Posts Tagged ‘mind’

Two-Week-Old Cardigan

July 17, 2011

A customer enters the store, she has a crumpled up bag with our name on it. You know what that means. Yes, it’s a return and/or exchange. Excitement! Generally, these people ignore my existence when I greet them, as if they were superstars or the ultra-wealthy, as they walk straight to the register.

I greet her, and she looks at me with a blank, careless expression and opens the bag. She pulls out a cardigan. I instantly know it’s sold out, also it’s old, and that it is on such a reduced clearance, I highly doubt anyone in existence has any–I mean, we were selling it for that cheap. I hold my breath waiting for the inevitable.
“I’m looking for a smaller size in this,” she states flatly, a mix of a command, an order, and well, just plain rudeness.
So I tell her, we used to carry it, but we’re absolutely, totally sold out. It has been weeks since I’ve seen it in our store.

“I know,” she replies. Well that’s a relief, right? At least she’s omniscient. “But your other store called here two weeks ago, and they said you have it.”
Really, two weeks ago? Only two weeks? Now she’s a time-traveler, too. Well, two weeks is just seconds ago to a tree, too bad we aren’t trees. Two weeks in a retail store is two sales cycles, thousands of customers, enough time to put out an entirely new line of clothing, and I can tell you, two weeks ago, we had a huge holiday sale–which we sold those cardigans like ice cream cones on a hot and sunny day. I assure her we don’t have it now, but we did have it two weeks ago when they called.

“Just look for it,” she commands, this time more sternly, as if I’m supposed to shudder in her might and grandeur. Let me tell you, she was fat, middle-aged, and roughly a foot shorter than me. She was approximately as scary as a toad after a rainstorm just before it’s run over by in-coming traffic–and I’m the one in the car. I tell her there is none, and suggested maybe she should have come in two weeks ago when the other store called and confirmed we had it–because we actually had it. We are only a few miles away, it doesn’t even take two weeks to walk here. I see no point in coming in two weeks later looking for a super-duper sale item, demanding people find it. So I go with Plan B–the treasure-hunter.

I take her around the store to confirm, with her own beady, little eyes that we are indeed out of this cardigan. I offer her a plethora of different cardigans, many in the same color–which is an odd mint-chocolate ice cream shade. Either way, she’s resolute in the fact she wants the cardigan she has, but in a smaller size. No other cardigan will equal the greatness and beauty of her super-sale cardigan, the one she wants so badly that she was unwilling to come in two weeks earlier to pick it up when she knew we had it. Bravo, little lady, you are an exclamation point in the evolution of reasonable, logical thought. Well, actually more like a period. After a thorough journey through the store, with every cardigan being rejected, I am left to give up and move along–as she said she’ll look for herself now.

Eventually, she asks another coworker to find a sweater for her. She asks if they are on sale, to which my coworker tells her, “No, it’s still new.” They are actually on promotion for half-price, but since the woman ‘asked so rudely’, my coworker declined to inform her of this. Of course, my coworker didn’t yet know this woman annoyed me earlier, we later found out together.

It seems for rude people what goes around comes around. Sadly, I had to see her leave with her two sons carrying large boxes of pizza. At least they shall feast like kings tonight! Even if she won’t get to wear her magical cardigan while doing so.

Customer Types: Micromanagement

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The Art of War in Retail: Subterfuge

May 31, 2010

Chapter 7
Both side of the equation have their own sort of commandos, or ninjas, or assassins, who are specially trained to turn the tides effectively toward one side. These are often tricks of the trade, sometimes–with the Opposition–going into the real of illegal acts of war.

Opposition: Shoplifters- Some Champions are experts at waging war and devastation playing the “I want to speak to your manager!” games and “Well, they let me do it last time!”. Beyond these people are Shoplifters who are the assassins of the Opposition. Some Champions bend rules and break them thinking ‘The Customer is Always Right’, but Shoplifters always break rules and never in a way they can truly defend their actions. They can wipe out entire battalions without harming their army at the least–stealing entire tables of clothing if you don’t catch them in time. Although, a good General can generally distract and defend their armies from these assassins–most Shoplifters cannot act when facing a General, and a majority of them are powerless when they are not hidden. Weak Generals need training to be able to deal with these deadly warriors who don’t use traditional warfare in battle. Shoplifters have the ability to sneak in, under cover of anonymity, and slip out slaughtering numberless troops.

Salespeople: Jedi Techniques- The greatest Generals become Champions themselves using advanced techniques and tactics to ensure victory, even controlling the tide of battle. Some just use a force of will or coercion, sounding like Used Car Salesmen. Those of the female-gender seem to have an advantage against most genders–as females will trust the advice of other females, and males obviously prefer the attention of a female. Whereas females don’t trust the opinion of other males, and other men would rather have a female helping them. The worst of these men can take heavy, heavy losses from females trained in the Jedi arts–a movement, a glance, or a comment can force a man into a ravine, losing possibly hundreds of troops. I have trained females to use the weakness of men to their advantage–for if men wish to use women as eye-candy, ogling their bodies, then women should make men pay back. Even a prolonged look, or a look back while walking away can open a man’s pockets. Just grazing his shoulder while you help him, can leave him off-guard. I have had men tell them, “Whatever you want me to buy, I’ll get it.” That is a truly skilled warrior. Never underestimate a General with Jedi techniques, they know and understand the Art of War.

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.┬áTruly, 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