Posts Tagged ‘disbelief’

Family Colors

October 8, 2011

A man comes up and asks for a pant on a mannequin. It is just a basic grey khaki. So I show him where it is on the wall–yet again, I see the bright light issue, where the light sometimes makes the color look more prominent, whereas the mannequin is sitting in a dark shadow. So obviously, I already expect his reply.

“No, it’s not the same color. It looks different.”
Okay, sure, now you know more than me, why because you’re the customer? Are you the one who works with this clothes all the time? Are you the one who dressed the mannequin? Is this your specialty? I just tell him it’s the same color, and not to worry, it’s just the lighting.

Obviously, he doesn’t believe me. So he gets his wife and children and show them the mannequin and the pants. Then shows them the pants in the wall, the one I ‘claimed’ is the same color. And he gets her to agree the pants aren’t the same.

Really? Is having your family agree the color is different going to suddenly make them different? Is it suddenly going to transform into some similar shade of grey before our very eyes, like a chameleon there to trick our minds, making a joke of our lower intellect?  I’m sorry, it’s not going to happen. I don’t care if your entire family arrives in a van, and they all say, “Oh, you’re right, it’s not the same pant. The salesperson is lying to you because he doesn’t want you to make a purchase, because obviously he doesn’t need money to survive, to pay for rent, and eat. Obviously, he just wants to trick you and make you buy a pair of pants by deceiving you and tricking you, because he has nothing better to do with his time, let alone his life.” Yes, that’s it. You’re right, the grey you want is actually hiding, because it doesn’t want you to buy it. You are a genius, and so is your family, since you dragged them into it. Pray none of them need to pick paints the next time you redecorate your home.

Customer Types: Agreeing to Disagree

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

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

Call me Ishmael, the Stock Checker.

April 19, 2010

Call me Ishmael. Some hours ago- really, it doesn’t matter how long- having little to no time on my hands, and marking items down and not paying attention to selling, a woman approached me seeking a great white shirt of XL size. Sent me on a journey through and around the store. In the stock room, I hid, driving off my mouth and trying to calm myself. “We are sold out and another store might have one left, so she said, rudely, ‘Just call them, I don’t want to drive all the way over there for nothing!'” Whenever I find myself growling mad all over my face; whenever a fat woman, she’ll be called A-hag, follows me everywhere I go; whenever I keep trying to find a line to call out, but none work, with only the phone in the rear of the store away from her breathing and glares; and especially whenever I am forced to make a call for a fat woman looking for a fat white shirt when I am not even supposed to be on the sales floor doing this sort of thing- then, I really, really need to hide in the stockroom and vent my frustrations about the fat woman in the white jacket, A-hag. This is my substitute for getting fired in rage…

I find the item, placing it on hold. Returning to A-hag, to say I found it, I found the great white XL shirt; it is the only one left of it’s kind, so rare and unique a top. Her companion gasps in surprise, “You called them?”–obviously she knows we don’t call other stores for these sort of things anymore, and I provided quite an profusion of kindness in exchange for her harshness and blatant rudeness. Not even a thank you.

Yet, I find A-hag with another cashier, asking her to call once again, to be assured that I was not lying, that I did not mislead her, that I did truly find that great white XL shirt; obviously with her positive radiance, people often lie to her, so that she may drive to the other store only to find out she was deceived, for there would be no XL white shirt waiting for her; since, she adds to her obesity by not even lifting a finger to call the store herself, even sweating at the thought of going to the other store, walking, gasping, reaching the store on her last breath; oh, the fifty calories she would burn. Of course, they tell her the item is indeed on hold for her, that I did not lie. I doubt she said thank you this time either.

All the while she insulted and disgraced our stock procedures, “That’s so cheap, that’s so cheap,” that our machines said we did have one left, which sold this same day, but our computers only update this information at the end of the night to say we have zero, “That’s so cheap.”

You, A-hag, make us cheap, wasting our time and energy for your XL white shirt. If you are so ardently searching for this item, this quest and journey of utter importance, it is your own, alone. “I give you the benefit of the doubt.” Go, find your great white XL shirt, I’m sure it will look smashing upon your spherical body, shamed only by your shimmering nay-say attitude. I give you the benefit of the doubt.

Customer Types: Capitalist, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Micromanagement, Modern-Day Slave-Owner, The Riddler

What Size Do You Wear?

February 19, 2010

It’s a busy day, there are a lot of customers asking for help. I’ve learned to avoid co-workers that have questions from customers and try to ask me for either help or opinions. Suddenly, a co-worker waves me over, because they’ve been trying to decide on her husband’s size–saying I am the same size as her husband. I have no stands or walls or fixtures to duck behind. I’m caught!

