Posts Tagged ‘idiot’

English 101: All versus One

November 11, 2010

Hello students, today’s lesson is an easy one, if you can read English. Are you ready? All is everything, all is everyone, all is basically all. One is singular, one is by itself, thus one stands alone. Got that? Good.

A customer comes with an older coupon, which is still good, giving her 25%-off one regular-priced item. I go through the transaction, and she’s buying three items, two are regular-priced and one is sale. We always give the discount for the most expensive regular-priced item. I tell her we actually have a special for today only–40%-off instead of 25%-off. She seems okay with this, but of course, you can never tell with these kinds of people. So I go through the transaction, and she stops me.

“Wait! That’s not right! That’s the same discount I’d get for 25%-off!”
“What?”
“You aren’t giving me any savings, it’s better with 25%-off!”
I blink, and wonder why I”m faced with such utter brilliance on a daily basis. I explain to her there is no way 25% is greater than 40%-off.
“No, it’s not a better discount!”
So I go back and I show her the discount, and I even pull out a calculator to show her the price of 25%-off and 40%-off. Obviously, in any world except for advanced mathematics, you can argue the 40% discount is far better. She’s still yelling at me, getting angry at me.
So I say flatly, “Fine, I’ll do what you want, okay? I was trying to be nice, but I’ll give you the discount you want. 25%-off.”
So I change it, watching the total increase as I showed her several times with the calculator. Then she yells stop again.
“What are you doing?!? Isn’t this for all items?”
I roll my eyes without rolling them. I point at the coupon, I want to say, “It’s printed in English.” At the very top, the first line, “25%-off one regular-priced item.”
“Oh, I thought it said all items.” She gets violent with the credit card machine, swiping it. I tell her to stop, because we have to get back to that screen, as I say, “So I guess the 40%-off is better.” There is silence. “Now you can swipe.” NO apology, just like there was no thank you I even offered to give her a better deal. This was my first customer of the day. Oh, be sure, be quite sure, she helped make the rest of the day FANTASTIC! Utterly fabulous, thanks lady.

Customer Type: The Blind, The Dumb, Learn the Language, Unapologetic

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Don’t Trust Size Conversions!

August 24, 2010

My experience with conversion charts is sometimes it is better not to show it at all. My best example was one day, I approached a woman looking at denim. She says she doesn’t know what size she is. I ask where she’s from, and she replies, “Australia.” I already know Australian sizes are two-sizes larger than U.S. sizes, or they go down two-sizes. Thus, if you are a size-8, you would be a size-6 or 4 in the United States. At this time, I thought showing them the sizing chart was easier than letting them trust me words. So I pull it out, and say, “You should be about two-sizes smaller here.”

She looks at the chart, and looks at the flag my finger is pointing to–which points to the British sizing. Then she gets mad, and yells at me, “I am not from the UK! I am from Australia! We aren’t the same country!” It is as if years of frustration and prejudice have suddenly exploded from her body. It makes me feel as if she was a child beaten up and abused by those ‘UK kids’, the same ones who left her people as criminals to live in Australia to start their own Euro-styled culture and civilization. It is as if I don’t know where Australia is and I’m some moron. I sternly tell her, “No, people from Australia always go down two-sizes.”
“You are pointing at Britain, I am from Australia, we aren’t the same country!”
“I know…”
She screams at me, “Obviously, you don’t know! Can you get someone else to help me? Someone who knows what they’re talking about.” She sighs loudly placing her hand on her forehead, looking at me like an idiot. My eyes explode out of my forehead, and I feel my entire face go red, “Excuse me? I am the pant specialist here, and I’ve been doing this for years, you’re the one that needs to learn what size you are in the US!”
Then a manager comes in, breaking us up. As much as I dislike morons and idiots, I despise more when they treat me like I’m the dumb one, when it’s their problem. Either way, somehow they convince this angry, ignorant person to try on the denim sizes she wants, and the ones I suggested. I tell the fitting room person to let me know how it goes, since I already know who will be right.

