Posts Tagged ‘consumer’

Fake Japanese?

August 17, 2010

I have just finished helping a Japanese couple, speaking with the sparse Japanese I do know and understand. I greet the next customer. He’s a 6’3″, 225 pound man who has the look and accent of someone from the Mid-Western United States of America. He says, loudly, “Aye-Ree-Gah-Toe!” I instantly look away, thinking, “Are you serious. Why do I have to deal with these kinds of people?”

I quickly try to do my transaction, as he says random Japanese words he’s heard and can’t pronounce correctly. I speak to him in English, since I’m quite aware I look like a Japanese tourist and can act like a Japanese tourist. I tell him the total, and he proceeds to count, “Nii, San… Nii, San…” Or perhaps it’s, “Nissan, Nissan.” I much prefer the homophone, “Ichi, Nii” which sounds like, “Itchy knee.” Either way, I’m standing there rolling my eyes, since he can’t keep track of counting his counts, while saying “Nii, San.” I’m all but too happy to see him go. Really, why do I get the weirdos?

Customer Type: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations, The Racist,

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Sales Report Gone Blonde?

August 16, 2010

At the top of the hour, the manager usually prints a report of the hourly sales, tracking, etc. I’m in the middle of the transaction with two blonds, not fake bleached, but real, and not smart, but real. (Okay, that made me laugh a little.) So, they’re having this conversation, showing the depth of their grammatical comprehension, “Like, I told my friend, you know, like, don’t do that, that’s so stupid, you know.” It’s just empty banter threatening to make my eyeballs collapse into the back of my head.

I hear the manager ask me to print out the sales report on a nearby register, which I do, while still scanning in the items the girls are buying. The slip is hanging from the register, as I continue to scan in the last items. One of the blond girls reaches over, ripping the sales report out, and stands there reading it.

Of course, this makes all my coworkers gasp, and even telling them the story, they all gasp. Yet, I decide with great understanding and clarity, that this girl wouldn’t even know what she’s looking at. After several seconds, I tell her, “Oh, thank you for grabbing that for me.” And she hands it to me as if she’s doing me a favor. Yeah, thanks a lot. You’re FAB! Muah, darling!

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Dumb, Lowered Expectations

Where Is He?

August 11, 2010

Who? Me? Yes, me.

I was helping a male customer find some clothes, but he needed his partner to come make decisions for him. Soon, he returned with his girlfriend, and I helped him find good colors and fits for him to try. After this, I needed to go in the back to meet with a manager.

Then, I hear on the walkie-talkie, someone asking for me. I ask what they need, and they reply I was helping a customer, and he only wants my help and my opinion on the clothes he’s trying on. I laugh, as the manager asks what the guy’s problem is. I just tell her, I’m that good.

So I go out, and I help him with his clothes, especially one shirt which was giving him problems. He couldn’t decide between two sizes–one was fitted, and kind of showed his curves a bit too much; the other was a little looser, but still fit well. I told him to go with the larger size. Then, I ran back to my manager to finish my work, since I was on a deadline.

The funnier part, after I came back out, my coworker said he still picked the tighter size. Well, you can’t win them all, but it’s nice to be appreciated once in a while, right?

Fire Alarm Fibbers!

August 9, 2010

I’m walking through the store, and it’s a bit crowded. I see three children examining our fire alarm. The settings are in reach and public view in case of an emergency. They see me approach them and they scatter. So I walk around, and within ten seconds, we all know what they’ve done. I can hear the alarm signal, it sounds like a bio-hazard siren. My manager looks up, saying, “Is that what I think it is?” Yes, it’s the fire alarm.

I go right back to the children, finding them standing there lost and confused. I know their parents are nearby, but hiding for some reason. Some parents would smack their children–which is generally not advised, but in this situation, something would have been beneficial. I’ve run into this problem before, with curious children, doing what they are not supposed to. I quickly press the silence button, but I warn the manager, “Mall security will be here in a minute.”

My manager approaches the terminal, and asks the children, “Did you push the button?” At the same time, I say, “Those kids pushed the button,” on the walkie-talkie. My manager replies, “You mean the same children that just told me they didn’t push it?” I roll my eyes and sigh, looking at the little liars. This is a time, I wish they had parents who taught them to say the dreaded social crutch, “Sorry!” Instead, I’m forced to utter, “Wow, that’s really bad parenting.” To which my manager tells me to hush and shakes her head.

As my manager walks away, the parents, hidden in plain view, tell their kids to be quiet and quickly ushers them out of the store, as if they were invisible burdens scurrying into the night like rats.

Actually, yes, they were, just like rats.

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Liar

First Sign of Winter?

August 8, 2010

There is a man shopping, he’s looking for an item. He asks for a sweater that zips down the middle.

STOP!

Okay, can you list three real pieces of clothing which fulfill this criteria in a Men’s store? A sweater and it zips down the middle. Think about it. Okay, time’s up.

1. A hoodie, right? Nope.
2. A zip cardigan? Nope, wrong again.
3. What else is there? Some half-zip, mock-turtle neck mishap? Or maybe a sweater-vest which zips down the middle, because that’s trendy, and oh-so awesome, right? Not.

Whatever it is, we didn’t have what he was looking for. It’s not what he was talking about. So what was this? Some item that doesn’t yet exist, which he hopes someone will eventually design one day? If it’s that revolutionary, he might have to design it himself, or he’ll never find it. There are certainly only so many options when it comes to a sweater which zips down the middle.

