Posts Tagged ‘sign’

What is California?

August 26, 2011

I wander up to a customer rummaging through a pile of pants. I ask if she needs a size.
“Yes, I need two zeroes.”
“Double-zero?” This is an American-size, roughly meaning really tiny, or smaller than small. I’m sure triple-zero exists.
“Yes, two zeroes.”
“So you need size double-zero or two zeroes?”
She looks at me curiously. I point at the pants she has, which is a zero, “You want one more? Or you want a smaller size?”
“Oh, this size is fine. I want two zeroes.”
Obviously, clarity is lacking here, but I get the point and search if we have any more size zero pants.
“I’m sorry, you have the last size zero at our store. The next closest location is in California. They still have some left.”
“California? What’s that?” The way it’s stated, it sounds like she’s referring to California like a cardigan or cropped pants, or perhaps a color of the rainbow.
“California,” I show her the screen on our register and point at the address listed, “It’s a state.”
“What? What is California?”
Obviously, when someone taught this woman English, they left out certain things. So I just say, “We don’t have any here.”
Then she points back at the table, “I wanted to get two, because they’re ten-dollars each!”
I follow her bony fingers leading to the sign on the table, which says, “Tank tops $10.” Well, we’ve got a winner here. I am uncertain how much English she has learned, or how much she can read, but I’m sure she didn’t graduate at the top of her class. I inform her that the tank tops are, well, tank tops, not Californias nor pants. The pants are full-priced.
“Oh.”
I don’t stick around to find out if she buys the pants or not.

Customer Types: Agreeing to Disagree,  Learn the Language

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Where is your Flare Jeans?

November 13, 2010

We’re utterly busy and a woman comes up to me, with a tone of attitude, “Where is your flare jeans, I can’t find it anywhere.”
“Oh, they might have moved it.” So I walk her to where it used to be, and there it is, still in the same area. “Here it is.”
“That is not flare jeans!” I’m taken aback by how sure and how arrogantly she states this.
I bend over, picking up the jeans, turn over the tag and show it to her–it reads, “Flare jeans.””
Why question the people who work there, about the product they work with? And why does no one apologize when they’re so totally wrong? Is it that sales people are either wrong or invisible, but never right?
And, she signed up for a credit card, which means we’ll be seeing her again, real soon! There is no end to the feeling of thrill.

Customer Type: The Blind, The Dumb, Unapologetic

Credit Card Signature

October 26, 2010

This is definitely a short, but weird story. Obviously, by now, many people have seen the credit card machines where you sign on the digital pad. It never quite looks like your signature, kind of like a liquid version of the original. Either way, a woman swipes her card, and before anything else can happen, she starts to rub the corner of her credit card on the digital screen. I don’t know exactly what she’s doing, because it looks like she was rubbing off crap from her credit card onto our pad. The signature capture screen appears, and she then grabs her card and starts to rub hard against the screen. I finally realize what she’s doing, she’s trying to sign the screen with her credit card. It makes a loud, irritating sound like nails on a chalkboard–I can definitely tell she must be a very irritating person to live with. After trying this for several seconds, I stop her–leaning over and giving her the pen which is actually made to sign on these digital pads. I don’t know where she’s from, or the kind of pads she’s used to signing, but I have yet to see one that you use your credit card to actually sign.

Customer Types: The Dumb

Sticks and Stones

July 13, 2010

I answer a phone call.
“Hello? Can you explain to me,” a younger-sounding male voice asks, “Why my son is being teased at school for wearing your clothing?”
There is a moment of silence. The first thoughts which come to my mind are customers blaming me for the company not making a color they like, or when the company stops making a type of clothing they like. It’s usually my fault. I mean, is it right? No, not so much. I’m also thinking if this is some prank call. Why would someone’s child be teased?
Then I hear a young boy’s voice in the background. He says what the kids have been saying. I have flashbacks of jokes I’ve heard, which I thought were long dead, but seem to still be alive and well. I wonder if each company has their foibles, the little things kids use to pick on each other. “They call me gay and proud!”
While I’m thinking there is silence, I hope the man is gone, so I ask, “Hello are you still there?”
“Yes, I’m waiting for an explanation.”
“I think you should talk to a manager, please hold.” So I put him on hold and call over the manager. I explain the situation. She wants to tell him that we are not responsible for what children say or do. She was even considering offering to call the child’s school to report this activity. I wanted to find the phone number we have, I know we have one to forward calls like this. We just can’t remember the number. Either way, the manager decides to go to the office to take the call, rather than on the sales floor. By the time she gets back there, the man has hung up.

Customer Types: The Complainer, The Dumb, The Questioner

Retail Law

June 27, 2010

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

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

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

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

Obviously she hasn’t read this: Diminishing Returns.

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

Customer Types: The Blind, Capitalist,  The Dumb

I See It’s On Sale

June 4, 2010

I’m standing near a table folding, and a woman comes up to me asking, “Everything here, it’s on sale, right?”

Usually such a question is rhetorical, but here she points at a sign on a bench, then waves at a table near it. (Just so you can understand, there is a larger table where the main product is placed, and then there are lower benches near or around the table–like satellites, or moons around a planet.) One bench has a sale sign, and it’s half-hidden by the higher, larger table–so all you can see is the top of the sign, which says, “Sale”. You can see 3/4ths of the word.

