Posts Tagged ‘coworkers’

The New Weirdo

August 12, 2010

As a personal preference, I generally avoid weird people who aren’t shoplifters. One such weirdo used to be known as the ‘hat guy’, wearing a certain baseball hat, walking to the back by the bras and panties, generally just standing, staring at our coworkers there. To which, we receive a call for help, “There is a creepy guy back here staring at me!” “Is he wearing a baseball cap?” “Yes!”

Recently, he’s lost his baseball cap, but I still don’t bother with him. Although I have been around during his visits, pointing him out to managers, I generally keep my distance, since he doesn’t ever steal anything. I have three stories from his recent visits.

Once, I pointed him out to a manager, and a few moments after, I hear my manager said, “Hey, did you just see that?” Apparently, when my back was turned, my manager approached the guy, greeting him, asking if he’s okay, and he turned, and did a moonwalk dance, backing away from my manager across the sales floor, then left. No, I did not see it. These occurrences seem to be like UFO sightings.

Next, I show him to my store manager, who loses sight of him. She comes back saying, “I swear, I just witnessed something totally inappropriate and dirty!” She found him coming out of a fitting room, literally tugging on his wiener (sausage) through his pants as he exited the room. She’s utterly grossed out and stunned by this. We are quite thankful the fitting rooms are not near any children sections.

Finally, I point him out to yet another manager. My manager follows the guy into the bras and panties section, and they are separated by a wall. As he turns behind a wall, my manager sees him put his hand into his pants. As they meet again on the other side of the wall, the guy still has his hand in the front of his pants, and seeing my manager, quickly pulls his hand out, and walks away.

I am quite perplexed by this weirdo, but as I said, I don’t bother with him. He’s younger, and not ugly, though I’ve seen him dancing a little when he walks around. He often comes in, staring at his face up-close in our large mirrors. I think soon, I’ll want a story of my own to tell, about this strange, perverted, dancing weirdo.

Customer Type: ???

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Retail Law

June 27, 2010

It is said within Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” Though not the best adage of choice, it was the easiest to find.

I know not the name of this law I have in mind, but there is always that one idiot that will misinterpret or incorrectly read something. Don’t Get Me Wrong, Part 2 is a good example of this theory. For there shall always be that one person that misreads a sale sign, after it’s been up for several days, and cause all sorts of problems, where coworkers run around like chickens without a head, managers become aware and alert like dogs smelling bacon, and I am left rolling my eyes that one stupid person can cause this much trouble.

I myself have learned to deal with these people appropriately, without calling the entire store for help. Just the other day, and old woman comes up with a hat. She places it calmly on the counter, as I scan it. She looks at the price, and I’m already ready for her reply.

“What? This isn’t on sale?” She sounds like she’s just found out her diamond ring is zircon.
“No, this is full price.”
“But the sign,” she points vaguely in the direction where I know the hat is. It has sat there for over a day, near our signs announcing the store sale–‘Take an additional blah-blah percent off all sale items!” Hurray for sales, right? They do bring the best of the people out of their caves into the bright lights of society, which they have so little normal, proper interaction with. Those people who lack social skills. Those people who are only brought out by sales. Those people who are obviously the least irritating people to deal with. Not. “The sign says it is on sale!”
“The sign says sale items have an additional discount.”
“The sign is right above the hat.” Actually, it’s hanging on shirts above the item, which used to have a promotion on those shirts. [I am left to assume, she would have had the same argument even if the original sign said, “Special, All Shirts 50% off!” “But the sign says the shirts are 50% off, why isn’t this hat also 50% off, it’s right next to the sign.” Pfft.]
“The sign is an announcement.” I point all around the store, which might be the first time she’s looked up from her feet today, breaking her hunched-back finding she’s actually a homo-erectus. Lo-and-behold, signs are on virtually every fixture announcing the additional discounts on sale items. “It is telling people all sale items have an additional discount.”
“It was right above these hats!” She glares at me. I have no idea if she’s trying to use force or her age to get a discount.
“If it was on sale, you would get the discount.” I am unmoved. “If you sign up for a card, you can get a discount.”
“Fine, I don’t want it.”
“Okay,” I take the hat, turning around, and putting it on the counter. I turn back, finding her still glaring at me, as if her admittance of ‘not wanting it’ was supposed to make me balk, and shudder, quivering under her power of trying to rape us of the money we are already losing by having this ridiculously high sale discount. Woman, we’re already taking a loss just selling these sale items, why would I want to sell full-priced items at such a discount?

Obviously she hasn’t read this: Diminishing Returns.