Several minutes later, the angry, idiot leaves without a word and buys nothing. I ask the fitting room person what happened. “Well, the size you suggested fit her perfectly, but she didn’t want it.” Can someone turn on the laugh-track please? Oh, this is real-life? Well, I can laugh at her instead. Ha-ha. I guess she needs to go back to her country and find out why they use British sizing, huh?

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Deaf, The Dumb, Modern-Slave Owner, Unapologetic

Retail Law

June 27, 2010

It is said within Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” Though not the best adage of choice, it was the easiest to find.

I know not the name of this law I have in mind, but there is always that one idiot that will misinterpret or incorrectly read something. Don’t Get Me Wrong, Part 2 is a good example of this theory. For there shall always be that one person that misreads a sale sign, after it’s been up for several days, and cause all sorts of problems, where coworkers run around like chickens without a head, managers become aware and alert like dogs smelling bacon, and I am left rolling my eyes that one stupid person can cause this much trouble.

I myself have learned to deal with these people appropriately, without calling the entire store for help. Just the other day, and old woman comes up with a hat. She places it calmly on the counter, as I scan it. She looks at the price, and I’m already ready for her reply.

“What? This isn’t on sale?” She sounds like she’s just found out her diamond ring is zircon.
“No, this is full price.”
“But the sign,” she points vaguely in the direction where I know the hat is. It has sat there for over a day, near our signs announcing the store sale–‘Take an additional blah-blah percent off all sale items!” Hurray for sales, right? They do bring the best of the people out of their caves into the bright lights of society, which they have so little normal, proper interaction with. Those people who lack social skills. Those people who are only brought out by sales. Those people who are obviously the least irritating people to deal with. Not. “The sign says it is on sale!”
“The sign says sale items have an additional discount.”
“The sign is right above the hat.” Actually, it’s hanging on shirts above the item, which used to have a promotion on those shirts. [I am left to assume, she would have had the same argument even if the original sign said, “Special, All Shirts 50% off!” “But the sign says the shirts are 50% off, why isn’t this hat also 50% off, it’s right next to the sign.” Pfft.]
“The sign is an announcement.” I point all around the store, which might be the first time she’s looked up from her feet today, breaking her hunched-back finding she’s actually a homo-erectus. Lo-and-behold, signs are on virtually every fixture announcing the additional discounts on sale items. “It is telling people all sale items have an additional discount.”
“It was right above these hats!” She glares at me. I have no idea if she’s trying to use force or her age to get a discount.
“If it was on sale, you would get the discount.” I am unmoved. “If you sign up for a card, you can get a discount.”
“Fine, I don’t want it.”
“Okay,” I take the hat, turning around, and putting it on the counter. I turn back, finding her still glaring at me, as if her admittance of ‘not wanting it’ was supposed to make me balk, and shudder, quivering under her power of trying to rape us of the money we are already losing by having this ridiculously high sale discount. Woman, we’re already taking a loss just selling these sale items, why would I want to sell full-priced items at such a discount?

Obviously she hasn’t read this: Diminishing Returns.

So she stares at me more, without saying anything. This continues for about ten more seconds as she walks away, and looks at each and every sign announcing our sale. I have no idea if it sunk in, but those signs were everywhere, and none of them said, “Hey, these are on sale!” “Hey, everything is on sale!” It always saddens me when I find people have lived this long being ignorant and no one has ever set them straight, or at least taught them to have some sense of embarrassment when they act like they’re stupid. I rather not ever be caught acting with stupidity, or be seen as cheap, too. But, that is just me.

Customer Types: The Blind, Capitalist,  The Dumb

What? Are YOU Doing Okay?

