Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’

Family vs Employee Discount

January 28, 2010

A woman comes up to the register with a package and some clothes. She tells me she got a gift and she wants to exchange it. So I take the package and pull out a tank-top. Scanning the receipt, I realize she has an employee receipt. She tells me her nephew bought her a tank-top, but it doesn’t fit. Then, I look at the pair of denim and two shirts she wants to get. I look into her face, and I know there will be trouble.

“I can probably exchange this tank-top for another color or size. But I can’t use the discount on the other stuff.” Already, I’d have to break the rules a little to do this, since the employee needs to be there to do the exchange with their ’employee’ discount. Hence, the employee part.
“No, I don’t want this tank-top, so I picked something else I want instead.”
“I can’t give you the discount, because he needs to be present to use his discount.”
“Why not? I have the original receipt!”
“You have an employee receipt. He was supposed to give you a gift receipt so you could return this item. Giving you the employee receipt means he needs to be here to sign for it.”
“He’s not in the mall! I need this clothes for a trip tomorrow!” Why can’t you just give me his discount?”
“Because you’d get him in trouble. He could get fired.”
“But I’m a customer!”
“Exactly. This is an employee purchase. The rules are different.”
“Where is your manager? I want to speak to your manager. Right now!”
“Sure.” I call the manager over, and we discuss the situation.

So my manager says, “I’m sorry, your nephew has to be present to use his discount.”
“Why not?!? He’s not in the mall! I don’t understand why I can’t use his discount!”
“He wasn’t even supposed to give you this receipt. He was supposed to give you a gift receipt,” my manager states calmly.
“Why can’t I use his discount?”
“If we did use his employee discount, he would be reported, and it could lead to his termination.”
“Isn’t there someone higher I can speak to?”
“No, I’m the manager, and I’m telling you that you can’t do this.”
“I don’t have time for this! I’m leaving for a trip tomorrow. I’m going to call him right now! Wait right here.” As if her nephew, who must be very new, and will obviously be very freaked out when his aunt calls saying she’s complaining to a manager, and thus might actually get him terminated regardless.

So she leaves angrily, in a huff. I would only be afraid if we find out her nephew owns the company. Because we already wrote his employee number down and planned to call his store to tell them to speak to him about how he buys ‘gifts’ for people. She is definitely an ‘aunt’ I would not want to have, since she didn’t even flinch hearing her nephew would be fired for her babbling, whining and ranting. Sure, she’s a customer, but the rules are different with employees. Whining customers can get far, but aunts with employee discounts can’t even get in the front door. There is a clearly cut line between where customer stops and employee begins. It isn’t a line you cross over. Do you seriously think you can walk into any store and say, “Hey, my nephew works here, I want an employee discount, now!”

So she returns several minutes later, apologizing for the situation. Hopefully, he was crying on the phone saying, “You ruin everything, aunty! You always ruin everything!” At leas, that’s what I imagined. She says she called him and worked everything out. She’ll just buy everything now, and he’ll use his discount later. This, too, is breaking our employee discount rules. I roll my eyes without rolling them.
Damn lady, you are so stupid.

Customer types: Big Baby, Capitalist, The Complainer, The Deaf, The Dumb, Tattle Tale

Customer Type: Piggies

January 26, 2010

There are too many times customers come up to me and show me a shirt saying, “Do you have another one, this one has make-up on it. I can’t find another one.” And you won’t find another one, because that’s the last one, just because some dumb-ass with too much make-up on their face decided to rub it on the shirt they tried on or some woman with lipstick doesn’t even try to suck in her lips as she takes of a shirt. Even worse, some of these are wide scoop necks, so you know they really put effort struggling and rubbing their face into those shirts. Personally, I would just throw those shirts away when a customer hands it to me–like thanks, this is going to go into the price-kills one day.

You know, that would be a great strategy if you really like a shirt. Just go and try it on, decide you look beautiful in it, and then rub your face on it. Months later, you can return and rummage through the pile, and if you’re lucky, you won’t find a greedier person that realizes all you need to do is wash the damn shirt–instead of complaining to salespeople about the stain–and get a shirt for a fabulous, make-up free price.

