Posts Tagged ‘society’

Treating the Human Being

September 17, 2011

For my 200th entry, I want to switch gears a little, to get back to the roots of my stories, of why I tell these tales, sometimes of horror, sometimes of jocularity, because there is always some sort of rhyme to the reason–even chaos has order. One of the greatest problems I have with humans and humanity is our utter disregard for each other. It is the way we walk through the streets every day of our lives, and you know how it goes–you don’t care about the other people you walk by, drive by or pass by–they are totally anonymous until they get in your way, until you are forced to interact with them. Honestly, the most conscious I am of people is my want and need not to get in people’s way, not to disrupt the flow of their day, and to allow them to continue on without interacting with me. I digress.

I know it is how we are, how we’ve been trained, it’s been instilled into the essence of how we are–when we walk into a retail store, or any place where we make a purchase, we look at the people whom serve us and we don’t see humans. At least a majority of us act in this way. They see, they act like there is an object, something worth a monetary Capitalist value standing in front of them, something they potentially own or control. The customer is always right, right? Consumer confidence is the power that rules the economy, right? Is it really right, or like time, have we forgotten we created this concept and now we allow it to control us as if it were a spiritual conception outside realm of reality.

You see, there are many people who walk into a retail store and they automatically believe we belong to them, we are their servants. There are people who believe they can act however they wish, because we are just there to serve them, their money makes us less-than-human. They will yell and insult, they will demean and act rudely to the full extent of their abilities because they believe it is their right to do so as customers. And somewhere, somehow, someone empowered them to believe this, someone allowed this thought to emerge and become reality, as much as drinking beer and eating solves problems, as much as the belief that low self-esteem is normal. None of this is, we created it, we can control it, we can let it continue or we can make it stop. That is in our power as human beings.

So what do we do? Obviously, we can’t break people’s habits. If you grew up thinking smoking is cool, you aren’t going to suddenly stop. If you grew up watching television which gives so many wrong answers to problems, yet you believe they’re all correct, what is there to do? The only thing we can do is take a step back and remember we are dealing with human beings. During this age of dehumanization, desensitization, where we don’t even touch other human beings, let alone hear their voices in person, we have an obviously growing separation. Yet, I believe the future of our species, our people is based on learning to treat each other with respect, with dignity, by learning to treat everyone else as human beings. We’ve spent decades, centuries learning how to stop treating humans as different categories, different levels, redefining what it is to be a part of society. We’ve spent so little time focusing on being human, on seeing each other as human beings.

The future of our society is as human beings, together as human beings, treating each other as human beings. It shouldn’t be a hard fight, or a hard ideal to live for, but I can promise you the kind of people who live in this world will fight as hard as they can to not treat other people as people. Because they’ve only learned to see other people as objects, as a worth, not as human beings.

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Son of a B!!!

February 13, 2011

I find myself on register duty again. It’s definitely not one of the good days, as people have been extra rude and complaining to the managers about confusing promotions, to which I only think, “See, even when you’re fifty-years-old you can act like a baby.” Either way, a woman approaches the register with an older shirt, it’s already on clearance, and she has a gift receipt. Her husband stands next to her, quietly, subservient to her will.

“I want to return this. I can just get a gift car, right?”
“Yes.” I look at the receipt, and it’s old; months old. Thankfully, it also states in the fine-print the date the receipt is no longer valid–a month ago. So I scan it, and I ask if she still wants the gift card. The total is less-than five-dollars. Closer to four-dollars and eighteen-cents.
“That’s all it’s worth!?”
“Yes, it’s past the return date. So it goes to the current selling price.”
“But I have a gift receipt!”
I point at the date listed at the bottom, “It expired a while ago.”
“Well I’m taking it back!” And she grabs everything violently, and walks away.

Before she can even take five steps, she stops and yells, “SON OF A BITCH!!!” Her face is blood red, and her husband has to rub her back calming her down. I hear her complaining about the return policy, and yelling, “I guess I’m not getting my denim today!” It’s a long-sleeved T-shirt you were returning, it’s not even worth one-third a pair of denim at full-price. She continues yelling as she leaves the store. Surely, someone should have given her a gift of stress-management courses or meditation classes by now. I mean, life must be a huge wad of sorrow and pain for her.

The next customer looks over at the woman casually, then looks at me, smiling, “Well she’s pleasant, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is,” I laugh as I start to scan the clothes to purchase.

Customer Types: Big Baby, Don’t Kill the Messenger

I Want Darker!

