Posts Tagged ‘supervisor’

My Retail Explosions

October 29, 2010

Through the years, my frustrations have grown exponentially. Retail is not supposed to be a place where common-sense grows, and this doesn’t even count customers, this is entirely within the retail companies. For years, I have suggested, spoken up, and given ideas on how to improve the workplace, improve motivation, communication, output, everything, and for years, I have been met with excuses and reasons why they ‘can’t’ do something. I have seen a store manager disappear, being replaced by a new store manager. Yet, I still see the same holes and issues which existed five, six, seven years ago. What is a retail business? It is a place where you sell product. What is the focus of a retail business? Making money. When actions and reactions work at odds against this principle, yet are expounded by the company as legitimacy, you have huge problems. For the normal ‘minions’, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had to open the eyes of many coworkers, and even people who work in retail, to see and understand there are bigger pictures than just facing the floor and folding.

As selling is the primary goal of any company, I am perplexed without end when people are acknowledge, even encouraged to do things like get credit cards. What? I can make a $900 sale, but I get acknowledged for opening two credit cards? You want to slap me in the face? You already have. I even tell people, if you get credit cards, you can get away with anything, and you’re still untouchable, you’re invincible, invulnerable. Some of the great credit card champions had no sales skills, slacked off whenever they had the opportunity, and had no desirable skills other than getting someone to sign up for a credit card. We are on an island full of tourists, none of them can sign up for our credit card–why is it so important? If there was an actual focus on selling, on making sales and helping the customers, don’t you think we’d be making our budget with surplus every single month?

My professionalism was sound before. No personal information, no personal conversation. Our managers and superiors are thus, to be treated with respect, as much as they act respectable. You are only as strong as those whom follow you. In my old business organization, I had no candor, I was only seriousness, professionalism is a clean cut line between getting the job done and focusing on that aspect. I know the business models, I know the sales principles. Long ago, when people asked why I don’t get crazy, even with the rudest customers–it was because my professionalism had my eyes on the goal. Yet, surrounded by the lack thereof, how can you hope to hold onto such standards? It took a year before I’d stand around talking story with co-workers, two years before I’d talk story with a manager. I never allowed a superior to ask me about my life outside of work, nor would I have contact with them outside of work. They said I had no sense of humor. They said I was serious. But they could never say I lacked professionalism. There are always standards to be kept, and I was once tasked with keeping them.

My life outside of work hasn’t been the greatest thing with failures from career, to life, to love, I have been buckled, blows struck to my legs. There is no greater satisfaction than simplicity. Yet, within this sense, there is a lack of sense. A retail business survives by making money.

I have a vast intelligence, but I can only take so much of this. Thank you, world, I finally went to set up an appointment to see a psychiatrist. You win, world. You win.

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Eighth-of-an-Inch

June 17, 2010

At the rear entrance of our store, there is a carpet which has been worn away slowly over time. The carpet was built into the floor, so now there is a ridge roughly 1/8″ (an eighth of an inch) at the edge. The ridge is no larger than a normal street crack, but one day I had to find out how terrifying this is.

I hear a lot of commotion on the walkie-talkie. “Oh my, someone just fell!” “There’s an old lady on the ground?” “Where is she?” “At the back door, someone is on the ground?” “Is she okay? Is she moving?” “Do we need to call an ambulance?” I arrived, to find an ancient woman shrunken by time, with a beanie on her head. Her youthful daughter looked to be about sixty-years old, which would make her mother anywhere between seventy-five and one-thousand. Along with our stock supervisor, they helped to get her up, and had a seat placed for her to recover. There the old, old woman sat staring out the back-door entrance–so each customer coming in had to be greeted by that. So she sat, hunched and unmoving, people walking around her like a statue, as the daughter yelled at the supervisor.

“What is wrong with you people? That’s dangerous!” She points at the ridge.
“I am so sorry,” my supervisor states, doing all the things he’s trained ‘not to say’, “It is our fault. I’m so sorry, what can we do to help her? What does she need? Should be call an ambulance?”
“No,” the daughter continues, “That’s not needed, she just needs to rest. You need to get that fixed! Now! She could have died!”

