Posts Tagged ‘pants’

I Pick APEC of Zippers

November 14, 2011

My coworkers and I are helping an interesting couple, they’re European, at least by accent and attire. At one point, the husband comes up to me asking for help. He needs some sweaters, so I am glad to oblige. I search the floor where I’ve seen extra pairs–as sometimes they end up where they aren’t supposed to be. Seeing none, I ask for someone to check the back, as I double-check our inventory at our register.

The man comes up to me, “Well?”
“They’re checking in the back.” I search the computer, and I see him come behind the register to stand behind me looking over my shoulder. “Oh,I’m sorry, I need some space, sir.” I take a few steps away from him walking through the register area to get away. Finally, they find the sweater, well I actually go into the back to get farther away.

Later, he’s in the fitting room trying on the zip jacket, and unzips it, walking to me. I wonder if he’s going to ask for another size.
“You know, where I come from, the zipper is on this side,” he points to the right, while shaking the hanging end, “for men. For women, it is on this side.” He shakes the end of the zipper, where our zipper also ends. I stare at him blankly. “It’s backwards. Your zipper is backwards. The females have it on one side, the men have it on the other.” I stare at him blankly, because I suddenly think he’s crazy. “It’s okay, it fits good. I am just letting you know, it’s backwards.” He walks away, seeming almost proud to have informed me of this great wealth of knowledge.” I leave the fitting room behind, and leave him in the hands of other people.

I examine every single zipper in the entire store. Every single one connects on the left side. There is no ‘male-side’ or ‘female-side’ for these zippers. Sure, I know buttons are on the left for men, right for women. I tell one of my coworkers this ‘revelation’, noting, perhaps, in his country men’s pants and women’s pants must button on different sides. (Go ahead and look, your button should be on the left side.) So I begin to wonder what kind of country he’s from.

I see the couple approach the register as I go back to the fitting room, free of their backward zippers. Then I hear the cashier ask, “How do I do a Tax Exemption? These people are from APEC.” (APEC stands for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, they have conventions–The Greatest Convention in the Pacific; people from around the world take part in it, hammering out trade-agreements and forward visions of future financial status.)

Either way, I am suddenly stunned that my financial future is in the hands of guys like this. (Even though a coworker has pointed out, some people are very knowledgeable about one thing, and absolutely clueless about every thing else.) I don’t know how far they had to travel from Kazakhstan, but I can tell they sent their best delegates from the Kazakh Ministry of Finance this time around.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations

What Are You Going To Do About It?

October 31, 2011

There is a mother-son duo who often come in to shop. The son never wants help, and acts as brusquely as possible. Read this as destroying piles of clothes, ignoring any greetings, and leaving piles of clothes when he’s done trying on. Oh, and he also speaks to you like you’re worth about as much as dog feces. Yes, one of those people. His mother is some shy, quiet, awkward thing which sort of shadows him as he walks around being some dominant male. Oddly enough, from his stature and his face, you can tell he really isn’t dominant anything. If he weren’t so rude, I might actually feel pity for him because of short comings, yet the fact he comes into my workplace and acts like a beast is sad and irritating.

Either way, I’m in the fitting room helping customers, and he comes out of no where, demanding, “I need you to get something for me.” No, not, “Are you busy,” or “Can you help me, please?” He just glares at me, demanding help, because everyone else is cashiering. I decide to humor him, and ask what he needs. “I put clothes on hold, I want you to get them.” Alright, so he tells me his name, and I look in the holding area. There is nothing. I look twice, but there is definitely nothing. He’s standing nearby with his arms crossed, watching my every move, nearly glaring at me. I tell him I can’t find the clothes, it’s not there.

“What are you going to do about it?” He yells at me, and purses his lips, as if I’m supposed to suddenly grovel at his feet, beg for his forgiveness for my mistake–or my coworkers, or his mistake, and do what? Magically wave my hands in the air and make the clothes appear? I was tempted to do just that, and say, “Poof! Darn, it usually works, too! Sorry.”

Since I’ve worked out how to streamline my thoughts, we glare at each other for a few seconds. While my mind races, “Who do you think you are? I’m going to laugh, because they probably knew how much of a jerk you were when you called and decided not to even put your clothes on hold. Maybe they lost it on purpose, too. Or maybe you called several days ago and the clothes was duly put out as we are supposed to do. Of course, if someone puts it on hold here, most coworkers never put it out, so it must have been put on hold a long, long time ago.”