That’s just one type of Piggie. The obvious one are people who have to rummage around nicely folded piles of clothes, like a pig in a trough, lifting, looking, throwing down, one-after-another. Some people think they’re giving us something to do, as if we’re bored standing around waiting for you to make a mess. I really wish we, as consumers and customers, could do that elsewhere…

*Imagines* Going into a bank, and walking behind the counter, grabbing their files and throwing it on the ground, rubbing my face all over the dollar bills, then leaving. Going to a businessman’s office, and opening all his fancy books in his bookshelf, leaving sticky notes all over his stuff, and then rubbing my face on his computer screen. I’d love to see a doctor’s face as you dirty his tools, or a construction worker’s face as you kick dirt into a hole he just dug, or a police man’s face as you graffiti on his squad car–oh wait, you can’t do that.

People who make messes don’t even think about the next person that comes along, the next ‘equal’, another customer, who needs to find a size, but because of you, Mr. Piggie, there is just a pile of cloth in shambles. Dropping clothes off hangars and walking away–when I’m not working, I yell at customers who do that at other stores, and I often follow them saying, “So you really aren’t going to pick that up? You’re just going to drop it on the ground and walk away?” You know, there are things called dust and lint on the ground that tend to gather on clothes left idly on the floor. Do other people really need to pay for your lack of respect, responsibility, and a furthering of the lack of evolutionary movement towards equality and understanding in society? One day, it will be a requirement to think about other people when they do things that affect the lives of others, it’s called morals. Oh never mind, we already have that.


Customer Type: Piggies

Christmas is Over…

January 26, 2010

As of today, Christmas ended a month ago. People that come asking if we have more sizes of some random piece of Christmas clothing just need to stop. Seriously. I don’t have more XS women’s tops that are not price-killed. I don’t have more scarves. No, I don’t have that super-thick jacket anymore. Anything cool, cute or popular already sold out–some of them even before Christmas ended. I don’t feel like searching around, digging for some $3 item that you think you saw, that you hope we have hidden away somewhere. Give it up, I have a lot of that super ugly print Christmas sweater, you want one? For super cheap? You can let your dog pee on it as a blanket. No? I didn’t think so. Go away Christmas after-after-after-sale-bargain-hunters. (Or be like my manager, buying a lot of this super cheap clothes for people in Haiti that actually need it. Hello.)

Customer Types: Capitalist, The Dumb

Visit California.

December 5, 2009

A customer comes to the register, she’s already sassy, sarcastic and rude–which is a promising sign, right?
She throws a leather jacket on the counter, smirking. “How much does this cost?”
I grab the tag and show her.
“Oh, it’s right there? So expensive, is this even real leather? It doesn’t feel real.” She examines the jacket while making more comments. “I’m sure you don’t know, but is this available online? Can you find out for me?”
“What size?”
“A small.”
“Yes, it is available.”
“Oh, you can see that? Really now? Can you see other stores, too?”
“Yes.”
“Since you don’t have a size small in this store, I want my daughter to go to the store near her to try it on. But I don’t want her to waste her time going all the way to the store if it isn’t even there.”
“It says we might have small in our store, I can go and check in the back.”
“Oh? You can do that for me? Be a dear.”
So I leave, and let my co-worker deal with finding the other store.
I find the jacket and my co-worker rushes by me. I find out she wants to know about a store in Corte Madera, California–but our system is unable to search that far without direct information or a direct number to locate it. He’s a bit upset by how she was speaking to him–wondering why he can’t find the store–yet, no one has even heard of that part of California, or knew a store even existed there. While he searches, I go out to give her the jacket.
“This looks like the right size. Did you find out if Corte Madera has one, too?”
“I haven’t even heard of Corte Madera.”
“Honey, your store should let you leave the island, and visit California once in a while, then you’ll know a little more.”
My jaw drops. For her knowledge, I spent several years there, I just never visited the crack of land known of Corte Madera.

Customer Type: Capitalist, Micromanagement, Modern Slave-Owner

*Knocks*

December 4, 2009

Today was special. Suffice it to say, though some call me a stereotyper, the most insulting and degrading ways of getting attention lay always with the Chinese customers. Today was special.

I was in the middle of a stock check for a customer, and the cashier asks me for back-up. The line isn’t long, just one couple with a scarf., I decide I can do a quick purchase and finish my stock check. I go to the register and the man begins by yelling at me, “You take forever!” *Knocks* “Why you take so long?” *Knocks* “You take too long!” *Knocks” “What’s wrong with you?” All the while he is literally knocking, KNOCKING on the counter with his knuckles, glaring at me, spittle flying. While he continues to yell at me, knocking on the counter, I just look at him and say, “You can lecture me, but I don’t care.”

