Posts Tagged ‘jacket’

First Sign of Winter?

August 8, 2010

There is a man shopping, he’s looking for an item. He asks for a sweater that zips down the middle.

STOP!

Okay, can you list three real pieces of clothing which fulfill this criteria in a Men’s store? A sweater and it zips down the middle. Think about it. Okay, time’s up.

1. A hoodie, right? Nope.
2. A zip cardigan? Nope, wrong again.
3. What else is there? Some half-zip, mock-turtle neck mishap? Or maybe a sweater-vest which zips down the middle, because that’s trendy, and oh-so awesome, right? Not.

Whatever it is, we didn’t have what he was looking for. It’s not what he was talking about. So what was this? Some item that doesn’t yet exist, which he hopes someone will eventually design one day? If it’s that revolutionary, he might have to design it himself, or he’ll never find it. There are certainly only so many options when it comes to a sweater which zips down the middle.

Customer Types: FashioNOTstas, Tailor-Made

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Policy, Say What?

July 21, 2010

I returned from a restless vacation, only for my first incident to be on the telephone…

“Hello, thank you for calling,” I say as kindly as usual–to which I’ve received compliments from people on how polite I am.
“Um, hello? Hi. Well, I have a question. I don’t know. You see, here, I bought a jacket for my daughter but it’s too small. And well, I have to see, I want to know, can I exchange it or something?”
I’m already thinking, looking around, “Oh no, I don’t want this phone call!” I calmly reply, “Of course, do you have the tag the item came with? We can check its availability.”
“Oh sure. I have it here.” Following the sound of ruffling and crunching, “Yes, here, I have it. What number do you want?”
I explain to her where the number is and she finds it. She rattles off the number like a phone number, you know, the ones where they blur it all together, so all you hear is, “Fourseveneighteightnine… Six, two.”
Closing my eyes tightly, I take a breath and ask her to repeat it, because I didn’t get the entire number. Of course, you know, she repeats it at the speed of snail. “Four… Seven…” I suddenly feel like I’m the dumb one in the conversation, which obviously she already believed to start with.
“Oh, this item is only available online currently, or in another state.”
“What does that mean? I can’t come in and pick it up from you?”
As she asks the inevitable question, and much of our conversation becomes stagnant and preemptive, I search for the price of the item, and it’s a super-cheap sale item. No wonder it’s not available anymore–we haven’t carried it in over a month.
“You can come in and exchange the item for something else.”
“No,” she raises her voice, “I want that jacket in a larger size! Where can I get it?”
“It is available online,” but I note there is less than two-dozen left, so she would need to act fast if she wants that specific size.
“So, I have to go online, and pay shipping fees to get this item?”
“Yes. If you do want that specific item.”
“No, are you saying I HAVE TO go and buy it online to get it?”
“It is only available online or in another state.”
“No, you aren’t answering my question!”
“Excuse me?”
She sighs loudly, yelling at me, “Can I speak to someone else! You don’t understand what I’m asking! I need a manager or something…”
My face turns red, and her exceedingly low-intelligence has just busted my last nerve. I tell her I am a manager, and ask her specifically what she’s asking, because she said she wants an item that isn’t available our store.
“I am asking if this is the policy!”
“The policy is that you can come into the store to return the item…”
“No! You aren’t answering my question! Is it the POLICY that I have to go online and order the item, if you don’t have it in the store?”
My eyes roll into my head. Who is this woman? Where is her mother? Because her mother needs something. It’s called a slap in the face.
“No, that is not the policy. Because we do not have the item, and you want the item, in order to buy the item you need to order it. There is no policy for that. If we don’t have the item, our policy is we can let you exchange the item for something else.”
“So how am I supposed to get the item!”
“You buy it online.”
“Oh. How much does that cost?”
For some reason, at this point she stops yelling at me and starts talking to me like a human being once again. I don’t understand at what point she suddenly became sane again. So we work through the process and eventually reach an understanding. She hangs up happily, and proceeds to call online to order the item. End of story.
Actually, no it isn’t. This woman reminded me so much of another encounter several months ago:
Angry Panties

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Deaf, Don’t Kill the Messanger, The Dumb, The Riddler

Returns: a jacket with deep pockets.

February 24, 2010

One of my co-workers was attaching tags on items that were returned. I pat the jacket, because it’s a padded, puffer vest. Then, I notice there’s a lump in it. Obviously, I can’t resist knowing what it is. Maybe someone left money, or the original tags, or something else interesting or special on accident. So I shove my hands inside, and I pull out a random assortment–a plastic spork, some salt, and some pepper. This is definitely a reason why you can’t accept all returns, and you need to really check if this item was worn or not. Although I would not be smelling this item, if they keep food articles in their pockets. The spork would have given the whole ‘worn’ aspect away.

We’re actually quite grossed out by this find. Yet I’m intrigued, I have to put my hand in the other pocket. I feel a small lump and I pull it out. Opening my hand, I want to barf a little and I run by my co-worker almost knocking her over. I need to wash my hands, dropping the old, dirty, used napkin on the ground.

