Posts Tagged ‘hard’

How a Store Stays Open

October 19, 2010

This might be redundant, but that’s okay, I don’t mind. I, the salesperson, have recently been relegated to the cash registers for most of my shifts. I, in turn, go to sleep and wake up with a sore back and tense irritation. I, now, have to stand tied to the registers, because I can only go so far before I have to run back, saying, “I’ll be right there.” I have to watch my coworkers either selling or not selling, while stuck at my most disliked place in the store.

This is okay on days when I have a strong seller to replace my presence on the sales floor. There are some people who can make massive sales, beyond even my capacity–people who understand how a store stays open. How? Well, we can consider the other people I must watch from my perch. These people are folding, making the store pretty, maintaining sizes, etc. (Sometimes, it’s okay, when the store manager orders it, because whose to disagree with the store manager?) Yet, tied to the register, I try to help people, try to send them to the fitting rooms, try to see how they’re doing. While I hear the folders say, “Yeah, take any room,” while standing by their pile barely giving notice to the customers.

How does a store stay open? Is it because you make everything pretty, does that make people want to buy your merchandise? If you say yes, then never, ever open your own retail store. Ever. It is the act of selling, finding what someone is looking for–even if they don’t know they’re looking for it. It is the act of placing clothes in their hand, being a sales person–what do you think that means? A salesperson is a folder? Yeah, right. I think not. Even if you spend all your time making the store as beautiful and folded as possible, that does nothing.

Customers are here to shop, the purpose of a salesperson is to move the merchandise so you don’t need to fold it anymore. If it’s sold, it can’t be folded. If it’s sold, that’s money in the bank. The longer it remains unsold, the longer we have to keep folding it, and the more money is wasted on rent, pay, etc. I mean seriously, beautiful folding isn’t going to pay a single bill.

What makes it harder for me is the fact I know each sale contributes not only to the store, but to the hours each coworker has to work, each paycheck they get back. And I look at people who are ignoring customers, who have the freedom to speak to every customer, to offer them help, and instead, I see them touching clothes. When I am on the floor, I greet every single customer–rude or not–and you understand why I get so many horrible people, because I actually do talk to everyone. I want everyone to find something, even if they only spend $10, that’s far more than nothing.

I have tension and irritation, because I don’t know what I’m surrounded by anymore. I don’t know if it’s colleagues or competitors, because some people are working real hard to make sure other people have no hours, so the store makes no money, and helps people lose jobs, especially when the economy is already so bad.

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The Hand of the Mannequin

July 12, 2010

In recent weeks, I’ve seen many a child standing, waiting for their not-so-doting parents. While the child wanders around, alone, they often stand there and hold the hands of our mannequins. It is a curious sight, invoking a feeling of sadness, distance, and cuteness all mixed with the headless body of a male figure. Yes, I haven’t seen children holding the hands of female mannequins, only males. If I had more time and energy, I’d make a mock-up of some psychology report on the necessity for children to hold hands as a feeling of safety, connection, and social-growth, which attracts them to these pseudo-human figures for these needs when their parental guardians do not accurately provide for them.

It is not always single females whose children go reaching for these hard man-hands, but many of them have been. The oddest thing I notice is some of these children are so insistent on holding onto the hand of the mannequin, they actually pull the arms off. Following a huge cracking sound, as the arm slams into the floor, the child generally starts to scream and cry, running to their parent for safety. I also wonder about the affects of these incidents on the frail stability of the mind of children. One such boy wouldn’t let go of his mother, crying for over twenty-minutes without stop. Of course, during the entire time, she either held him or let him hold her as she continued to look at clothes and try it on–which may have been a precursor to his interest in the mannequin’s hand for security. Of course, the falling arm would definitely show this child the harshness of reality and the world, where you may desire something like safety, but in the end, must provide it for yourself, even if the surrogate hand is cold and strong, it can only take so much pulling and tugging before it too gives up on you.

Still, even with these thoughts, I think it’s cute when a kid holds the hand of a mannequin innocently. Especially when they are waiting for their parents, and they just stand there, holding it. I also anticipate them pulling too hard, ending up with a loose arm floating in the dreams of society.

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.