Posts Tagged ‘responsibility’

Justifying Obesity

September 23, 2011

“This is the United States, why the hell don’t stores carry larger sizes?”

My customer goes on a tirade, yelling about the fact we do not carry his size 40, and beyond–I also assume other stores in the mall also do not carry his size. He’s so upset while ranting about the size of American people and the fact obesity is so rampant and thus stores should cater to them, his wife is patting his shoulder calming him down. After justifying his obesity for the store, and venting his frustrations at me, even though I honestly tried to help him find is size in black slacks, he throws his clothes down and walks out of the store. Now, I felt about compassionate for him, though not as much as I do for short people whom cannot even fit our shortest clothes and must either hem everything shop in the children’s section nor people whom have extra large thighs or calves or rear-ends, for these are often genetic in origin. Some obesity is genetic, we know as a country, especially the United States of America, this argument only goes so far because many of us were raised on fat and grease, fast-food, unhealthy eating, and growing up with the worst habits possible because of our wealthy spoiled social self-beliefs. Shall I include smoking, too?

In a country where ‘super-size me’ is an epidemic being curbed, you’d wonder if society is being helped out by making it harder to acquire the largest sizes; where extremely heavy-set individuals must pay for two plane seats to ride, if they do indeed take up two seats; even the ideal of having a super-heavy duty-sized car comes with additional taxes and prices just because of their sheer size, which is obviously a detraction, but still worth noting. I don’t often hear an argument from large people who fly on planes saying, “I only wear size 44-pants and XXXL shirts, I can only fit so much in a suitcase, obviously you shouldn’t charge me for extra luggage, because this is a vacation I’m going on I need a minimum amount of clothes and it won’t fit in one suitcase!”

Honestly, when I first started working in retail the topic of size came up, and the cost of clothing. I did argue that larger sizes should cost me, of course I was surrounded by much larger coworkers whom were upset with my remark, and of course took this in the most illogical way possible, commenting how fat people are already ostracized and discriminated against–as if gay people, and straight men aren’t discriminated and prejudiced in the fashion world as well? How many times do I have to act more girly just to make a woman believe what I’m telling her? Or how many times I’ve been passed up by a customer so they can ask a sloppy dressed new-girl her opinion just because she lacks a penis?

Either way, let us say you walk into a fabric store and you find a roll of fabric you love for $5. You find another roll of the exact same fabric, yet lo-and-behold, you can get two yards for the same price! Would this make sense to you? Would you pay for one-yard of fabric for $5, if you can get two-yards of the same fabric for $5? If you pick the first option, I really need to find something to sell you. Obviously, you’d want more fabric for the same cost. When I’m shopping for denim fabric in the sale section, do you think I’m going to buy the smallest sizes available? Not when I can purchase the largest size and get twice as much fabric for the same cost. You know, some companies are catching onto this, they may call it shrink, but they will charge more if you request larger sizes, because realistically it costs more for more fabric. Hopefully they charge less for the smaller sizes, too. They don’t offer a ‘super-size’ for free (unless it’s a special deal) and they definitely won’t charge you the same price for the kid’s meal. Why? Because of economics.

Also economically speaking, if we consider medium to be the median or middle-size, and this size was chosen as the average size of most human beings in the region–thus American and European sizing is different (I hope you already knew this). Depending on the market in the surrounding area, medium should be the first size to run out–small and large should be secondary, and thus extra-small and extra-large would be the hardest to sell. Time-and-again I used to have extra-extra-large customers come in and raid the sale section, amazed at all the deals they could find–because no one was buying them, because so few customers came in looking for it. Economically speaking, to remain profitable I would make the extraneous sizes harder to acquire. Yet, the sizes are still available online for purchase, which today’s customer didn’t find comforting.

Returning to the subject at hand, justifying obesity, defending obesity, sometimes society does things which I personally acknowledge. The movement away from the popularity of smoking for example, wonderful. The social outcry to environmentally friendly, astounding. The American movement to stop being the most overweight country, to bring health and consciousness back into our lives, and trying to break through the hurdles of self-created weakness and lack of accountability with one’s personal well-being and social inadequacies, especially on a world-class scale, I approve. Just as much as customers need to learn how to treat other people like human beings, they also need to break through other beliefs they grew up with and stop using them as crutches. Some of the most brilliant people emerged from the poorest regions of the world. It is not because they allowed the world they were born into to control them, it is because they capture their own self-worth and belief to take them where they wanted to be.