You see, when the company stops making the jeans you love the most–don’t blame me, I didn’t make the decision, so stop saying, “You stopped making my favorite jeans,” because I didn’t make that choice.
When a co-worker forgets to take a sensor off your clothes, and you beep heading out the door, don’t yell at me saying, “You always forget to take off my tags,” because I didn’t do it. I will gladly lecture my coworker or bring you so you can yell at them.
When the cashiers don’t ask for back-up when they should, don’t yell at me. I was there seconds after help was requested. And seriously, yelling at me and knocking on the counter?

If I make a mistake with your transaction, I take responsibility. When I make a bad marketing decision, I take responsibility. But don’t you dare blame me, yell at me, or lecture me about something I have no control over. That is one major ‘wrong’ in a capitalist industry where money is seen as something holier-than-thou, where you think you have the right to do what you want because you’re buying a scarf for $20. If we took one step outside the doors of that business, you would not dare act the same way. You would surely be taken aback if I treated you the exact same way.

So I quickly finish the transaction and leave. Of course, the rude man who expected me to bow down and cower before his $20 purchase, wanted some form of pleasure, so within a minute I hear the manager looking for me. Which I am told I made the customer wait a long time (did I really?), that I was rude (really? I thought we do onto others…), and I didn’t thank him…  For what? Thank you for knocking on the counter, lecturing me because I decided to not make you wait any longer? Thank you for letting you spit on me, and act as if you’re worth more than the money you carry? Because seriously, if you want to play the capitalist game, then you’re really not worth more than your purchase, you have no face, no name, no identity other than the plastic cards in your wallet. I’m sure not going to thank you and hope you come back to buy another scarf next year, unless I can go to your place of business knock on your desk and yell at you for no good reason.

Customer Type: Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messenger, (I feel the urge to make a subgroup for Chinese, since I was also clapped at like a dog in addition to this ‘knocking thing), Modern Slave-Owner.

Intellect and Retail

September 8, 2009

Yes, I’ve wanted to write a book about retail for a while. I think the comic strip is excellent:
Retail Comic Strip
Either that will become a good cartoon one day, or my idea for a book will be a nice cult movie one day–if written well, which is the current sticking point.
Do you know, retail is one of the places where you benefit from stupidity? You can get rewards and perks for being stupid and ignorant. If you go to the airport and bring extra bags, they don’t care if you ‘did not know’ about their baggage policy. You can’t ask to speak to their manager and say you were unaware of these charges, that your bag weighs too much, that you’re stupid–you’ll still have to follow the rules, not ‘well just this one time’.

If you are a bad parent, abusing your children, leaving them alone for long periods unattended, social services won’t arrive and say, “Well, you’re going to earn extra income now, and we’ll help you out.” *smiles* More likely, your kids will be taken away.

Car Insurance doesn’t let your stupidity be an excuse for accidents, it sure won’t stop them from increasing your premium.

In retail, you can get away with saying, “Oh, I didn’t know. I want to speak to your manager.” Where basically whining allows you to benefit and gain rewards undeserving and inexperienced in other parts of life. This is a place where I believe retail and customer service industries have gone wrong. People should be penalized, just like anywhere else for their stupidity and ignorance. In essence, all retail does is encourage it and allow it to envelop the buying culture. It actually encourages you to be an idiot in order to get benefits–I don’t know is far easier than saying I do know.

People walk into a retail store with a thought or ideal that the salespeople working there are less intelligent than they are. Perhaps the only intelligent people are supposed to be management, which also includes a great deal of previous salespeople that have entered the management team–which is the irony of titles because that means they were once dumb and now smart? One time the snotty woman rattled off a list of different requests, wants and needs at the cash register, then arrogantly said, “Did you get all that? Hahaha.” And I looked at her, and said flatly, “I have an IQ of 150, I got it.” I proceeded to do all her various requests and special discounts, gift receipts, etc., then asked, “Is there anything else?” The condescending laughter was gone, when she replied, “No.” What does it say when you work somewhere where intelligence is actually a disappointment for customers?

Introductions are Inevitable

September 5, 2009

This is the beginning of my blog dedicated to my time in retail. I’ve witnessed many things that irritate and bother, disturb and discomfort, as my coworkers always wonder, “Do these customers really have to act like this?” ‘This’ being a reflection of the current state of our world and society, of capitalism, of modern slavery, and our actions towards each other as living, human beings incapable of even minor respect and dignity towards each other.
Most of these stories will be heard 1000 times around the world, every single day; perhaps these stories happen 10s of 1000s of times or more. The fact they exist, and the fact that consumers feel the need to have this false sense of security and power through their money, large or small, is a serious blow to any society that wants to see itself as evolved, intelligent, or even to be taken seriously.