Posts Tagged ‘self-respect’

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.

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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.

Manual Labor

April 25, 2010

A woman and her husband have a credit card strip which doesn’t work–its been de-magnetized–so I have to input it manually and then slide it through a machine which makes a physical copy of the credit card number. (It basically rubs a receipt against the credit card.) I tell them I’m doing this.

The guy laughs, replying, “Manual labor?! Ha-ha! How terrible for you!”

I just replied, “Yeah… Ha-ha… Thanks a lot…” I wanted to slap him in the face with the credit swipe machine.

You know what’s manual labor? Turning over that card and calling the number on the back to request a card that actually works! Compare that to the amount of time each cashier has to take manually entering your number and verifying it, times by each time you use that card–and you see how many people’s lives you’re wasting in addition to your own, because of your blatant, haughty laziness. This is the difference between members of society whom are progressive, and those who are backward-moving donkeys that ensure our social evolution is slow and tedious. Manual labor is obviously lost on you, but capitalism is not.

Customer Types: Capitalist

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, MARKDOWN!

April 24, 2010

Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown,
Make me have a big, fat frown.
I fold for you a dunce’s crown,
Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown!

I always find myself in the sale section helping customers, because so many of them float there and get stuck, like branches during a flood. We already know about the cool people with the amazing ability to find the only item left NOT in their size, so they need to ask everyone if we have just one more, somewhere, buried, waiting for them like a cheap pirate looking for nonexistent treasure while holding a torn map be bought for a pence, with a branch for a leg because he can’t afford a good peg-leg from a stool.

This time, my lovable pirate is a one wearing two eye-patches. So I ask if they are doing okay, and they shove a sweater at me, saying, “Why is this price higher than the others? How much is it?” And I look at a wall with at least five of the same sweater, in the same color, and same size–all marked cheaper. I tell them the price–from those sweaters. And I’m thinking, “Why do you want the one that’s not marked correctly? What makes this one so special? Why do you need to waste your life and another person’s life for this? And is it not common sense that this one is marked wrong?” Why in the world do you have to find the only one marked wrong, do you think you’re doing your job for us?

So they have an argument with me, obviously one-sided, because I know it’s not marked right. Then I get blamed because it’s marked wrong. It is my utter joy being the middle-man between people who just have to find the one mis-marked item and thus desire it with a grand passion, and the co-worker who decided to miss that item while fumbling through this mess of sale, which I should remind you is generally a mess because of these self-same customer rummaging through sale like a tossed salad. It’s called the Circle of Retail Life in the Sale section.

So we go to the register and scan the item–lo and behold, wait for it, wow, it is the lower price like all the other sweaters! Isn’t that amazing? Totally mind-shattering, world-altering experience. And of course, they want that sweater. (Because it is better than the other sweaters which were marked correctly, you know that, right? They are drawn to it like flies to an electric shocker just waiting for their death to come.) As they try to shove the sweater at me and pull out their credit card, I point at the long line behind them saying, “You have to wait in line first,” then I wade my way back into the river to find another branch, lost and stuck because they have to find the one unique item that isn’t like the others, because they want to complicate the world by not opening their eyes. Because, you know, the mis-marked one is so much better than the others.

Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown,
It’s not I that make you a clown.
Now go wear your deal around town,
Eeny, meeny, miny, markdown!

Customer Types: Agreeing to Disagree, The Blind, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Micromanagement, Piggies

Magnemite 6 Thundershock 11 Sonicboom 22 Spark E30 LIGHTNING/STEEL

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

Back to Cold Weather

April 3, 2010

A woman comes up to me, flabbergasted, because she can’t believe we have so much warm, heavy clothes in our store. She can’t understand why we’d be in such a warm climate and have cold-weather clothes. Actually, a lot of ‘smarty-pants’ walk by or walk through our store laughing, because obviously they’re the smart, funny one in their group, saying, “Look at these sweaters, who is going to wear that here? Ha-ha.” Jokes on you dumb-ass.

I’ll give you a moment to consider how or why a warm-weather store would even think to carry even mildly cold weather merchandise. Yes, some people do work in offices with air-conditioning. Yes, some people get cold anywhere. Did you get it yet?

“A majority of our customers are tourists coming from really cold places. They often buy these warm pieces to take back home, and many of them get a pretty good deal.”
And the woman’s response? It is actually inane.
“WELL I JUST CAME FROM COLD WEATHER! I live in cold weather all-year-long! I want warm clothes!”
Now, on one hand, yes, it’s wise to have warm weather clothes here, and yes, we always have warm-weather clothes–year-round, you just have to open your eyes and see how much we actually have and not focus on the sweaters which the tourists gather up by the handful. You also have to realize the irony of her own narrow-minded comment–you live in cold weather year-round. Where are you going to wear your clothes the longest? A week here, or the rest of the year in cold weather? I’m sure it’s fun to spend your money on disposable clothing, because you burn cash in your fireplace, but some people like to plan ahead of time and have cool, cold weather outfits that no one else can get and no one else has. Some people like to say, “Yeah, you can get that here, I bought it while I was on vacation getting a tan!”

I pity the woman who doesn’t even understand the irony of her own statements. Nor was I surprised when I showed her the huge assortment of tank-tops, T-shirts, and V-necks that we had available, and that she’d end up buying nothing.

A piece of work. A-piece-of-work. I pity her husband even more.

Customer types: Agreeing to disagree, The Dumb, Self-fulfilling Prophet

Penny for Your Thoughts?

April 3, 2010

We have four people that come in, you can call them the Four Horsemen if you wish. In general, we try to avoid them, and I enjoy throwing unsuspecting co-workers into their clutches. Today, they requested every single pair of a size of pant to try on–they’re all the same size, amazingly enough. They were all-too-happy when I gave them seven pairs. This was after they rammed into mannequins knocking off legs and arms in the store, without a care. Most amusing was when they came earlier–because they came several times in one day.