 

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Cultural Heritage

January 10, 2011

In terms of rudeness; in terms of backwards illegitimate ignorance; in terms of throwing acid on someone’s face, disfiguring genitalia, basic human cruelty; in terms of using your culture to be inhuman, irresponsible, and absolutely, ridiculously narrow-minded and ignorant–there is no excuse.

Okay, I write about retail. I write about modern-society. I write about everyday instances which can happen to anyone. I also write about people, about culture, about society. I write about what people consider normal, just, about habits and actions people have which they think is totally fine, okay, and socially acceptable. I may just write about idiots who don’t know how to calculate one-half of a price, about people who can’t discern between one or all, sale or regular-priced. Yet, each and every one of these people, these human beings will inevitably rely on, lay upon, and use principles of their societal belief to justify their own ignorance and stupidity. They will blame society’s rules, how things are as a reason, as a way to excuse themselves for acting like moronic half-wits.

When I espouse evolution, when I speak about teaching society, to help us take steps forward into a real future, a real society where we can finally understand equality, true compassion, and true realizations about how to act as a real society–it is the simplest, smallest instances of stupidity which manifest and tear down these dreams. Why can people not act reasonably? Why must they walk into a retail store and suddenly become brainless, yet so many of them expect the people working there to be less intelligent than they are? Why can people never apologize, or say sorry when they are wrong, especially when they’ve made a huge scene about their stupidity? Why do they think ‘the customer is always right’ so they can abuse salespeople, whine and cry like irresponsible children just to get their way? Why have people learned, why has society created a world where this is even acceptable?

Why shouldn’t a customer be wrong? Why can’t they admit they’re stupid, admit they’re wrong, and apologize for acting like immature, worthless brats? Why can’t they be called out when they act racist or act with gender-discrimination? Why can’t their intelligence be called into question? Why must salespeople walk carefully upon the tracks of idiots, just to satiate them and make them feel grand in the most empty and meaningless of ways? Why does a society promote this?

You see, people of all cultures come in and act like rude, dumb customers. They can say it’s okay in their culture, they can say it’s how they were raised, but is that really a good reason, other than an excuse? When will we as a human race, a species agree together there are many, many glaring social structures, social rules which are just archaic, if not lost in the annals of time. Some cultures still allow discrimination between genders, some countries still allow race and religion to alter their decisions. This is far down the line, but one day, one day people will look at other people as human beings and give them the respect and dignity they deserve, because they are human beings–not because they are a woman or a man not, Caucasian, Asian, African or Middle-Eastern, not because they believe in Christ, Allah or the Buddha; only that we are all human beings.

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

Milk Made

July 9, 2010

I’m standing folding, and a couple with one of those monster strollers that are made for two children come barging in. They barely have enough room to fit the strollers as they start to shove and push. As they do this, one of their lovely, beautiful boys decides it’s time to toss, drop, or throw his cup at the glass door. And it splatters, covering the lower-half of the door, and spills all over the floor–inside and outside of the store. I immediately get some help, and run to get a mop. By the time I come back, the couple have done a spill-and-run. Then I look closely at the spill and realize it’s MILK. Fresh, creamy, white milk lays splattered on the door and floor.

One guy tries to clean the glass with glass-cleaner and a pile of napkins, but it just smears. The hot sun and milk have already started to turn into a nice, thick cream. He has to clean the door several times before he gives up, still able to see the smear.

I have a mop and disinfectant, but I quickly realize I didn’t put enough hot water into the mop bucket, as the clear water turns milky white. Seriously, how much milk was this kid drinking? Maybe it was melted ice cream. I just couldn’t wait until the hot sun starts to bake the dairy and turn it rotten. The smell will be unbelievable. I clean the floor so well it actually looks cleaner than the surrounding area, which utterly surprises me.

