Posts Tagged ‘read’

English 101: All versus One

November 11, 2010

Hello students, today’s lesson is an easy one, if you can read English. Are you ready? All is everything, all is everyone, all is basically all. One is singular, one is by itself, thus one stands alone. Got that? Good.

A customer comes with an older coupon, which is still good, giving her 25%-off one regular-priced item. I go through the transaction, and she’s buying three items, two are regular-priced and one is sale. We always give the discount for the most expensive regular-priced item. I tell her we actually have a special for today only–40%-off instead of 25%-off. She seems okay with this, but of course, you can never tell with these kinds of people. So I go through the transaction, and she stops me.

“Wait! That’s not right! That’s the same discount I’d get for 25%-off!”
“What?”
“You aren’t giving me any savings, it’s better with 25%-off!”
I blink, and wonder why I”m faced with such utter brilliance on a daily basis. I explain to her there is no way 25% is greater than 40%-off.
“No, it’s not a better discount!”
So I go back and I show her the discount, and I even pull out a calculator to show her the price of 25%-off and 40%-off. Obviously, in any world except for advanced mathematics, you can argue the 40% discount is far better. She’s still yelling at me, getting angry at me.
So I say flatly, “Fine, I’ll do what you want, okay? I was trying to be nice, but I’ll give you the discount you want. 25%-off.”
So I change it, watching the total increase as I showed her several times with the calculator. Then she yells stop again.
“What are you doing?!? Isn’t this for all items?”
I roll my eyes without rolling them. I point at the coupon, I want to say, “It’s printed in English.” At the very top, the first line, “25%-off one regular-priced item.”
“Oh, I thought it said all items.” She gets violent with the credit card machine, swiping it. I tell her to stop, because we have to get back to that screen, as I say, “So I guess the 40%-off is better.” There is silence. “Now you can swipe.” NO apology, just like there was no thank you I even offered to give her a better deal. This was my first customer of the day. Oh, be sure, be quite sure, she helped make the rest of the day FANTASTIC! Utterly fabulous, thanks lady.

Customer Type: The Blind, The Dumb, Learn the Language, Unapologetic

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Coupon Literacy

October 28, 2010

I’m at the register, the bane of my existence, and we have special coupons, which give a pretty good discount on regular priced merchandise (You can read this as full-priced, non-sale items, etc. Yet, knowing society, people will choose the dumb options on how to interpret clear English. Because you know, they ask, “How long will this be on sale for?” And they could mean marked-down product–which never return to full price–or they could mean promotional items, which return to regular price eventually.) I got side-tracked, where was I? Oh yes.

A woman comes up with a bundle of items on promotion–read this as items on sale, because they aren’t regular priced if they’re not full-priced, right? (I mean today, I had to deal with cheap people who wanted me to mark items back to regular price, since they were on sale, in order to get the coupon savings, which amounted to roughly $1 savings. Congratulations for you! Big saver! Bring out a banner! I just love how special promotions bring out the sale-mongers who decide their I.Q. has dropped twenty points in order to shop.) Either way, I ring up the woman’s items, and I tell her, the register will remove the promotional price–thus the item becomes full-priced/regular priced; this is actually automatic–and then she’ll get the discount off the regular price. (This comes out to about $2 savings, lucky lady!) To which, the woman angrily yells at me, “How can you do that? Where does it say that? I want to read it!” (There really should be a test for people to be allowed to shop in person, with so many people lacking social skills. One question should be repeated twice, “Can you clearly read and understand your native language?” “Are you sure you can read English/native language?”) I point at the coupon, of all things, it isn’t even in the fine print, it says on the very top, ” Regular Priced Merchandise.” To which she complains, mumbling to me saying, “You should have made it clearer! I wouldn’t have even come in if that were the case. I wouldn’t have even bought this!” I love when it’s my fault.

If that is a threat, I don’t know if I care. Does it look like I have a thousand ripples of pleasure having to deal with your stupidity and lack of literacy where you can’t even read English? Do I really care if you’re trying to make me responsible for not only your greed and lack of intelligence, but also you pointing your finger at me as if it’s my fault? I didn’t teach you to read, nor did I teach you to use this lack of logic, nor did I make you come trying to money grub super-discounts and getting items for free. Some people actually do have to pay for their rent and feed themselves in this world, woman.

Of course, all I said was, “Please swipe your card.”

Customer Types: Big Baby, The Blind, Capitalist, The Dumb

Sales Report Gone Blonde?

August 16, 2010

At the top of the hour, the manager usually prints a report of the hourly sales, tracking, etc. I’m in the middle of the transaction with two blonds, not fake bleached, but real, and not smart, but real. (Okay, that made me laugh a little.) So, they’re having this conversation, showing the depth of their grammatical comprehension, “Like, I told my friend, you know, like, don’t do that, that’s so stupid, you know.” It’s just empty banter threatening to make my eyeballs collapse into the back of my head.

I hear the manager ask me to print out the sales report on a nearby register, which I do, while still scanning in the items the girls are buying. The slip is hanging from the register, as I continue to scan in the last items. One of the blond girls reaches over, ripping the sales report out, and stands there reading it.

Of course, this makes all my coworkers gasp, and even telling them the story, they all gasp. Yet, I decide with great understanding and clarity, that this girl wouldn’t even know what she’s looking at. After several seconds, I tell her, “Oh, thank you for grabbing that for me.” And she hands it to me as if she’s doing me a favor. Yeah, thanks a lot. You’re FAB! Muah, darling!

Customer Type: Capitalist, The Dumb, Lowered Expectations

Retail Law

June 27, 2010

It is said within Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” Though not the best adage of choice, it was the easiest to find.

