Posts Tagged ‘future’

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┬áthe 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

The Self-Esteem of Babies

October 6, 2011

I never liked having other people take care of me. I learned to cook as soon as I could. I learned to do my own laundry. I learned to keep order in my own life. I grew up as an individual, in the sense that I had a certain pride for myself and my own well being. I liked knowing I could rely on myself for my own needs. I don’t need someone else washing my dishes or putting away my clothes, I’ll do it if I want and when I want. There is the saying, we are taken care of as babies, then before we die, we are taken care of again–because at the start and ending of our lives, we just can’t do it, we can’t take care of ourselves.

As a person working in retail, there are certain levels, limits to which I can understand customers, and then areas where it’s like they’re babies and I’m wiping their buttock after they take a poop. I can think of the mother and daughter who came out of their fitting room, looked at me, then looked at each other, and then started to laugh. As they walked away, I looked into the fitting room and they left all their clothes on the floor, and all the hangers in disarray. Obviously, they had some intent in their actions, perhaps thinking, “Well he’s paid to clean it up, isn’t he?” There are the endless customers who leave destruction in their wake, not even knowing how to lift a stack of clothes to grab the size they need–far easier to just yank that extra-large out of the bottom of the pile, right? Someone here is going to clean it up, right? Someone has to. Do we have the same ideas when we litter or pollute? Someone else will clean up this mess. It would seem many people do believe this ideal.

I possess something which seems utterly rare, it’s called self-esteem, it’s called self-pride. I have a sense of well-being about myself. I don’t see myself as a slob, although I admit I can be lazy, but I see no reason to be a slob in public. I don’t litter and throw my rubbish around idly. I don’t even throw away my recyclables if I know I can take it elsewhere. I especially have no need littering in retail establishments, destroying their folded piles and leaving waste in my wake. I always take my own clothes back, fold my shirts as nicely as I found it, and to the surprise of salespeople, I refuse to let them put anything away.

I don’t need slaves. Even if I were rich, I’d be working alongside people doing work. I see no purpose in making people do things I can do. It would hurt my own self-esteem feeling that someone else has to clean up after me. I would feel like I were some big baby if I couldn’t even do something as simple as keeping order and balance. It would be comparable to soiling my underwear and having someone clean my butt. Of course, I alluded to that metaphor already, didn’t I?

Somewhere in the mind and mentality of humans there is a need or want to be treated as a child, or have someone slave over them. Some people call it pampering, which often comes with a certain price-tag. There are other poorer people who seem to believe the cost of money is beyond the cost of being human. The point where you start acting like a child–whining to get what you want, consciously leaving a trail of disaster behind you, and believing, truly believing the customer is always right–you have issues which really need to be addressed, especially if we want to have an evolved society one day. For other people who dream of having someone slave for them, I probably have no words to express my feelings. Desperate, ridiculous, and humiliating come to mind, and this is me comparing you to the word ‘human being’.

I could pray and wish for a world where people are raised with a sense of awareness. Where people are proud to do their own work, to bring as much balance and peace to the world as possible, people who would strive to find equality between human beings. Until then, I’ll be content cleaning up your mess, because obviously you lack the self-esteem, awareness, and respect to do it yourself. I assume you’ll return to diapers as soon as possible, too.

Treating the Human Being

September 17, 2011

For my 200th entry, I want to switch gears a little, to get back to the roots of my stories, of why I tell these tales, sometimes of horror, sometimes of jocularity, because there is always some sort of rhyme to the reason–even chaos has order. One of the greatest problems I have with humans and humanity is our utter disregard for each other. It is the way we walk through the streets every day of our lives, and you know how it goes–you don’t care about the other people you walk by, drive by or pass by–they are totally anonymous until they get in your way, until you are forced to interact with them. Honestly, the most conscious I am of people is my want and need not to get in people’s way, not to disrupt the flow of their day, and to allow them to continue on without interacting with me. I digress.

I know it is how we are, how we’ve been trained, it’s been instilled into the essence of how we are–when we walk into a retail store, or any place where we make a purchase, we look at the people whom serve us and we don’t see humans. At least a majority of us act in this way. They see, they act like there is an object, something worth a monetary Capitalist value standing in front of them, something they potentially own or control. The customer is always right, right? Consumer confidence is the power that rules the economy, right? Is it really right, or like time, have we forgotten we created this concept and now we allow it to control us as if it were a spiritual conception outside realm of reality.

You see, there are many people who walk into a retail store and they automatically believe we belong to them, we are their servants. There are people who believe they can act however they wish, because we are just there to serve them, their money makes us less-than-human. They will yell and insult, they will demean and act rudely to the full extent of their abilities because they believe it is their right to do so as customers. And somewhere, somehow, someone empowered them to believe this, someone allowed this thought to emerge and become reality, as much as drinking beer and eating solves problems, as much as the belief that low self-esteem is normal. None of this is, we created it, we can control it, we can let it continue or we can make it stop. That is in our power as human beings.

