Posts Tagged ‘self-esteem’

The Self-Esteem of Babies

October 6, 2011

I never liked having other people take care of me. I learned to cook as soon as I could. I learned to do my own laundry. I learned to keep order in my own life. I grew up as an individual, in the sense that I had a certain pride for myself and my own well being. I liked knowing I could rely on myself for my own needs. I don’t need someone else washing my dishes or putting away my clothes, I’ll do it if I want and when I want. There is the saying, we are taken care of as babies, then before we die, we are taken care of again–because at the start and ending of our lives, we just can’t do it, we can’t take care of ourselves.

As a person working in retail, there are certain levels, limits to which I can understand customers, and then areas where it’s like they’re babies and I’m wiping their buttock after they take a poop. I can think of the mother and daughter who came out of their fitting room, looked at me, then looked at each other, and then started to laugh. As they walked away, I looked into the fitting room and they left all their clothes on the floor, and all the hangers in disarray. Obviously, they had some intent in their actions, perhaps thinking, “Well he’s paid to clean it up, isn’t he?” There are the endless customers who leave destruction in their wake, not even knowing how to lift a stack of clothes to grab the size they need–far easier to just yank that extra-large out of the bottom of the pile, right? Someone here is going to clean it up, right? Someone has to. Do we have the same ideas when we litter or pollute? Someone else will clean up this mess. It would seem many people do believe this ideal.

I possess something which seems utterly rare, it’s called self-esteem, it’s called self-pride. I have a sense of well-being about myself. I don’t see myself as a slob, although I admit I can be lazy, but I see no reason to be a slob in public. I don’t litter and throw my rubbish around idly. I don’t even throw away my recyclables if I know I can take it elsewhere. I especially have no need littering in retail establishments, destroying their folded piles and leaving waste in my wake. I always take my own clothes back, fold my shirts as nicely as I found it, and to the surprise of salespeople, I refuse to let them put anything away.

I don’t need slaves. Even if I were rich, I’d be working alongside people doing work. I see no purpose in making people do things I can do. It would hurt my own self-esteem feeling that someone else has to clean up after me. I would feel like I were some big baby if I couldn’t even do something as simple as keeping order and balance. It would be comparable to soiling my underwear and having someone clean my butt. Of course, I alluded to that metaphor already, didn’t I?

Somewhere in the mind and mentality of humans there is a need or want to be treated as a child, or have someone slave over them. Some people call it pampering, which often comes with a certain price-tag. There are other poorer people who seem to believe the cost of money is beyond the cost of being human. The point where you start acting like a child–whining to get what you want, consciously leaving a trail of disaster behind you, and believing, truly believing the customer is always right–you have issues which really need to be addressed, especially if we want to have an evolved society one day. For other people who dream of having someone slave for them, I probably have no words to express my feelings. Desperate, ridiculous, and humiliating come to mind, and this is me comparing you to the word ‘human being’.

I could pray and wish for a world where people are raised with a sense of awareness. Where people are proud to do their own work, to bring as much balance and peace to the world as possible, people who would strive to find equality between human beings. Until then, I’ll be content cleaning up your mess, because obviously you lack the self-esteem, awareness, and respect to do it yourself. I assume you’ll return to diapers as soon as possible, too.

Credit Card Slap

November 7, 2010

Anyone who knows me, knows how I feel about credit cards. Personally, as a young adult, I was ‘convinced’ to sign-up for one to get a ‘free bag’, hey, “Everyone else was signing up.” Why not? Then, I lost my job, I was struggling to survive, my debt got out of hand, I didn’t know what to do–nor did they actually give you many options–eventually, they wanted it all paid. This was a bill which was a couple hundred, and compounded with their various fees into thousands of dollars. By the time I found a job, I still wasn’t making enough to meet their demands, so they started to call me and my family, demanding to know where I was at all times, and calling me everywhere–and I mean, everywhere I was. They would call the store asking for me daily, and when I wasn’t there, they’d ask for a manager demanding all of my personal information, which my manager told them was illegal and asked them not to call anymore. Asking them not to call my workplace did little good. Eventually, they started to garnish my wages so if I thought I was barely surviving before, well I was in for a new surprise! Eventually, they stopped garnishing me, my paychecks went back to normal, etc., etc. Either way, I have no personal fondness for credit cards, and believe it was created by a crude capitalist society whose only interest is keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. If they were evolving society, they would create a system which empowers people to grow instead of recreating paupers and their new version of enslavement.