I know not the name of this law I have in mind, but there is always that one idiot that will misinterpret or incorrectly read something. Don’t Get Me Wrong, Part 2 is a good example of this theory. For there shall always be that one person that misreads a sale sign, after it’s been up for several days, and cause all sorts of problems, where coworkers run around like chickens without a head, managers become aware and alert like dogs smelling bacon, and I am left rolling my eyes that one stupid person can cause this much trouble.

I myself have learned to deal with these people appropriately, without calling the entire store for help. Just the other day, and old woman comes up with a hat. She places it calmly on the counter, as I scan it. She looks at the price, and I’m already ready for her reply.

“What? This isn’t on sale?” She sounds like she’s just found out her diamond ring is zircon.
“No, this is full price.”
“But the sign,” she points vaguely in the direction where I know the hat is. It has sat there for over a day, near our signs announcing the store sale–‘Take an additional blah-blah percent off all sale items!” Hurray for sales, right? They do bring the best of the people out of their caves into the bright lights of society, which they have so little normal, proper interaction with. Those people who lack social skills. Those people who are only brought out by sales. Those people who are obviously the least irritating people to deal with. Not. “The sign says it is on sale!”
“The sign says sale items have an additional discount.”
“The sign is right above the hat.” Actually, it’s hanging on shirts above the item, which used to have a promotion on those shirts. [I am left to assume, she would have had the same argument even if the original sign said, “Special, All Shirts 50% off!” “But the sign says the shirts are 50% off, why isn’t this hat also 50% off, it’s right next to the sign.” Pfft.]
“The sign is an announcement.” I point all around the store, which might be the first time she’s looked up from her feet today, breaking her hunched-back finding she’s actually a homo-erectus. Lo-and-behold, signs are on virtually every fixture announcing the additional discounts on sale items. “It is telling people all sale items have an additional discount.”
“It was right above these hats!” She glares at me. I have no idea if she’s trying to use force or her age to get a discount.
“If it was on sale, you would get the discount.” I am unmoved. “If you sign up for a card, you can get a discount.”
“Fine, I don’t want it.”
“Okay,” I take the hat, turning around, and putting it on the counter. I turn back, finding her still glaring at me, as if her admittance of ‘not wanting it’ was supposed to make me balk, and shudder, quivering under her power of trying to rape us of the money we are already losing by having this ridiculously high sale discount. Woman, we’re already taking a loss just selling these sale items, why would I want to sell full-priced items at such a discount?

Obviously she hasn’t read this: Diminishing Returns.

So she stares at me more, without saying anything. This continues for about ten more seconds as she walks away, and looks at each and every sign announcing our sale. I have no idea if it sunk in, but those signs were everywhere, and none of them said, “Hey, these are on sale!” “Hey, everything is on sale!” It always saddens me when I find people have lived this long being ignorant and no one has ever set them straight, or at least taught them to have some sense of embarrassment when they act like they’re stupid. I rather not ever be caught acting with stupidity, or be seen as cheap, too. But, that is just me.

Customer Types: The Blind, Capitalist,  The Dumb

Fuck-You-People.

December 5, 2009

I’m standing at the register, and a man comes up to buy a turtle-neck sweater and a pair of pants. We have a sale–if you buy pair of pants, you get a free thermal shirt. Thermal is a type knit, cloth, material woven with a honeycomb design. The honeycomb design is made to hold in warmth, so even if it feels lightweight, it still provides ample warmth. A thermal is a thermal, and it is definitely not a turtle-neck sweater. A turtle-neck sweater is thick like a sweater, but the neck extends–like a turtle. So I tell him, “The sale is for a thermal shirt.”

He stands, glaring at me, and says, “The guy… he said this counts,” shaking the turtle-neck in my face.
I ask, “Who?” Because I am the only ‘guy’ on the sales floor. I see the customer’s face, a mix of irritation as I revealed his lie. I sure don’t remember some angry man that a turtle-neck is a thermal.
So he takes me to a table jabbing his finger at the sign, “It says right here!”
“Buy a pair of pants, get a thermal… You’re buying a turtle-neck sweater.” (Which also costs twice as much as the thermals, mind you.) I guess since his first lie didn’t work, he’d try to convince me that I’m blind and dumb. I am unmoved by his lack of style-sense or literacy. Also considering he is a gay man, I actually expect him to have better fashion knowledge.
So he whispers loudly, “Fuck you people! I’m not buying anything!” He storms out in a huff, throwing the clothes on the side.

His partner laughs nervously, because obviously, the partner still wants a free thermal to go with the pants he is buying, and the partner can read signs. Too bad they didn’t read the sign together. So the angry, swearing man has to wait outside while his other-half finishes shopping, getting the correct deal and not making himself look like an angry, babbling fool.

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Blind, The Liar

Made in Bangkok.

September 12, 2009

I’m approaching an older white couple, and the wife is looking at the shirt tags, her voice in disbelief. “This is made in Thailand. This is made in Hong Kong. This is made in Bangkok!”

I was already expecting them to be rude to me or treat me as a third-world slave, because I am not white, and many people of certain generations and backgrounds will treat others in that subservient, second-class fashion, so I greet them with a warm hello. She looks at me, and they both walk away.

I walk up to the shirt she was looking at: Made in Bangladesh.

Isn’t is sad when a white racist with discrimination-issues can’t even read in English? Kind of ironic really. Sadly, she’s lived her entire life like that, and will die like that, sounds like a waste of 80-years.

Customer Type: Racist, Modern Slave-Owner