Posts Tagged ‘consumer’

Please Swipe Your Card

October 30, 2010

Credit card machines have evolved quickly over the years. Currently, everyone has their version of the swiping machine with a digital pad so you can view your items and total, eventually signing on the same screen. I consider the most advanced being the machines which allows you to swipe whenever you please–there are not a lot of these, as most people ask you to wait before you swipe. Our business uses the one where you wait. Let me compress a single-day’s worth of, “Please swipe your card,” into a single transaction.

I greet the customer. They swipe their card–come on, I haven’t even logged into the system nor taken your clothes yet, calm down! So I tell them it’s not ready yet, I prepare to scan an item, they swipe again! “It’s not ready yet,” I repeat again. They stand there staring at the machine, as if it’s a race–can they swipe it right when they need to? Can they swipe it at the exact second it says to, “Go!” Because, you know, if they are able to do this, their world is full of greatness. Yeah, right, and I”m the Retail Fairy. By this time, they’ve often swiped several times, sighing in some ridiculous relief as if they did it right, and put away their credit cards.

I finally scan in all the items, and I need to select the option for Credit or Debit cards. They’re swiping away, two or three times, as I say, “It’s not… ready yet. It will… tell you when it’s… ready.” Each pause is generally one swipe from the customer, thinking that by swiping it multiple times, the transaction will go by faster. It is like people at a stoplight pressing the button constantly as if that will alert the system, “Oh my, someone is in a hurry! We must change the light faster! Hurry, there must be a life and death emergency!” Actually, it’s people with low intellect stimulating themselves. Anyhow, sometimes I even try to outrace the customer. Can I scan in all the items and press credit, before they can find their card and swipe it? Can I? Can I really? Most of the time I do this, they say, “I didn’t even see the total.” Yes, it’s always lose-lose when you deal with the lost.

Finally, the screen appears, “Please Swipe Your Card.” And they stand there, with their credit card. And what do they ask? What could the possibly ask to make them look any smarter as human beings?

“Do I swipe now?” Seriously? Who in the world taught you to act like a chimpanzee? Most times I just sigh and nod.

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Department-Sized Table

October 27, 2010

A customer is lost, and I approach her and her daughter. “Are you looking for something?” She tells me she’s looking for the children section. I point in the direction where it is, only twelve-feet away. There is a huge doorway, where you can obviously see children mannequins and kid’s themed items. First, she goes toward a mirror, which I find odd. I tell her, “No, it’s straight, keep going.” So she walks, stopping one-foot away from the kid’s department and looks curiously at a cabinet of adult merchandise. She has a surprised, confused look as if, “What? This doesn’t look like kid’s clothes.” I’m standing there thinking, “Yes, the entire department fits in one fixture.” She looks back at me with a face saying, “This isn’t kid’s clothes.” Then her daughter proves to be the one with the brains, pointing at the kid’s department only a foot away. “Oh!” The mother exclaims, turning back to thank me. She waves as her daughter pulls her away. I roll my eyes without rolling my eyes and tell her, “You’re welcome.” Then I go back about my business.

Customer Service: The Blind, The Dumb

Credit Card Signature

October 26, 2010

This is definitely a short, but weird story. Obviously, by now, many people have seen the credit card machines where you sign on the digital pad. It never quite looks like your signature, kind of like a liquid version of the original. Either way, a woman swipes her card, and before anything else can happen, she starts to rub the corner of her credit card on the digital screen. I don’t know exactly what she’s doing, because it looks like she was rubbing off crap from her credit card onto our pad. The signature capture screen appears, and she then grabs her card and starts to rub hard against the screen. I finally realize what she’s doing, she’s trying to sign the screen with her credit card. It makes a loud, irritating sound like nails on a chalkboard–I can definitely tell she must be a very irritating person to live with. After trying this for several seconds, I stop her–leaning over and giving her the pen which is actually made to sign on these digital pads. I don’t know where she’s from, or the kind of pads she’s used to signing, but I have yet to see one that you use your credit card to actually sign.

Customer Types: The Dumb

NOT M-SIZE!

October 3, 2010

I’m trapped at the cash registers again, and there is a couple visiting from another country, as I find out, Korea.

There was a long line, and I call the next customers over, but the man is standing there staring at me. Other people behind him are staring at the back of his head. Then he starts yelling in Korean with an angry face. He’s looking at me, but I realize he’s yelling at the woman nearby, who is rummaging through a pile of shirts. He yells again, this time at her, tugging on her arm. I just stand there. Finally, she puts the shirts she was looking at, down, and they approach the register.

