Posts Tagged ‘sweater’

Smacked by a Customer

December 29, 2011

This isn’t a story of abuse, but one of indecency and a lack of social etiquette. Mind you, I have been clapped at like a dog, and waves to come like a dog; I have had someone pound their knuckles on the register demanding me to apologize for something I didn’t do; been mistaken for a skinny Chinese boy by an old woman who was obviously racist; been told the fact I have a penis means I can’t help them find clothing, I can go on about two-hundred times more. Either way, this is the first time I’ve actually been physically touched my a customer, which basically ruined the rest of my day.

I was calmly going through the crowd putting away clothes, greeting people and helping them. I wasn’t hiding, nor was I trying to be invisible. Out of nowhere, someone smacks my arm, and I’m thinking it’s some old friend. Instead, it’s a customer I don’t think I’ve seen before, but I’m sure isn’t a regular, yet also looked vaguely like ‘they all look the same to me’.

After she smacks me, I look at her, and she say, “I need the sweater in the window, there!” She points. I just stand there, speechless, as she walks to the front of the store. She looks back at me and waves me to follow. I had half-a-mind not to, but human decency and manners is something I’ve learned human beings don’t really learn, and when they do, they consider it something they can turn off and on when the situation befits them. She shows me a sweater, I don’t even look at. I tell her someone will get it, because I’m definitely not going to strain myself in the least to help someone who speaks English, and couldn’t just say, “Excuse me, I need help,” or the usual, “Do you work here?” Someone who can communicate in my own language, but their best form of transmission is by hitting you–this says a lot about her home situation and childhood, all wrapped up like a present to the world.

I get someone else to help her, so she can annoy and irritate them instead–which she does, because you can always tell when ‘they’ll be one of those people’.

As an added story, this automatically brings to mind a situation where a customer demanded to return an item which was old, with no tags, used, and no receipt. The cashier refused, saying it can’t be done. So the customer reached over and shoved the cashier. This was one of those 0.01% chance moments when a District Manager was standing nearby with the Store Manager. The DM rushed forward and said, “Excuse me! You are never allowed to touch my employees like that, ever! Who do you think you are? You are also no longer allowed in any of our stores. You are permanently banned and if I see you in a store, I will have you escorted out. Take your items and leave.” Or something to that point. If only, right?

Customer Types: Modern Slave Owner

Two-Week-Old Cardigan

July 17, 2011

A customer enters the store, she has a crumpled up bag with our name on it. You know what that means. Yes, it’s a return and/or exchange. Excitement! Generally, these people ignore my existence when I greet them, as if they were superstars or the ultra-wealthy, as they walk straight to the register.

I greet her, and she looks at me with a blank, careless expression and opens the bag. She pulls out a cardigan. I instantly know it’s sold out, also it’s old, and that it is on such a reduced clearance, I highly doubt anyone in existence has any–I mean, we were selling it for that cheap. I hold my breath waiting for the inevitable.
“I’m looking for a smaller size in this,” she states flatly, a mix of a command, an order, and well, just plain rudeness.
So I tell her, we used to carry it, but we’re absolutely, totally sold out. It has been weeks since I’ve seen it in our store.

“I know,” she replies. Well that’s a relief, right? At least she’s omniscient. “But your other store called here two weeks ago, and they said you have it.”
Really, two weeks ago? Only two weeks? Now she’s a time-traveler, too. Well, two weeks is just seconds ago to a tree, too bad we aren’t trees. Two weeks in a retail store is two sales cycles, thousands of customers, enough time to put out an entirely new line of clothing, and I can tell you, two weeks ago, we had a huge holiday sale–which we sold those cardigans like ice cream cones on a hot and sunny day. I assure her we don’t have it now, but we did have it two weeks ago when they called.

“Just look for it,” she commands, this time more sternly, as if I’m supposed to shudder in her might and grandeur. Let me tell you, she was fat, middle-aged, and roughly a foot shorter than me. She was approximately as scary as a toad after a rainstorm just before it’s run over by in-coming traffic–and I’m the one in the car. I tell her there is none, and suggested maybe she should have come in two weeks ago when the other store called and confirmed we had it–because we actually had it. We are only a few miles away, it doesn’t even take two weeks to walk here. I see no point in coming in two weeks later looking for a super-duper sale item, demanding people find it. So I go with Plan B–the treasure-hunter.

I take her around the store to confirm, with her own beady, little eyes that we are indeed out of this cardigan. I offer her a plethora of different cardigans, many in the same color–which is an odd mint-chocolate ice cream shade. Either way, she’s resolute in the fact she wants the cardigan she has, but in a smaller size. No other cardigan will equal the greatness and beauty of her super-sale cardigan, the one she wants so badly that she was unwilling to come in two weeks earlier to pick it up when she knew we had it. Bravo, little lady, you are an exclamation point in the evolution of reasonable, logical thought. Well, actually more like a period. After a thorough journey through the store, with every cardigan being rejected, I am left to give up and move along–as she said she’ll look for herself now.

