Posts Tagged ‘hear’

Extra-small! We Don’t Have Any!

November 5, 2011

This is definitely a short, yet telling-tale about day-to-day life in retail. I’m rushing back to the fitting-room with clothes a customer wanted, when a Korean couple stops me. They point at a tank top, telling me they want an extra-small. I point at the pile, all that we have left.
They look at me, and not in unison, say again, “Extra-small.”
“That’s all I have left.”
Again, not in unison, this time, yelling, “Extra-small!”
“We don’t have anymore,” I raise my voice a little, as I’ve learned it’s only fair and some people actually appreciate being talked to in the same tone they talk to you. Either that, or they give you some respect for keeping your dignity intact, I can’t tell.
“Extra-small!” They yell louder.
“There is no more!” I reply, but this time, I’ve learned to give that look, the one that crosses languages, the one that makes me a master of non-verbal communication, the one that says stop asking a stupid question, and stop demanding like you’re a child.
They reply more softly, “Okay,” letting me continue my journey back to the safety of the fitting room. Sometimes I feel like a fish trying to breathe outside of water, rushing to get back in.

Customer Types: Learn the Language

Inconsistent Sizes

July 29, 2011

I’m nearby a couple looking at graphic shirts. I’m folding and they don’t seem to want my help. Of course, this doesn’t mean I can’t listen in, right?

“Look at all these shirts! The sizes are so inconsistent.” He shows her two shirts, “This is a large, but this is also a large, but it’s not large. Can you see that? All the sizes are wrong.”

If he had included me in the conversation, I would have told him these are shirts brought into the company from other brands and companies, to help promote their shirts. I personally noticed some are longer, and some slimmer depending on who made them and what customers they made each shirt for–because you know, some customers prefer longer, slimmer, wider, and shorter, etc. I was particularly surprised about the sizing of these shirts, but I just find the one that fits best and move on. Either way, I just keep folding.

“Well that one is the right size, it would fit you,” his girlfriend says with encouragement.
“It doesn’t matter, I wouldn’t wear it anyway.” He grabs the pile of shirts he was looking at, and shoves them back onto the shelf and walks away.

Now, that’s an outstanding man, and I must commend his girlfriend for her outstanding taste in men. I am so glad that not only did he waste my time by looking at all the shirts just to complain they were inconsistent in sizes, but even when he did find the right size, it didn’t matter, because he wouldn’t wear it anyway–awesome, spectacular, awe-inspiring. This man is definitely management material, here. Someone, hire him immediately!

Customer Types: Big Baby

Dot Sale

July 4, 2010

A couple enters from the children’s section. They have different promotions than we do, so I decide to tell them.
“Hello, we have additional sale on adult sale product!”
The woman turns to me, and half-shouts, “WAIT!” There is a moment of silence. I was expecting her to be all surprised, asking if she heard me right or something. “Did you just say Dot sale or Adult sale?”
My face goes blank. I have no words to say. I know the proper response is, “Oh, why yes, I did say Adult Sale.” Instead, my face must say what I’m thinking, “Why in all the world would I say Dot sale? What the hell is a Dot sale? Who even says Dot sale?” Seriously?
Her husband, bluntly, answers for me, as he pushes her along, “He said Adult sale.” You know, there are times your spouse makes you embarrassed you married them. This is one of those times.

Customer Types: The Deaf, The Dumb, Rhetorical

Bad English, You Heard What?

July 3, 2010

A customer comes to the cash-register. I start to scan the items, and she stops me.
“The whole store not on sale?” She speaks some English, but it’s not precise; she has a strong Chinese accent.
I look at her, blankly, “No, only sale-items have an additional discount.”
“No, the whole store is on sale.”
I just stare blankly, saying nothing.
“He said everything on sale.”
I wait for the inevitable, holding my breath. The only ‘he’ workers are standing next to me at the cash-register. So I roll my eyes in my mind, and I ask, “Who?” I actually expected her to point at me, but she trails her hand and points at the manager standing several feet away helping some one.
I chuckle a little, telling her, “It can’t be him, he just reminded us that sales items have additional discount, not regular priced items. It’s not him.”
“No, he said. He said.”
“I’m sorry, sale items have additional discount. Full-priced items are full-priced.”
There is some banter between herself and I, with her husband standing back–even though he’s about a foot-taller and several tens of pounds heavier, he’s obviously not in charge. The hard part is that I’m supposed to believe she ‘heard correctly’ that everything is on sale, while she’s speaking in broken English. I can more easily believe she translated what was said incorrectly.