June 4, 2010

There is a man sitting on a mannequin box, which is meant for mannequins and isn’t supposed to support his kind of weight for a long time. (Once, I had the utter joy watching someone sit on the exact center of one box, before we could stop him, and that guy took out an entire display. He offered to pay for it, but we don’t work that way. Too bad. I would have said $300! Haha.) Today, this man looks like an idiot and totally acts like one–don’t you love those people? So he’s sitting there, with his legs spread as wide open as possible so people have to literally walk around his feet, with his arms crossed as he glares at people, looking them up and down with his bloodshot eyes. You already know he’s an image of godly beauty, right? Sure, yeah right. And when you’re kicked by a horse, it doesn’t hurt. Actually, he looked like a mugger you’d find in a dirty alley right before they attack you. Obviously, people were trying to avoid him.

He was not supposed to be sitting there, but I was still new at the time, I didn’t have the gusto I have now. I just asked if he was doing okay. In return, he just glared at me, saying nothing. I’m actually supposed to say, “You can’t sit here. Please, you need to get up and move. Thanks a bunch!” These days I’d probably just say, “Hey, that box can’t handle your weight, can you get up before it breaks and you have to pay for it? Thank you.”

Either way, he’s sitting there for a long time, and I mean a long time, so I am left to assume either he’s homeless and wants to sleep in the box later or his wife is somewhere taking her sweet time shopping, she might not even be in the store anymore–and with a husband like that, I’d want time away from him, too. As much as possible. So again, I ask if he’s still doing okay, since I’ve walked by him about ten times already–as these mannequins are placed in high-traffic areas; his feet and his staring at customers is getting quite annoying. He’s creating a person traffic-jam, as if he cares.

Twenty-minutes later, he’s still sitting there, and obviously no one else has said anything to him. It’s a busy day, so everyone seems to be at the registers. A final time, I ask if he’s still okay, trying to give the hint that he needs to move on–go squat in a cardboard box in the alley or something, you’re wasting retail space, and making it look rather unattractive.

He turns and yells at me, “Why? You doing okay? Huh? You doing okay? What, you still doing okay?” He says some expletives including f-words, ‘f-you’ and gets aggressive with me. This is one of the first times I felt my insides explode, where I wanted to tell him off–not out of fear, but if I needed to, he’d have an entire mannequin swinging at his forehead. I was still not used to the obnoxiously low intelligence of the customers we deal with daily, and their utter lack of social skills. Later, I find out from supervisors in such situations I am empowered to act, and if I am not able to speak up, a manager would have asked him to leave the premises and not return. Their money isn’t good here anymore.

Of course, I go to find a manager since I’m flabbergasted, and of course, by the time I return with one, he’s already gone. This is one reason I take things into my own hands. Too many customers tend to forget everyone is a human being, even if we work in retail store and customer service–the customer and the salesperson is still human, not master and slave. We also forget these are rules we created.  “Once the customer crosses a line, they aren’t customers anymore”–this too is only a perception and belief because of social norms. The roles can always reverse.

Customer Type: The Dumb, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Lowered Expectations, Piggies

Trouble This Way Comes

April 30, 2010

One of our customers who shops often is walking toward me. If I had ESP, an alarm in my head would go off whenever I see her. Instead, I automatically feel irritated, especially since I’m trapped at the cash registers. She has a bag of returns, of course. She also has a pile of clothes she wants to buy.

“I want to return these bras, they didn’t fit. I took off the tags, but there in here somewhere.” She dumps the contents on the counter. There is a black and a white bra, rolled up and twisted. I can already see her hair is clinging to the black bra. I already know I need to write damage tags on these, after I wash my hands. She doesn’t let go of the receipt when she hands them to me, because she also bought shorts, and now they are on promotion, so she wants a price adjustment for them. In addition, she wants to get all these new shorts, too.

Since she was making the transaction complicated, I decided to just split it. So I tell her, I’ll return the bras first. So I quickly scan them in, grab the bundle with the tips of my fingers–as I don’t want to rub my hands against the inside of those cups. Believe me, if you were standing there looking at her, you wouldn’t want to either. I print out a receipt for the return, and start on the shorts.

I scan it, and they are over-the-deadline. She normally can’t return them and obviously it’s too late for any price-adjustments, but I tell her I’ll pretend she’s returning them and buying back new ones.