All this aside, people also know I’m a good salesperson. One day, I helped build a $900 sale. The next day, alone, I made a $400 sale. In this time, I also got two people to apply for credit cards–it is a job requirement for me, and honestly, I’m always rated ‘down’ because I don’t pursue credit cards enough. Either way, I make $1300 in sales (in just two sales) and I barely get a congratulations, thank you or any sort of recognition. I get two credit cards, and they give me a $5 gift card for coffee. Yes, I got two credit cards and I got a $5 gift card. I make $1300 in sales, and I don’t even get a thank you. Should I go over it again?

I mean, of all things, this was the hugest insult anyone could give me–with my beliefs, my pride, and who I am and how I have been treated by credit cards; with my background in selling and sales management, I was slapped in the face. I went to a manager, throwing it on the ground, telling them to, “Give it to the other guy, he got two credit cards in one hour!” We’re in an economic rut, my coworkers aren’t getting enough hours to feed themselves, and I get congratulations for credit cards? Helping a new breed of people to go into debt? Thanks. Let me know when Retail is about making sales again, I’ll be sleeping.

My Retail Explosions

October 29, 2010

Through the years, my frustrations have grown exponentially. Retail is not supposed to be a place where common-sense grows, and this doesn’t even count customers, this is entirely within the retail companies. For years, I have suggested, spoken up, and given ideas on how to improve the workplace, improve motivation, communication, output, everything, and for years, I have been met with excuses and reasons why they ‘can’t’ do something. I have seen a store manager disappear, being replaced by a new store manager. Yet, I still see the same holes and issues which existed five, six, seven years ago. What is a retail business? It is a place where you sell product. What is the focus of a retail business? Making money. When actions and reactions work at odds against this principle, yet are expounded by the company as legitimacy, you have huge problems. For the normal ‘minions’, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had to open the eyes of many coworkers, and even people who work in retail, to see and understand there are bigger pictures than just facing the floor and folding.

As selling is the primary goal of any company, I am perplexed without end when people are acknowledge, even encouraged to do things like get credit cards. What? I can make a $900 sale, but I get acknowledged for opening two credit cards? You want to slap me in the face? You already have. I even tell people, if you get credit cards, you can get away with anything, and you’re still untouchable, you’re invincible, invulnerable. Some of the great credit card champions had no sales skills, slacked off whenever they had the opportunity, and had no desirable skills other than getting someone to sign up for a credit card. We are on an island full of tourists, none of them can sign up for our credit card–why is it so important? If there was an actual focus on selling, on making sales and helping the customers, don’t you think we’d be making our budget with surplus every single month?

My professionalism was sound before. No personal information, no personal conversation. Our managers and superiors are thus, to be treated with respect, as much as they act respectable. You are only as strong as those whom follow you. In my old business organization, I had no candor, I was only seriousness, professionalism is a clean cut line between getting the job done and focusing on that aspect. I know the business models, I know the sales principles. Long ago, when people asked why I don’t get crazy, even with the rudest customers–it was because my professionalism had my eyes on the goal. Yet, surrounded by the lack thereof, how can you hope to hold onto such standards? It took a year before I’d stand around talking story with co-workers, two years before I’d talk story with a manager. I never allowed a superior to ask me about my life outside of work, nor would I have contact with them outside of work. They said I had no sense of humor. They said I was serious. But they could never say I lacked professionalism. There are always standards to be kept, and I was once tasked with keeping them.

My life outside of work hasn’t been the greatest thing with failures from career, to life, to love, I have been buckled, blows struck to my legs. There is no greater satisfaction than simplicity. Yet, within this sense, there is a lack of sense. A retail business survives by making money.

I have a vast intelligence, but I can only take so much of this. Thank you, world, I finally went to set up an appointment to see a psychiatrist. You win, world. You win.

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

Hello, Welcome! The 7-Point System

April 27, 2010

I have developed a 7-point system for greeting responses, when you’re a ‘Greeter’ and customers walk into the store.