Later, I tell the manager about the woman, and how she pointed right at him. And as expected, he said he never said such a thing, and she probably heard him wrong. He asked why I didn’t call him, and I told him I’m not one of our whiny co-workers who have to call a manager for everything, “Oh, I need back-up, help me!” I can handle myself, unless I don’t feel like it, then I’ll call a manager, and then slip away into the night.

Customer Types: Learn the Language

Flare is So Wide!

June 8, 2010

I’m helping an older woman who asks for a mid-rise denim with straight legs. I tell her we have skinny jeans that are mid-rise, but all of our straight legs are lower rise. (I mean, have you seen high-rise straight leg denim? It’s like a long tube.) She doesn’t want skinny. She doesn’t want low-rise. I offer her the next option, which are boot cut. Instead, she goes back to looking at the denim when I first approached her–a mid-rise flared denim. I tell her it’s flare, which is three-inches wider than boot and six-inches wider than straight. I tell her it like a bell-bottom. I tell her it’s the widest we have.

She stares at me blankly. “Well I just want to see it,” she tells me as she opens it. Then she gasps, “It’s so wide!”

Customer Types: The Deaf, The Dumb

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.

The Mirror

May 9, 2010

I have read many different theories on mirrors. Some discuss how intelligent creatures can recognize themselves in a mirror, versus other less-cognizant creatures who see a reflection as a competitor, a friend, or a mate yet not recognizing it is them. There are theories which say we develop a sense of self, of being, when we first stare into a mirror–because we are no longer disembodied, but we actually see and know what we look like and in our minds we fully exist from this point on. We see, therefore we are. A mirror does much to tell us about ourselves.

The store I work at has a doorway which divides different sections of our store. I have so many people who walk by that door, look directly at it and then continue walking. They then approach me, asking, “Where is your other sections? I can’t find it.” I tell them they just walked past it, and they reply, “Oh, I thought that was a mirror.” Really? What does this say about you, oh customer?

Oh so curious that someone can look upon a doorway, mistaking it for a mirror, admitting this mistaken fact, and yet they themselves were not in their imaginary mirror–they saw no reflection. Either these people are vampire-lovers, which are in high demand these days, and they found total elation and self-completion in the idea they no longer have a reflection, or there is something significant about intelligence and the fact people can’t recognize they have no reflection in a mirror.

This would be like believing stairs only go down–so how do you get back up? Or asking how much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Does a falling tree make noise if no one is around to hear it? Money is power, time is money, yet humanity created both of these abstract concepts and allowed them to control us all. Humanity has forgotten what it has created and lost control over its creation. Ah, humanity, you make me cry. You make me weep.

Heat: Bad for You, Worse for Me

May 4, 2010

Our air-conditioning hasn’t been working for a while, and there is no cold-air in the back of the store where the fitting rooms are located. I can basically handle the hot air with very little sweating and no whining and complaining. Yet, customer after customer comes into the fitting room for five to ten minutes and come out saying, “Wow, I’m so hot, why is it so hot in here? I can’t handle it.” They say this with a mix of surprise, and some with irritation and anger towards me, as if I broke the air conditioning, because I’m the Devil. (As my old friend used to joke, “It’s so hot the devil came up and asked us to turn down the heat!”)

The entire time, day-after-day for weeks I worked in the fitting room, running on dehydration and hazy delusions, listening to everyone complain about the heat, and only one–one customer–said to me, “Wow, it’s so hot in here, it must be terrible for you!”

Buy one, get one… what?

September 8, 2009

Buy one, get one free. In case customers decided to return one of the items, we wanted to make sure customers get some money in return. So we divided the discount evenly between the two items–thus 50% off both items, which is equal to 100% off a single item. Got it? If you don’t, then we have a problem.

So I’m ringing up a customer, and telling her how the discount works, so she knows she won’t return an item for 100%-off, getting $0.00 back. She looks at me, calmly stating, “Yes, I understand.” So I divide several pairs of items, 50/50, 50/50.

When I hand her the receipt, she looks at it, standing there for a moment. Then she looks at me, pushing it at me, “What is this? What did you do? I thought one item was free?”

“I explained it, and you said you understood. I guess you didn’t.”

Customer types: Liar, Deaf

P.S.
If you need a detailed explanation: you buy two items $40 and $40. I give you $40-off, splitting it $20 for one item and $20 for the other. Thus you pay $20 and $20 or $40 total. If you need to return one of these items, you still get $20 back. Buy one, get one free in value.