Posts Tagged ‘day’

English 101: All versus One

November 11, 2010

Hello students, today’s lesson is an easy one, if you can read English. Are you ready? All is everything, all is everyone, all is basically all. One is singular, one is by itself, thus one stands alone. Got that? Good.

A customer comes with an older coupon, which is still good, giving her 25%-off one regular-priced item. I go through the transaction, and she’s buying three items, two are regular-priced and one is sale. We always give the discount for the most expensive regular-priced item. I tell her we actually have a special for today only–40%-off instead of 25%-off. She seems okay with this, but of course, you can never tell with these kinds of people. So I go through the transaction, and she stops me.

“Wait! That’s not right! That’s the same discount I’d get for 25%-off!”
“What?”
“You aren’t giving me any savings, it’s better with 25%-off!”
I blink, and wonder why I”m faced with such utter brilliance on a daily basis. I explain to her there is no way 25% is greater than 40%-off.
“No, it’s not a better discount!”
So I go back and I show her the discount, and I even pull out a calculator to show her the price of 25%-off and 40%-off. Obviously, in any world except for advanced mathematics, you can argue the 40% discount is far better. She’s still yelling at me, getting angry at me.
So I say flatly, “Fine, I’ll do what you want, okay? I was trying to be nice, but I’ll give you the discount you want. 25%-off.”
So I change it, watching the total increase as I showed her several times with the calculator. Then she yells stop again.
“What are you doing?!? Isn’t this for all items?”
I roll my eyes without rolling them. I point at the coupon, I want to say, “It’s printed in English.” At the very top, the first line, “25%-off one regular-priced item.”
“Oh, I thought it said all items.” She gets violent with the credit card machine, swiping it. I tell her to stop, because we have to get back to that screen, as I say, “So I guess the 40%-off is better.” There is silence. “Now you can swipe.” NO apology, just like there was no thank you I even offered to give her a better deal. This was my first customer of the day. Oh, be sure, be quite sure, she helped make the rest of the day FANTASTIC! Utterly fabulous, thanks lady.

Customer Type: The Blind, The Dumb, Learn the Language, Unapologetic

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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.

Turtle Pull

November 5, 2010

Once again, I find myself stuck helping a snobby duo–two women who are dressed like they want to impress, but just look excessive in the act. Can you guess they aren’t pleasant, they’re demanding, and treat you like you’re just there to serve? Very good, then you may proceed.

I help find a turtleneck sweater, after she lists a laundry list of requirements which it passes. Is it wool? Is it cotton? How heavy is it, I don’t want it too heavy. I don’t want it too thin either. Do you have a lot of colors? How much does it cost? Is it expensive? No, yes, light, not too light, lots of colors, on sale, not expensive.

So finally, she tries on the sweater, with her friend giving positive and negative comments–which is always useful, don’t we always want friends like that? “It looks good, not great, just good, do you like it? It looks like it will keep you warm enough, but are you going to be cold wearing it?”

Either way, the woman grabs the neck of the sweater saying it’s too tight. As I watch, she starts to pull on it as hard as she can, pulling, stretching, yanking, tugging. I can hear threads breaking from where I stand. “It’s too tight! It’s so tight, don’t you have a looser one?” I think to myself, “If it’s looser, it isn’t a turtle neck.” I say, “I only have cowl necks,” which I gesture, too. These look like stretched out turtle necks–just like what she’s doing to my new sweater! “No, no, that’s too wide!” So after stretching it out, breaking the threading, she hands it back saying she doesn’t want it, and they leave saying, “It’s just so hard to find what I’m looking for. This place usually has it.”

What, we have what dreams are made of? Once you’re actually rich enough to act like that, you can buy your own tailor.

Customer Types: Capitalist, The Questioner, Tailor-Made

I Only Play a Blond On TV

November 3, 2010

So there were two women, one who very brusquely came to the register digging through the counter saying, “Where are your coupons. I want a coupon. Where are they?” Thankfully, being wise as I am, I already pulled the daily special away and put them in my pocket. I decided it would be incentive to give to customers who aren’t sure they want to buy, and for customers who are kind, nice, and courteous–I mean, good customers really should be thanked. A customer like this would never have gotten a coupon willingly, but I decided, “Hey, she’s blond, acting rude and demanding, maybe she’ll spend some good money.” Not. Anything is farther from the truth.

I tried to help them several times, and finally, after finding their cheapest items possible, one of the blonds arrives at the register without her friend.
“Oh, where is your friend?”
“Are you talking to me?”
I think, “No, I’m just staring directly at you speaking.” I say, “Yes.”
“Oh, I thought you were talking to that thing on your ear.”
I think, “Yes, I ask my coworkers where their friends are all the time, it makes perfect sense.” I say, “I need to press this button here to use it, I can’t just randomly start speaking on it.”
She has no response, perhaps because she can’t process my vocabulary. I mean, I only have a degree in English.
“I was asking where your friend went.”
“Who? What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Your friend was just standing outside your fitting room door waiting for you, like two minutes ago.”
“Who are you talking about? What friend?”
I think, “Seriously? You two came in together. She brusquely asked for coupons, and I know more about her than you do?” I say, “You came in together.” Did you look up the word ‘brusquely’ yet?
“Oh, her. I don’t know,” she states flatly, with a rude tone.
At the same time, her friend comes around the corner. I roll my eyes without rolling my eyes. I finish the transaction using the smallest words I could possibly think of, even then, it was a rough transaction. Next, I deal with her friend, which is no picnic. Neither of them were very exciting, but surely, sales, discounts, and promotions bring out the very best customers imaginable. These people make retail exciting, and society move backwards.