7 – When they smile and say hello back.
[This is obviously the response of choice, because these people were raised as decent, respectable human beings, and most likely, their children will also be encouraged to say, “Hello!” *Waves*]

6 – When they give you a fake hello as if it strains them to take the time to say it.
[I guess this is fine, but it’s still like asking, “Why are you even saying hi if it’s such a drain on you?” I actually greet people because it’s what I’d want, and I don’t do it because I ‘have to’. I even do it when I’m not working sometimes, which is crazy. One of my co-workers did that at another store, when he was greeted, he replied, “Hey, how are you doing?” It totally sounded like he was hitting on the other person.]

5 – When they walk by, and then turn soon after to look at you.
[I don’t ever understand this, as if they’re making sure someone was saying hello? What do expect someone to say when you walk into a store, “Go home”? Maybe these people are just seeing who you were, because they might want to ask you for help later–which I hate, when people ignore you, then ask you for help later. Learn some manners people, you get help when you deserve help. I’m far more helpful, knowledgeable, and intelligent when I’m helping a customer that’s not rude. If you’re rude, it suddenly becomes my first week and I don’t know anything. “Sorry.”]

4 – When they full-on ignore you, which is a middle score since, sometimes you just aren’t heard, sometimes they do it on purpose.
[I can’t say much for this, but it’s far better than any other response, except than the genuine response of hello.]

3 – They stare at you and say nothing.
[Wow, some people have such nerve, they can actually just stare at you when you say hello. And then they walk away. Who teaches them these things? I can also assure you, their children will also stare at you and walk away, and those people’s children will do exactly the same one day. I always say, these people, their parents need some lessons on manners and social etiquette. Spank them with a wet noodle, as my old teacher used to say.]

2 – They look you up and down judging you, and still say nothing.
[Wow but times one-thousand. Seriously, how people get the idea this is right to do blows my mind. In public, if anyone does this to me, I will respond with a, “Yes?” And depending on my mood, I get more interactive. Some comments include criticizing their outfit, how they look, and their right to look at people like that. Of course, when I’m at work, I just avoid them, hoping they need help, because they won’t find it from one of the most knowledgeable and helpful salespeople–because they offended him.]

1 – They wave you away like you’re bothering them.
[Yes, this is also an option in the world of social interaction. They give you the “Don’t bother me, I’m not interested, I’m just looking” wave. You come into someone’s place of business, you make clear you don’t want help. I’m quite sure you become someone who says no one was willing to help you either, right? Manners are a two-way road, people. You are a customer, you aren’t God, you aren’t even commander-in-chief. Actually, you’re just a human being in a world of human beings who consciously make decisions to choose how respectable they are with one-another. Can you imagine a world where everyone decided to be respectable to each other? Don’t laugh, it is a dream of mine.]

Either way, it would be fun to hear co-workers say, “Ooh, I just got a 1-point greeting! Sad face!” Yes, it is a sad face, you stamp it on the entire world. The End.

Hello, Welcome! The 7-Point System

I have developed a 7-point system for greeting responses, when you’re a

‘greeter’ and customers walk into the store.

7 – When they smile and say hello back.
[This is obviously the response of choice, because these people were raised as

decent, respectable human beings, and most likely, their children will also be

encouraged to say, “Hello!” *Waves*]

6 – When they give you a fake hello as if it strains them to take the time to

say it.
[I guess this is fine, but it’s still like asking, “Why are you even saying hi

if it’s such a drain on you?” I actually greet people because it’s what I’d

want, and I don’t do it because I ‘have to’. I even do it when I’m not working

sometimes, which is crazy. One of my co-workers did that at another store,

when he was greeted, he replied, “Hey, how are you doing?” It totally sounded

like he was hitting on the other person.]

5 – When they walk by, and then turn soon after to look at you.
[I don’t ever understand this, as if they’re making sure someone was saying

hello? What do expect someone to say when you walk into a store, “Go home”? Maybe these people are just seeing who you were, because they might want to ask you for help later–which I hate, when people ignore you, then ask you for help later. Learn some manners people, you get help when you deserve help. I’m far more helpful, knowledgeable, and intelligent when I’m helping a customer that’s not rude. If you’re rude, it suddenly becomes my first week and I don’t know anything. “Sorry.”]

