”, but there are a lot of coworkers who would gladly slave and be treated like dirt, but in this case, I didn’t want to put anyone in such a position.

Customer Types: Big Baby, Micromanagement

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The Company Divorce

August 29, 2011

I was sitting with an older employee, at least one who has been with the company for far longer than I have. She was telling us about one of the worst customers she ever knew. This customer is a woman who they would always help, always give the best service to, and always ended with a smile. Then the woman would leave the store, and call the customer support line to complain about the store. She’d say how rude the employees were, how they didn’t help her, and how she felt so ridiculed and insulted by the service, and she didn’t want to ever shop there again. In response, the company would compensate her with gift cards, free purchases, or some other form of compensation for her terrible experience. Then the store would be called by the corporate-level and spoken to about how they treat their customers, get the sales training workshops, etc.

Eventually, the store manager caught onto this little game. The next time the woman came in, they gave her the absolute best service imaginable. They found everything she was searching for. They did all they could to please her. Then she left, and the store manager called the customer support line to tell them exactly what just happened, and the experience the woman had. Soon after, the woman called to complain about the service, and was caught red-handed. Because of all the ‘gifts’ she had received, she also left a paper-trail of all her ‘complaints’, which were unfounded. The company officially divorced her, and told her she was not welcome back to their stores ever again, and they would not appreciate her business any longer.

It is at least nice to know the customer isn’t always right.

Customer Types: The Complainer, Capitalist

Two-Week-Old Cardigan

July 17, 2011

A customer enters the store, she has a crumpled up bag with our name on it. You know what that means. Yes, it’s a return and/or exchange. Excitement! Generally, these people ignore my existence when I greet them, as if they were superstars or the ultra-wealthy, as they walk straight to the register.

I greet her, and she looks at me with a blank, careless expression and opens the bag. She pulls out a cardigan. I instantly know it’s sold out, also it’s old, and that it is on such a reduced clearance, I highly doubt anyone in existence has any–I mean, we were selling it for that cheap. I hold my breath waiting for the inevitable.
“I’m looking for a smaller size in this,” she states flatly, a mix of a command, an order, and well, just plain rudeness.
So I tell her, we used to carry it, but we’re absolutely, totally sold out. It has been weeks since I’ve seen it in our store.

“I know,” she replies. Well that’s a relief, right? At least she’s omniscient. “But your other store called here two weeks ago, and they said you have it.”
Really, two weeks ago? Only two weeks? Now she’s a time-traveler, too. Well, two weeks is just seconds ago to a tree, too bad we aren’t trees. Two weeks in a retail store is two sales cycles, thousands of customers, enough time to put out an entirely new line of clothing, and I can tell you, two weeks ago, we had a huge holiday sale–which we sold those cardigans like ice cream cones on a hot and sunny day. I assure her we don’t have it now, but we did have it two weeks ago when they called.

“Just look for it,” she commands, this time more sternly, as if I’m supposed to shudder in her might and grandeur. Let me tell you, she was fat, middle-aged, and roughly a foot shorter than me. She was approximately as scary as a toad after a rainstorm just before it’s run over by in-coming traffic–and I’m the one in the car. I tell her there is none, and suggested maybe she should have come in two weeks ago when the other store called and confirmed we had it–because we actually had it. We are only a few miles away, it doesn’t even take two weeks to walk here. I see no point in coming in two weeks later looking for a super-duper sale item, demanding people find it. So I go with Plan B–the treasure-hunter.

I take her around the store to confirm, with her own beady, little eyes that we are indeed out of this cardigan. I offer her a plethora of different cardigans, many in the same color–which is an odd mint-chocolate ice cream shade. Either way, she’s resolute in the fact she wants the cardigan she has, but in a smaller size. No other cardigan will equal the greatness and beauty of her super-sale cardigan, the one she wants so badly that she was unwilling to come in two weeks earlier to pick it up when she knew we had it. Bravo, little lady, you are an exclamation point in the evolution of reasonable, logical thought. Well, actually more like a period. After a thorough journey through the store, with every cardigan being rejected, I am left to give up and move along–as she said she’ll look for herself now.