As I’m bending over mopping deep into the grills that are outside our store, the glass door slams open, barely missing my face as I move out-of-the-way. Lo-and-behold, it is the same family (I want to use some terrible adjectives right now) barging out of the store, slamming into the door. I catch the door, throwing the mop handle into my other hand, and the man just looks at me. I never heard an apology from them, either from spilling their cottage cheese on our store or almost cracking my face. And, of course, did they buy anything? Oh no way, of course not. They bought nothing, just spilled and left. Thank you very much for being (CENSORED).

Customer Types: Capitalist, Modern Slave-Owner, Piggies, Unapologetic

Don’t Fold With Your Face! B.O. may be there…

April 28, 2010

Body Odor: sweat, the liquid waste that comes from our pores to cool our body. Some people sweat just trying on clothes, believe me they do; they do it a lot. So when I see a co-worker folding with their chin, I get grossed out. When a customer gives me a shirt or pants inside out, I refuse to  touch near any ‘sensitive’ spots, nor armpits, nor even neck-holes while turning it right-side out; and don’t get me started with inside out pants. When someone gives me balled up panties, I wash my hands right after. Seriously, even if they are wearing something else, they’re sweating, rubbing, and some places stink when they sweat.

People! Don’t fold with anything more than your hands. Can you imagine folding with your chin and your face is right next to where greasy hair once was and a sweaty forehead rubbed against? We’ve seen the make-up from Piggies, some stains are definitely invisible. The unseen odor being spread while your hands slide over the inside of someone’s still-warm, once-worn clothes. Nasty and grotesque. Come on, people, at least give back clothes right, so we don’t need to touch ‘everything’ it touched… But then, that’s a world where people consider each other and not just themselves, right?

The true purpose of this piece is about B.O. (Body Odor), which I’ve witnessed time and time again as people walk around without a care in the world, not even a nuance of understanding how they, *shudders*, hurt those around them with just their smell. They damage clothing, seriously. They clear out areas. They make it really, really hard to concentrate.

I started to write down different B.O. types, and I realize I have stories for most of them–some I’ve already jotted down previously. I can present them now in order of pleasant to tear-jerking to vomit-worthy.

Woodsy: A subtle, light smell that reminds one of walking in the forest. It rarely offends, and actually can be quite soothing. Wish you end up to sleep next to someone like this for the rest of your life. If you haven’t met someone with this scent, you have to travel more.

Musky: this is a stronger, more concentrated smell, yet still pleasant. Like a splash to wake you up in the morning, this scent has more going for it, and may just be too much for some to handle. I’ve definitely run into some pleasant and unpleasant musk.
Entry: Estrogen Overload at Starbucks

Ozone: There is a smell, just before the rain, you can sense it like electricity in the air. There is a smell, after the rain, when the sun comes out and dries the rain. There is a smell, on people who sweat, that smells like this, like oxygen, almost floral, yet overpowering and strong.
Entry: What Are You Wearing?

Moth Balls: One of the first steps into the bad-zone. You know the smell, like some old lady’s house. It’s a weird closet smell, which makes you think they’ve stayed inside for too long and they’re covered with dust.

Box of Crayons: Some people make you think you’ve opened a box of crayons that have been left out on the playground to melt in the sun all day. But this smell is not soothing or comforting like real crayons might be, it’s overwhelmingly strong, like you’ve been placed in the box with the crayons, and your face is melting. This smell lingers.
Entry: A Cart, like a Donkey

Mustard: This is one of the two basic B.O. smells. Although it doesn’t burn your nostrils as much, it has the smell of just opened mustard. That flat, tart-sour smell that just doesn’t sit well and makes you want to avoid hot dogs for a while.
Entry: A Model Mustard

Onions: This is one of the two basic B.O. smells. This one can make you cry, and definitely can make you gag if you breathe it in. The onion is basically a strong, pungent smell that overwhelms the senses. Need a tissue? I don’t understand why people don’t tell them, “Hey, you smell, buddy, get some deodorant, give us a break!” I do whenever I can–but only to friends.
Entry: *Sweats* I’m Tired

Toe Jams: Wow, this is almost vomit-worthy. This one lingers, this one spreads out and fills the area. Some have compared it to the smell of crap. This one can make people look around, hoping it isn’t them. But the worst part is, most people that smell like this don’t even seem to realize it–maybe the world they live in smells like this!
Entry: The Cast

Sour Milk: This goes over the top. It’s a mix of onions and mustard, but aged perfectly, but this isn’t cheese. This is harsh, wall-paper peeling. You definitely need to get away from this one.

