Posts Tagged ‘denim’

I Pick APEC of Zippers

November 14, 2011

My coworkers and I are helping an interesting couple, they’re European, at least by accent and attire. At one point, the husband comes up to me asking for help. He needs some sweaters, so I am glad to oblige. I search the floor where I’ve seen extra pairs–as sometimes they end up where they aren’t supposed to be. Seeing none, I ask for someone to check the back, as I double-check our inventory at our register.

The man comes up to me, “Well?”
“They’re checking in the back.” I search the computer, and I see him come behind the register to stand behind me looking over my shoulder. “Oh,I’m sorry, I need some space, sir.” I take a few steps away from him walking through the register area to get away. Finally, they find the sweater, well I actually go into the back to get farther away.

Later, he’s in the fitting room trying on the zip jacket, and unzips it, walking to me. I wonder if he’s going to ask for another size.
“You know, where I come from, the zipper is on this side,” he points to the right, while shaking the hanging end, “for men. For women, it is on this side.” He shakes the end of the zipper, where our zipper also ends. I stare at him blankly. “It’s backwards. Your zipper is backwards. The females have it on one side, the men have it on the other.” I stare at him blankly, because I suddenly think he’s crazy. “It’s okay, it fits good. I am just letting you know, it’s backwards.” He walks away, seeming almost proud to have informed me of this great wealth of knowledge.” I leave the fitting room behind, and leave him in the hands of other people.

I examine every single zipper in the entire store. Every single one connects on the left side. There is no ‘male-side’ or ‘female-side’ for these zippers. Sure, I know buttons are on the left for men, right for women. I tell one of my coworkers this ‘revelation’, noting, perhaps, in his country men’s pants and women’s pants must button on different sides. (Go ahead and look, your button should be on the left side.) So I begin to wonder what kind of country he’s from.

I see the couple approach the register as I go back to the fitting room, free of their backward zippers. Then I hear the cashier ask, “How do I do a Tax Exemption? These people are from APEC.” (APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, they have conventions–The Greatest Convention in the Pacific; people from around the world take part in it, hammering out trade-agreements and forward visions of future financial status.)

Either way, I am suddenly stunned that my financial future is in the hands of guys like this. (Even though a coworker has pointed out, some people are very knowledgeable about one thing, and absolutely clueless about every thing else.) I don’t know how far they had to travel from Kazakhstan, but I can tell they sent their best delegates from the Kazakh Ministry of Finance this time around.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations

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The Old, The Blind, and The Hungry

February 14, 2011

Nearing the end of my shift. My day was going pretty well. It’s the last thirty-minutes you least expect the demanding customers to come and verbally assault you.

The Old.
An older woman comes up to me, with her tall, round husband behind her. “Do you have cut-offs?”
I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind is denim cut with those strings hanging off the bottom–something I can’t imagine either of them wearing. So I reply, “We don’t have any denim shorts.”
“What do you have?”
“I have khaki, plain-cotton material shorts.”
She yells at me, with a bitter tone, “Yes! That’s what I’ve been asking for! Cut-offs!” She does a sigh, growl at me.
As I take her to the table, I make time to tell her, “They haven’t called it cut-offs for a long time, they call it shorts these days. It’ll help you find what you’re looking for.”
So we get to the table. “What’s your largest size,” she asks. Oh well, we don’t carry sizes-44 or 46 in the store. I tell her to try department stores, they generally have a larger selection and supply of sizes on hand.

Customer Types: FashioNOTstas, Guessing Game

The Blind.
It’s an Indian couple, from India, and from all I’ve heard about the culture, the wisdom, and wonder, I’ve rarely met respectable people from there who fill me with a sense of awe and enlightenment. This couple kept asking me for discounts, and how much cheaper they can get our new product. Over-and-over again, they ask. By the time the wife comes and pokes a shirt in my face, I’m already disappointed.
“There are no mediums, I want a medium.”
I look around, because I know there is a huge supply of them somewhere. I know I’ve seen them.
“They’re right here!” She’s standing next to our sale wall, and there the shirts are smashed all together in our ‘Small’ section. I blindly grab for a size, pull it out, and obviously, what size is it? Medium. I give it to her. I’m so happy she actually spent one-second trying to find the size, since even a blind man could find it. Of course, she decides she doesn’t want the one that she wanted, and asks someone else for a medium we don’t have–that must give her some form of satisfaction, right? Easier to save money if you keep asking for things we don’t have, and the things we do have, you don’t want.

Customer Types: The Blind, The Riddler

The Hungry.
A woman approaches me, holding a bag of chocolates, the expensive sort–but she’s dressed very slovenly, so it seems like a rare treat for her. Her manners are just as slovenly, so she isn’t some princess in disguise. She has the look of what some call, “White Trash,” but as I’ve only seen it in movies, I can’t tell if it’s entirely accurate.