Eventually, she asks another coworker to find a sweater for her. She asks if they are on sale, to which my coworker tells her, “No, it’s still new.” They are actually on promotion for half-price, but since the woman ‘asked so rudely’, my coworker declined to inform her of this. Of course, my coworker didn’t yet know this woman annoyed me earlier, we later found out together.

It seems for rude people what goes around comes around. Sadly, I had to see her leave with her two sons carrying large boxes of pizza. At least they shall feast like kings tonight! Even if she won’t get to wear her magical cardigan while doing so.

Customer Types: Micromanagement

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

The Emergency Call

November 10, 2010

“Hello, thank you for calling our store.”
“Hello? Who is this?”
I tell the customer on the phone my name.
“Oh, okay. I have a hold, but I can’t make it. I’m so sorry. I just can’t make it in today. I keep extending the hold. I’m sorry. It’s just I haven’t been able to make it in this entire week.”
It’s a Wednesday when she calls.
“I called the other day, and I just keep extending it. But I can’t make it in today, can you extend it another day? It’s an emergency. Actually, it’s a real emergency–an ambulance is heading here right now to pick us up.”
I kind of look around, making sure this isn’t some prank call. So in case of emergency, what is the phone call you must make? Of course, call the retail store to make sure they don’t put your clothes away!
“They’ll be here really soon. I’m sorry I’m asking you to extend it another day. I promise, I promise I won’t extend it again! It’s just an emergency and I can’t make it in today.”
I try to cut in asking for her name and the items she put on hold. Through all her talking, I finally get the info I need.  I’m about to hang up as she says.
“I want to make sure my items are still on hold. Can you go and check?”
I’m a bit speechless, she’s still babbling about being sorry, and the emergency, but I’m thinking, “If an ambulance is coming, why am I putting you on hold to find the items?” As I put her on hold, she’s still talking, “I just can’t…” *Click*
So I go and look through the holds, and there it is–her hold with a whole lot of scratches and pen marks. She’s extended the hold three times already. I’m starting to wonder what other excuses she’s made for ‘not being able to make it’. I mean, is her house one of the pit-stops for ambulance crews?
“Hello, yes, I found your item!”
“Oh, good, so you can extend it for another day?”
“Yes.”
“Oh, thank you. I”m so sorry I can’t come in. I’m such a bother extending it everyday, but I’m just so busy I can’t make it in.”
“Okay.”
“So your name was Mark?”
“Yeah, sure. Okay, bye-bye.”
“Thank you, bye.”
My name isn’t Mark.

Customer Type: The Dumb, The Liar, Lowered Expectations

Credit Card Slap

November 7, 2010

Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about credit cards. Personally, as a young adult, I was ‘convinced’ to sign-up for one to get a ‘free bag’, hey, “Everyone else was signing up.” Why not? Then, I lost my job, I was struggling to survive, my debt got out of hand, I didn’t know what to do–nor did they actually give you many options–eventually, they wanted it all paid. This was a bill which was a couple hundred, and compounded with their various fees into thousands of dollars. By the time I found a job, I still wasn’t making enough to meet their demands, so they started to call me and my family, demanding to know where I was at all times, and calling me everywhere–and I mean, everywhere I was. They would call the store asking for me daily, and when I wasn’t there, they’d ask for a manager demanding all of my personal information, which my manager told them was illegal and asked them not to call anymore. Asking them not to call my workplace did little good. Eventually, they started to garnish my wages so if I thought I was barely surviving before, well I was in for a new surprise! Eventually, they stopped garnishing me, my paychecks went back to normal, etc., etc. Either way, I have no personal fondness for credit cards, and believe it was created by a crude capitalist society whose only interest is keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. If they were evolving society, they would create a system which empowers people to grow instead of recreating paupers and their new version of enslavement.