Urination: I’m sorry, but there are some people that do smell homeless, and some actually are. I have met homeless people that know how to and do shower before coming into a closed space, like a store. Inside my head and my nose, I thank them for this. This aroma makes people leave as they cover their face to stop the smell from coming in and their lunch from coming out. You can turn anyplace into a bathroom with this smell.
Entry: Stinky Jeans

The Benefit of the Doubt

April 3, 2010

A customer comes in with a return, it seems her pants tore on the butt the first time she wore it. It was beyond the return period, and kind of old. She didn’t have a receipt and the item was worthless in price, but after a discussion with a manager, he told her, “We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and let you exchange it for another pair.” So she goes off on her merry way to find a new pair of jeans. After her search, she returns to the register, and the same manager returns to help her. She now says that she had it altered and hemmed, which really does stretch our return policy. Yet, again, the manager said, “Alright, I said we’d give you the benefit of the doubt, and we will. Just this one time, you can exchange your jeans.” The story I was told, since I was nearby, but not included in this story, she exchanged her pair of hemmed, torn, used pants and got a pair of brand new pants.

Half-an-hour later she returns, and says she doesn’t want the pants anymore. She asks for specific managers by their name, none of which were working. Instead another manager comes out, since she doesn’t want the first manager helping her. She starts crying saying she doesn’t want the pants and wants her original pants back. The manager asks why. The woman tells my manager, “He called me fat.”
“What do you mean?”
“When he said he was giving me the benefit of the doubt, he was calling me fat.”
“I’m sorry, mam, but I’m quite sure he wasn’t calling you fat.”
“He was!” And the woman sobs more heavily, crying more. “He was calling me fat, and saying he’d give me the benefit of the doubt, because I’m fat!” Of course, she was about 34-inches and about five-foot two-inches in height. Yet, my manager was right, he wouldn’t call her fat, since that’s not his style. After a lot of crying, sobbing, and fat-over-usage, the second manager comes into the back to tell me and the first manager the story. A third manager comes along, one of the people she kept asking for when she was crying. We described her, and he didn’t know her at all, but went to look at the security cameras just in cast.

Because, you know, the whole world thinks she’s fat, which is why the pants tore, right? I know you’re thinking that, stop giving her the benefit of the doubt, people! Shame, shame.

Customer Types: Big Baby

Teaching the Kids

February 16, 2010

Do parent’s know their children watch them, witnessing how they interact with other people in different situations thus developing an understanding of how they will eventually interact with the world when they grow up?

When parents walk into a store, ignoring a kind hello with a cold-shoulder, their children see this and they’re learning; when a sales person offers them help, when they are obviously looking for something, and they are rudely brushed off with “I’m just looking” even though they actually do need help; when parents treat salespeople as slaves, only existing when you need them, and essentially less than human, just mobile fixtures in a store, only useful when you acknowledge them and need something only a salesperson can ‘find’ for you–your children are there watching every moment, growing and understanding that is how they should act, that is how they should treat other people, acting like this is right not wrong. Treating another human being like garbage is fine, because mommy and daddy do it all the time. Yes, you are obviously a good parent. They say parenting doesn’t come with a book, well common-sense doesn’t grow on trees either.

One day, these children will be adults, pushing their strollers through stores treating sales people in the exact same way, passing on these valuable, unconscious lessons to their offspring so that your grandchildren will be rude, unconscionable human beings. Do you not think these lessons are passed on beyond the retail world? Do you not realize you set a bar for how people can be treated? You may not be hitting or abusing them, but treating them like they’re worthless is still terrible parenting. From what I know from social teachings to religious beliefs, human beings are important, special, unique, etc. but the way we have developed our meandering society which belittles being human based on ridiculous situations based entirely on monetary value, not human value.