So she stares at me more, without saying anything. This continues for about ten more seconds as she walks away, and looks at each and every sign announcing our sale. I have no idea if it sunk in, but those signs were everywhere, and none of them said, “Hey, these are on sale!” “Hey, everything is on sale!” It always saddens me when I find people have lived this long being ignorant and no one has ever set them straight, or at least taught them to have some sense of embarrassment when they act like they’re stupid. I rather not ever be caught acting with stupidity, or be seen as cheap, too. But, that is just me.

Customer Types: The Blind, Capitalist,  The Dumb

The Old Man and the Bag

May 15, 2010

Chapter One.

He was an old man who wandered alone in his flip-flops through the mall I work and he had in his pocket eighty-four dollars and seventy-nine cents always without buying anything new. In the first forty days he bought and returned the same bag over and over again. But after forty days we were without his bag, and my managers had told me that the old man was now definitely and finally crazy, which he showed by yelling at me, yelling at himself, and I had called the managers to deal with him, because his bag was gone, and he was mad. I had seen the old man come in each day to buy a bag then return it, saying he’d come back and buy it later and I always had some naive coworkers help him, listen to him rambling about his son and daughter, who probably do not exist, while holding onto the bag he’d buy and return, then buy and return again. His clothes dirty, aged and wrinkled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat.

The old man was thin and Asian with deep wrinkles on his forehead, which creased whenever he spoke. While yelling at himself, he once left his clothes and Walkman in our tables, and then went away, forgetting he even did so. We returned it to him when he came back again. He came today, asking for his bag, but it was not there. We had finally sold them all. He yelled at me, telling me to prove they were all gone, to show him there were no more. Is this an oxymoron? He would not stop yelling. I ruined his habit, his daily routine which made him feel safe, for he is a crazy man that I once pitied and humored for his loneliness. Yet, I despise being yelled at and threw him to a manager instead. From now on, I will not be helping him anymore.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, MARKDOWN!

April 24, 2010

Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown,
Make me have a big, fat frown.
I fold for you a dunce’s crown,
Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown!

I always find myself in the sale section helping customers, because so many of them float there and get stuck, like branches during a flood. We already know about the cool people with the amazing ability to find the only item left NOT in their size, so they need to ask everyone if we have just one more, somewhere, buried, waiting for them like a cheap pirate looking for nonexistent treasure while holding a torn map be bought for a pence, with a branch for a leg because he can’t afford a good peg-leg from a stool.

This time, my lovable pirate is a one wearing two eye-patches. So I ask if they are doing okay, and they shove a sweater at me, saying, “Why is this price higher than the others? How much is it?” And I look at a wall with at least five of the same sweater, in the same color, and same size–all marked cheaper. I tell them the price–from those sweaters. And I’m thinking, “Why do you want the one that’s not marked correctly? What makes this one so special? Why do you need to waste your life and another person’s life for this? And is it not common sense that this one is marked wrong?” Why in the world do you have to find the only one marked wrong, do you think you’re doing your job for us?

So they have an argument with me, obviously one-sided, because I know it’s not marked right. Then I get blamed because it’s marked wrong. It is my utter joy being the middle-man between people who just have to find the one mis-marked item and thus desire it with a grand passion, and the co-worker who decided to miss that item while fumbling through this mess of sale, which I should remind you is generally a mess because of these self-same customer rummaging through sale like a tossed salad. It’s called the Circle of Retail Life in the Sale section.

So we go to the register and scan the item–lo and behold, wait for it, wow, it is the lower price like all the other sweaters! Isn’t that amazing? Totally mind-shattering, world-altering experience. And of course, they want that sweater. (Because it is better than the other sweaters which were marked correctly, you know that, right? They are drawn to it like flies to an electric shocker just waiting for their death to come.) As they try to shove the sweater at me and pull out their credit card, I point at the long line behind them saying, “You have to wait in line first,” then I wade my way back into the river to find another branch, lost and stuck because they have to find the one unique item that isn’t like the others, because they want to complicate the world by not opening their eyes. Because, you know, the mis-marked one is so much better than the others.

Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown,
It’s not I that make you a clown.
Now go wear your deal around town,
Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown!

Customer Types: Agreeing to Disagree, The Blind, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Micromanagement, Piggies

Magnemite 6 Thundershock 11 Sonicboom 22 Spark E30 LIGHTNING/STEEL

President’s Day, Better!

February 16, 2010

So my coworker was cashing out customers from California. Today, our store had some super-sale, when all other stores seemed to have rather weak sales. The customer was talking about how busy it is in our store.

My coworker replies, “Today, it’s worse than Christmas.”
“It’s not worse, it’s better,” the woman corrected her.

