Posts Tagged ‘small’

Extra-small! We Don’t Have Any!

November 5, 2011

This is definitely a short, yet telling-tale about day-to-day life in retail. I’m rushing back to the fitting-room with clothes a customer wanted, when a Korean couple stops me. They point at a tank top, telling me they want an extra-small. I point at the pile, all that we have left.
They look at me, and not in unison, say again, “Extra-small.”
“That’s all I have left.”
Again, not in unison, this time, yelling, “Extra-small!”
“We don’t have anymore,” I raise my voice a little, as I’ve learned it’s only fair and some people actually appreciate being talked to in the same tone they talk to you. Either that, or they give you some respect for keeping your dignity intact, I can’t tell.
“Extra-small!” They yell louder.
“There is no more!” I reply, but this time, I’ve learned to give that look, the one that crosses languages, the one that makes me a master of non-verbal communication, the one that says stop asking a stupid question, and stop demanding like you’re a child.
They reply more softly, “Okay,” letting me continue my journey back to the safety of the fitting room. Sometimes I feel like a fish trying to breathe outside of water, rushing to get back in.

Customer Types: Learn the Language

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NOT M-SIZE!

October 3, 2010

I’m trapped at the cash registers again, and there is a couple visiting from another country, as I find out, Korea.

There was a long line, and I call the next customers over, but the man is standing there staring at me. Other people behind him are staring at the back of his head. Then he starts yelling in Korean with an angry face. He’s looking at me, but I realize he’s yelling at the woman nearby, who is rummaging through a pile of shirts. He yells again, this time at her, tugging on her arm. I just stand there. Finally, she puts the shirts she was looking at, down, and they approach the register.

The woman comes, shaking a shirt, “I like this color!” But, her face is angry, mad. “I like this color!”
“Okay, that’s nice.”
“No, I like this color, but the size is wrong!”
“What size do you..”
“I like the color, but the size is wrong!”
“What size do you need?”
“It is the wrong size! I like the color!”
“Okay, what size do you…”
“I like the color, but the size is wrong! I don’t want M-size!”
“What size do you need?”
“I don’t want M-size!” She shakes the shirt at me, pointing at the Medium sticker printed on the shirt. “I like the color, but the size is wrong!”
I look at the husband, who is also yelling, but at her. I don’t understand what they’re saying, but I’m sure it makes as much sense as I’m hearing.
“This is the wrong size,” she continues, “I don’t want M-size!”
I just stand there, with my hands on my hips. “I know.”
“I don’t want M-size.”
“Yes.”
Then the husband finally cuts in, “No M-size, she needs S-size.”
“Small?”
“S-size!”
“M is medium, and S is small. She needs a smaller size?”
“Yes, she doesn’t want M-size, she wants S-size.”
So I go rummage through the pile, while asking for a stock check. I find an S-size in the same color, but it’s a crew neck, not a v-neck. I leave them behind me, so they can stop staring at me, and instead stare at the counter, or each other, or a nice wall, or whatever. I go into the stock room, restating our ‘conversation’, while a manager on break says, “Breathe!”
I just reply, “They can wait for me to come back, they want the S-size so bad.”

Customer Type: Guessing Game, Learn the Language

What Size is that Mannequin Wearing?

September 10, 2010

A woman approaches me, because she wants a small-sized, purple shirt off a mannequin. I ask if she wants to look at the other colors, because we have several great colors to pick from.
“No, I don’t want another color. I want this color.”
I shrug, since she doesn’t want to even look at the other colors. I figure she really likes the purple color. So I strip the mannequin, putting the arms aside. I find the closest shirt right next to the woman, in small-size, and I place it on the mannequin. Mind you, it’s right next to her hanging. As I’m putting the arms on, the woman stops me.
“Wait, sorry, what size is that one?”
“Small.”
“I want that one, too.” She laughs. I chuckle a little with her, saying okay. I pull the arms off again, and hand her the shirt. She stands there watching me. So I get another shirt, small-sized, and I start to put it on.
“Excuse me, again, what size is that one?”
“It is small,” I sigh.
“Oh, can I have that one, too? Sorry, I’m being such a bother.” She laughs, and I just remind her there are several colors of these shirts right next to her. She just stands there watching me, and doesn’t move.
“Okay,” I whisper under my breath. So I get another shirt, I put it on, and guess what? Yes, she wants it. This time, I decide to just get a totally different shirt. Thankfully, she’s not interested in this shirt, and takes her collection away, as I finally slip the arms of the mannequin back into place.

Customer Type: The Blind, Micromanagement

English 101- I Want an Extra Small!

May 3, 2010

I return from a break and a woman is standing there looking for help. (I swear, I walk into these things.) She hands me a small top and says, “I want an extra small!” I can tell by her loud tone, she’s quite demanding and short-tempered. I search around, and search again, as she follows me around. Eventually, I find an XS-size, and I give it to her. She looks at me angrily, yelling, “No! I didn’t ask for this! I said I wanted an ‘extra’ small! I want another small!”