This is a perpetuation of a lack of respect, a rudeness which makes no sense. You wouldn’t walk into a doctor’s office acting the same way, walking into a bank treating tellers like this, yet certain sectors of the ‘service’ industry have grown and developed into an accepted avenue where mistreatment and degradation is a norm, is accepted and expected–that treating someone like they don’t exist, that they are less than human, that they only exist to serve you–this is good, this is right, and this is okay.

The customer is always right. No, I’m just looking, can I shove my hand in your face? If I meet you outside the store, then you, salesperson, are an equal, a human being, you exist and you are real, but once you clock into work, you’re worthless, insignificant, invisible, and useless, unless I need you. If I meet you outside the store, how many of your rude, disgusting humans look away or pretend you don’t recognize me, when your reaction says you do? Compare this to kind, good, respectful customers who engage with sales people, talking to them. We actually recognize each other outside the store, wave, and say hello. This is a huge difference, almost a revelation of what it would be like if everyone treated people like human beings and not modern-day slaves.

Remember that son. Remember that daughter. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don’t talk to strangers. Salespeople are modern-day slaves, you don’t need to give them any respect.

Because you know, if you did give them respect, then the entire structure of sales and retail would be worthwhile, enjoyable, and not as much of a life-draining, self-esteem crushing, pride-absorbing industry that makes you feel so shitty inside. If you actually went into a retail store and treated people as human beings, what a difference you’d make; what a difference everyone would make.

Remember, it’s so simple to just say hello when someone greets you, your children are watching.

Don’t Get Me Wrong, part 2.

February 15, 2010

I am standing at the denim wall. We are having a sale on certain colors of denim–old washes out, new washes in. They won’t let me move the sale denim from the wall. So I can only put a sale sign at the top of the column.

“Excuse me, which of these are on sale?”
I show the woman which columns are on sale. (You know a column goes up and down, and a row goes left and right? You’ll need to remember this vocabulary for later.) The denim is arranged from light to dark between each style, each in separate and very clear columns. I try to keep it as organized and obvious as possible, by telling people and showing people.
“So it isn’t everything?”
“No, just the column with the sale sign on top.” I show her the two columns with sale signs above them. Out of sixteen columns, there are only two columns on sale.
“So this one isn’t on sale? I thought it was the whole row on sale.” She points from right to left. Even then, the signs are on the same row, they are not staggered, nor are the colors arranges into rows, so this would make no logical sense.
“Oh, no, it’s top to bottom, each column has different washes, and only certain ones are on sale.” I wonder again how she can think a row is on sale, when each stack is a different color.
“Why?!?” She begins to raise her voice at me.
I don’t know what to say exactly. I wonder if things have become too obvious to me. I always try to think how someone walking in would think when the see our displays, how confused can they get? Yet, I walk around the mall, and everyone else puts their denim in columns, not rows. Why? Because what if it was arranged in rows, and your favorite color is on the top row, where you can’t reach it? How sad would you be?
“This sign is totally misleading! This is false advertising! It makes no sense! It looks like the entire wall is on sale!” Now she begins to yell. Again, just two columns out of sixteen are marked with any sale sign.
I try to point out how the colors are different in each column. Because obviously, I”m not dealing with logic here.
“No, you aren’t listening to me! Listen to me, that sign up there, looks like everything is on sale!” Now she is yelling and pointing her finger in my face.
I try to explain that I tried to remove the sale from the wall, but they wouldn’t listen to me.
“No, stop! You stop talking! Right now! You aren’t listening to me! Listen to me! Why don’t you put these denim in rows, it would be easier to follow! It wouldn’t be so confusing! I’m not stupid, don’t treat me like I’m stupid! I know! I know a lot! Don’t think I don’t know! Do you understand me? The way your denim is set up makes no sense! You don’t understand! You have no idea! You’re not doing anything right! What’s wrong with you? You’re going to lose so many customers like this! You have to change this! This is false advertising!”
I have nothing to say, but my eyes are watering. I tell her again, the walls have always (and I mean always) been set up in columns (including any store that sells denim). The sale sign is on top of each column that’s on sale, what else is there to say?
“You aren’t listening to me! Listen to me, right now, you tell your bosses they need to change this, because it makes no sense! This wall is misleading. How can anyone shop here? Listen to me! You can’t treat customers like they’re stupid! Do you hear me! Don’t tell me what I know or what I don’t know! Because I know! You’re the one that has everything wrong! You don’t understand anything! You don’t tell me I’m wrong! You hear me? Don’t tell me what I know! Do you hear me? I know! I know!” I do believe, she’s already spit on me  in her rage–not on purpose, I hope. If I had the freedom to act, right now, I would definitely do more than spit. Do people really think they have the ability to speak to other people in this way? In what situation can I walk into any place of business and start acting this way? Is this seriously how society sees retail, as some invisible border where you can suddenly lose all manners and responsibility, and just be totally rude, disrespectful, and ignorant?
I stand there for almost fifteen minutes listening to her telling me what’s wrong and what needs to be done, how much she knows about things, and how much I don’t know about things; how much I don’t understand anything about customers or marketing, or what customers think or need. She told me everything I needed to change, everything I needed to stop doing, everything that was wrong with our store.
I know my face was red, my eyes were watering, and I was shaking, because the last time someone did that to me, I almost broke their fingers–one at a time. I actually just wanted to quit, so I could slap her across the face. After she left, I wanted to leave the store, so I could find her in the mall, and give her my peace of mind. These are people that would have much less backbone outside, where they’d consider me an ‘equal’, but just because I have a crappy retail job, they ‘think’ they have some superiority that makes them better than me. That is one of the greatest follies of the state of retail. Why do we empower customers with this ridiculous, in-genuine sense of power?