The woman comes, shaking a shirt, “I like this color!” But, her face is angry, mad. “I like this color!”
“Okay, that’s nice.”
“No, I like this color, but the size is wrong!”
“What size do you..”
“I like the color, but the size is wrong!”
“What size do you need?”
“It is the wrong size! I like the color!”
“Okay, what size do you…”
“I like the color, but the size is wrong! I don’t want M-size!”
“What size do you need?”
“I don’t want M-size!” She shakes the shirt at me, pointing at the Medium sticker printed on the shirt. “I like the color, but the size is wrong!”
I look at the husband, who is also yelling, but at her. I don’t understand what they’re saying, but I’m sure it makes as much sense as I’m hearing.
“This is the wrong size,” she continues, “I don’t want M-size!”
I just stand there, with my hands on my hips. “I know.”
“I don’t want M-size.”
“Yes.”
Then the husband finally cuts in, “No M-size, she needs S-size.”
“Small?”
“S-size!”
“M is medium, and S is small. She needs a smaller size?”
“Yes, she doesn’t want M-size, she wants S-size.”
So I go rummage through the pile, while asking for a stock check. I find an S-size in the same color, but it’s a crew neck, not a v-neck. I leave them behind me, so they can stop staring at me, and instead stare at the counter, or each other, or a nice wall, or whatever. I go into the stock room, restating our ‘conversation’, while a manager on break says, “Breathe!”
I just reply, “They can wait for me to come back, they want the S-size so bad.”

Customer Type: Guessing Game, Learn the Language

Negative Nancy

September 21, 2010

We are all familiar with this sort of person. They speak negatively, pessimistically about everything, and approach situations from a position of doubt, disbelief, or any of the many emotions which make others feel down.

“Excuse me, I don’t want to be a pain, but can you help me with these pants, I can’t understand a thing.”
So I go to her, and I explain the sizing. She seems to be under the impression the larger the size, the longer they are, and I point to the length indicator, telling her each pant is the same length.
We go to look at our denim. And again, she remarks on how the larger sizes are going to be longer than the smaller sizes. And again, I remind her, there are clear indicators saying the length on each pant, so the smallest and the largest are the same length. She waves me off in disbelief, saying they are longer. Perhaps it would help if you grabbed the correct sizes, Nancy? I should have grabbed a super-long small, and a super-short large size, and said, “Oh, this is a defect, we should take this away. No slim people are this tall.” At least not in her reality.

All during this time, she keeps yelling her daughter’s name, we’ll say it’s, “Margaret.” Her daughter has remained in the same spot the entire time I’m helping her, mind you.
“I don’t understand the sizing of these.”
“Well, the first number…”
“Excuse me, Margaret! Oh, please continue.”
“The first number is the waist size, and the second is the length.”
“Margaret! Come here. But the larger sizes are longer, I don’t see the point in putting lengths, it serves no purpose.”
“Each sizes has different lengths…”
“Margaret! Stay close to mommy!” Then she turns to me and say, “We’re visiting from Japan, and over there you don’t need to worry. Now, we’re in the United States, so someone could just come up and snatch her away when I’m not looking. It’s not as safe here, I always need to keep an eye on her. Margaret! Or else, someone will just come and steal her.”
I laugh, and I tell her it’s generally safe.
“Maybe because you live on an island. Margaret!”
So I decide to take her to a fitting room.

A few minutes later, I ask how she’s doing.
“I hate everything! But it’s not your fault, so don’t worry.”
I’m not. I’m more worried how your child will grow up, since you’re a strange Caucasian woman from Japan.

Customer Type: The Deaf, The Racist, The Rambler

What Size is that Mannequin Wearing?

