Posts Tagged ‘examine’

Ice Cubes for Baby!

July 7, 2011

I’m standing with a coworker as we watch a customer with a crying baby in a stroller. The baby won’t stop crying, and I assume he’s thirsty, because his mother is trying to open a drink cup. Mind you, he looks about six-months old (and my coworker tells me babies that old shouldn’t be drinking water, soda or anything like this).

Well, don’t worry, there is no water left in this lady’s iced coffee cup. So instead she starts pouring ice cubes into her child’s mouth, nay make that toddler, nay make that infant-close-to-newborn baby’s mouth. So an ice cube drops in roughly the same size as the child’s mouth and disappears. We stand there watching in amazement. I don’t know if this woman expects her toothless son to chew on the ice, or to know how to suck an ice-cold cube. Of course, the expected happens, and the baby begins to choke–well actually, more like the child can’t breathe because the ice cube gets lodged in the back of his mouth.

So she quickly starts patting his chest. Then she frantically unbuckles the baby from the stroller. Then she turns him over in the air and starts slapping his back. I’m not entirely sure if an ice cube even pops out or if the child has already swallowed it. She continues to check her baby and looks inside his mouth. By now my coworker goes to offer the customer help.

The woman is Japanese and doesn’t speak English, so I look for a coworker who can offer her help–either telling her we have a drinking fountain in the back, and we have fitting rooms if she needs to nurse or something. Instead, the woman ignores all of us, and rushes away with her baby and disappears.

No further comment.

Customer Types: The Dumb,

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Department-Sized Table

October 27, 2010

A customer is lost, and I approach her and her daughter. “Are you looking for something?” She tells me she’s looking for the children section. I point in the direction where it is, only twelve-feet away. There is a huge doorway, where you can obviously see children mannequins and kid’s themed items. First, she goes toward a mirror, which I find odd. I tell her, “No, it’s straight, keep going.” So she walks, stopping one-foot away from the kid’s department and looks curiously at a cabinet of adult merchandise. She has a surprised, confused look as if, “What? This doesn’t look like kid’s clothes.” I’m standing there thinking, “Yes, the entire department fits in one fixture.” She looks back at me with a face saying, “This isn’t kid’s clothes.” Then her daughter proves to be the one with the brains, pointing at the kid’s department only a foot away. “Oh!” The mother exclaims, turning back to thank me. She waves as her daughter pulls her away. I roll my eyes without rolling my eyes and tell her, “You’re welcome.” Then I go back about my business.

Customer Service: The Blind, The Dumb

Whereabouts Are These?

July 8, 2010

I greet a woman, telling her about our sales and promotions. She bends over to look at a pile of denim. She picks up one of these denim, from this pile. She stands there and looks at it for a moment, considering who knows what. Then, she turns to me, showing me the denim, and asks, “Whereabouts are these?”
I look at her curiously, thinking she’s asking me a trick question. But I sense no comedy in her tone, so I tell her, “Uh, it’s right here, you’re looking at them right now.” I pat the pile of denim ‘whereabouts’ she lifted it from.
She looks at me, expressionless, putting the pants down, and walks away.
What just happened?

Customer Type: The Blind, Capitalist, The Dumb, Guessing Game

Shoplifter Exam: What Doesn’t Belong?

June 5, 2010

Here is an exam to test your ability to spot shoplifters, by naming the multiple things these people did wrong:

I am standing at the front door greeting. I am very loud, and I also throw my voice–which is useful when I target ears. Haha. So I greet a couple that walks in, and I get no response–not even the look-away, where I’m purposely ignored (A). They stop and look at each other, speaking with eyes (B). The man and woman are very clean-looking, dressed slightly stylish (C). The man is wearing dark shades, and he lifts his hand to give her the bag he’s holding. She’s initially hesitant, but takes it (D). The bag is a large, huge, titanic surf-store bag which is very much empty; at best, it holds a few shirts (E). They continue to ignore me as I approach them and greet them again (F).

As the woman walks away, she passes someone who grazes the large surf-bag; she turns with a face full of anger, glaring at the other person (G). They go to the women’s department, and immediately find the first corner they can, between a table and a wall–there is little visibility here (H). I greet another customer, and continue to talk to this person as I pass from behind the couple to in front of them–they have already grabbed denim shorts and are holding it (I). I continue to speak, but there is actually no one else there–I’m talking to myself (J). My fake conversation takes me right next to the couple, as I point out clothes they are looking at; they have yet to acknowledge my presence (K). I also help a woman in that area, keeping myself there longer.

By this time, I have a coworker who can see them, but they cannot see her. I move with my back turned obviously, so they have time to look at me, and try to steal something while my coworker is watching (L). Then I turn around and continue helping people who aren’t there. The couple is intent on examining the denim shorts inside and out, down to the minutest details–literally–then they put it down and both leave (M). Nothing is stolen.

So, what were their mistakes?
A) Being ignored attracts attention, but it does not mean suspicion.
B) If you do ignore me when I speak English, yet you do not speak a foreign language to each other while trying to communicate–you do begin to arouse suspicion.
C) Nothing wrong here.
D) The awkward exchange with no speaking does arouse suspicion, but only slightly begging, “Why don’t you just say, ‘Take the bag’?”
E) The huge bag was the first, dead giveaway. The fact this bag is not even filled with enough clothes to merit a bag that size is also a giveaway.
F) The second time I am ignored is important, as they have aroused suspicion, even foreign language speakers cannot pretend to ignore me when I get this close and loud. Thus, they are trying to avoid detection acting invisible, yet making themselves glaringly obvious.
G) Her surprise, showed a highly defensive nature toward a bag which was not even filled with anything. Using the sunlight outside, I could only see a few shirts in there. Her surprise was a second huge giveaway. Plus, this isn’t a high-end shopping bag.

H) The important part here is they go to the women’s side, but in (D) he gave his bag away–generally, the woman gives her bag to the man when she shops in the women’s department. When couples shop together in the women’s department, men also carry the bag, because women to the shopping. Secondly, yes, the tight corner with little visibility is another giveaway as it is the best spot to steal.
I) In itself, no suspicion here.
J) They are trying very hard to be invisible, which means they will only look at me when they are prepared to steal.
K) By this time, even the most hard-headed of customers make eye-contact with me. So yes, it is suspicious.
L) My coworker wasn’t trained in the Art of War in Retail, so she didn’t get my hint I gave her, because I gave them 180-degrees of freedom behind my back. As they could not see her, but she could see them, it was a good opportunity to catch them stealing–but they didn’t know when I’d turn around, so that is also a deterrent.
M) Their examination of the shorts is excruciating. They spent too much time looking at it, and also examining the lining on the inside, which was actually where we place hard sensors. Their remarkable interest in the seam was lame and boring and far too long, they were obviously waiting for me to leave so they could steal. When I did not leave, they left instead.

I had wanted a better challenge than this, within the first five seconds they already gave themselves away as shoplifters and dug themselves deeper and deeper. You need to do a balance of normal customer and rude customer in order to steal properly–if you offend a salesperson, you have a better chance of making them go away. Think about it. Ignoring someone is not nearly as effective. Trust me.