Posts Tagged ‘island’

Cultures Clash

June 16, 2010

I am standing near a Japanese duo who are lost. They decide to ask the most local woman (and I mean local, plus she doesn’t even work at our store) for help. This is the kind of local customer who would consider the mall high-paced, and would rather be on a lonely street, or a beach up north where it’s just everyone who looks and acts like you. I’m not saying she’s a bad person, I’m just saying, she definitely won’t be very helpful. As a statement of this fact, they aren’t getting anywhere, because the woman doesn’t even speak good English, nor do the Japanese men. What happens when two groups try to speak a language neither of them are good at? Exactly. Utter chaos.

To my amusement, her high-school aged son starts to ask loudly, “Is there anyone that speaks Chinese here?” This definitely made me laugh. I almost wanted to find a Chinese coworker who’d arrive saying the Chinese greeting, “Ni hao!” Followed by the Japanese, “Ohayo?” And the English, “What?”

Customer Types: Learn the Language

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Back to Cold Weather

April 3, 2010

A woman comes up to me, flabbergasted, because she can’t believe we have so much warm, heavy clothes in our store. She can’t understand why we’d be in such a warm climate and have cold-weather clothes. Actually, a lot of ‘smarty-pants’ walk by or walk through our store laughing, because obviously they’re the smart, funny one in their group, saying, “Look at these sweaters, who is going to wear that here? Ha-ha.” Jokes on you dumb-ass.

I’ll give you a moment to consider how or why a warm-weather store would even think to carry even mildly cold weather merchandise. Yes, some people do work in offices with air-conditioning. Yes, some people get cold anywhere. Did you get it yet?

“A majority of our customers are tourists coming from really cold places. They often buy these warm pieces to take back home, and many of them get a pretty good deal.”
And the woman’s response? It is actually inane.
“WELL I JUST CAME FROM COLD WEATHER! I live in cold weather all-year-long! I want warm clothes!”
Now, on one hand, yes, it’s wise to have warm weather clothes here, and yes, we always have warm-weather clothes–year-round, you just have to open your eyes and see how much we actually have and not focus on the sweaters which the tourists gather up by the handful. You also have to realize the irony of her own narrow-minded comment–you live in cold weather year-round. Where are you going to wear your clothes the longest? A week here, or the rest of the year in cold weather? I’m sure it’s fun to spend your money on disposable clothing, because you burn cash in your fireplace, but some people like to plan ahead of time and have cool, cold weather outfits that no one else can get and no one else has. Some people like to say, “Yeah, you can get that here, I bought it while I was on vacation getting a tan!”

I pity the woman who doesn’t even understand the irony of her own statements. Nor was I surprised when I showed her the huge assortment of tank-tops, T-shirts, and V-necks that we had available, and that she’d end up buying nothing.

A piece of work. A-piece-of-work. I pity her husband even more.

Customer types: Agreeing to disagree, The Dumb, Self-fulfilling Prophet

Visit California.

December 5, 2009

A customer comes to the register, she’s already sassy, sarcastic and rude–which is a promising sign, right?
She throws a leather jacket on the counter, smirking. “How much does this cost?”
I grab the tag and show her.
“Oh, it’s right there? So expensive, is this even real leather? It doesn’t feel real.” She examines the jacket while making more comments. “I’m sure you don’t know, but is this available online? Can you find out for me?”
“What size?”
“A small.”
“Yes, it is available.”
“Oh, you can see that? Really now? Can you see other stores, too?”
“Yes.”
“Since you don’t have a size small in this store, I want my daughter to go to the store near her to try it on. But I don’t want her to waste her time going all the way to the store if it isn’t even there.”
“It says we might have small in our store, I can go and check in the back.”
“Oh? You can do that for me? Be a dear.”
So I leave, and let my co-worker deal with finding the other store.
I find the jacket and my co-worker rushes by me. I find out she wants to know about a store in Corte Madera, California–but our system is unable to search that far without direct information or a direct number to locate it. He’s a bit upset by how she was speaking to him–wondering why he can’t find the store–yet, no one has even heard of that part of California, or knew a store even existed there. While he searches, I go out to give her the jacket.
“This looks like the right size. Did you find out if Corte Madera has one, too?”
“I haven’t even heard of Corte Madera.”
“Honey, your store should let you leave the island, and visit California once in a while, then you’ll know a little more.”
My jaw drops. For her knowledge, I spent several years there, I just never visited the crack of land known of Corte Madera.

Customer Type: Capitalist, Micromanagement, Modern Slave-Owner