“But I don’t have them to return.”
“It’s okay, I have the receipt, I can do it for you as an exception this time. I’m trying to help you out.” In reality, I just want to get rid of her as fast as possible. Truly, she doesn’t have the items, yet I can still use the numbers on the receipt to allow her to return them and buy them back with the new price.
“I can’t just get a price adjustment?”
“I said it’s over the deadline, the computer won’t allow it. I’m doing what I can to give you some money back.”
“Okay, do what you have to.”

So I find the shorts on the list and return it manually, then buy it back.

“What’s this, what are you doing?”
“I am returning them, and buying them back so you get the difference.”
“I don’t understand, but whatever.”
This time, I say okay. I’m losing patience with her stupidity and mix of arrogance and rudeness, when I’m already doing what I’m not supposed to–just to get rid of her.
“I have more items that you can return on that receipt that are cheaper now.”
I sigh loudly, and say, “Okay fine.” Now, she’s pushing my buttons.
“I’m just being greedy now,” she laughs.
“Yes, you are,” I tell her flatly, and give her a look of distaste.

Once I work those out, she asks about the bras, and I tell her I already returned them, and credited it back to her card.

“No!” She yells at me, “I wanted to use them towards this purchase! I don’t want it returned on my card!”

I stand and stare at her for a moment. I see a line of customers staring at us, because I’ve been working on this ridiculous transaction for so long, for Ms. Greedy–I hope there is no Mr. Greedy, because he’d have to be pretty stupid to marry her. So I ask for back-up at the register. I go to try to cancel her transaction, but the computer won’t allow me. So I have to ask for a manager to come, which takes a minute. I tell her a manager is coming to cancel the bra returns.

“I don’t understand. What are you doing?” Why do you understand nothing, woman? How have you survived in this world for so long?

“The manager needs to cancel it, then you can use the bras you’re returning to pay for these,” I point at her shorts. She looks at her watch, and sighs. I start to scan in the new shorts that she’s buying, while she keeps asking what I’m doing. I’m really too tired to keep explaining the same thing over and again. Who pays her bills? Definitely not her, she wouldn’t even understand what a bill is. She says this is so complicated–actually, it wasn’t complicated until you made it complicated, woman. The manager arrives, cancels the transaction, and we start at the very beginning. I return the bras and the shorts she does not have, I give her the price adjustments, and hit total. She keeps saying how it’s all so confusing, and I just make my blank face and pretend I can’t hear her. It would have been simple, if you weren’t so stupid.

So she pulls out her credit card, and pays for it using the same card which had been credited by the bras–the same money is going the same way. Now, she’s really pushing the edge of stupidity. Now, what I don’t understand is the difference between returning the bras and getting credit back on her credit card, and then buying the shorts. How is that different from returning the bras and using the credit to make the shorts cheaper–because it’s the same total at the end. It all goes back and comes from the same bank account.

This is one time, I’d need to use some thoughtful input, because none of my coworkers saw the difference, other than making things complicating, which customers are utterly good at.

Customer Types: Agreeing to Disagree, Capitalist, The Complainer, The Dumb, ESP, Guessing Game, Lowered Expectations, Micromanagement

That’s Nice to Know, You Must Be Very Proud of Yourself.

April 5, 2010

I must try to contain myself as I write this, since today was one of those customers that make me question why I’m still in retail and why I put up with people, who in all truth, I would go up to and tell them what’s what. I’m not someone who would whisper to a friend, “Wow, she’s being awfully rude, don’t you think?” I point, and exclaim so others can see, since that’s what rude people want, right? An audience? I say, “You are being really rude.” There are people, like today, that make me want to be able to just quit, and do what I really need to do–put them in their place.