My face becomes utterly blank, since my patience suddenly dissipates. Seriously, you are in a retail environment, using nomenclature for sizes in inappropriate ways. How can your vocabulary be so stunted that you must use the word ‘extra’ to mean ‘another’ or ‘an additional’ or ‘more’. Don’t ever ask for an extra small or an extra large. I mean, literally, saying you want an extra medium already sounds sketchy. Either way, I get her the ‘extra’ small, so now she has two; I even get an extra-extra, giving her two more, but she refuses–she only wanted one extra small. Seriously?

Customer Types: Learn the Language

My Nightmare- The Little Person

April 30, 2010

Dreams say a lot.

So a little person came up to me in my dream, asking for this item. I scan the item, and it says we might have one available. I’m searching, and the little person appears again, yelling, “Did you find it yet?” And I say I’m still looking. So he/she/it, I don’t know what gender this person was, decides to follow me. The person points here, “Did you look over there?” The little person looks there, “Did you check here?” And I try to search, but before I can even start, he’s telling me to look somewhere else. I’m getting overwhelmed by his chattering, so I try to hide in the stock room, but he’s there, too, chasing after me. He won’t stop. He just keeps asking if I found it, and when I say I have not, he keeps telling me to look in different places, demanding me to do it because he’s a customer. At this point, I’m just trying to hide, hoping he walks by without seeing me, but he always spots me. No matter what I do, he pops up and appears, “Where were you? Did you find it yet? Keep looking!” By this point, I’m running, turning corners, looking over my shoulder, slamming doors, but he keeps coming, he won’t stop. He just keeps going on and on, “Why don’t you check over there? Why can’t you find it? Keep looking!” By now, I’m running down a tunnel that doesn’t end. I see windows that look into offices, but I don’t see any doors. I turn corners, but realize I’m just running in a big circle and the little person is right there behind me, he won’t leave me alone. I can’t escape. I can’t escape…

I wake up sweating and tired, turning off my alarm. I am half-thankful my alarm saved me from the little person, but I am also sad, I have to eat and get ready, because I work today.

Dreams say a lot. I know the customers are small people in many ways, but dream of themselves as big, important people. You are greater than others, until you think you are. These people demand, they order, they act like they are bosses; they treat you like a slave, acting like you’re less than human because you are ‘there to serve them’–because society has taught them customer service is modern-day slavery; or I should say post-modern slavery. No matter what I do, they are there, squeezing through little holes, searching for me, so they can belittle me, make themselves feel bigger, and just enjoy the fact they ‘think’ they can tell me what to do, because they have something called money.

What Size Do You Wear?

February 19, 2010

It’s a busy day, there are a lot of customers asking for help. I’ve learned to avoid co-workers that have questions from customers and try to ask me for either help or opinions. Suddenly, a co-worker waves me over, because they’ve been trying to decide on her husband’s size–saying I am the same size as her husband. I have no stands or walls or fixtures to duck behind. I’m caught!

“What size do you wear?”
“Small.”
The woman looks at me in disbelief and shakes her head at me, “No, you don’t.”
And I look at her, while holding clothes for another customer who is waiting for me nearby, and I make a face with fiery eyes.
“You can’t be wearing small,” she says.
And I’m thinking, “Am I fat? Do I look fat? Are you telling me I’m fat? Because that’s really rude.”
“My husband wears medium. There’s no way a small would fit him,  but he’s your size,” she gestures at me.
And I”m thinking, “Then why are you asking me what size I am, if you already know what size your husband is?” Is it my responsibility to make your husband grow up and stop dressing like a kid, wearing clothes that actually fits him because he’s no longer going through growth spurts–which is generally why parents buy slightly bigger clothing. Or perhaps they were hoping he’d keep growing since he’s only a small, but after twenty years, you’d think it would sink in. And this woman definitely doesn’t look like she’s married to a rapper or a baller, whom over-exaggerate the idea of wearing big clothes which actually make you look smaller.

Listen, if the seam on the shoulder of your shirt is hanging more than two-inches over your shoulder, you’re probably wearing your clothes too big. Sure, you want to be comfortable, but did you know different companies make different widths and lengths of the same size for different target markets? A lot of what people consider ‘thug’ clothing will have larger than average sizes (either wider or longer, while still being correct at the seam), just as much as athletic stores will make more slim-fitting clothes for their athletic styles. It’s called fashion sense. Think about your shoes, even if you need a narrow or wide fit, do you get it two-inches longer than your foot?

“If you know what size he is, you should get him the size he usually wears.” And I turn to my co-worker, “You don’t need me here if she knows what size she wants.” Then I walk away. I hear the woman asking to for one of her manager friends–who is away on vacation–so she can complain about me.

There are sensible people who ask me what size I wear, and they see my clothes fits perfectly fine (it fits as it should fit), and they ask what size I wear, and they accept my answer–seriously people, it’s the size I wear. I’m not some baboon working at a retail store, lacking fashion sense–it’s generally the people who don’t work around fashion or avoid going near retail stores whom lack this sense the most, like her husband. Then there are those people who ask what size I wear, and look at me like I’m lying to them, then buy a size larger. That’s why I’ve learned to just point at a mannequin and say, “He’s wearing medium.” It keeps me out of the equation of insults.

Customer Types: ESP, The Riddler