Customer Types: Capitalist, The Dumb, Lowered Expectations

Walkie-Talkie Stalker

June 30, 2010

One day, I was walking around in the store, and I hear an unfamiliar voice on the walkie-talkie.
“Hey, you lost something.”
I look around, but I don’t see any new people working today.
“Hey, you.”
I look around, but no one is talking to me. I decide to go about my business, thinking one of the salespeople are playing games with someone.
“You, in the black dress. You’re bending over, folding clothes. I see you. I’m right behind you.”
Okay, that’s definitely not me, but I know who they’re talking about. I go up to my coworker, who models during her spare time, and ask her what’s up. I see her looking around, she’s flustered and angry. She tells me she doesn’t know who is talking on the walkie.
“I see you folding clothes, over there in the black dress.”
“I don’t know who that is, but it’s f-ing annoying,” she tells me. “Hello, who is this?” She says on the walkie.
“I see you,” the voice says again, “I’m right behind you.”
Soon, this older, Caucasian man man walks up to her, saying someone must have left this laying around, and hands her a walkie-talkie. He laughs saying he was just joking around. It was he who spoke on the walkie. She doesn’t say anything as she takes it from him.

After, she and I have a conversation about how creepy that man was. Especially, the fact he thought it was okay and fine to say those kinds of things, like a stalker, for everyone to hear, while referring to her. How oblivious was he to understanding just how scary, and possibly illegally immature he was being? I mean, I know some customers view us as modern-day slaves, there for their amusement, to abuse, to use to get things, and otherwise boss around to make themselves feel bigger than they really are in their real mundane lives, but there are times when you just cross the line–but how do you not know it? How does someone think sounding like a creepy stalker in a public place, where someone is working, how is that funny or appropriate? Because Retail Law does say these people will always appear, and there will always be at least one of these people who do or think these things are right. Oddly, mostly everyone else just thought it was a coworker and disregarded the situation entirely, ignoring the entire conversation. Of course, that says a lot about us, too, doesn’t it?

Customer Types: Capitalist, Modern Slave-Owner, Sexual Discriminator

Memorial Day, Yay?

May 31, 2010

I don’t know what Memorial Day or any other holiday is to customers, but it is one of those special days where people come out acting more rude, demanding, and disgraceful as human beings. Or maybe holidays are the few times those lower-end humans come out of their caves and interact with society, defining their severe lack of social skills as they decide to go shopping, and act like total assholes while there. Then they hobble back to their caves, and go back where they belong, away from other human beings. Yay for Holidays meant to honor humanity, pride, and respect! We give great honor for things people fought for by acting like pricks. Congratulations.

Teaching the Kids

February 16, 2010

Do parent’s know their children watch them, witnessing how they interact with other people in different situations thus developing an understanding of how they will eventually interact with the world when they grow up?

When parents walk into a store, ignoring a kind hello with a cold-shoulder, their children see this and they’re learning; when a sales person offers them help, when they are obviously looking for something, and they are rudely brushed off with “I’m just looking” even though they actually do need help; when parents treat salespeople as slaves, only existing when you need them, and essentially less than human, just mobile fixtures in a store, only useful when you acknowledge them and need something only a salesperson can ‘find’ for you–your children are there watching every moment, growing and understanding that is how they should act, that is how they should treat other people, acting like this is right not wrong. Treating another human being like garbage is fine, because mommy and daddy do it all the time. Yes, you are obviously a good parent. They say parenting doesn’t come with a book, well common-sense doesn’t grow on trees either.

One day, these children will be adults, pushing their strollers through stores treating sales people in the exact same way, passing on these valuable, unconscious lessons to their offspring so that your grandchildren will be rude, unconscionable human beings. Do you not think these lessons are passed on beyond the retail world? Do you not realize you set a bar for how people can be treated? You may not be hitting or abusing them, but treating them like they’re worthless is still terrible parenting. From what I know from social teachings to religious beliefs, human beings are important, special, unique, etc. but the way we have developed our meandering society which belittles being human based on ridiculous situations based entirely on monetary value, not human value.

This is a perpetuation of a lack of respect, a rudeness which makes no sense. You wouldn’t walk into a doctor’s office acting the same way, walking into a bank treating tellers like this, yet certain sectors of the ‘service’ industry have grown and developed into an accepted avenue where mistreatment and degradation is a norm, is accepted and expected–that treating someone like they don’t exist, that they are less than human, that they only exist to serve you–this is good, this is right, and this is okay.

The customer is always right. No, I’m just looking, can I shove my hand in your face? If I meet you outside the store, then you, salesperson, are an equal, a human being, you exist and you are real, but once you clock into work, you’re worthless, insignificant, invisible, and useless, unless I need you. If I meet you outside the store, how many of your rude, disgusting humans look away or pretend you don’t recognize me, when your reaction says you do? Compare this to kind, good, respectful customers who engage with sales people, talking to them. We actually recognize each other outside the store, wave, and say hello. This is a huge difference, almost a revelation of what it would be like if everyone treated people like human beings and not modern-day slaves.

Remember that son. Remember that daughter. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don’t talk to strangers. Salespeople are modern-day slaves, you don’t need to give them any respect.

Because you know, if you did give them respect, then the entire structure of sales and retail would be worthwhile, enjoyable, and not as much of a life-draining, self-esteem crushing, pride-absorbing industry that makes you feel so shitty inside. If you actually went into a retail store and treated people as human beings, what a difference you’d make; what a difference everyone would make.

Remember, it’s so simple to just say hello when someone greets you, your children are watching.

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.