September 10, 2010

A woman approaches me, because she wants a small-sized, purple shirt off a mannequin. I ask if she wants to look at the other colors, because we have several great colors to pick from.
“No, I don’t want another color. I want this color.”
I shrug, since she doesn’t want to even look at the other colors. I figure she really likes the purple color. So I strip the mannequin, putting the arms aside. I find the closest shirt right next to the woman, in small-size, and I place it on the mannequin. Mind you, it’s right next to her hanging. As I’m putting the arms on, the woman stops me.
“Wait, sorry, what size is that one?”
“Small.”
“I want that one, too.” She laughs. I chuckle a little with her, saying okay. I pull the arms off again, and hand her the shirt. She stands there watching me. So I get another shirt, small-sized, and I start to put it on.
“Excuse me, again, what size is that one?”
“It is small,” I sigh.
“Oh, can I have that one, too? Sorry, I’m being such a bother.” She laughs, and I just remind her there are several colors of these shirts right next to her. She just stands there watching me, and doesn’t move.
“Okay,” I whisper under my breath. So I get another shirt, I put it on, and guess what? Yes, she wants it. This time, I decide to just get a totally different shirt. Thankfully, she’s not interested in this shirt, and takes her collection away, as I finally slip the arms of the mannequin back into place.

Customer Type: The Blind, Micromanagement

Any Color is Certain Colors

September 9, 2010

I greet a woman looking for help, and she tells me, “I’m looking for a basic crew-neck short-sleeved shirt and a long-sleeved crew-neck shirt. I need them in medium-size.” She’s reading from her phone a short shopping list.
I lead her nearby telling her, “We only have a few colors…”
“It doesn’t matter what the color is, I don’t care, I’m just picking it up for my sister. She wanted me to pick some up for her.”
“Okay,” so I hand her a gray short-sleeved shirt and a black long-sleeved shirt.
She rubs the collar, looking at me, “Is this what crew-neck is? Just a regular neck?”
“Yes.”
Opening the gray shirt, she looks at the wall, “I don’t want this color, do you have a black one?”
“Yes.” I hand her the black medium, taking the gray shirt away.
“Do you have a white one?” She shakes the long-sleeved, black shirt at me.
“Yes.” I hand her the white shirt, taking the long-sleeved shirt back. I’m so glad she didn’t care what colors we had, or we might have had a problem. I laugh a little to myself, and go back to my day.

Customer Type: The Liar, Micromanagement

Not Black Enough

September 8, 2010

I’m minding my own business when a guy with a skateboard approaches me.
“I’m looking for black jeans.”
“We have black jeans in boot fit and slim-straight styles.”
“I’m looking for straight.”
So I take him to the denim area with the straight-leg and I show him our black jeans.
“Here it is.”
“This isn’t black.”
“Oh, okay. Sorry.” I shrug and I walk away, beginning to fold a polo. He has followed me and stands behind me. I turn wondering what he wants.
“You don’t have any more black jeans?”
Okay, sure, I don’t know how many companies make several black jeans of the same cut, and call them black, then display them together as, “Real Black, True Black, Blacker Than Black, and Ultimate Armageddon Black,” but I certainly haven’t found that place. Instead, I just say, “Yeah, that’s all we got.” I reach for my second polo to fold as he walks away.

Customer Type: Tailor-made

Denim Complimentary

August 20, 2010

There was a time I was an excellent salesperson. There was a time when managers and coworkers asked what my secret was, how did I make sales so easily? As time moved on, as more horrible customers appeared and ripped pieces of my soul apart, I became more rigid and I wasn’t willing to be open, helpful, or caring. Why be an evolved salesperson if your customers don’t care?

Recently, we watched a training video with sales scenarios which made everyone laugh. Yet, watching it, I often thought how much each of my coworkers do this, every single day they work. My philosophy is clear with sales, I believe I need to sell so we each get hours to work–no sales, no hours, no coworkers. The greater influence I am in making people buy things, the more my coworkers get to work–and basically do the bad things presented in the video.

Yet, after the video, I was willing to try. I helped a couple, they were both heavy-set, and the woman wasn’t really open to help at first. So I helped her boyfriend first. We slowly took time finding denim for him, a cut that would work, then a wash that would be cool enough for him, and make her happy. We went on to find matching shirts for several different outfits. Along the way, I also got her back into the fitting rooms to try on several more pants, because her first attempts were failures. I was actually excited, thinking, this is selling again, reborn. They both found stuff they wanted.

I left the fitting room helping another customer, and I walked back in seeing them turning a corner. So I decided to check their rooms, and I found everything still there. They bought nothing. I was disappointed. Then, I hear the manager ask for me. She comes to tell me the couple I justĀ  helped, they felt so bad, so sorry they didn’t find anything; they might come back, but they wanted to tell her how I went above and beyond trying to help them find the perfect outfits, how patient I was and how helpful I was. My manager gave them a survey to fill out. I guess that counts for something, right?

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