“What size do you wear?”
“Small.”
The woman looks at me in disbelief and shakes her head at me, “No, you don’t.”
And I look at her, while holding clothes for another customer who is waiting for me nearby, and I make a face with fiery eyes.
“You can’t be wearing small,” she says.
And I’m thinking, “Am I fat? Do I look fat? Are you telling me I’m fat? Because that’s really rude.”
“My husband wears medium. There’s no way a small would fit him,  but he’s your size,” she gestures at me.
And I”m thinking, “Then why are you asking me what size I am, if you already know what size your husband is?” Is it my responsibility to make your husband grow up and stop dressing like a kid, wearing clothes that actually fits him because he’s no longer going through growth spurts–which is generally why parents buy slightly bigger clothing. Or perhaps they were hoping he’d keep growing since he’s only a small, but after twenty years, you’d think it would sink in. And this woman definitely doesn’t look like she’s married to a rapper or a baller, whom over-exaggerate the idea of wearing big clothes which actually make you look smaller.

Listen, if the seam on the shoulder of your shirt is hanging more than two-inches over your shoulder, you’re probably wearing your clothes too big. Sure, you want to be comfortable, but did you know different companies make different widths and lengths of the same size for different target markets? A lot of what people consider ‘thug’ clothing will have larger than average sizes (either wider or longer, while still being correct at the seam), just as much as athletic stores will make more slim-fitting clothes for their athletic styles. It’s called fashion sense. Think about your shoes, even if you need a narrow or wide fit, do you get it two-inches longer than your foot?

“If you know what size he is, you should get him the size he usually wears.” And I turn to my co-worker, “You don’t need me here if she knows what size she wants.” Then I walk away. I hear the woman asking to for one of her manager friends–who is away on vacation–so she can complain about me.

There are sensible people who ask me what size I wear, and they see my clothes fits perfectly fine (it fits as it should fit), and they ask what size I wear, and they accept my answer–seriously people, it’s the size I wear. I’m not some baboon working at a retail store, lacking fashion sense–it’s generally the people who don’t work around fashion or avoid going near retail stores whom lack this sense the most, like her husband. Then there are those people who ask what size I wear, and look at me like I’m lying to them, then buy a size larger. That’s why I’ve learned to just point at a mannequin and say, “He’s wearing medium.” It keeps me out of the equation of insults.

Customer Types: ESP, The Riddler

A Last Straw…

September 8, 2009

Last night, a woman comes up to the register with a pile of clothes and a previous purchase in a crushed, wrinkled bag–obviously a return or exchange. The state of one’s shopping bag says a great deal about the shopper, mind you. Which she let me know, was an exchange because she got wrong sizes. She also pulled out a tiny bottle of what amounts to a sample sized bottle of perfume, saying that she was surprised there was no sprayer–thus she opened it (violently?) and it has spilled all over the place, so she doesn’t want it–handing me vial with 1/4th its contents missing.I could already tell I’d be dealing with a neanderthal.

After I entered all her items, she decides to check if she got all the right sizes. Lo and behold, she got an XL instead of a L. (Who didn’t see that coming the moment she stepped to the register with eight shirts in her hand?) So I went to get the shirt from the children’s section. The piles here are neatly folded except for her meanderings–which equals everything above XL thrown asunder, and if you know clothing, XL is on the bottom of each pile, so everywhere I could see explosions of turned over piles. There at the top of one of her disasters was the Large-size she missed.

We have a promotion in which we must manually spread discounts between two items (50% and 50%), which she allowed me to complete before saying, “Wait, I want to see what I actually need.” Lo and behold, yet again, she chooses each item that was part of a ‘two item’ combination, thus leaving the single items with a full discount amounting to 100% off.

This left me with the task of starting the transaction over once again. Which is when I find out another coworker gave her an accidental discount far beyond 50%, closer to 75%-off for each item–which the customer reminded me, I needed to honor. I note, she did not remind me politely. Thus I had to price override every single item, and reapply the discount to 75%-off. Along with the scent she returned, and a hat and slippers she added to the transaction, she had a balance of about $15

She was incredulous with paying $15 (after getting 75%-off everything else). Thus she requested I recheck everything to make sure that it was done correctly, to the point  she didn’t believe the cash register. I mean seriously, who trusts the calculations of a computer, right? Seriously? So I needed to use a calculator to verify the transaction.

(Amusingly, she returned 4 shirts, and bought 4 shirts thus canceling out each other to $0.  She was also dealing with $23 from buying the hat and slippers which is more than the $8 for the returned scent which she exploded elsewhere. What is $23 minus $8? Is it $15? Congratulations if you know this, it’s math they usually teach you in first-grade. The fact she could not do the math on her own, did not trust the computer, and required me to calculate it, made me stop and breathe for ten seconds, because I was so furious I couldn’t even press calculator buttons correctly at this point.)

When my hands shake, that’s a very frustrating time.

After finishing the transaction, I was reminded by a manager this is something we always deal with. Which brings the good point that maybe I shouldn’t work in retail anymore, because the fact of demoralization as a part of work and life is not satisfactory nor does it make any actual sense. I don’t recall the job saying, “You shall be insulted, demoralized, and your self-esteem shaken by working in retail.” In a sense, it was like saying my friends were right five years ago when I retired from the world, retail is not a place for me, and I have too much self-respect and dignity to stand there and be spoken to unintelligably.
Confucius would say, you control the words you speak, you do not control what these words mean.

Customer Terms: Micromanagement