4 – When they full-on ignore you, which is a middle score since, sometimes you

just aren’t heard, sometimes they do it on purpose. [I can’t say much for

this, but it’s far better than any other response, except than the genuine

response of hello.]

3 – They stare at you and say nothing. [Wow, some people have such nerve, they

can actually just stare at you when you say hello. And then they walk away.

Who teaches them these things? I can also assure you, their children will also

stare at you and walk away, and those people’s children will do exactly the

same one day. I always say, these people, their parents need some lessons on

manners and social etiquette. Spank them with a wet noodle, as my old teacher used to say.]

2 – They look you up and down judging you, and still say nothing. [Wow but times one-thousand. Seriously, how people get the idea this is right to do blows my mind. In public, if anyone does this to me, I will respond with a, “Yes?” And depending on my mood, I get more interactive. Some comments include

criticizing their outfit, how they look, and their right to look at people like that. Of course, when I’m at work, I just avoid them, hoping they need help, because they won’t find it from one of the most knowlegeable and helpful

salespeople–because they offended him.]

1 – They wave you away like you’re bothering them. [Yes, this is also an

option in the world of social interaction. They give you the “Don’t bother me,

I’m not interested, I’m just looking” wave. You come into someone’s place of

business, you make clear you don’t want help. I’m quite sure you become

someone who says no one was willing to help you either, right? Manners are a

two-way road, people. You are a customer, you aren’t God, you aren’t even

commander-in-chief. Actually, you’re just a human being in a world of human

beings who consciously make decisions to choose how respectable they are with

one-another. Can you imagine a world where everyone decided to be respectable

to each other? Don’t laugh, it is a dream of mine.]

Either way, it would be fun to hear co-workers say, “Oooh, I just got a 1-

point greeting! Sad face!” Yes, it is a sad face, you stamp it on the entire

world. The End.

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…

Customer Type: Piggies

January 26, 2010

There are too many times customers come up to me and show me a shirt saying, “Do you have another one, this one has make-up on it. I can’t find another one.” And you won’t find another one, because that’s the last one, just because some dumb-ass with too much make-up on their face decided to rub it on the shirt they tried on or some woman with lipstick doesn’t even try to suck in her lips as she takes of a shirt. Even worse, some of these are wide scoop necks, so you know they really put effort struggling and rubbing their face into those shirts. Personally, I would just throw those shirts away when a customer hands it to me–like thanks, this is going to go into the price-kills one day.

You know, that would be a great strategy if you really like a shirt. Just go and try it on, decide you look beautiful in it, and then rub your face on it. Months later, you can return and rummage through the pile, and if you’re lucky, you won’t find a greedier person that realizes all you need to do is wash the damn shirt–instead of complaining to salespeople about the stain–and get a shirt for a fabulous, make-up free price.

That’s just one type of Piggie. The obvious one are people who have to rummage around nicely folded piles of clothes, like a pig in a trough, lifting, looking, throwing down, one-after-another. Some people think they’re giving us something to do, as if we’re bored standing around waiting for you to make a mess. I really wish we, as consumers and customers, could do that elsewhere…

*Imagines* Going into a bank, and walking behind the counter, grabbing their files and throwing it on the ground, rubbing my face all over the dollar bills, then leaving. Going to a businessman’s office, and opening all his fancy books in his bookshelf, leaving sticky notes all over his stuff, and then rubbing my face on his computer screen. I’d love to see a doctor’s face as you dirty his tools, or a construction worker’s face as you kick dirt into a hole he just dug, or a police man’s face as you graffiti on his squad car–oh wait, you can’t do that.

People who make messes don’t even think about the next person that comes along, the next ‘equal’, another customer, who needs to find a size, but because of you, Mr. Piggie, there is just a pile of cloth in shambles. Dropping clothes off hangars and walking away–when I’m not working, I yell at customers who do that at other stores, and I often follow them saying, “So you really aren’t going to pick that up? You’re just going to drop it on the ground and walk away?” You know, there are things called dust and lint on the ground that tend to gather on clothes left idly on the floor. Do other people really need to pay for your lack of respect, responsibility, and a furthering of the lack of evolutionary movement towards equality and understanding in society? One day, it will be a requirement to think about other people when they do things that affect the lives of others, it’s called morals. Oh never mind, we already have that.


Customer Type: Piggies