They continue this ridiculous banter, as I chuckle nearby behind a pillar. Seriously, when you’re that old, and you can’t even lift your foot off the ground, you need a wheelchair, or better yet, don’t leave the house to visit the hectic mall. Remember the good old days, when you used to be able to walk miles to school over rock, gravel and shards of glass while hailstones flew at your head? Well those days are long over. I’d hate to watch you tripping over cracks in the ground, because that’s far more dangerous out there. I’m surprised she didn’t explode into a pile of dust when she hit the floor. Seriously? Leave her at home.

Thirty-minutes later, the old woman gets up with her obviously useful cane, and begins to walk away. Her feet don’t even leave the ground, they just slide across the floor. She must be very good at cleaning dust off the floors, like that video I’ve seen of a dog used as a mop. I actually don’t know how she even walks on the sidewalk. It takes a while for her to leave the store, as she slides one foot six-inches, then the other six-inches more. Yes, definitely, leave her at home next time.

Customer Type: Big Baby, The Complainer, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Lowered Expectations

What? Are YOU Doing Okay?

June 4, 2010

There is a man sitting on a mannequin box, which is meant for mannequins and isn’t supposed to support his kind of weight for a long time. (Once, I had the utter joy watching someone sit on the exact center of one box, before we could stop him, and that guy took out an entire display. He offered to pay for it, but we don’t work that way. Too bad. I would have said $300! Haha.) Today, this man looks like an idiot and totally acts like one–don’t you love those people? So he’s sitting there, with his legs spread as wide open as possible so people have to literally walk around his feet, with his arms crossed as he glares at people, looking them up and down with his bloodshot eyes. You already know he’s an image of godly beauty, right? Sure, yeah right. And when you’re kicked by a horse, it doesn’t hurt. Actually, he looked like a mugger you’d find in a dirty alley right before they attack you. Obviously, people were trying to avoid him.

He was not supposed to be sitting there, but I was still new at the time, I didn’t have the gusto I have now. I just asked if he was doing okay. In return, he just glared at me, saying nothing. I’m actually supposed to say, “You can’t sit here. Please, you need to get up and move. Thanks a bunch!” These days I’d probably just say, “Hey, that box can’t handle your weight, can you get up before it breaks and you have to pay for it? Thank you.”

Either way, he’s sitting there for a long time, and I mean a long time, so I am left to assume either he’s homeless and wants to sleep in the box later or his wife is somewhere taking her sweet time shopping, she might not even be in the store anymore–and with a husband like that, I’d want time away from him, too. As much as possible. So again, I ask if he’s still doing okay, since I’ve walked by him about ten times already–as these mannequins are placed in high-traffic areas; his feet and his staring at customers is getting quite annoying. He’s creating a person traffic-jam, as if he cares.

Twenty-minutes later, he’s still sitting there, and obviously no one else has said anything to him. It’s a busy day, so everyone seems to be at the registers. A final time, I ask if he’s still okay, trying to give the hint that he needs to move on–go squat in a cardboard box in the alley or something, you’re wasting retail space, and making it look rather unattractive.

He turns and yells at me, “Why? You doing okay? Huh? You doing okay? What, you still doing okay?” He says some expletives including f-words, ‘f-you’ and gets aggressive with me. This is one of the first times I felt my insides explode, where I wanted to tell him off–not out of fear, but if I needed to, he’d have an entire mannequin swinging at his forehead. I was still not used to the obnoxiously low intelligence of the customers we deal with daily, and their utter lack of social skills. Later, I find out from supervisors in such situations I am empowered to act, and if I am not able to speak up, a manager would have asked him to leave the premises and not return. Their money isn’t good here anymore.

Of course, I go to find a manager since I’m flabbergasted, and of course, by the time I return with one, he’s already gone. This is one reason I take things into my own hands. Too many customers tend to forget everyone is a human being, even if we work in retail store and customer service–the customer and the salesperson is still human, not master and slave. We also forget these are rules we created.  “Once the customer crosses a line, they aren’t customers anymore”–this too is only a perception and belief because of social norms. The roles can always reverse.

Customer Type: The Dumb, Don’t Kill the Messenger, Lowered Expectations, Piggies