Posts Tagged ‘employee’

Smacked by a Customer

December 29, 2011

This isn’t a story of abuse, but one of indecency and a lack of social etiquette. Mind you, I have been clapped at like a dog, and waves to come like a dog; I have had someone pound their knuckles on the register demanding me to apologize for something I didn’t do; been mistaken for a skinny Chinese boy by an old woman who was obviously racist; been told the fact I have a penis means I can’t help them find clothing, I can go on about two-hundred times more. Either way, this is the first time I’ve actually been physically touched my a customer, which basically ruined the rest of my day.

I was calmly going through the crowd putting away clothes, greeting people and helping them. I wasn’t hiding, nor was I trying to be invisible. Out of nowhere, someone smacks my arm, and I’m thinking it’s some old friend. Instead, it’s a customer I don’t think I’ve seen before, but I’m sure isn’t a regular, yet also looked vaguely like ‘they all look the same to me’.

After she smacks me, I look at her, and she say, “I need the sweater in the window, there!” She points. I just stand there, speechless, as she walks to the front of the store. She looks back at me and waves me to follow. I had half-a-mind not to, but human decency and manners is something I’ve learned human beings don’t really learn, and when they do, they consider it something they can turn off and on when the situation befits them. She shows me a sweater, I don’t even look at. I tell her someone will get it, because I’m definitely not going to strain myself in the least to help someone who speaks English, and couldn’t just say, “Excuse me, I need help,” or the usual, “Do you work here?” Someone who can communicate in my own language, but their best form of transmission is by hitting you–this says a lot about her home situation and childhood, all wrapped up like a present to the world.

I get someone else to help her, so she can annoy and irritate them instead–which she does, because you can always tell when ‘they’ll be one of those people’.

As an added story, this automatically brings to mind a situation where a customer demanded to return an item which was old, with no tags, used, and no receipt. The cashier refused, saying it can’t be done. So the customer reached over and shoved the cashier. This was one of those 0.01% chance moments when a District Manager was standing nearby with the Store Manager. The DM rushed forward and said, “Excuse me! You are never allowed to touch my employees like that, ever! Who do you think you are? You are also no longer allowed in any of our stores. You are permanently banned and if I see you in a store, I will have you escorted out. Take your items and leave.” Or something to that point. If only, right?

Customer Types: Modern Slave Owner

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Crazy Old Lady

November 6, 2010

So I’m at the cash register, and these large-sized, angry-faced women (read this as their normal face is a frown, so when they do frown, they double-frown) are asking for a manager. They are complaining about some discount coupon.

“That crazy, old lady on the other side (the other register), said we can’t use this coupon for this discount!”
“I’m sorry,” the manager says, “Let me look at the coupon.”
“I went to your other store, and they let me do it!” (It reminds me of when a baby says, ‘Well daddy said I could!’, after the mother says no. Sometimes, companies need to be on the same page.) “That crazy old lady is always mean to us! She never gives us good deals. She always says no!”
“I’m sorry,” the manager says again, “That’s what happens with the employees who have been here for a long time, they go by the rules.”
“Well, your other store let us to it. She’s always mean to us, she’s never nice about anything!”
So the manager goes through the transaction and shows them the screen, “I’m sorry, even our computer won’t let us do this, it isn’t just her.”
“No, your other store let us do it! Can I speak to someone else? Isn’t there someone else who can do this?”
The manager sighs. She goes through the one process where you can ‘override’ the computer, but it is a line-by-line process where she needs to reduce the items individually, after returning them all.
All the while, the women keep going on about the crazy old lady who is always mean to them. I’m standing there rolling my eyes, since they are talking about a Kids section employee, who is rather one of the nicest people working in the store, and has been with the company nearly 20-years–this complainer would have been a baby when my coworker first started. Yet, most likely, she’d also be whining, “But daddy said I could! I hate you mommy!”