January 17, 2011

I realize I let most of the minor irritations slip through, because there are so many every day things which people do that fall into the category of rude, absent-minded, and ridiculous. I’ve been thinking about them, when one of ‘those’ customers whom always find me came yelling.

“I want a darker color!”
I look at a pair of tights he’s holding, and they’re dark gray. So obviously, I ask, “You want a darker gray?” This would basically be black.
“No! I want darker!”
I stand and stare at him. “So you want black?”
“No! Darker! I want darker!”
First, I don’t know why he’s yelling at me, but I did find out later he was a tourist from China. If you’ve been to the restaurants, you learn when they yell, they’re actually just talking.
“Darker! I want darker!”
“If you don’t want black what do you want? A color, name a color.”
“Darker!”
“Brown, navy blue, black…”
“Darker! Black! I want black!”
My eyes roll into my head, as I take the tights he handed to me and toss them aside as a sign I’m not taking his crap when I return. So I go into the back, to look for the tights, and someone tells me we have none. So after letting out a long shriek on the walkie-talkies, I come back out to find if there are any lost on the sales floor. Of course, I find one. Of course, I give it to him in the side he wants. And of course, what does he do?
“I want softer! Do you have softer! Softer!”
I’m no longer in the mood to be yelled at with no reason, or being yelled at with a good reason. “No, no softer. None. Only one.” And I walk away.

Customer Types: Capitalist, Learn the Language

Cultural Heritage

January 10, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

English 101: All versus One

November 11, 2010

Hello students, today’s lesson is an easy one, if you can read English. Are you ready? All is everything, all is everyone, all is basically all. One is singular, one is by itself, thus one stands alone. Got that? Good.

A customer comes with an older coupon, which is still good, giving her 25%-off one regular-priced item. I go through the transaction, and she’s buying three items, two are regular-priced and one is sale. We always give the discount for the most expensive regular-priced item. I tell her we actually have a special for today only–40%-off instead of 25%-off. She seems okay with this, but of course, you can never tell with these kinds of people. So I go through the transaction, and she stops me.

“Wait! That’s not right! That’s the same discount I’d get for 25%-off!”
“What?”
“You aren’t giving me any savings, it’s better with 25%-off!”
I blink, and wonder why I”m faced with such utter brilliance on a daily basis. I explain to her there is no way 25% is greater than 40%-off.
“No, it’s not a better discount!”
So I go back and I show her the discount, and I even pull out a calculator to show her the price of 25%-off and 40%-off. Obviously, in any world except for advanced mathematics, you can argue the 40% discount is far better. She’s still yelling at me, getting angry at me.
So I say flatly, “Fine, I’ll do what you want, okay? I was trying to be nice, but I’ll give you the discount you want. 25%-off.”
So I change it, watching the total increase as I showed her several times with the calculator. Then she yells stop again.
“What are you doing?!? Isn’t this for all items?”
I roll my eyes without rolling them. I point at the coupon, I want to say, “It’s printed in English.” At the very top, the first line, “25%-off one regular-priced item.”
“Oh, I thought it said all items.” She gets violent with the credit card machine, swiping it. I tell her to stop, because we have to get back to that screen, as I say, “So I guess the 40%-off is better.” There is silence. “Now you can swipe.” NO apology, just like there was no thank you I even offered to give her a better deal. This was my first customer of the day. Oh, be sure, be quite sure, she helped make the rest of the day FANTASTIC! Utterly fabulous, thanks lady.

Customer Type: The Blind, The Dumb, Learn the Language, Unapologetic

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.

Crazy Old Lady

November 6, 2010

So I’m at the cash register, and these large-sized, angry-faced women (read this as their normal face is a frown, so when they do frown, they double-frown) are asking for a manager. They are complaining about some discount coupon.

“That crazy, old lady on the other side (the other register), said we can’t use this coupon for this discount!”
“I’m sorry,” the manager says, “Let me look at the coupon.”
“I went to your other store, and they let me do it!” (It reminds me of when a baby says, ‘Well daddy said I could!’, after the mother says no. Sometimes, companies need to be on the same page.) “That crazy old lady is always mean to us! She never gives us good deals. She always says no!”
“I’m sorry,” the manager says again, “That’s what happens with the employees who have been here for a long time, they go by the rules.”
“Well, your other store let us to it. She’s always mean to us, she’s never nice about anything!”
So the manager goes through the transaction and shows them the screen, “I’m sorry, even our computer won’t let us do this, it isn’t just her.”
“No, your other store let us do it! Can I speak to someone else? Isn’t there someone else who can do this?”
The manager sighs. She goes through the one process where you can ‘override’ the computer, but it is a line-by-line process where she needs to reduce the items individually, after returning them all.
All the while, the women keep going on about the crazy old lady who is always mean to them. I’m standing there rolling my eyes, since they are talking about a Kids section employee, who is rather one of the nicest people working in the store, and has been with the company nearly 20-years–this complainer would have been a baby when my coworker first started. Yet, most likely, she’d also be whining, “But daddy said I could! I hate you mommy!”

