Posts Tagged ‘stupid’

Call me Ishmael, the Stock Checker.

April 19, 2010

Call me Ishmael. Some hours ago- really, it doesn’t matter how long- having little to no time on my hands, and marking items down and not paying attention to selling, a woman approached me seeking a great white shirt of XL size. Sent me on a journey through and around the store. In the stock room, I hid, driving off my mouth and trying to calm myself. “We are sold out and another store might have one left, so she said, rudely, ‘Just call them, I don’t want to drive all the way over there for nothing!'” Whenever I find myself growling mad all over my face; whenever a fat woman, she’ll be called A-hag, follows me everywhere I go; whenever I keep trying to find a line to call out, but none work, with only the phone in the rear of the store away from her breathing and glares; and especially whenever I am forced to make a call for a fat woman looking for a fat white shirt when I am not even supposed to be on the sales floor doing this sort of thing- then, I really, really need to hide in the stockroom and vent my frustrations about the fat woman in the white jacket, A-hag. This is my substitute for getting fired in rage…

I find the item, placing it on hold. Returning to A-hag, to say I found it, I found the great white XL shirt; it is the only one left of it’s kind, so rare and unique a top. Her companion gasps in surprise, “You called them?”–obviously she knows we don’t call other stores for these sort of things anymore, and I provided quite an profusion of kindness in exchange for her harshness and blatant rudeness. Not even a thank you.

Yet, I find A-hag with another cashier, asking her to call once again, to be assured that I was not lying, that I did not mislead her, that I did truly find that great white XL shirt; obviously with her positive radiance, people often lie to her, so that she may drive to the other store only to find out she was deceived, for there would be no XL white shirt waiting for her; since, she adds to her obesity by not even lifting a finger to call the store herself, even sweating at the thought of going to the other store, walking, gasping, reaching the store on her last breath; oh, the fifty calories she would burn. Of course, they tell her the item is indeed on hold for her, that I did not lie. I doubt she said thank you this time either.

All the while she insulted and disgraced our stock procedures, “That’s so cheap, that’s so cheap,” that our machines said we did have one left, which sold this same day, but our computers only update this information at the end of the night to say we have zero, “That’s so cheap.”

You, A-hag, make us cheap, wasting our time and energy for your XL white shirt. If you are so ardently searching for this item, this quest and journey of utter importance, it is your own, alone. “I give you the benefit of the doubt.” Go, find your great white XL shirt, I’m sure it will look smashing upon your spherical body, shamed only by your shimmering nay-say attitude. I give you the benefit of the doubt.

Customer Types: Capitalist, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Micromanagement, Modern-Day Slave-Owner, The Riddler

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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

Gray Thing

April 3, 2010

A woman opens her fitting room door slightly, holding a balls up gray, cotton thing. She’s holding it inside the fitting room, and waving it in her fist. “Can you get me a Medium in this? They are right over there.” She points vaguely in the direction of our shirt collection, which has tank-tops, camisoles, t-shirts, and long-sleeved shirts all in that gray color. I try to grab it so I can get the right one, and she pulls her hand away saying she wants to keep this one. We play an odd game of dodge for a few seconds. Eventually, I have to pry it out of her fingers, telling her I can’t even tell what she’s holding because all I see is a gray mass. It turns out to be the gray tank top.

My recent journey to New York has given me a broader understanding on just how much people choose to be rude or respectful, but dumbness and ignorance is still irritating. I just had to share. I might need to blog about that later.

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.

Not a Box of Crayons, but…

February 16, 2010

A customer shows me a mannequin asking me where a T-shirt is. Easy enough, I take him nearby to a table filled with that T-shirt style, surrounded by a huge variety of different colors to pick from. There are at least twelve different colors available. I point at the color he asked for, in the very middle of the table; awash in a sea of colors.

He looks at me and asks, “There’s only one color?”

Customer Types: The Blind, The Dumb

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…

I don’t want this anymore

January 29, 2010

This will possibly be one of my shortest stories of all, and then I’ll make it unnecessarily long. So we have a complex sale going on, which makes us take forever getting through transactions, especially when someone buys a lot of special items. Well, we had all our registers running, and trying to process people as fast as possible, and I tell the next person, “Hello, I can help you here!”

The customer comes up, and dumps a pair of super-sale items on the counter, scowling at me, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore.” And then she turns and leaves.

Oh. My… I’m devastated. I’m crushed! My world, my world is over! How could you do this to me? I can’t believe you’d hurt me so badly! *Rolls eyes*

Seriously, if you wanted to make a statement about the fact we were working as fast as we could, and that we’re losing out on your very important five-dollars, perhaps you could have asked for a manager? Even better, you could have grabbed at least some full-priced merchandise which cost a couple-hundred dollars, and then said, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore.”

Seriously? Even my mother will put a can of tomato sauce on the gum and candy shelf, leaving a grocery store instead of going to a cashier and saying, “I waited so long, I don’t want this anymore. Here is your can of $1.00 tomato sauce back!” Because you know, they’d do all they could to stifle their laughter and try to remain professional, saying, “I’m so sorry, please, please come back. Please buy this can of tomato sauce, because it really matters! Your purchase makes a difference! Please, I have children to feed!”

Seriously, get a life. You should have left after your first sigh, and saved yourself all those precious minutes waiting in line, to go outside and waste your life in other ways. Or, if you were smart, after waiting so long for your awesome deal, you could have… *gasp* bought the item! So at least you didn’t waste your time, genius. Wow, what a revelation! Seriously.

Customer types: Capitalist, The Dumb

Larger, longer, and leather

January 28, 2010

A man comes up to me with two leather belts, and his wife is standing behind him.
“I want a larger belt. This is extra small and this is small, but they are too small. I need a larger size.”
“Okay.” I take one of the belts to go check in the back, and I turn to walk away.
“Wait!” He yells at me. As I turn around, he starts to talk angrily, “Do you understand me? Do you know what I’m talking about? I want a larger size, these are too small! I want it bigger!”
“Yes,” I reply. While inside, I say, “What the hell is your problem, you dumb-ass. What else can you mean by larger size? You want one that’s a foot-wide so you can cover your face? You want me to come back with a giant square of leather that you can wrap around your waist and use it like a skirt? What the hell. Maybe I should look for a giant brick of leather so your wife can wear it around her hips like an accessory. I could even come back with a real cow, asking if this is enough leather. I don’t even understand what else you could even mean when you show me an extra small and a small, then say you need a larger size. You sir, are a moron.”

So I go to the back, and I actually do look for something large and leather, like a bag, so I can come back out and say, “Uh, here you go, durr, this is larger than a belt. Um, this bag, good. This you want, sir? Be good for you. I see leather smell cow inside me toes.” *licks elbows*
Sadly, we have nothing amusing, not even a belt.

I tell him we don’t have a larger size.
“So you don’t have a larger size?”
I wanted to turn around and yell, “Wait! Do you understand me? Do you know what I’m talking about?” Because obviously, we aren’t speaking English.

Customer types: The Dumb, Micromanagement, The Questioner

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