As she shoves a chocolate into her mouth, she shouts at me, while chewing, “You work here?” I look at my headset and my name-tag, and I suddenly wonder why I even wear these things. When I don’t wear them, people actually don’t ask if I work here, they just ask me for help. She tells me, well more she commands me to follow her. “Come with me.”

So we go to a mannequin, and it’s wearing a sweater, a sale sweater–and again I swear under my breath wondering why they don’t update our mannequins. I tell her it’s on sale, so it’s probably in the sale section. She shoves another chocolate into her mouth, with her daughter and husband in tow. I feel like a duck with babies following me. So they all stand there and watch me looking through the sale section.
“Is it there? Can you find it?”
“Not yet.”
“Is that it?”
“No.” Together you have six-arms, minus two for the chocolate-eater, I’m only so fast by myself. I feel like I’m picking cherries, with three bosses watching me.
“Is it the last one?”
I continue to look, “It might be.”
“Can you get it off the mannequin?”
“Yes, I might have to.”
“Well, go get it!” She shoves a chocolate-covered strawberry in her mouth at the same time.
Seriously, am I here to be demanded of? All I can reply is, “Yes-sir!”
I go to the mannequin, with the ducks in tow, and I take the sweater off and hand it to the daughter.
“Thank you,” the woman’s tone is much kinder now, but a bit too late.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations, Micromanagement, Modern Slave-Owner

Son of a B!!!

February 13, 2011

I find myself on register duty again. It’s definitely not one of the good days, as people have been extra rude and complaining to the managers about confusing promotions, to which I only think, “See, even when you’re fifty-years-old you can act like a baby.” Either way, a woman approaches the register with an older shirt, it’s already on clearance, and she has a gift receipt. Her husband stands next to her, quietly, subservient to her will.

“I want to return this. I can just get a gift car, right?”
“Yes.” I look at the receipt, and it’s old; months old. Thankfully, it also states in the fine-print the date the receipt is no longer valid–a month ago. So I scan it, and I ask if she still wants the gift card. The total is less-than five-dollars. Closer to four-dollars and eighteen-cents.
“That’s all it’s worth!?”
“Yes, it’s past the return date. So it goes to the current selling price.”
“But I have a gift receipt!”
I point at the date listed at the bottom, “It expired a while ago.”
“Well I’m taking it back!” And she grabs everything violently, and walks away.

Before she can even take five steps, she stops and yells, “SON OF A BITCH!!!” Her face is blood red, and her husband has to rub her back calming her down. I hear her complaining about the return policy, and yelling, “I guess I’m not getting my denim today!” It’s a long-sleeved T-shirt you were returning, it’s not even worth one-third a pair of denim at full-price. She continues yelling as she leaves the store. Surely, someone should have given her a gift of stress-management courses or meditation classes by now. I mean, life must be a huge wad of sorrow and pain for her.

The next customer looks over at the woman casually, then looks at me, smiling, “Well she’s pleasant, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is,” I laugh as I start to scan the clothes to purchase.

Customer Types: Big Baby, Don’t Kill the Messenger

Where is your Flare Jeans?

November 13, 2010

We’re utterly busy and a woman comes up to me, with a tone of attitude, “Where is your flare jeans, I can’t find it anywhere.”
“Oh, they might have moved it.” So I walk her to where it used to be, and there it is, still in the same area. “Here it is.”
“That is not flare jeans!” I’m taken aback by how sure and how arrogantly she states this.
I bend over, picking up the jeans, turn over the tag and show it to her–it reads, “Flare jeans.””
Why question the people who work there, about the product they work with? And why does no one apologize when they’re so totally wrong? Is it that sales people are either wrong or invisible, but never right?
And, she signed up for a credit card, which means we’ll be seeing her again, real soon! There is no end to the feeling of thrill.

Customer Type: The Blind, The Dumb, Unapologetic

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

Don’t Trust Size Conversions!

August 24, 2010

My experience with conversion charts is sometimes it is better not to show it at all. My best example was one day, I approached a woman looking at denim. She says she doesn’t know what size she is. I ask where she’s from, and she replies, “Australia.” I already know Australian sizes are two-sizes larger than U.S. sizes, or they go down two-sizes. Thus, if you are a size-8, you would be a size-6 or 4 in the United States. At this time, I thought showing them the sizing chart was easier than letting them trust me words. So I pull it out, and say, “You should be about two-sizes smaller here.”