Eventually, she asks another coworker to find a sweater for her. She asks if they are on sale, to which my coworker tells her, “No, it’s still new.” They are actually on promotion for half-price, but since the woman ‘asked so rudely’, my coworker declined to inform her of this. Of course, my coworker didn’t yet know this woman annoyed me earlier, we later found out together.

It seems for rude people what goes around comes around. Sadly, I had to see her leave with her two sons carrying large boxes of pizza. At least they shall feast like kings tonight! Even if she won’t get to wear her magical cardigan while doing so.

Customer Types: Micromanagement

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

First Sign of Winter?

August 8, 2010

There is a man shopping, he’s looking for an item. He asks for a sweater that zips down the middle.

STOP!

Okay, can you list three real pieces of clothing which fulfill this criteria in a Men’s store? A sweater and it zips down the middle. Think about it. Okay, time’s up.

1. A hoodie, right? Nope.
2. A zip cardigan? Nope, wrong again.
3. What else is there? Some half-zip, mock-turtle neck mishap? Or maybe a sweater-vest which zips down the middle, because that’s trendy, and oh-so awesome, right? Not.

Whatever it is, we didn’t have what he was looking for. It’s not what he was talking about. So what was this? Some item that doesn’t yet exist, which he hopes someone will eventually design one day? If it’s that revolutionary, he might have to design it himself, or he’ll never find it. There are certainly only so many options when it comes to a sweater which zips down the middle.

Customer Types: FashioNOTstas, Tailor-Made

Beijing with Love

June 23, 2010

In another incidence of cultural clash, I was trying hard to help two women who spoke very little English. Basically, they held a sweater, saying, “Size,” then point at another sweater in a different color–saying they wanted one color in the other color’s size. Got it? Good. So far, so good. Except, they kept asking me for help and became decidedly more and more confusing. Speaking to each other, I detected accents of Korean, so I called a co-worker who could speak Korean.

As she approached, they suddenly saw her and started to call out to her, waving her over. I thought it was over, and sighed happily as I walked away. Less than a minute later, the girl says on the walkie-talkie, “They aren’t speaking Korean, I don’t know what language it is, maybe Chinese?”

Okay, so I call over another coworker who speaks Chinese. Yet another exchange ensues, and yet again a failure. She comes up to me saying that she’s never heard their version of Chinese before. They say they’re from Beijing, but their dialect is totally different.

So I looked it up, and I found Beijing’s national language, which is only the dominant language, of course. Mandarin pops up as the first, primary answer. Yet, I also see something called Mandolin. Interestingly, there is also the Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese. Well, we definitely got no where with them.

Although they attempted to buy something, they had no understanding of our sales tax, which amounted to about 4%. After a long exchange of misunderstanding and defensiveness, acting like we’re cheating them, I don’t think they bought their $20 sale sweater, because of the added tax of about $0.80. Yes, eighty-cents. I have something to say, but it would be misconstrued.

Customer Types: The Dumb, Learn the Language

The Teddy Bear

April 24, 2010

Today I was helping a family looking at polo shirts and sweaters for their friends and family as gifts. I come back to tell them I don’t have a size, and their baby son looks up at me, lifting his teddy bear trying to give it to me. I smile down at him and say, “Oh thank you, but it’s okay, you can keep your bear.”

So instead, he runs up to me and hugs my leg. His mother has to come pry him off, so I can check for another size in another sweater.

One of the rare occasions when working retail isn’t so bad.

When is a Sweater a Sweater?

January 27, 2010

Oddly, today I had the exact opposite of a person mistaking a sweater for something else. (Like someone mistaking a pile of poop for a fillet mignon.) A couple brings a V-neck sweater to the cash register and when I scan it, they say it’s on sale. I’m not sure about that item, so I ask them to show me the sign. They take me to a table with V-neck sweaters separated from V-neck T-shirts. There is a promotion on V-neck T-shirts.

“Oh, I see. This sign says V-neck T-shirts.”
“Yes.”
“That was a sweater.”
“Yes.”
“This is for T-shirts.”
“But it’s a V-neck.”
“Yes, it’s a V-neck sweater.”
“So it’s on sale?”
“No, the T-shirts are on sale.”
“It says it costs $15.”
“It says regular-price is $15, but if you buy two T-shirts they are cheaper. The original price on these sweaters are $40, not $15. They aren’t even the same item.”
“I don’t understand. They’re the same.”
I point at the sweaters, lifting one up. “This what you brought me.”
“Yes.”
“It’s a sweater. It’s long-sleeved, see the sleeves? It’s thick, feel it. It’s warmer, this is a sweater.”
“Yes, I like it.”
“Yes, and this,” I lift a T-shirt, “It’s a T-shirt. Look, it has short-sleeves.” I show her the short-sleeves. “Feel it, it’s light-weight cotton. This is a T-shirt, this one is on sale.”
“I like this one though,” she points at the sweater.