Actually, she made the perfect example of why it actually was worse. The difference between Christmas sales versus today’s sale is that people are shopping for themselves, they aren’t buying gifts for other people. They are being as selfish, self-centered, and demanding as possible for their own personal benefit. There isn’t generosity in their hearts, not that there is much going on during Christmas, to be honest, but their aims were totally personal during today’s sale–I want to get the best deal for me!

People were trying on dozens of outfits for themselves. They were waiting impatiently to get into the fitting room, pushing in front of each other, getting rude and irritated because of other customers–taking it out on the salespeople. Dozens of stock-checks every minute, all for ‘me’. Find me more sizes. Find me more colors. I want to try on everything. Clothes piling up everywhere. Me, me, me. That is the perfect President’s Day celebration, the perfect example of what it is to live here. Forget Christmas, go President’s Day!

No, today wasn’t better, it actually was worse than Christmas. She had it right the first time.

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

But she gave it to us!

January 28, 2010

The cashier is away, and I decide to help these three women (against my better intuition), who hold about 18 different items in their arms. They give me a coupon that says, “Buy two get one free.” [In general, such coupons you get one set for each coupon, but also one per person, which it also says on the coupon.] So I give them their discount for their first three shirts. Then they push three more, without a coupon, and I ring them up. As I continue on, one of the woman stops me.

“Aren’t you going to give me a discount on those?!?”
“Do you have another coupon?”
“No.”
“The coupon is good for ‘buy two, get one free’, but for each set, you need another coupon.”
“No, JulyFrog gave it to me!” (JulyFrog is her nickname at work.)
“What?”
“JulyFrog let me buy as much as I wanted with just one coupon.”
“That’s not how the coupon works.”
“JulyFrog let me do it several times already! Each time I came, JulyFrog let me do it!”
So I call the manager over the walkie-talkie asking about the situation. And she says no, because the coupon says only one per three items. I tell the woman this, and again, she goes on about JulyFrog this, JulyFrog that. I see my manager speaking to a coworker in the distance, and I tell the woman:
“Yes, well JulyFrog doesn’t follow policy. The manager and I just returned from vacation, and we don’t break the rules. You should stop saying her name, because you’ll get her in trouble.”
The original cashier has returned. I explain the sitution, and she just shrugs, “I don’t know.” We all know I don’t break easily. So we continue to go back and forth, “JulyFrog let me. JulyFrog didn’t give me any problems. JulyFrog just let me do it!” JulyFrog, JulyFrog, JulyFrog!
So the manager comes in, and she says, “Well, I heard we were doing that, but after Saturday, we stopped.”
[I later found out, she was talking to a co-worker about the coupons, because other co-workers were giving people unlimited discounts. That is, until the store manager came along and said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?! They need one coupon for each discount!” Then they stopped. I don’t know why my coworkers don’t understand–the more money we save, the more money we have for hours to pay their paychecks; the less money we make by giving things away for free, the less hours we all have–which essentially makes my coworkers upset in the first place.]
So I ask her, “Don’t you have more coupons?”
“I have a lot.”
Just great. Someone gave her a ton, so I might have to submit. I ask, “Where is it?”
“I left it at home.”
“We can put it on hold, and you can come back with your coupons.”
“No, JulyFrog let us use one, and we could buy as much as we wanted!”
So my manager tries to get them to pick the highest cost items to give the discount. Considering at this time, we are in super-discount mode, and they are carrying discontinued items that are practically worthless. Giving them away for free becomes a literal statement. I’m talking about $5 items here, that was once worth $50. I’m standing there thinking, “Do they want my co-workers starving? How cheap are we supposed to sell this stuff that we’re not making money?” I mean how far can you go with a discount? Seriously. How cheap and ridiculous can you get? Well you already know this answer.
“Well JulyFrog let us do it several times already! We didn’t have any problems!” As if JulyFrog is a manager. They couldn’t even ask to speak to the manager, because she was already standing in front of them saying no, she won’t bend policy.
Seriously, we should give you unlimited free items and then fire the cashier.
By this time, I do my usual, and I run away. In the distance, I still hear them arguing. I hear my manager saying again, “I’m sorry, after Saturday, they stopped doing it that way.”
“Sunday!” The woman screams, “Sunday! JulyFrog gave it to me on Sunday! Sunday, I bought everything I wanted, too! There was nothing different!” And even the manager asks them to stop saying her name, because they’re only getting my co-worker into more and more trouble. “But JulyFrog did it on Sunday!” Obviously this person doesn’t care about JulyFrog, only the discount–so in essence, she’s saying someone’s job is worth less than $5 shirts. Isn’t she great?
Several minutes later, I hear laughter. I find out that the manager let them have the discount–it’s one of her learned tricks, playing both bad cop and good cop at the same time. Just letting them off with a warning. And even then, the woman kept going, “JulyFrog was so nice. JulyFrog was so helpful.” And JulyFrog won’t be giving out free discounts like that anytime soon, thanks to you. Why don’t you tell the world to go to JulyFrog for free clothes. Dumb-ass.

