Posts Tagged ‘hours’

Legal Precedent

December 22, 2010

There is an older woman who comes in and always, always has some problem, or demands something in her favor, even if it is against our policy, and even ethically wrong. Today, it’s busy, I have customers to help, and she comes with her daughter and drags me to find things and do things. Really, there are fifty customers and only one of me. I find the belt they’re looking for, then she wants me to get sandals off a mannequin.

She wants a certain size, and I tell her, “Our mannequins only wear larger sizes, it can’t fit that size.”
“Well can you check the other mannequins?”
What, I don’t speak English? I just told you, it doesn’t fit the size you’re looking for, so it is an impossibility for any mannequin to be wearing that size. “Our mannequins only wear the larger size, it can’t fit that size.”
“Don’t you have more in the back?”
“It’s two days until Christmas, our stock is totally out. Everything is on the floor.”
I go and ask my manager for confirmation, and yes, “No mannequin wears that size. It can’t fit.” So I tell her about this customer, who is always high-maintenance and demanding.
Instead, the woman finds another manager to ask, “Can you check the mannequins if they have this size?” This manager asks the manager I just spoke to, and this woman gets two more confirmations that we don’t have her size.

Let me rewind to the last time she came to the store, and the reason why I won’t put up with her anymore. We had a special sale, during a certain time in the morning. She comes in the night before asking to speak to a manager. You need to ‘check-in’ at our store using a phone application (app) and you can qualify for the special sale.

First, she says she doesn’t have the application, so it’s unfair against her. A manager points out, you can go online, and any phone or computer–even the stores in the mall which have computers–allow you to use this application to ‘check-in’.

Then, she says, “I have a job. I have to work every day from nine-to-five. I can’t come in to this sale. I can’t make it.¬† This is discrimination! I work at a law firm! This is a legal precedent. I should know! I want to speak to your store manager!”

To which, the store manager is having a conference call, and she said she’ll wait. The whole time, she’s arguing with the manager of the fairness of the sale, and how it works against her. Again, threatening the company as being discriminant against her because she doesn’t have a phone application and she can’t come in because she has a job. Eventually, the store manager does arrive, and tells her the exact same thing she’s been told. And they have a ‘civilized’ argument about it, where the store manager consistently says, “No, it doesn’t work like that. If you can’t make it, find someone else. You aren’t getting the deal.” She continues to argue, saying she’s going to call the company. My store manager says she’s fine with that, and gives her the corporate number.

Fast-forward to today. She’s standing there, pointing at me, while speaking to my manager. The other manager is waving at me to hide. Later, the manager comes to me and says, “She was complaining about you. She said you were so horrible today, you must be in a terrible mood. Usually, you’re so nice and helpful. But today you weren’t helpful at all, and you were so rude.”

Well, lady, I’m not going to be nice to you anymore, you aren’t worth my time or my energy. You are a waste of the time and energy of just me, and my store. I hope your legal precedent and your law firm teaches you more, because you sure don’t know a lot about anything–other than being rude, demanding, stupid, ignorant, irritating, and frankly, I have the right to refuse service, and I refuse to be your slave again. Go panhandle your worthless crap to other people.

Finally, as ‘thanks’ to the manager who helped her, she bought her a shirt as a gift. Obviously trying to curry some favor with at least one of our managers because every single other manager knows what she’s all about. Of course, we can’t accept gifts at our store, as it is legally and ethically wrong, so my manager returned it after she left. I’ll show you legal precedent…

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Capitalist, The Complainer, Micromanagement, Tattle Tale

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Credit Card Slap

November 7, 2010

Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about credit cards. Personally, as a young adult, I was ‘convinced’ to sign-up for one to get a ‘free bag’, hey, “Everyone else was signing up.” Why not? Then, I lost my job, I was struggling to survive, my debt got out of hand, I didn’t know what to do–nor did they actually give you many options–eventually, they wanted it all paid. This was a bill which was a couple hundred, and compounded with their various fees into thousands of dollars. By the time I found a job, I still wasn’t making enough to meet their demands, so they started to call me and my family, demanding to know where I was at all times, and calling me everywhere–and I mean, everywhere I was. They would call the store asking for me daily, and when I wasn’t there, they’d ask for a manager demanding all of my personal information, which my manager told them was illegal and asked them not to call anymore. Asking them not to call my workplace did little good. Eventually, they started to garnish my wages so if I thought I was barely surviving before, well I was in for a new surprise! Eventually, they stopped garnishing me, my paychecks went back to normal, etc., etc. Either way, I have no personal fondness for credit cards, and believe it was created by a crude capitalist society whose only interest is keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. If they were evolving society, they would create a system which empowers people to grow instead of recreating paupers and their new version of enslavement.

All this aside, people also know I’m a good salesperson. One day, I helped build a $900 sale. The next day, alone, I made a $400 sale. In this time, I also got two people to apply for credit cards–it is a job requirement for me, and honestly, I’m always rated ‘down’ because I don’t pursue credit cards enough. Either way, I make $1300 in sales (in just two sales) and I barely get a congratulations, thank you or any sort of recognition. I get two credit cards, and they give me a $5 gift card for coffee. Yes, I got two credit cards and I got a $5 gift card. I make $1300 in sales, and I don’t even get a thank you. Should I go over it again?

I mean, of all things, this was the hugest insult anyone could give me–with my beliefs, my pride, and who I am and how I have been treated by credit cards; with my background in selling and sales management, I was slapped in the face. I went to a manager, throwing it on the ground, telling them to, “Give it to the other guy, he got two credit cards in one hour!” We’re in an economic rut, my coworkers aren’t getting enough hours to feed themselves, and I get congratulations for credit cards? Helping a new breed of people to go into debt? Thanks. Let me know when Retail is about making sales again, I’ll be sleeping.

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.

Denim Complimentary

August 20, 2010

There was a time I was an excellent salesperson. There was a time when managers and coworkers asked what my secret was, how did I make sales so easily? As time moved on, as more horrible customers appeared and ripped pieces of my soul apart, I became more rigid and I wasn’t willing to be open, helpful, or caring. Why be an evolved salesperson if your customers don’t care?

Recently, we watched a training video with sales scenarios which made everyone laugh. Yet, watching it, I often thought how much each of my coworkers do this, every single day they work. My philosophy is clear with sales, I believe I need to sell so we each get hours to work–no sales, no hours, no coworkers. The greater influence I am in making people buy things, the more my coworkers get to work–and basically do the bad things presented in the video.

Yet, after the video, I was willing to try. I helped a couple, they were both heavy-set, and the woman wasn’t really open to help at first. So I helped her boyfriend first. We slowly took time finding denim for him, a cut that would work, then a wash that would be cool enough for him, and make her happy. We went on to find matching shirts for several different outfits. Along the way, I also got her back into the fitting rooms to try on several more pants, because her first attempts were failures. I was actually excited, thinking, this is selling again, reborn. They both found stuff they wanted.

I left the fitting room helping another customer, and I walked back in seeing them turning a corner. So I decided to check their rooms, and I found everything still there. They bought nothing. I was disappointed. Then, I hear the manager ask for me. She comes to tell me the couple I just¬† helped, they felt so bad, so sorry they didn’t find anything; they might come back, but they wanted to tell her how I went above and beyond trying to help them find the perfect outfits, how patient I was and how helpful I was. My manager gave them a survey to fill out. I guess that counts for something, right?