*Sigh* Eventually, I get her to buy the sweater for the regular price, since it isn’t even a T-shirt.

Customer Types: The Blind, The Dumb

When is a Sweater Not a Sweater?

December 5, 2009

So a Korean customer is standing there, trying to ask me about sales. We have discounts and sales on sweaters throughout the store.
“So all the sweaters are on sale, right?”
“Yes.” We go through cardigans, turtle-necks, and all types of sweaters. And I assure him, all sweaters are on sale.
He points at a leather jacket behind him, “So that’s on sale, too, right?”
I stand there for a moment. I don’t know what to think. I just say, “Between you and me, we both know a leather jacket is not a sweater.”
We stand there and look at each other for a while. I don’t really know what else to say.

—–
This reminds me of a story from a coworker a week before. Another group of Korean customers were in the store, and we had a similar sale on sweaters. We tell them the sweaters are on sale, and one of the men asks, “So these are on sale?” And he points at a wall of shoes.
“No, all sweaters are on sale.”
The man turns to a wall of scarves, “Oh, so those are on sale.”
“No, sweaters, those are scarves.”
I eventually find out the man speaks perfect English, so I have no idea why he is acting like he doesn’t understand anything we’re saying. Oddly, he also has issues with leather jackets. He approaches me with a leather jacket, because we have that amazing additional 40%-off sale items. (I really don’t like huge sales, it brings in the best and brightest.) He asks if this is on sale, and I look, and the item is marked down, so I tell him it is 40% off of $150. Then he says, “How much is that?” By now, I’m really just tired of how much his brain is on vacation, or how much he wants to look like he doesn’t know anything. I ask him if he really can’t do the math…
Internally, I think: It would be, for slower people, 40% of $100 is $40. 40% of $50 would then be $20 (because $50 is half of $100). Are you still following?
I tell him, “It’s $60 off.”
And he suddenly collects his wits, and says, “Yes, you’re right.” Gosh, really? I am? At least I don’t mistake shoes and scarves for sweaters.

Customer Type: The Deaf, The Dumb, Learn the Language

Nothing Will Work

December 5, 2009

“I know you won’t have what I’m looking for, but I might as well try.”
“Okay.”
“I’m looking for sweaters.”
I bring her to our first sweaters–crew-neck style.
“No, I’m looking for a V-neck style.”
Okay, sure, I can understand that. So bring her to our V-neck sweaters.
“No, I want the ones with buttons.”
Okay, maybe she’s no fashion-expert, she doesn’t know a sweater with buttons is called a cardigan. So I bring her to our cardigans.
“No, these are too light, I want them thicker.”
Okay, maybe she’s visiting somewhere cold. So I bring her to our heavier cardigans.
“No, there’s no collar.”
Okay, now this is getting irritating. So I bring her to our cardigans with collars.
“No, you don’t have what I want. But hey, at least I tried.”
Really? Did you? Even a little? I think not.

Customer Type: Agreeing to Disagree, The Riddler, Self-Fulfilling Prophesizer

I say Cardigan, you say…

September 8, 2009

So a snotty looking woman comes in asking for a button-down sweater with long sleeves. “A cardigan”, I ask. She doesn’t know what they’re called, she just wants a button-down sweater with long sleeves, preferably black. So I take her to the very first item, right behind her, and I show her a black cardigan. A cardigan, by definition is a button-down sweater.

“No, this isn’t want I want! You don’t understand. What else do you have.”
So we move on, and I show her other options. Button-down hoodie…
“No, this isn’t right!” She shakes her head at me.

Basic pull-over sweater…
“Something like this, but with buttons going down.” She shakes her head again.

Henley…
“No, you aren’t even helping me find anything! Do you even know what I’m asking for? I’ll look around myself!” She yells at me, and stomps away. I greatly detest idiots.

Rushing, very angrily, to the front of the store, I grab the first item–the cardigan–and stop her, standing in her way. I’m shaking it in her face, “Black, sweater, button-down cardigan.”

She looks at the cardigan, and takes it out of my hand. She does not thank me as she walks away. Instead, she goes to try it on, and ends up buying it. Now this is a classic idiot, who most likely walked in, looked at me, and decided I didn’t know anything.

Customer types: Blind, Thankless, Agreeing to Disagree

P.S.
These are the kinds of customers that show how dumb people can be. I’ve had people ask me for a t-shirt with a collar–“A polo?” “I don’t know, show me what that is.” But more irritating, is being yelled at when I did nothing wrong just because they don’t even know the names of basic clothing; it is entirely the customer’s fault for being ignorant, but they feel the right to blame me for this ignorance. I didn’t even get a thank you for being put through this, being yelled at and treated like an idiot because of her stupidity, especially considering it was her fault she didn’t look at the item when I first showed it to her.