All this aside, people also know I’m a good salesperson. One day, I helped build a $900 sale. The next day, alone, I made a $400 sale. In this time, I also got two people to apply for credit cards–it is a job requirement for me, and honestly, I’m always rated ‘down’ because I don’t pursue credit cards enough. Either way, I make $1300 in sales (in just two sales) and I barely get a congratulations, thank you or any sort of recognition. I get two credit cards, and they give me a $5 gift card for coffee. Yes, I got two credit cards and I got a $5 gift card. I make $1300 in sales, and I don’t even get a thank you. Should I go over it again?

I mean, of all things, this was the hugest insult anyone could give me–with my beliefs, my pride, and who I am and how I have been treated by credit cards; with my background in selling and sales management, I was slapped in the face. I went to a manager, throwing it on the ground, telling them to, “Give it to the other guy, he got two credit cards in one hour!” We’re in an economic rut, my coworkers aren’t getting enough hours to feed themselves, and I get congratulations for credit cards? Helping a new breed of people to go into debt? Thanks. Let me know when Retail is about making sales again, I’ll be sleeping.

32×30 versus 32×29

July 22, 2010

I am helping a customer. He is a man, and his male-partner is standing idly by letting him shop. The man shopping is wearing a pair of denim–waist 32″ and length 30″. He came out of the fitting room noting that it was just a tiny-bit too long. He asks his boyfriend what he thinks, but the man shrugs–obviously, he’s been through this before.  The boyfriend responds with, “You should get what feels right.”
“Oh, I don’t know, it’s just a little too long, don’t you think?” Turning to me, he asks, “Don’t you have anything just a little shorter?” I tell him we do offer both 28″ and 29″ inseams online. If he wishes, he can order them.
He turns back to his boyfriend, “Should I get the 29″?”
“If you think you need it.”
“Don’t you think this is too long?”
“It looks fine to me.”
“But,” he pauses, “What if I wash it and it shrinks? I don’t want it too short.” He turns back to me asking it if will shrink. I reply that it may shrink by a quarter-of-an-inch–mind you, this is 0.25″. “Oh,” his face is full of surprise, “That may be too short! I don’t want it to look like high-waters!” Because a quarter-of-an-inch is roughly a dollar’s worth of quarters, right?
He looks down at his feet again. The pants seem to be at the perfect length, and I tell him so. I even say, if he wears shoes with a higher heel, the length will make a positive difference.
“That is true, too.” He sighs. “I just don’t know. If I get the 29″ and it shrinks, then it will be too short. But I don’t want my pants too long, they don’t look right.” So, he pulls out his cellphone and he starts dialing. I’m not sure if he’s calling online or what. “Hello? Hello, are you busy? Good. I have a question. I’m wearing a 30″ inseam and it’s just a little too long, and I’m thinking about ordering a 29″ inseam, but it might shrink, then it will be too short. What do you think I should do? Should I order it online or should I just get what I’m wearing now and hope it shrinks to the right length?”
I look at his boyfriend and I shrug. The boyfriend rolls his eyes, smiling, as I walk away.

I return several minutes later, and either he’s talking to someone new, or the same person, saying he just can’t decide, it’s so hard! He hangs up, telling me, “I just can’t make up my mind. I’m not going to get any of them. Thanks for your help, bye.” He hands me several pairs of denim, and then they leave. Now, that was exciting.

Customer Type: Agreeing to Disagree, ESP, The Rambler, The Riddler, Tailor-Made

Sticks and Stones

July 13, 2010

I answer a phone call.
“Hello? Can you explain to me,” a younger-sounding male voice asks, “Why my son is being teased at school for wearing your clothing?”
There is a moment of silence. The first thoughts which come to my mind are customers blaming me for the company not making a color they like, or when the company stops making a type of clothing they like. It’s usually my fault. I mean, is it right? No, not so much. I’m also thinking if this is some prank call. Why would someone’s child be teased?
Then I hear a young boy’s voice in the background. He says what the kids have been saying. I have flashbacks of jokes I’ve heard, which I thought were long dead, but seem to still be alive and well. I wonder if each company has their foibles, the little things kids use to pick on each other. “They call me gay and proud!”
While I’m thinking there is silence, I hope the man is gone, so I ask, “Hello are you still there?”
“Yes, I’m waiting for an explanation.”
“I think you should talk to a manager, please hold.” So I put him on hold and call over the manager. I explain the situation. She wants to tell him that we are not responsible for what children say or do. She was even considering offering to call the child’s school to report this activity. I wanted to find the phone number we have, I know we have one to forward calls like this. We just can’t remember the number. Either way, the manager decides to go to the office to take the call, rather than on the sales floor. By the time she gets back there, the man has hung up.