If you actually think you’re better than someone because you have money, then you actually are worthless and truly need the money to give you a delusion of grandeur. Amazing people are superior in many ways that don’t include money. If you value yourself totally by the money you possess, then you are a sheep of society who has little idea of the true worth of things around you–when you find the one thing you truly want that can’t be bought, you’ll understand.

I do all I can to try and benefit the customers, I do all I can to try any make it easier for them, I even challenge the management to change things to make it easier for customers (which of my coworkers actually do this?)–of all the people to yell at, to belittle, and treat like a child–I am the last person to do that to. After her, I stopped trying so hard, I stopped working as hard to try and help out the customers–taking their crap, dealing with their stupidity, practicing patience in the face of insolence. I gave up, and I was no longer the guy that ‘wow, nothing ever bothers you, whatever you’re on, I want some, too’. That person was officially dead.

Later, I told my manager what happened, and they all gasped, saying, “You never need to put up with that! Ever! If anyone ever does that again, you have every right to turn and walk away from them. And if they don’t stop, tell a manager and they will be taken off the property. We don’t accept that kind of treatment to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Ever.”

Don’t Get Me Wrong, part 1.

February 15, 2010

This will be one of my few two-part blogs, which is only meaningful, like season finales, as telling a longer story and having an inevitable movement, development, and transition. You see, I don’t stand against customers. I actually stand for customers, which makes their insults, attacks, and actions that much more offensive, because it actually matters to me–they matter to me.

I have always stood on the side of the customer, to benefit the customer, because of my backgrounds in marketing, selling, and psychology. I actually do believe we need to set-up displays, marketing, and even customer-service to benefit the customer, to help them buy what they want to buy; in contrast to trying to make people buy what they don’t want to buy through coercion and trickery, i.e. credit cards. In order to do this, I have always pushed for improvements. Once, I went to the district manager, just to ask her if we can alter the order of our sizing, so it’s easier for customers to reach–i.e. smaller sizes near the bottom and larger sizes near the top of columns. She agreed to this, saying, “We already have a language barrier with our customers [like Japanese tourists], what does it say to them if we put their sizes out of reach?” Exactly.

I always move things around, as much as I can, trying to help out the customers. I try to train my co-workers to know things which will best benefit the customers. I put marketing, not to be pretty, but to be helpful and easy to read and recognize. I do what I can to remove confusion from the workplace. I don’t step into the store as an employee only, but also through the eyes of the customers.