So this old, white woman asks me for capri-pants, the kind that go to your knee. As a fashion person, that description is… Do you know? Bermuda shorts. Those are longer shorts, that usually end around the knee. So I showed them to her, and she glared at me, “No, that’s not it!” As I try to explain what she asked for, she moves me aside saying, “Nevermind, I’ll ask her.” One, I hate gender discrimination, I don’t care how old you are, you learn to live with the times. The fact society moves in such slow periods is the fault of people like this, those people who ‘liked the old days better’. They have villages for you people who want to live your own way, capturing moments in time, but then, there sometimes they smother you with a pillow. Second, as I turned, I prayed, I prayed on Easter Sunday, that this woman wasn’t heading towards the only white female working on the sales-floor–because we have a diverse and multi-ethnic staff, and we live in a culture that is equally diverse and complex. Of course it was the white girl, and that makes it gender and racial discrimination.

So she walks to the girl, who is obviously busy helping other customers, and doing stock checks. I tell her, this girl knows panties and bras–without her turning to look at me, I get the response, “That’s nice.” I tell her, “I am the person that puts out the merchandise here.” And she turns to me, and says in the most sarcastic, sardonic, and rude tone, “That’s NICE to know, you must be VERY PROUD of yourself.” Then turns away again. Anything I say from that point is met with a, “That’s nice.” I hear her telling the girl as I walked away, “I used to shop at the old store before it closed…” With customers like you, it’s quite obvious why it shut down.

I have been dismissed. So I tell the girl, and everyone on the walkie-talkie, “If that woman needs any help, I have suddenly forgotten everything I know.” I was also so irritated, I was shaking, so I went into the back to breathe. But it didn’t help. I couldn’t work in that part of the store, so they switched me for over an hour. After which, the girl comes to me saying, “What was up with that woman? She was crazy, and she was a real b—-.” She went on to explain how the woman kept asking for things that don’t exist, like shorts that are tight at the top and wide at the bottom, know the name? I’m done handing out clothing titles for today.

This is the sort of person, I see as holding society back–making it backwards. The fact she has lived this long without someone correcting her–if I did not work there and I witnessed that, you can be sure I would have corrected her–this is more than the fault of her parents raising her incorrectly, unintelligibly, and narrow-minded, but also society for allowing her to grow and mature and be a ‘human being’.

My recent visit to New York showed me that I have been slightly naive in dealing with rude people. Some people are smart enough to know they’re rude. I consciously know when I am being rude, so don’t think it’s a mistake when I am. Nor am I that much of a buffoon to try ‘acting’ like it was a mistake when it wasn’t. Yet, it is a conscious choice. We make a choice, like in those awful Armageddon movies where the world is ending so we ‘unite together’. We know we can. We could do it this very day, this very moment, uniting as a civilization, but we don’t. We don’t see a reason to. And as much as we can act ignorant to this fact, we know we make that choice to be rude, stubborn, irresponsible, ignorant, and ungrateful as human beings. Each time we do it, we know we are in effect creating, prolonging, and nurturing the unevolved world and society that we live in. Each person we allow, each friend and family we allow to continue being this malevolent human being, is another candle that needs to me smothered so that one day, we can be a true and real world of human beings.

Customer Types: The Deaf, The Dumb, FashioNOTsta, Guessing Game, Lowered Expectations, Micromanagement, Modern Slave-Owner, The Racist, Sexual Discriminator, Tailor-Made

Don’t Get Me Wrong, part 2.

February 15, 2010

I am standing at the denim wall. We are having a sale on certain colors of denim–old washes out, new washes in. They won’t let me move the sale denim from the wall. So I can only put a sale sign at the top of the column.