So what do we do? Obviously, we can’t break people’s habits. If you grew up thinking smoking is cool, you aren’t going to suddenly stop. If you grew up watching television which gives so many wrong answers to problems, yet you believe they’re all correct, what is there to do? The only thing we can do is take a step back and remember we are dealing with human beings. During this age of dehumanization, desensitization, where we don’t even touch other human beings, let alone hear their voices in person, we have an obviously growing separation. Yet, I believe the future of our species, our people is based on learning to treat each other with respect, with dignity, by learning to treat everyone else as human beings. We’ve spent decades, centuries learning how to stop treating humans as different categories, different levels, redefining what it is to be a part of society. We’ve spent so little time focusing on being human, on seeing each other as human beings.

The future of our society is as human beings, together as human beings, treating each other as human beings. It shouldn’t be a hard fight, or a hard ideal to live for, but I can promise you the kind of people who live in this world will fight as hard as they can to not treat other people as people. Because they’ve only learned to see other people as objects, as a worth, not as human beings.

Credit Card Signature

October 26, 2010

This is definitely a short, but weird story. Obviously, by now, many people have seen the credit card machines where you sign on the digital pad. It never quite looks like your signature, kind of like a liquid version of the original. Either way, a woman swipes her card, and before anything else can happen, she starts to rub the corner of her credit card on the digital screen. I don’t know exactly what she’s doing, because it looks like she was rubbing off crap from her credit card onto our pad. The signature capture screen appears, and she then grabs her card and starts to rub hard against the screen. I finally realize what she’s doing, she’s trying to sign the screen with her credit card. It makes a loud, irritating sound like nails on a chalkboard–I can definitely tell she must be a very irritating person to live with. After trying this for several seconds, I stop her–leaning over and giving her the pen which is actually made to sign on these digital pads. I don’t know where she’s from, or the kind of pads she’s used to signing, but I have yet to see one that you use your credit card to actually sign.

Customer Types: The Dumb

The Sudden Nirvanas.

September 12, 2009

Tonight was one of those customers which use the vaunted, “Yesyes.” In other words, imagine yourself speaking, and in mid-sentence, someone cuts you off saying, “Yesyes.” If you were in a social situation, chances are, you’ll say something along the lines of, “That was very rude!” Of course, in retail, with the ‘mental giants’ (sarcasm) which exist here, it is their ‘right as a customer’ to shut you up when they feel like it. Because, the customer is always right. Yeah, right.

So a customer is making a return, and she purchased two of the same items in different colors. Currently, we mark items down not by the entire style, but by their individual colors, especially considering the amount left within the store, so we are not belabored with a mountain of extra sizes in an ugly color. (Black, white, and gray usually cost more when on sale, than orange, green, or maroon, because more people buy the basic colors.) Well the woman was returning the cheaper of two shirts (same style, different color) mentioning the fact they were different prices. And I tell her about the different color, different price rule.

“Oh, but it’s the same shirt.”
“Yes, I know.”
“So [the cashier] charged me wrong.”
“No, I just told you, different colors have different prices.”
“But, it’s the same shirt,” she lifts a pink shirt, “I also bought a white shirt like this.” I try not to roll my eyes.
“Yes, different colors have different prices.”
“[The cashier] must have overcharged me, but that’s okay.”
*Rolls eyes*
I am processing her return, and again, “So it’s only worth this much, even though I was charged more for the other shirt?”
“Yes, because different colors have different prices. We have a lot more pink…”
“Yesyes.”
Urgh.


There are different discounts: buy two pants for $35 each, buy three polo for $20 each, buy four panties for $10 each, etc. and each of these discounts appear in your transaction once you reach the two, three or four item minimum. Now, here I present a lose-lose situation.

In the beginning, I’d try to ring up all the items before the customer could react. More often than not, they would cut in saying, “How come this costs that much? It says I get two/three/four for that amount!?!”
“I didn’t scan them all in yet,” *Beep*, “See, now they are all the lower price.”

Being tired of this reaction, before I even start to scan, I’d tell people, “This is buy two/three/four for X-dollars, once all are scanned in, the price will adjust.” I hope this solves the problem.
Instead, 90% of the time, before I can get to the end of that sentence, they say, “Yesyes,” effectively cutting me off. So from people who are aghast and confused their discount isn’t automatic after the first item is scanned, they are not psychic-geniuses whom know the discount only applies when all items are scanned in. It is almost like they become dumber the longer they stand at the register. It is amazing! We should always complete the transaction before they even start– yesyes!

Customer Type: Yesyes, Deaf