At least make it look like you didn’t wear it! Come on people, how disgusting are you? We don’t sell you clothes with used items in the pockets.

Why I don’t return things.

February 24, 2010

I was looking around for a cheapĀ  jacket to wear as part of a costume for Halloween. I thought I found the perfect item for a great deal. I bought it. I assembled my outfit. When the time came to go out, I changed my mind. Well, actually, my friends never called, so I didn’t go out. The very next day, I go to return the unused jacket. To my chagrin I realize their flimsy paper tag fell off the jacket–which might be something their company needs to improve upon to lower losses–yet also, it made me look like I wore it and now I’m returning it.

I get to a cashier in their returns window. Other than the fallen flimsy paper tag, the buttons were still covered by tissue, and all other tags were attached. Of course, this was the least of my problems. When the cashier scanned the tag, the item appeared as a pack of underwear (on their computer). I was standing there in awe. I looked at the receipt, and lo-and-behold, it said underwear pack. Now, I was surely bemused. As a retail salesperson, I already felt irony and stupidity rise within me.

I hate returning items for various reasons, mostly pride. Why buy the item if you didn’t want it? That is considered a waste of time. If you bought the item as a gift, let them return it to get something better. Unless you spend a piddly amount on them and you want to return it, so as to hide your cheapness–you should never have been cheap to begin with, or just bought a gift they can’t return. There is a certain amount of embarrassment when returning, because the cashiers always question you, look at you with accusation, and definitely give you the feeling of belittling. I much rather keep an unwanted item–if I actually buy something I don’t want–rather than return it. I have a small pile of items I’ve bought and refused to return. This jacket was not one of them.

I, as a cashier, always just accept returns, other than ones obviously worn, older than time, or somehow damaged or destroyed. I don’t question people, even if they are used to the questions and decide to list me various reasons for not wanting the item–it didn’t fit, they didn’t need it, they found something else, blah-blah. I just accept the return, give them no reason for embarrassment, and let them go. We aren’t catching criminals here, we’re just losing money.

By this time, the manager has come to examine the tags and items. Definitely noting the fact the underwear packs don’t cost as much as my jacket. I was flustered mainly that their store mislabeled something and sold it; increasingly flustered that I don’t read receipts so I was partly to blame–you see how this issue with returning always makes people feel bad and stupid? Eventually she says she’ll, “Do this for me just this one time. But only this time.”

I’m standing there, my eyes are rolling inside, I want to scream, saying I also work retail, and I know how all this works, and that I would never use that line on a customer–especially if it was the store’s fault for this mistake, mislabeled ignorance. I will often take blame for my co-workers when there is a return or receipt with a mistake on it, whilst writing down the co-worker’s name for future embarrassment at my hands, of course.

By now, my heart is pumping, my face is red, and I’m quite irritated. I once more resolve never to return things and always to be sure of what I’m buying. Impulse shopping does not exist for me. Especially since I plan for a week or more before I buy anything. Again, I ask, why would I buy something I don’t want or need?

When is a Sweater Not a Sweater?

December 5, 2009

So a Korean customer is standing there, trying to ask me about sales. We have discounts and sales on sweaters throughout the store.
“So all the sweaters are on sale, right?”
“Yes.” We go through cardigans, turtle-necks, and all types of sweaters. And I assure him, all sweaters are on sale.
He points at a leather jacket behind him, “So that’s on sale, too, right?”
I stand there for a moment. I don’t know what to think. I just say, “Between you and me, we both know a leather jacket is not a sweater.”
We stand there and look at each other for a while. I don’t really know what else to say.

—–
This reminds me of a story from a coworker a week before. Another group of Korean customers were in the store, and we had a similar sale on sweaters. We tell them the sweaters are on sale, and one of the men asks, “So these are on sale?” And he points at a wall of shoes.
“No, all sweaters are on sale.”
The man turns to a wall of scarves, “Oh, so those are on sale.”
“No, sweaters, those are scarves.”
I eventually find out the man speaks perfect English, so I have no idea why he is acting like he doesn’t understand anything we’re saying. Oddly, he also has issues with leather jackets. He approaches me with a leather jacket, because we have that amazing additional 40%-off sale items. (I really don’t like huge sales, it brings in the best and brightest.) He asks if this is on sale, and I look, and the item is marked down, so I tell him it is 40% off of $150. Then he says, “How much is that?” By now, I’m really just tired of how much his brain is on vacation, or how much he wants to look like he doesn’t know anything. I ask him if he really can’t do the math…
Internally, I think: It would be, for slower people, 40% of $100 is $40. 40% of $50 would then be $20 (because $50 is half of $100). Are you still following?
I tell him, “It’s $60 off.”
And he suddenly collects his wits, and says, “Yes, you’re right.” Gosh, really? I am? At least I don’t mistake shoes and scarves for sweaters.

Customer Type: The Deaf, The Dumb, Learn the Language

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