“Excuse me, which of these are on sale?”
I show the woman which columns are on sale. (You know a column goes up and down, and a row goes left and right? You’ll need to remember this vocabulary for later.) The denim is arranged from light to dark between each style, each in separate and very clear columns. I try to keep it as organized and obvious as possible, by telling people and showing people.
“So it isn’t everything?”
“No, just the column with the sale sign on top.” I show her the two columns with sale signs above them. Out of sixteen columns, there are only two columns on sale.
“So this one isn’t on sale? I thought it was the whole row on sale.” She points from right to left. Even then, the signs are on the same row, they are not staggered, nor are the colors arranges into rows, so this would make no logical sense.
“Oh, no, it’s top to bottom, each column has different washes, and only certain ones are on sale.” I wonder again how she can think a row is on sale, when each stack is a different color.
“Why?!?” She begins to raise her voice at me.
I don’t know what to say exactly. I wonder if things have become too obvious to me. I always try to think how someone walking in would think when the see our displays, how confused can they get? Yet, I walk around the mall, and everyone else puts their denim in columns, not rows. Why? Because what if it was arranged in rows, and your favorite color is on the top row, where you can’t reach it? How sad would you be?
“This sign is totally misleading! This is false advertising! It makes no sense! It looks like the entire wall is on sale!” Now she begins to yell. Again, just two columns out of sixteen are marked with any sale sign.
I try to point out how the colors are different in each column. Because obviously, I”m not dealing with logic here.
“No, you aren’t listening to me! Listen to me, that sign up there, looks like everything is on sale!” Now she is yelling and pointing her finger in my face.
I try to explain that I tried to remove the sale from the wall, but they wouldn’t listen to me.
“No, stop! You stop talking! Right now! You aren’t listening to me! Listen to me! Why don’t you put these denim in rows, it would be easier to follow! It wouldn’t be so confusing! I’m not stupid, don’t treat me like I’m stupid! I know! I know a lot! Don’t think I don’t know! Do you understand me? The way your denim is set up makes no sense! You don’t understand! You have no idea! You’re not doing anything right! What’s wrong with you? You’re going to lose so many customers like this! You have to change this! This is false advertising!”
I have nothing to say, but my eyes are watering. I tell her again, the walls have always (and I mean always) been set up in columns (including any store that sells denim). The sale sign is on top of each column that’s on sale, what else is there to say?
“You aren’t listening to me! Listen to me, right now, you tell your bosses they need to change this, because it makes no sense! This wall is misleading. How can anyone shop here? Listen to me! You can’t treat customers like they’re stupid! Do you hear me! Don’t tell me what I know or what I don’t know! Because I know! You’re the one that has everything wrong! You don’t understand anything! You don’t tell me I’m wrong! You hear me? Don’t tell me what I know! Do you hear me? I know! I know!” I do believe, she’s already spit on me  in her rage–not on purpose, I hope. If I had the freedom to act, right now, I would definitely do more than spit. Do people really think they have the ability to speak to other people in this way? In what situation can I walk into any place of business and start acting this way? Is this seriously how society sees retail, as some invisible border where you can suddenly lose all manners and responsibility, and just be totally rude, disrespectful, and ignorant?
I stand there for almost fifteen minutes listening to her telling me what’s wrong and what needs to be done, how much she knows about things, and how much I don’t know about things; how much I don’t understand anything about customers or marketing, or what customers think or need. She told me everything I needed to change, everything I needed to stop doing, everything that was wrong with our store.
I know my face was red, my eyes were watering, and I was shaking, because the last time someone did that to me, I almost broke their fingers–one at a time. I actually just wanted to quit, so I could slap her across the face. After she left, I wanted to leave the store, so I could find her in the mall, and give her my peace of mind. These are people that would have much less backbone outside, where they’d consider me an ‘equal’, but just because I have a crappy retail job, they ‘think’ they have some superiority that makes them better than me. That is one of the greatest follies of the state of retail. Why do we empower customers with this ridiculous, in-genuine sense of power?

If you actually think you’re better than someone because you have money, then you actually are worthless and truly need the money to give you a delusion of grandeur. Amazing people are superior in many ways that don’t include money. If you value yourself totally by the money you possess, then you are a sheep of society who has little idea of the true worth of things around you–when you find the one thing you truly want that can’t be bought, you’ll understand.

I do all I can to try and benefit the customers, I do all I can to try any make it easier for them, I even challenge the management to change things to make it easier for customers (which of my coworkers actually do this?)–of all the people to yell at, to belittle, and treat like a child–I am the last person to do that to. After her, I stopped trying so hard, I stopped working as hard to try and help out the customers–taking their crap, dealing with their stupidity, practicing patience in the face of insolence. I gave up, and I was no longer the guy that ‘wow, nothing ever bothers you, whatever you’re on, I want some, too’. That person was officially dead.