“Nothing,” I finally reply, and give him a blank, emotionless gaze, waiting for his reply. Instead, he acts like a little girl and gives some sort of deep sigh, moan, and groan, and throws his fists down, stomping out of the store as his mother follows closely behind. Oh that poor old lady, I’m quite sure he’s going to take it out on her after they leave, and she’ll probably have to buy him some ice cream, with a cherry on top. You know, sometimes, manners actually get you somewhere. There is actual truth in “The Right to Refuse Service”, but there are a lot of coworkers who would gladly slave and be treated like dirt, but in this case, I didn’t want to put anyone in such a position.

Customer Types: Big Baby, Micromanagement

What is California?

August 26, 2011

I wander up to a customer rummaging through a pile of pants. I ask if she needs a size.
“Yes, I need two zeroes.”
“Double-zero?” This is an American-size, roughly meaning really tiny, or smaller than small. I’m sure triple-zero exists.
“Yes, two zeroes.”
“So you need size double-zero or two zeroes?”
She looks at me curiously. I point at the pants she has, which is a zero, “You want one more? Or you want a smaller size?”
“Oh, this size is fine. I want two zeroes.”
Obviously, clarity is lacking here, but I get the point and search if we have any more size zero pants.
“I’m sorry, you have the last size zero at our store. The next closest location is in California. They still have some left.”
“California? What’s that?” The way it’s stated, it sounds like she’s referring to California like a cardigan or cropped pants, or perhaps a color of the rainbow.
“California,” I show her the screen on our register and point at the address listed, “It’s a state.”
“What? What is California?”
Obviously, when someone taught this woman English, they left out certain things. So I just say, “We don’t have any here.”
Then she points back at the table, “I wanted to get two, because they’re ten-dollars each!”
I follow her bony fingers leading to the sign on the table, which says, “Tank tops $10.” Well, we’ve got a winner here. I am uncertain how much English she has learned, or how much she can read, but I’m sure she didn’t graduate at the top of her class. I inform her that the tank tops are, well, tank tops, not Californias nor pants. The pants are full-priced.
“Oh.”
I don’t stick around to find out if she buys the pants or not.

Customer Types: Agreeing to Disagree,  Learn the Language

Not Black Enough

September 8, 2010

I’m minding my own business when a guy with a skateboard approaches me.
“I’m looking for black jeans.”
“We have black jeans in boot fit and slim-straight styles.”
“I’m looking for straight.”
So I take him to the denim area with the straight-leg and I show him our black jeans.
“Here it is.”
“This isn’t black.”
“Oh, okay. Sorry.” I shrug and I walk away, beginning to fold a polo. He has followed me and stands behind me. I turn wondering what he wants.
“You don’t have any more black jeans?”
Okay, sure, I don’t know how many companies make several black jeans of the same cut, and call them black, then display them together as, “Real Black, True Black, Blacker Than Black, and Ultimate Armageddon Black,” but I certainly haven’t found that place. Instead, I just say, “Yeah, that’s all we got.” I reach for my second polo to fold as he walks away.

Customer Type: Tailor-made

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

Double Duty Dumb

August 23, 2010

First, I have an old man who is looking for two cuts of denim, one we carry, one we don’t. One is a high-rise, especially made for conservative men. The other is a higher-rise, but also baggy. We can call it Baggy. Well I show him to the high-rise we carry in-store, telling him the Baggy is only online.

A small, tiny woman gets my attention while I’m still helping the man. The woman asks me, “Hello, I can looking for a boot-cut,” she pauses for a long time, “For women.” Well that’s helpful. Suddenly, another small, tiny woman appears. I ask if they are looking for dress pants or jeans. They look at me blankly. So I take them to the denim, and they say they want the other option. At this time, most of our dress pants are on sale, including the boot-cut style.
I ask, “What size are you looking for?”
“One-petite.”
“We don’t carry that size in the store, they do carry it online. Our smallest size in-store is usually two-short…”
“Okay, two-short.”
“I”m sorry, these pants have been on sale for a long time, and all these pants are in larger sizes.”
“Do you have it any place else?”
“We do have some non-sale pants,” so I walk to another wall to show them the dress pants we do have in their size. Of course, these dress pants are flared-leg.
“I don’t want flare, I want boot-cut.”
“All the boot-cut are on sale.”
“Where are they?”
“We just came from there. We don’t have your size.”
“Here is a two-short.”
“This is flare-leg.”
“I don’t want flare, I want boot-cut.”
“We don’t have your size in boot-cut, only in the flare.”
“I want boot-cut.”
Anything I say, only gets a reply of, “I want boot-cut.” So I decide to walk away.