I try to tell her the bench is on sale, but the table is not, otherwise a sign would be on the bench and the table. I show her what I mean by placing the sign on the table (which also says, “Sale, Select items”), saying, “This would mean the table is on sale.” Then I put it back down on the bench and say, “This means the bench is on sale. And it says select items anyway.” She keeps arguing with me, saying, “But I can see the sale sign from here! I can see the sale sign from here, that means everything is on sale.”

First, while her jaw is going ‘blah-blah-blah’, I’m thinking, “Okay, the sign is a little big, but it isn’t even on the same table. Well, actually, it’s been there for a while now, and she’s the first person to get confused in over a week, making problems, and getting weird about it. You know, some people live their lives causing this kind of trouble for themselves. They just create stupidity.”

Then, I’m thinking, “If a wall nearby says sale, it doesn’t mean everything in the area is on sale. You can’t point and say, ‘Well I can see the sale sign, that means everything is on sale.’ Who says that, other than this woman? Even when a window says sale, it doesn’t mean everything in the store is on sale.” We’re just arguing semantics, and a customer’s ability to demand stupidity. I tell her everything on top of the table is going to ring up full-price, because it is full-price, but the sale items on the bench, they’ll ring up on sale. It’s not like I can change that fact.

Yet, she goes on about being able to see the sale sign; that it’s misleading marketing; that I was trying to trick her into buying something that’s not even on sale; that now she doesn’t want to buy anything at all. I’m sorry, you caught me in my dirty tricks; I wanted you to take something to the register and think its on sale, as if you would not whine and cry when you get there saying, “I can see the sign!” I am left to assume such threats and insults work to scare someone into changing their mind, saying everything is on sale? I just shrug and say, “Okay, but if you change your mind all this stuff on the back bench is REALLY cheap.”

I remember telling my boss about the dumb, fat woman, saying she’s a size-12 and she wanted a new pair of denim on sale, because she could see the top of a sign nearby. My manager replies, “She’s not that fat!”
“Well, because she’s so dumb,” I tell her, “That makes her fat-ter.”

Customer Types: Big Baby, The Blind, Capitalist, Don’t Kill the Messenger, The Dumb

The Lighting Lies!

April 29, 2010

Today, another one of ‘those’ customers came–the kind that are snotty, rude, arrogant, and ironically, they think they’re smart. (I’m not an astrophysicist, but I have an IQ of 150, so I’m not dumb by any account.) I don’t understand how and why a customer can walk into a retail store, thinking they suddenly know more about the product, the availability, and the details of clothing than the people actually working there. I laugh, I laugh loudly; even though I am prone to act like I know nothing when I deal with these rude people. The customer is always right, right? I don’t want to prove them wrong, even when they are wrong, right? Right. I mean, they walk into stores hoping the people working there are more stupid than they are, right?

A man finds me in the fitting room, in the back of the store, because obviously all my co-workers are at the cash-registers, so he’s already moody and rude, “I couldn’t find anyone on the sales floor! Come with me.” And as usual, I am also to blame for this. Thanks a lot co-workers.

So we go to the front, and first, he asks if the shorts are on sale–because, you know, there are signs on all of the shorts saying that all shorts are on sale. I tell him they are all on sale. When a sign says, “All shorts,” it’s generally all shorts.
Then, he shows me cargo-shorts, saying, “I can’t find that color!”–as he points all the way up to khaki shorts near the track-lighting.
“Oh,” I tell him, “The light is just tinted yellow, it is this color here. The lighting makes it look different.” I show him the khaki shorts, near the green, the blue, the gray–you know, all the colors here are totally different.
“It doesn’t look like that color. It’s not the same.”
“Trust me, the light is tinted, we only have these colors,” and I show him double-exposures–where we place the same color twice, “Because we have so many. It is this khaki one here.” Again I show him the khaki that’s hanging up on the wall.
“No, it isn’t!”
I try to get on my tippy-toes, and reach up, placing the short next to it–and even I can see it changes to that color.
“No, it isn’t the same!” So he’s down to yelling at me, because obviously, he knows what colors we have available, and I don’t know anything; because as a customer, you suddenly have a far vaster and knowledgeable pool of wisdom and experience. Just because people work retail, they aren’t idiots–even if some of my coworkers go to college and have advanced Biochemistry classes, but act like they they’re totally brainless children at work, that doesn’t mean they don’t know anything. It just means they don’t care, which is just as bad.
His wife cuts in, “Yes, I can see, it’s the same short. It’s the same color.” Finally, some sanity in a world of stubborn, idiotic  jerks.
So I shrug and say, “Well, you don’t need to believe me if you don’t want to.” Placing the khaki back, I turn to walk away.
He yells at the back of my head, “So they are on sale, right?”
“Yes.” I hiss, but continue to walk, not turning around.

Customer Types: The Blind, Don’t Kill the Messanger, the Dumb, Guessing Game

Fuck-You-People.

December 5, 2009

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

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

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

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Blind, The Liar

“I saw it in the window!”

September 8, 2009

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

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

Customer type: Disagreeing to Agree