Later, I told my manager what happened, and they all gasped, saying, “You never need to put up with that! Ever! If anyone ever does that again, you have every right to turn and walk away from them. And if they don’t stop, tell a manager and they will be taken off the property. We don’t accept that kind of treatment to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Ever.”

Don’t Get Me Wrong, part 1.

February 15, 2010

This will be one of my few two-part blogs, which is only meaningful, like season finales, as telling a longer story and having an inevitable movement, development, and transition. You see, I don’t stand against customers. I actually stand for customers, which makes their insults, attacks, and actions that much more offensive, because it actually matters to me–they matter to me.

I have always stood on the side of the customer, to benefit the customer, because of my backgrounds in marketing, selling, and psychology. I actually do believe we need to set-up displays, marketing, and even customer-service to benefit the customer, to help them buy what they want to buy; in contrast to trying to make people buy what they don’t want to buy through coercion and trickery, i.e. credit cards. In order to do this, I have always pushed for improvements. Once, I went to the district manager, just to ask her if we can alter the order of our sizing, so it’s easier for customers to reach–i.e. smaller sizes near the bottom and larger sizes near the top of columns. She agreed to this, saying, “We already have a language barrier with our customers [like Japanese tourists], what does it say to them if we put their sizes out of reach?” Exactly.

I always move things around, as much as I can, trying to help out the customers. I try to train my co-workers to know things which will best benefit the customers. I put marketing, not to be pretty, but to be helpful and easy to read and recognize. I do what I can to remove confusion from the workplace. I don’t step into the store as an employee only, but also through the eyes of the customers.

I do realize and understand the majority of customers that are rude and irritating are, in fact, also stupid, some abnormally so. I just take greater offense when they take out their stupidity at me, as if I did things to make their life miserable, that I don’t do anything to help them. Even when I’ve met regional vice-presidents, I tell them the things customers tell me, I ask for solutions to problems that seem persistent and unresolved. I am one of the few people to consistently fight for better selling, to work out ways to help the customer. I actually do try to do something about problems, I don’t believe in complaining for the sake of complaining.

Don’t complain about things that can be solved.
Don’t complain about things that can’t be solved.

Why am I writing all this? Well I could write more, but honestly, I’m writing this so you don’t get me wrong. I’m not out to hate all the customers. I actually want to find solutions to these problems, and I do believe these problems can be solved. I do believe this society, this culture can actually evolve to remove this abscess of needing to think, needing to be respectful, and turn retail into an act of social interaction that is enjoyable and not riddled with the lacking points that capitalism seem to instill within it. People don’t need to be idiots, companies don’t need to come up with hundreds of rules and clauses to control rampant idiocy, and people can be respectful to each other, not because they have to, but because they want to.

Now, I will write about the customer that broke my resolve, the one customer of all the customers that made me want to cry on the sales floor and made me stop taking their crap, their insults, and their attacks upon my intellect, my self-esteem, and my pride…

I don’t want this anymore

January 29, 2010

This will possibly be one of my shortest stories of all, and then I’ll make it unnecessarily long. So we have a complex sale going on, which makes us take forever getting through transactions, especially when someone buys a lot of special items. Well, we had all our registers running, and trying to process people as fast as possible, and I tell the next person, “Hello, I can help you here!”

The customer comes up, and dumps a pair of super-sale items on the counter, scowling at me, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore.” And then she turns and leaves.

Oh. My… I’m devastated. I’m crushed! My world, my world is over! How could you do this to me? I can’t believe you’d hurt me so badly! *Rolls eyes*

Seriously, if you wanted to make a statement about the fact we were working as fast as we could, and that we’re losing out on your very important five-dollars, perhaps you could have asked for a manager? Even better, you could have grabbed at least some full-priced merchandise which cost a couple-hundred dollars, and then said, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore.”