Customer Types: FashioNOTstas, Tailor-Made

Customer Comment: Do I Just Go Into Any Room?

July 24, 2010

There are customer comments that irk me to no end. They seem like a social norm, as so many people say it to me so often from so many different cultures. They walk into the fitting room, walking by me as if I don’t exist, then they turn around and ask, “Do I just go into any room?” Well, you just walked by me like a wall, why stop now? What am I doing in here, being paid to be a statue? Of course, I enjoy standing around and all I do is clean after you people, like you’re grown children who have to return things inside out, with deodorant stains and lipstick marks.

You know, people in fitting rooms have different duties, and depending on how you actually treat them, you might find out what they are. Many fitting rooms with attendants aren’t just there like a restroom attendant handing out towels waiting for a tip, while thinking about topics for the next American novel. Workers in the fitting room can actually help you find sizes, help you build an outfit, offer you suggestions, and a multitude of other things. If the first thing you do when you walk into their work-area is ignore them, then ask, “Do I just go into any room?” you’re already losing many opportunities for real and actual help. Many times you create the world you live in–if you act like a jackass, people treat you like a jackass. Think about it. In the end, so many of my coworkers seem used to these “Do I just go into any room?” customers, that they stand there and waves vaguely at a wall of doors, while saying, “You can take any room.” In actuality, they should be helping you to a room, saying they’ll help you, already offering suggestions, and trying to help the store make money.

Maybe the next time you walk into a fitting room, you can ask to try the clothes on. It’s not like retail workers are already demeaned in so many other ways.

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

Angry Cargo Shorts

July 14, 2010

I’m walking the fitting room, and I see a room with two green cargo shorts. I’m already holding a handful of clothes from yet another room, so I leave it in there to organize what I’m holding. I see a man walk by; he hasn’t been very talkative, nor receptive of help. I walk by his room, and he’s left a pair of green cargo shorts in there. Altogether I now have three cargo shorts, and it’s quite obvious who is trying them on in different rooms. I hang up one size-34 and two size-36 shorts, as he walks in yet again with another pair of green cargo shorts.

As I’m walking out, I hear him yell at me angrily, “Hey you! Where do you think you’re going with that! You keep cleaning out my rooms, and I keep trying on the same pairs of shorts!”
I turn around, glaring at him. “You,” I say, “You keep trying them on and leaving them in different rooms. I’m not the one cleaning them out.”
“No! You are! I came back and my shorts were gone!”
“First, you were in this room,” I point to the room I found two shorts, “Then you were in this room,” I point at the room he just left one short in. “You can have this one again.”
As I turn to close his door, he whirls around staring at me, and slamming his hand into the door keeping it open.
“I’m closing your door!” I tell him sternly, I don’t care how large or how angry he thinks he can be, he’d be sore to find out my limits. I proceed to slam the door behind him. I walk away to tell the manager, and basically all my coworkers about this raging man with low logic skills. Since I’ve been told to stay away from aggressive people, I have someone else watch the fitting rooms for me.

Soon, I see him leaving as he stares at me while walking out; he’s carrying a shopping bag from our store. I tell the cashiers, “Well I guess he bought his shorts.” Then I find the manager in the fitting room, telling her the same thing.
“Oh, that was his shorts? I asked if they fit okay, and he just made a noise and walked out.”

Aww, here I was hoping he’d complain about me, but I guess he realized how much of a dumb munch he was being. I didn’t want to tell him I have a photographic memory about these things, and I could probably redraw all the pimples on his face accurately, even coloring in the bright red ones he has.

Smile, he’s going to live and die in blatant ignorance. If anything is a wasted life, that is.

Customer Type: Big Baby, Capitalist, The Dumb, ESP

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

The Hand of the Mannequin

July 12, 2010

In recent weeks, I’ve seen many a child standing, waiting for their not-so-doting parents. While the child wanders around, alone, they often stand there and hold the hands of our mannequins. It is a curious sight, invoking a feeling of sadness, distance, and cuteness all mixed with the headless body of a male figure. Yes, I haven’t seen children holding the hands of female mannequins, only males. If I had more time and energy, I’d make a mock-up of some psychology report on the necessity for children to hold hands as a feeling of safety, connection, and social-growth, which attracts them to these pseudo-human figures for these needs when their parental guardians do not accurately provide for them.

It is not always single females whose children go reaching for these hard man-hands, but many of them have been. The oddest thing I notice is some of these children are so insistent on holding onto the hand of the mannequin, they actually pull the arms off. Following a huge cracking sound, as the arm slams into the floor, the child generally starts to scream and cry, running to their parent for safety. I also wonder about the affects of these incidents on the frail stability of the mind of children. One such boy wouldn’t let go of his mother, crying for over twenty-minutes without stop. Of course, during the entire time, she either held him or let him hold her as she continued to look at clothes and try it on–which may have been a precursor to his interest in the mannequin’s hand for security. Of course, the falling arm would definitely show this child the harshness of reality and the world, where you may desire something like safety, but in the end, must provide it for yourself, even if the surrogate hand is cold and strong, it can only take so much pulling and tugging before it too gives up on you.

Still, even with these thoughts, I think it’s cute when a kid holds the hand of a mannequin innocently. Especially when they are waiting for their parents, and they just stand there, holding it. I also anticipate them pulling too hard, ending up with a loose arm floating in the dreams of society.