I find the old man looking at the lowest, tightest fitting jeans we have, which is entirely different from what he asked for.
I take him back to our high-rise denim.
“Where is the Baggy?”
“We don’t carry it in-store anymore. It is only available on-line. We do have a loose-style over here which is similar to the Baggy.”
“So that’s where the Baggy is?”
“No, it’s similar to the Baggy.”
“So where is the Baggy?”
“It’s only available online.”
“So what is that?” He points at the loose-style.
“It’s the loose-style.”
“Where is the Baggy?”
“We don’t have any, but the loose-style is the closest to it.”  Then I walked away. I can only take so much redundancy. How do these people find the doors to get out of their own homes?

Customer Types: The Blind, The Deaf, The Dumb, Micromanagement,  The Questioner

Mean Old Woman

August 22, 2010

I go into the back to do a stock check. Soon, I come back out and this horribly rude, old woman comes to me and says, “Hello, can someone HELP ME, there is no one on the floor, obviously customer service is highly over-rated these days, unlike before.”

I try to apologize, because I’m not a superhero, I can’t save the store, but she cuts me off, “I DON’T CARE, let’s save you time and save me time! I’m looking for jeans that actually sit at the waist.” She gestures somewhere just under her breasts, which aren’t pert. I tell her our highest denim sits at the belly-button, and she looks at me, scowls, and says, “DISGUSTING!” With a little bit of spit, flying at me, she turns and walks away. Surely, her spitting was a bit more disgusting than the height of our pants.

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messenger, FashioNOTstas, Tailor-Made

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?

The New Weirdo

August 12, 2010

As a personal preference, I generally avoid weird people who aren’t shoplifters. One such weirdo used to be known as the ‘hat guy’, wearing a certain baseball hat, walking to the back by the bras and panties, generally just standing, staring at our coworkers there. To which, we receive a call for help, “There is a creepy guy back here staring at me!” “Is he wearing a baseball cap?” “Yes!”

Recently, he’s lost his baseball cap, but I still don’t bother with him. Although I have been around during his visits, pointing him out to managers, I generally keep my distance, since he doesn’t ever steal anything. I have three stories from his recent visits.

Once, I pointed him out to a manager, and a few moments after, I hear my manager said, “Hey, did you just see that?” Apparently, when my back was turned, my manager approached the guy, greeting him, asking if he’s okay, and he turned, and did a moonwalk dance, backing away from my manager across the sales floor, then left. No, I did not see it. These occurrences seem to be like UFO sightings.

Next, I show him to my store manager, who loses sight of him. She comes back saying, “I swear, I just witnessed something totally inappropriate and dirty!” She found him coming out of a fitting room, literally tugging on his wiener (sausage) through his pants as he exited the room. She’s utterly grossed out and stunned by this. We are quite thankful the fitting rooms are not near any children sections.

Finally, I point him out to yet another manager. My manager follows the guy into the bras and panties section, and they are separated by a wall. As he turns behind a wall, my manager sees him put his hand into his pants. As they meet again on the other side of the wall, the guy still has his hand in the front of his pants, and seeing my manager, quickly pulls his hand out, and walks away.

I am quite perplexed by this weirdo, but as I said, I don’t bother with him. He’s younger, and not ugly, though I’ve seen him dancing a little when he walks around. He often comes in, staring at his face up-close in our large mirrors. I think soon, I’ll want a story of my own to tell, about this strange, perverted, dancing weirdo.

Customer Type: ???

Sizes to Diet For

June 22, 2010

There is this older woman, who comes in, she doesn’t really say hello, but she comes in the same time, the same day of every week, trying on the same pants. Whenever I knock on her door and ask how she’s doing, she doesn’t say much more than, “I’m okay.” Week after week, she tries on a denim sized 26-inches.  Every time, she says she’s okay, she puts it back and then she leaves. I wonder if she’s waiting for it to go on sale, or waiting to find the perfect fit–even though she’s only trying on one size. It never makes sense. I think it would be weird to walk up to her and say, “Hey, I watch you every week trying on the same pant, in the same size, why are you doing this?” I’m bold, but even that seems weird and creepy.

So I ask a co-worker about this woman, telling her the story. And my co-worker says, “Maybe she’s trying to lose weight, and she keeps trying to fit into that smaller size.”

Amazingly enough, I had a good reply, since I tried to help that woman recently. “Oh, her diet isn’t working out, because she’s trying size 28-inches now.” We both laugh, yet I have yet to solve her curious, curious fitting room ritual.