What people do to get their way. I’ve since helped this woman again, wondering why she’s so rude and mean, even when I”m as nice as I can be–and yes, breaking rules to give her the discount just to get rid of her–but she never says thank you, or anything, she’s just demanding and angry. People, it’s called ‘Self-fulfilling prophesy’–why are people mean to you? Because you act like an asshole. Why do people make your life hard? Because you’re hard to deal with. Get over it, grow up, and start acting like you’re an adult. You can’t be an unhappy bitch your entire life.

Customer Type: Big Baby, Capitalist, The Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messanger, The Liar

Turtle Pull

November 5, 2010

Once again, I find myself stuck helping a snobby duo–two women who are dressed like they want to impress, but just look excessive in the act. Can you guess they aren’t pleasant, they’re demanding, and treat you like you’re just there to serve? Very good, then you may proceed.

I help find a turtleneck sweater, after she lists a laundry list of requirements which it passes. Is it wool? Is it cotton? How heavy is it, I don’t want it too heavy. I don’t want it too thin either. Do you have a lot of colors? How much does it cost? Is it expensive? No, yes, light, not too light, lots of colors, on sale, not expensive.

So finally, she tries on the sweater, with her friend giving positive and negative comments–which is always useful, don’t we always want friends like that? “It looks good, not great, just good, do you like it? It looks like it will keep you warm enough, but are you going to be cold wearing it?”

Either way, the woman grabs the neck of the sweater saying it’s too tight. As I watch, she starts to pull on it as hard as she can, pulling, stretching, yanking, tugging. I can hear threads breaking from where I stand. “It’s too tight! It’s so tight, don’t you have a looser one?” I think to myself, “If it’s looser, it isn’t a turtle neck.” I say, “I only have cowl necks,” which I gesture, too. These look like stretched out turtle necks–just like what she’s doing to my new sweater! “No, no, that’s too wide!” So after stretching it out, breaking the threading, she hands it back saying she doesn’t want it, and they leave saying, “It’s just so hard to find what I’m looking for. This place usually has it.”

What, we have what dreams are made of? Once you’re actually rich enough to act like that, you can buy your own tailor.

Customer Types: Capitalist, The Questioner, Tailor-Made

I Only Play a Blond On TV

November 3, 2010

So there were two women, one who very brusquely came to the register digging through the counter saying, “Where are your coupons. I want a coupon. Where are they?” Thankfully, being wise as I am, I already pulled the daily special away and put them in my pocket. I decided it would be incentive to give to customers who aren’t sure they want to buy, and for customers who are kind, nice, and courteous–I mean, good customers really should be thanked. A customer like this would never have gotten a coupon willingly, but I decided, “Hey, she’s blond, acting rude and demanding, maybe she’ll spend some good money.” Not. Anything is farther from the truth.

I tried to help them several times, and finally, after finding their cheapest items possible, one of the blonds arrives at the register without her friend.
“Oh, where is your friend?”
“Are you talking to me?”
I think, “No, I’m just staring directly at you speaking.” I say, “Yes.”
“Oh, I thought you were talking to that thing on your ear.”
I think, “Yes, I ask my coworkers where their friends are all the time, it makes perfect sense.” I say, “I need to press this button here to use it, I can’t just randomly start speaking on it.”
She has no response, perhaps because she can’t process my vocabulary. I mean, I only have a degree in English.
“I was asking where your friend went.”
“Who? What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Your friend was just standing outside your fitting room door waiting for you, like two minutes ago.”
“Who are you talking about? What friend?”
I think, “Seriously? You two came in together. She brusquely asked for coupons, and I know more about her than you do?” I say, “You came in together.” Did you look up the word ‘brusquely’ yet?
“Oh, her. I don’t know,” she states flatly, with a rude tone.
At the same time, her friend comes around the corner. I roll my eyes without rolling my eyes. I finish the transaction using the smallest words I could possibly think of, even then, it was a rough transaction. Next, I deal with her friend, which is no picnic. Neither of them were very exciting, but surely, sales, discounts, and promotions bring out the very best customers imaginable. These people make retail exciting, and society move backwards.

Customer Types: Capitalist, The Dumb, Lowered Expectations