I do realize and understand the majority of customers that are rude and irritating are, in fact, also stupid, some abnormally so. I just take greater offense when they take out their stupidity at me, as if I did things to make their life miserable, that I don’t do anything to help them. Even when I’ve met regional vice-presidents, I tell them the things customers tell me, I ask for solutions to problems that seem persistent and unresolved. I am one of the few people to consistently fight for better selling, to work out ways to help the customer. I actually do try to do something about problems, I don’t believe in complaining for the sake of complaining.

Don’t complain about things that can be solved.
Don’t complain about things that can’t be solved.

Why am I writing all this? Well I could write more, but honestly, I’m writing this so you don’t get me wrong. I’m not out to hate all the customers. I actually want to find solutions to these problems, and I do believe these problems can be solved. I do believe this society, this culture can actually evolve to remove this abscess of needing to think, needing to be respectful, and turn retail into an act of social interaction that is enjoyable and not riddled with the lacking points that capitalism seem to instill within it. People don’t need to be idiots, companies don’t need to come up with hundreds of rules and clauses to control rampant idiocy, and people can be respectful to each other, not because they have to, but because they want to.

Now, I will write about the customer that broke my resolve, the one customer of all the customers that made me want to cry on the sales floor and made me stop taking their crap, their insults, and their attacks upon my intellect, my self-esteem, and my pride…

*Knocks*

December 4, 2009

Today was special. Suffice it to say, though some call me a stereotyper, the most insulting and degrading ways of getting attention lay always with the Chinese customers. Today was special.

I was in the middle of a stock check for a customer, and the cashier asks me for back-up. The line isn’t long, just one couple with a scarf., I decide I can do a quick purchase and finish my stock check. I go to the register and the man begins by yelling at me, “You take forever!” *Knocks* “Why you take so long?” *Knocks* “You take too long!” *Knocks” “What’s wrong with you?” All the while he is literally knocking, KNOCKING on the counter with his knuckles, glaring at me, spittle flying. While he continues to yell at me, knocking on the counter, I just look at him and say, “You can lecture me, but I don’t care.”

You see, when the company stops making the jeans you love the most–don’t blame me, I didn’t make the decision, so stop saying, “You stopped making my favorite jeans,” because I didn’t make that choice.
When a co-worker forgets to take a sensor off your clothes, and you beep heading out the door, don’t yell at me saying, “You always forget to take off my tags,” because I didn’t do it. I will gladly lecture my coworker or bring you so you can yell at them.
When the cashiers don’t ask for back-up when they should, don’t yell at me. I was there seconds after help was requested. And seriously, yelling at me and knocking on the counter?

If I make a mistake with your transaction, I take responsibility. When I make a bad marketing decision, I take responsibility. But don’t you dare blame me, yell at me, or lecture me about something I have no control over. That is one major ‘wrong’ in a capitalist industry where money is seen as something holier-than-thou, where you think you have the right to do what you want because you’re buying a scarf for $20. If we took one step outside the doors of that business, you would not dare act the same way. You would surely be taken aback if I treated you the exact same way.

So I quickly finish the transaction and leave. Of course, the rude man who expected me to bow down and cower before his $20 purchase, wanted some form of pleasure, so within a minute I hear the manager looking for me. Which I am told I made the customer wait a long time (did I really?), that I was rude (really? I thought we do onto others…), and I didn’t thank him…  For what? Thank you for knocking on the counter, lecturing me because I decided to not make you wait any longer? Thank you for letting you spit on me, and act as if you’re worth more than the money you carry? Because seriously, if you want to play the capitalist game, then you’re really not worth more than your purchase, you have no face, no name, no identity other than the plastic cards in your wallet. I’m sure not going to thank you and hope you come back to buy another scarf next year, unless I can go to your place of business knock on your desk and yell at you for no good reason.

Customer Type: Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messenger, (I feel the urge to make a subgroup for Chinese, since I was also clapped at like a dog in addition to this ‘knocking thing), Modern Slave-Owner.