Customer Types: Big Baby, The Dumb, Tattle Tale

Tube Socks

December 21, 2009

At the same time I had my gift receipt customer, I hear a loud, rude customer next to me speaking to one of my more sassy coworkers. I hear the woman ask for socks, and my coworker points toward the sock wall we have for woman.
“No, I want tube socks!”
“Tube socks?”
“Tube socks! Those aren’t tube socks. You don’t know what tube socks are?” The woman turns toward her friend and says with way too much cocky attitude, “Tube socks, those are the thick ones, right? Tube socks, the ones that are long and go up your leg, right? Tube socks. That’s what tube socks are!”
I’m utterly surprised my coworker didn’t snap back, nor point out the fact tube socks like that are of the manlier variety and I’m sure men’s socks would have been perfect for her womanly virtues. I laugh, and say, “I think we have those kind of socks in the back.” Since, we do have winter socks, which are thick, but not tube socks, but it would be good enough for this customer. Otherwise, I’d point at the men’s socks, because they’re ‘thick’ and ‘go up your leg’.

Some people are just too much, like when guys ask for the jeans with elastic, or woman ask for ‘mom jeans’. I know what they are, not everyone knows, but that doesn’t mean we or anyone else carries it for the plethora of customers that come asking. Supply and demand usually means buying a lot of what you like before it becomes extinct.

Customer types: Lowered Expectations

Angry Panties

December 21, 2009

Today, I had a customer come to the register with a pile of panties. I tell her a sale started this morning, which she’s utterly happy about. We get along just fine, until I scan all of her panties. There are promotions: buy ‘X of full-priced panties’ for Y dollars (3 for $25, 4 for $30, etc.), and she only needed one more for that promotional price. I tell her this.
“But they’re all on the same table,” she states.
“Oh, I guess we marked some on sale, but they didn’t remove the sale from the table. Did you want to get one more of the full-priced panties to get the discount?”
“But they’re on the same table, it says I get them for that price! They’re all on sale, right?”
I’m looking at the sale panties which are cheaper than the promotional price. I push the button on my walkie-talkie headset, and I speak into it, “Can the person in the panty section make sure to remove the sale items from the promotional table immediately?”
“I don’t know why there are sale panties on that table.”
“Don’t worry miss, I just told them to remove the sale panties, it’s all being handled. Do you want to get one more of the regular priced panties for the discount?”
She agrees and heads back there. I tell the person back there to help to woman with the panties. Sadly, this was only partly effective considering my coworker didn’t hear me, nor understood what was going on. I only hear a faint, “What did you say?” on the walkie-talkie.
So the woman returns with another pair of sale panties, which doesn’t activate the promotion. (You need four panties for promotion, or the register won’t accept it.)
“Oh, you grabbed another sale panty, I’m sorry–”
“What? What are you talking about? She said they are all on sale! You aren’t making any sense at all!”
And my coworker from the panty section says, “No, these are on sale,” she points first at the sale panties, then at the regular priced panties, “But these are full-priced, but also on sale.”
I gasp inside my head, because now I’m trapped between a confused customer, and a co-worker that is just as confusing. I try to tell the woman she’s picked several sale panties, and a few full-priced panties. For the discount, she needs one more full-priced panty.
She starts to yell, saying I’m not making any sense.
Another cashier comes up to me saying, “What’s going on here?!?”
I’m already over it, and I say, “Okay. Fine. I will give them all for the discount price.”
And the customer says, “Good.”
“So I’ll mark them all up to the discount price, because the sale panties are cheaper. Okay?”
That seemed clearer than anything else I said, because the woman suddenly didn’t want me to give her the discount, nor was I willing to bend at this point since I don’t like being yelled at.
“Wait, these sale panties are cheaper than the promotion price? Oh! So you’re saying I just need one more full-priced panty and those will be cheaper?”
“Yes.” I think to myself, “It says four for X dollars.”
“Oh, I get it now.”
I ask her if she just wants one more black, since those colors don’t generally go on sale. I decide to run and get the full-priced panty myself. The woman leaves happily saying she’s sorry about the confusion and wishes me happy holidays.

Epilogue: So another cashier comes up to me after the transaction and says, “So when you were talking on the walkie-talkie saying you’re handling the problem, I didn’t hear anything. You weren’t even pressing the button.”
I smirk a little.
“That’s a veteran move,” he says.
I nod, and quickly run to take all the sale panties away from the promotional panties.

Customer Type: Agreeing to Disagree, Big Baby, The Deaf

*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.