Posts Tagged ‘patience’

I’m Waiting!

October 25, 2010

No, this definitely is not a restaurant story. Yet, this is a short story. I was standing folding, right next to the register, and from behind me, I hear a woman yell rudely and angrily, “I’m waiting!”

I turn. I feel as if I’ve made someone wait needlessly, since five seconds ago, I didn’t even see a customer. Now, I see a very. very heavy-set woman,  she looks disheveled (read this as her hair as a mess, her make-up bad, and her outfit looking very, very last-minute), and  she has a disappointed face. She’s walking near the registers. In actuality, she hasn’t even reached the register, and she’s still carrying a huge pile of clothes, all jumbled together in a disastrous ball. I assume she was there for about 2 seconds before she screamed oh-so-loudly. By the time I reach the register, she’s just putting her clothes down.

All I can say is, “Wow, you didn’t wait very long before you yelled, did you?” She just looks at me.

Of course, to make this bittersweet, she decides one item is two-dollars ($2) too expensive, so she wants to put it back and get another of a cheaper top. Thus I say to her friend, as she walks away, “Now, she’s making other people wait.” I roll my eyes, watching her walk very, very slowly away.

Customer Type: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations

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?

“I saw it in the window!”

September 8, 2009

A frequent customer comes up to me asking about a promotion that ended yesterday. I tell her it is no longer on sale, and she replies that the sign is still up in the window. I go and look, lo and behold, it is still up! No one took the sign down! This is not entirely surprising, as I say, “We need to work to share responsibility more than pass the blame.” The key is sharing responsibility for the store.

I ask someone to take the sign down, while I continue to help the customer, “Well, I guess you’ll be the last person getting that sale. Haha.” I hope we’ll be laughing together, but of course, she totally misses the wit in my statement.
“No, I saw it in the window!”
“Yes, I’m telling you that you’re getting the sale price.”
“I saw it in the window. I want it for that price.”
“Why are you disagreeing with me when I’m agreeing with you?”
“But I saw it in the window.”
“Yes, and I’m giving it to you for that price.”
“So I’m getting it on sale? Because I saw it in the window.”
“Yes.”
“I don’t want to pay full-price, because it said it was on sale. I saw it.”
I blink, I have nothing else to say.
“Can you hold it for me, I have to go and come back in an hour.”
I blink again, wondering why we like frequent customers so much.
“And I’m still going to get it for that price, right? Because I saw it in the window. Don’t forget!” Oh I won’t forget, how can I forget? You never bought the item while it was on sale for a week. You waited until it was no longer on sale to desire it, and seeing that we made an error, you’re still getting the sale price, but you still want to wait to buy it? Yeah, I’m not going to forget you.

Customer type: Disagreeing to Agree

Dead Fish

September 6, 2009

So there was a short, wide woman with a cast on her foot. She asked a coworker for a style of pant we no longer carry–which was a flared-style of trouser denim–so my coworker asked me what the most similar style was. So I told her, since I was in a rush and needed to help another customer.

About twenty minutes later, I see the woman, “Hello again,” I say to her. She asks me for the style of pant, once again, and I tell her we no longer make it, but I had told my coworker the alternative–to which she said she was never told, later I found out the woman lied to me. Well, the alternate style was in front of us, and I showed it to her. She started by complaining it was distressed. I told her these wide styles of pant are more casual and thus come looking like this–all of those similar styles do–some people call them Boyfriend pants or jeans because they are symbolized by the fact they are made to look like men’s jeans, and worn-in like men’s jeans, “It’s like slipping into your boyfriend’s jeans.”

She remained resolute, not wanting anything that looks like that, and I told her we don’t have other options. This is where she started, “Why did you stop making that style? Why don’t you carry it anymore? I liked that style. A lot of women are built like me and it works for us. I can’t understand why you’d do this to us!”

Firstly, I have no patience for customers that blame me and speak to me as if I am the fault and the reason, that I chose that style to kill off or alter so she can’t wear it anymore. Secondly, there is a truth to the fact–when a style dies off, there is a reason. At this point, I had nothing left to say, because such customers are only here to complain. Don’t kill the messenger, lady.

Twenty minutes later, a coworker asked what I did to that woman, because she’s asking to speak to a manager. During this conversation, she complained that I wasn’t ‘energetic’ and ‘enthusiastic’ when I was helping her–that I didn’t even try to help her find anything. (Lie #2). Thus, she compared me to a dead fish. How can one be enthusiastic with a woman that only complains and blames me for company choices? A woman whose narrow-minded views remind me of a one-lane road built for four-lanes of traffic. A woman who most likely lives in a world where nothing goes her way, mostly because she helps to create the situations where nothing goes right. She wants to always be seen as the ‘help-me’ person and the ‘I really did try’, even though she didn’t try at all. Then she complained about our cashiers, using pantomime and acting to portray them as ‘robotic’–acting out like our cashiers, for the manager to see.

Truthfully, upon hearing this, I wanted to find this woman and tell her, “I know you don’t have any sense to listen to what I have to say, but I’m going to say it, so shut up. That style that you liked, I know it was popular, it was one of our better sellers. I even urged the company to keep it, having contact with one of the executives I told him it was popular, and I even took part in panels and online discussions. I don’t appreciate you blaming me or speaking to me as if it is my fault they stopped making it. I supported it, and it is a true insult that you stand there and speak to me as if I did something wrong. You need to think a little and have a little more respect for things you don’t know or understand.”

Customer Types: Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Tailor-Made, Liar
(These refer to and will link to a glossary of customer terms, which I’m currently compiling and will update as more customer types emerge.)

P.S.
The fact she has a cast on her leg says a great deal–accidents are either done by you or to you. In her case, I’d say it was done to her.

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