What people do to get their way. I’ve since helped this woman again, wondering why she’s so rude and mean, even when I”m as nice as I can be–and yes, breaking rules to give her the discount just to get rid of her–but she never says thank you, or anything, she’s just demanding and angry. People, it’s called ‘Self-fulfilling prophesy’–why are people mean to you? Because you act like an asshole. Why do people make your life hard? Because you’re hard to deal with. Get over it, grow up, and start acting like you’re an adult. You can’t be an unhappy bitch your entire life.

Customer Type: Big Baby, Capitalist, The Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messanger, The Liar

Art of War: Retail

May 24, 2010

Chapter 1
For some of my trainees who wanted something more entertaining, more in-depth and dynamic–something to stop them from yawning during their first days, I developed the Art of War for Retail. I used to love the Art of War as a book, and how so many different people used it in business, management, and even love. It wasn’t very hard to translate it into the retail world, since it is so similar to a battlefield. Just imagine, at the end of the day, all the slain clothing laid in heaps, tired and exhausted salespeople, and the customer marching away in semi-triumph. Yet, we still win if they are leaving with something from our store, right?

As an introduction, you must consider the salespeople as Generals on a battlefield–which is the store. Their armies are the large array of clothing lined up and ready for the Opposition–customers. Each piece of clothing is a Soldier. The better trained your armies are, the better off you’ll be at the end of the day–this means having piles folded nicely, organized so they are sized properly, and enough of them to take hits all day long. The better warriors will take less hits before they are bought and carried off the battlefield. Once the customer makes it past the clothes and attacks you–you know you don’t have their size, or your product they want isn’t easy to find–thus you engage in hand-to-hand selling. You end up in parlay or under direct siege. You run for reinforcements, bringing out piles of soldiers to litter the battlefield. You may distract and disorient the Opposition, sending them in different directions against different armies you have at hand. As the battle rages, more and more casualties are piled up, wounded bodies are lying around, waiting for your gentle ministrations to bandage their cuts and get them back into the war. You are the recruiter, and many times, you pile and fold your own wins and losses. You may regret forgetting an insignificant pile if it ends up being your critical weak-point.

Now that you know the battlefield, and the units, you must understand the tactics that are needed to ensure victory every day! You must not only survive, but succeed! Welcome, to the Art of War: Retail.

Shoplifter: Wire Cutters

May 16, 2010

Yes, I am a  busy-body. Yes, workers from other stores do come in to tell me about shoplifters.

A guy who works at a cosmetics store in the mall is standing at the counter. I know him, and said hello, since he hasn’t been in the store for a while. We start to talk about all the shoplifters, and he says they come in all the time. Just last week, they saw a guy with a bag full of our clothes–the man was standing in their store cutting off the hard-tags with a pair of wire cutters. Obviously, I asked if they are ever allowed to do anything. He says no, they can only watch. Now isn’t that comforting? It is so comforting, at least we have rules in place to encourage these thieves.

Shoplifter: I Know You

May 7, 2010

One time, my previous store manager was walking next to a shoplifter. She told me to watch the woman, but decided to handle the situation herself.

“Hey, you. Yeah, I’m talking to you. I know you, don’t I? Yeah, I’m sure I know you.” And the woman keeps saying, no, she doesn’t recognize my manager. “Where are you from?” My manager starts naming different places, “Yeah, I’m sure I know you, I got friends all over. I’m sure they know you, too. I know your face, I don’t forget a face.”

I was standing there totally amazed, but my manager was quite protective of her store and her employees. She didn’t stop, until the woman stepped by the door, and pulling a pile of denim out of her bag, throws it on the floor–it was our denim she tried to steal. The shoplifter leaves, but after the door closes behind her, she sticks her middle fingers at my manager and starts to swear up a storm. I was thoroughly impressed. I have never gotten the chance to do this, but one can only dream, right?

So my manager casually picks up the denim, handing them to me, asking me to put them back where they belong. She smiles and then she walks away.

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