Customer Types: The Complainer, The Dumb, The Questioner

Manual Labor

April 25, 2010

A woman and her husband have a credit card strip which doesn’t work–its been de-magnetized–so I have to input it manually and then slide it through a machine which makes a physical copy of the credit card number. (It basically rubs a receipt against the credit card.) I tell them I’m doing this.

The guy laughs, replying, “Manual labor?! Ha-ha! How terrible for you!”

I just replied, “Yeah… Ha-ha… Thanks a lot…” I wanted to slap him in the face with the credit swipe machine.

You know what’s manual labor? Turning over that card and calling the number on the back to request a card that actually works! Compare that to the amount of time each cashier has to take manually entering your number and verifying it, times by each time you use that card–and you see how many people’s lives you’re wasting in addition to your own, because of your blatant, haughty laziness. This is the difference between members of society whom are progressive, and those who are backward-moving donkeys that ensure our social evolution is slow and tedious. Manual labor is obviously lost on you, but capitalism is not.

Customer Types: Capitalist

Call me Ishmael, the Stock Checker.

April 19, 2010

Call me Ishmael. Some hours ago- really, it doesn’t matter how long- having little to no time on my hands, and marking items down and not paying attention to selling, a woman approached me seeking a great white shirt of XL size. Sent me on a journey through and around the store. In the stock room, I hid, driving off my mouth and trying to calm myself. “We are sold out and another store might have one left, so she said, rudely, ‘Just call them, I don’t want to drive all the way over there for nothing!'” Whenever I find myself growling mad all over my face; whenever a fat woman, she’ll be called A-hag, follows me everywhere I go; whenever I keep trying to find a line to call out, but none work, with only the phone in the rear of the store away from her breathing and glares; and especially whenever I am forced to make a call for a fat woman looking for a fat white shirt when I am not even supposed to be on the sales floor doing this sort of thing- then, I really, really need to hide in the stockroom and vent my frustrations about the fat woman in the white jacket, A-hag. This is my substitute for getting fired in rage…

I find the item, placing it on hold. Returning to A-hag, to say I found it, I found the great white XL shirt; it is the only one left of it’s kind, so rare and unique a top. Her companion gasps in surprise, “You called them?”–obviously she knows we don’t call other stores for these sort of things anymore, and I provided quite an profusion of kindness in exchange for her harshness and blatant rudeness. Not even a thank you.

Yet, I find A-hag with another cashier, asking her to call once again, to be assured that I was not lying, that I did not mislead her, that I did truly find that great white XL shirt; obviously with her positive radiance, people often lie to her, so that she may drive to the other store only to find out she was deceived, for there would be no XL white shirt waiting for her; since, she adds to her obesity by not even lifting a finger to call the store herself, even sweating at the thought of going to the other store, walking, gasping, reaching the store on her last breath; oh, the fifty calories she would burn. Of course, they tell her the item is indeed on hold for her, that I did not lie. I doubt she said thank you this time either.

All the while she insulted and disgraced our stock procedures, “That’s so cheap, that’s so cheap,” that our machines said we did have one left, which sold this same day, but our computers only update this information at the end of the night to say we have zero, “That’s so cheap.”

You, A-hag, make us cheap, wasting our time and energy for your XL white shirt. If you are so ardently searching for this item, this quest and journey of utter importance, it is your own, alone. “I give you the benefit of the doubt.” Go, find your great white XL shirt, I’m sure it will look smashing upon your spherical body, shamed only by your shimmering nay-say attitude. I give you the benefit of the doubt.

Customer Types: Capitalist, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Micromanagement, Modern-Day Slave-Owner, The Riddler