Seriously? Even my mother will put a can of tomato sauce on the gum and candy shelf, leaving a grocery store instead of going to a cashier and saying, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore. Here is your can of $1.00 tomato sauce back!” Because you know, they’d do all they could to stifle their laughter and try to remain professional, saying, “I’m so sorry, please, please come back. Please buy this can of tomato sauce, because it really matters! Your purchase makes a difference! Please, I have children to feed!”

Seriously, get a life. You should have left after your first sigh, and saved yourself all those precious minutes waiting in line, to go outside and waste your life in other ways. Or, if you were smart, after waiting so long for your awesome deal, you could have… *gasp* bought the item! So at least you didn’t waste your time, genius. Wow, what a revelation! Seriously.

Customer types: Capitalist, The Dumb

Family vs Employee Discount

January 28, 2010

A woman comes up to the register with a package and some clothes. She tells me she got a gift and she wants to exchange it. So I take the package and pull out a tank-top. Scanning the receipt, I realize she has an employee receipt. She tells me her nephew bought her a tank-top, but it doesn’t fit. Then, I look at the pair of denim and two shirts she wants to get. I look into her face, and I know there will be trouble.

“I can probably exchange this tank-top for another color or size. But I can’t use the discount on the other stuff.” Already, I’d have to break the rules a little to do this, since the employee needs to be there to do the exchange with their ’employee’ discount. Hence, the employee part.
“No, I don’t want this tank-top, so I picked something else I want instead.”
“I can’t give you the discount, because he needs to be present to use his discount.”
“Why not? I have the original receipt!”
“You have an employee receipt. He was supposed to give you a gift receipt so you could return this item. Giving you the employee receipt means he needs to be here to sign for it.”
“He’s not in the mall! I need this clothes for a trip tomorrow!” Why can’t you just give me his discount?”
“Because you’d get him in trouble. He could get fired.”
“But I’m a customer!”
“Exactly. This is an employee purchase. The rules are different.”
“Where is your manager? I want to speak to your manager. Right now!”
“Sure.” I call the manager over, and we discuss the situation.

So my manager says, “I’m sorry, your nephew has to be present to use his discount.”
“Why not?!? He’s not in the mall! I don’t understand why I can’t use his discount!”
“He wasn’t even supposed to give you this receipt. He was supposed to give you a gift receipt,” my manager states calmly.
“Why can’t I use his discount?”
“If we did use his employee discount, he would be reported, and it could lead to his termination.”
“Isn’t there someone higher I can speak to?”
“No, I’m the manager, and I’m telling you that you can’t do this.”
“I don’t have time for this! I’m leaving for a trip tomorrow. I’m going to call him right now! Wait right here.” As if her nephew, who must be very new, and will obviously be very freaked out when his aunt calls saying she’s complaining to a manager, and thus might actually get him terminated regardless.

So she leaves angrily, in a huff. I would only be afraid if we find out her nephew owns the company. Because we already wrote his employee number down and planned to call his store to tell them to speak to him about how he buys ‘gifts’ for people. She is definitely an ‘aunt’ I would not want to have, since she didn’t even flinch hearing her nephew would be fired for her babbling, whining and ranting. Sure, she’s a customer, but the rules are different with employees. Whining customers can get far, but aunts with employee discounts can’t even get in the front door. There is a clearly cut line between where customer stops and employee begins. It isn’t a line you cross over. Do you seriously think you can walk into any store and say, “Hey, my nephew works here, I want an employee discount, now!”

So she returns several minutes later, apologizing for the situation. Hopefully, he was crying on the phone saying, “You ruin everything, aunty! You always ruin everything!” At leas, that’s what I imagined. She says she called him and worked everything out. She’ll just buy everything now, and he’ll use his discount later. This, too, is breaking our employee discount rules. I roll my eyes without rolling them.
Damn lady, you are so stupid.

Customer types: Big Baby, Capitalist, The Complainer, The Deaf, The Dumb, Tattle Tale