She looks at the chart, and looks at the flag my finger is pointing to–which points to the British sizing. Then she gets mad, and yells at me, “I am not from the UK! I am from Australia! We aren’t the same country!” It is as if years of frustration and prejudice have suddenly exploded from her body. It makes me feel as if she was a child beaten up and abused by those ‘UK kids’, the same ones who left her people as criminals to live in Australia to start their own Euro-styled culture and civilization. It is as if I don’t know where Australia is and I’m some moron. I sternly tell her, “No, people from Australia always go down two-sizes.”
“You are pointing at Britain, I am from Australia, we aren’t the same country!”
“I know…”
She screams at me, “Obviously, you don’t know! Can you get someone else to help me? Someone who knows what they’re talking about.” She sighs loudly placing her hand on her forehead, looking at me like an idiot. My eyes explode out of my forehead, and I feel my entire face go red, “Excuse me? I am the pant specialist here, and I’ve been doing this for years, you’re the one that needs to learn what size you are in the US!”
Then a manager comes in, breaking us up. As much as I dislike morons and idiots, I despise more when they treat me like I’m the dumb one, when it’s their problem. Either way, somehow they convince this angry, ignorant person to try on the denim sizes she wants, and the ones I suggested. I tell the fitting room person to let me know how it goes, since I already know who will be right.

Several minutes later, the angry, idiot leaves without a word and buys nothing. I ask the fitting room person what happened. “Well, the size you suggested fit her perfectly, but she didn’t want it.” Can someone turn on the laugh-track please? Oh, this is real-life? Well, I can laugh at her instead. Ha-ha. I guess she needs to go back to her country and find out why they use British sizing, huh?

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Deaf, The Dumb, Modern-Slave Owner, Unapologetic

Double Duty Dumb

August 23, 2010

First, I have an old man who is looking for two cuts of denim, one we carry, one we don’t. One is a high-rise, especially made for conservative men. The other is a higher-rise, but also baggy. We can call it Baggy. Well I show him to the high-rise we carry in-store, telling him the Baggy is only online.

A small, tiny woman gets my attention while I’m still helping the man. The woman asks me, “Hello, I can looking for a boot-cut,” she pauses for a long time, “For women.” Well that’s helpful. Suddenly, another small, tiny woman appears. I ask if they are looking for dress pants or jeans. They look at me blankly. So I take them to the denim, and they say they want the other option. At this time, most of our dress pants are on sale, including the boot-cut style.
I ask, “What size are you looking for?”
“One-petite.”
“We don’t carry that size in the store, they do carry it online. Our smallest size in-store is usually two-short…”
“Okay, two-short.”
“I”m sorry, these pants have been on sale for a long time, and all these pants are in larger sizes.”
“Do you have it any place else?”
“We do have some non-sale pants,” so I walk to another wall to show them the dress pants we do have in their size. Of course, these dress pants are flared-leg.
“I don’t want flare, I want boot-cut.”
“All the boot-cut are on sale.”
“Where are they?”
“We just came from there. We don’t have your size.”
“Here is a two-short.”
“This is flare-leg.”
“I don’t want flare, I want boot-cut.”
“We don’t have your size in boot-cut, only in the flare.”
“I want boot-cut.”
Anything I say, only gets a reply of, “I want boot-cut.” So I decide to walk away.

I find the old man looking at the lowest, tightest fitting jeans we have, which is entirely different from what he asked for.
I take him back to our high-rise denim.
“Where is the Baggy?”
“We don’t carry it in-store anymore. It is only available on-line. We do have a loose-style over here which is similar to the Baggy.”
“So that’s where the Baggy is?”
“No, it’s similar to the Baggy.”
“So where is the Baggy?”
“It’s only available online.”
“So what is that?” He points at the loose-style.
“It’s the loose-style.”
“Where is the Baggy?”
“We don’t have any, but the loose-style is the closest to it.”  Then I walked away. I can only take so much redundancy. How do these people find the doors to get out of their own homes?

Customer Types: The Blind, The Deaf, The Dumb, Micromanagement,  The Questioner

Mean Old Woman

August 22, 2010

I go into the back to do a stock check. Soon, I come back out and this horribly rude, old woman comes to me and says, “Hello, can someone HELP ME, there is no one on the floor, obviously customer service is highly over-rated these days, unlike before.”

I try to apologize, because I’m not a superhero, I can’t save the store, but she cuts me off, “I DON’T CARE, let’s save you time and save me time! I’m looking for jeans that actually sit at the waist.” She gestures somewhere just under her breasts, which aren’t pert. I tell her our highest denim sits at the belly-button, and she looks at me, scowls, and says, “DISGUSTING!” With a little bit of spit, flying at me, she turns and walks away. Surely, her spitting was a bit more disgusting than the height of our pants.

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messenger, FashioNOTstas, 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 just  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?

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