At the start of the day, they found a hoodie, which was once on promotion, but has since gone on sale. They wanted their money back, a price-adjustment, but it was beyond the date of a price adjustment. They also admitted to washing and wearing the items–of which, they bought two hoodies. Yet, they were adamant in getting the difference they paid versus the current selling price. So one manager gave, “The benefit of the doubt”, which in some cases has somehow meant “You are fat” in one customer’s eyes. Either way, he said, “If you bring in the hoodies, you can return it and buy it back, but only this once.”

In truth, we didn’t think they would return, but a couple hours later they did. Again, they encountered the same confusion in their price-adjustment, with people asking me, telling me it’s old, washed, and worn. Then, they asked for the manager from earlier, who was just returning from his break. Of course, he remembered them, and after a long transaction, which I was too far away to overhear, the four horsemen walk away from the counter and continue to shop–knocking legs off mannequins.

Once they were gone, he stated for everyone to hear, “Okay, our net-loss was two cents.” Why? Because the items in question were one-cent cheaper marked on sale than they were on promotion. Yes, one hoodie, one cent; two hoodies, two cents. That my friends, is how you save a penny–at the cost of driving home, finding the item, driving back, and going through all that trouble. Totally worth it.

Don’t ask me. I don’t make these people up.

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 meĀ  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…

But she gave it to us!

January 28, 2010

The cashier is away, and I decide to help these three women (against my better intuition), who hold about 18 different items in their arms. They give me a coupon that says, “Buy two get one free.” [In general, such coupons you get one set for each coupon, but also one per person, which it also says on the coupon.] So I give them their discount for their first three shirts. Then they push three more, without a coupon, and I ring them up. As I continue on, one of the woman stops me.

“Aren’t you going to give me a discount on those?!?”
“Do you have another coupon?”
“No.”
“The coupon is good for ‘buy two, get one free’, but for each set, you need another coupon.”
“No, JulyFrog gave it to me!” (JulyFrog is her nickname at work.)
“What?”
“JulyFrog let me buy as much as I wanted with just one coupon.”
“That’s not how the coupon works.”
“JulyFrog let me do it several times already! Each time I came, JulyFrog let me do it!”
So I call the manager over the walkie-talkie asking about the situation. And she says no, because the coupon says only one per three items. I tell the woman this, and again, she goes on about JulyFrog this, JulyFrog that. I see my manager speaking to a coworker in the distance, and I tell the woman:
“Yes, well JulyFrog doesn’t follow policy. The manager and I just returned from vacation, and we don’t break the rules. You should stop saying her name, because you’ll get her in trouble.”
The original cashier has returned. I explain the sitution, and she just shrugs, “I don’t know.” We all know I don’t break easily. So we continue to go back and forth, “JulyFrog let me. JulyFrog didn’t give me any problems. JulyFrog just let me do it!” JulyFrog, JulyFrog, JulyFrog!
So the manager comes in, and she says, “Well, I heard we were doing that, but after Saturday, we stopped.”
[I later found out, she was talking to a co-worker about the coupons, because other co-workers were giving people unlimited discounts. That is, until the store manager came along and said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?! They need one coupon for each discount!” Then they stopped. I don’t know why my coworkers don’t understand–the more money we save, the more money we have for hours to pay their paychecks; the less money we make by giving things away for free, the less hours we all have–which essentially makes my coworkers upset in the first place.]
So I ask her, “Don’t you have more coupons?”
“I have a lot.”
Just great. Someone gave her a ton, so I might have to submit. I ask, “Where is it?”
“I left it at home.”
“We can put it on hold, and you can come back with your coupons.”
“No, JulyFrog let us use one, and we could buy as much as we wanted!”
So my manager tries to get them to pick the highest cost items to give the discount. Considering at this time, we are in super-discount mode, and they are carrying discontinued items that are practically worthless. Giving them away for free becomes a literal statement. I’m talking about $5 items here, that was once worth $50. I’m standing there thinking, “Do they want my co-workers starving? How cheap are we supposed to sell this stuff that we’re not making money?” I mean how far can you go with a discount? Seriously. How cheap and ridiculous can you get? Well you already know this answer.
“Well JulyFrog let us do it several times already! We didn’t have any problems!” As if JulyFrog is a manager. They couldn’t even ask to speak to the manager, because she was already standing in front of them saying no, she won’t bend policy.
Seriously, we should give you unlimited free items and then fire the cashier.
By this time, I do my usual, and I run away. In the distance, I still hear them arguing. I hear my manager saying again, “I’m sorry, after Saturday, they stopped doing it that way.”
“Sunday!” The woman screams, “Sunday! JulyFrog gave it to me on Sunday! Sunday, I bought everything I wanted, too! There was nothing different!” And even the manager asks them to stop saying her name, because they’re only getting my co-worker into more and more trouble. “But JulyFrog did it on Sunday!” Obviously this person doesn’t care about JulyFrog, only the discount–so in essence, she’s saying someone’s job is worth less than $5 shirts. Isn’t she great?
Several minutes later, I hear laughter. I find out that the manager let them have the discount–it’s one of her learned tricks, playing both bad cop and good cop at the same time. Just letting them off with a warning. And even then, the woman kept going, “JulyFrog was so nice. JulyFrog was so helpful.” And JulyFrog won’t be giving out free discounts like that anytime soon, thanks to you. Why don’t you tell the world to go to JulyFrog for free clothes. Dumb-ass.

Customer Types: Big Baby, The Dumb, Tattle Tale