Posts Tagged ‘talkie’

Japan Relief Shirts

May 9, 2011

Well, it’s been a long day. I mean, there are rude, demanding, and honestly, stupid customers assaulting us with demands and threats. So to end my day, my store has for sale Japan Relief shirts. (If you live in a cave and/or without access to news and/or information of the outside world, Japan had a massive earthquake, which caused a giant tsunami knocking against their eastern coast, and also damaging nuclear reactors. We shall say it’s not going well over there. So countries as well as companies have united to try to raise money to help Japan with their rebuilding efforts.) Okay, with that said, we have a display with these shirts and a mannequin wearing one of the shirts.

A large Caucasian man, of shaved yellow hair, standing about 6’3″ and maybe 180 lbs. walks up to this mannequin, points at it and states, “Look Japan!” And starts to laugh, not a little chuckle, but a full-on heavy laughter that continues for several seconds.

Of this, I just go on the walkie-talkie and restate what I just saw, then I say, “Okay, it’s time for me to clock out and go home.”

Customer Types: The Dumb, The Racist

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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

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

How a Store Stays Open

October 19, 2010

This might be redundant, but that’s okay, I don’t mind. I, the salesperson, have recently been relegated to the cash registers for most of my shifts. I, in turn, go to sleep and wake up with a sore back and tense irritation. I, now, have to stand tied to the registers, because I can only go so far before I have to run back, saying, “I’ll be right there.” I have to watch my coworkers either selling or not selling, while stuck at my most disliked place in the store.

This is okay on days when I have a strong seller to replace my presence on the sales floor. There are some people who can make massive sales, beyond even my capacity–people who understand how a store stays open. How? Well, we can consider the other people I must watch from my perch. These people are folding, making the store pretty, maintaining sizes, etc. (Sometimes, it’s okay, when the store manager orders it, because whose to disagree with the store manager?) Yet, tied to the register, I try to help people, try to send them to the fitting rooms, try to see how they’re doing. While I hear the folders say, “Yeah, take any room,” while standing by their pile barely giving notice to the customers.

How does a store stay open? Is it because you make everything pretty, does that make people want to buy your merchandise? If you say yes, then never, ever open your own retail store. Ever. It is the act of selling, finding what someone is looking for–even if they don’t know they’re looking for it. It is the act of placing clothes in their hand, being a sales person–what do you think that means? A salesperson is a folder? Yeah, right. I think not. Even if you spend all your time making the store as beautiful and folded as possible, that does nothing.

Customers are here to shop, the purpose of a salesperson is to move the merchandise so you don’t need to fold it anymore. If it’s sold, it can’t be folded. If it’s sold, that’s money in the bank. The longer it remains unsold, the longer we have to keep folding it, and the more money is wasted on rent, pay, etc. I mean seriously, beautiful folding isn’t going to pay a single bill.

What makes it harder for me is the fact I know each sale contributes not only to the store, but to the hours each coworker has to work, each paycheck they get back. And I look at people who are ignoring customers, who have the freedom to speak to every customer, to offer them help, and instead, I see them touching clothes. When I am on the floor, I greet every single customer–rude or not–and you understand why I get so many horrible people, because I actually do talk to everyone. I want everyone to find something, even if they only spend $10, that’s far more than nothing.

I have tension and irritation, because I don’t know what I’m surrounded by anymore. I don’t know if it’s colleagues or competitors, because some people are working real hard to make sure other people have no hours, so the store makes no money, and helps people lose jobs, especially when the economy is already so bad.

Where Is He?

August 11, 2010

Who? Me? Yes, me.

I was helping a male customer find some clothes, but he needed his partner to come make decisions for him. Soon, he returned with his girlfriend, and I helped him find good colors and fits for him to try. After this, I needed to go in the back to meet with a manager.

Then, I hear on the walkie-talkie, someone asking for me. I ask what they need, and they reply I was helping a customer, and he only wants my help and my opinion on the clothes he’s trying on. I laugh, as the manager asks what the guy’s problem is. I just tell her, I’m that good.

So I go out, and I help him with his clothes, especially one shirt which was giving him problems. He couldn’t decide between two sizes–one was fitted, and kind of showed his curves a bit too much; the other was a little looser, but still fit well. I told him to go with the larger size. Then, I ran back to my manager to finish my work, since I was on a deadline.

The funnier part, after I came back out, my coworker said he still picked the tighter size. Well, you can’t win them all, but it’s nice to be appreciated once in a while, right?

Walkie-Talkie Stalker

June 30, 2010

One day, I was walking around in the store, and I hear an unfamiliar voice on the walkie-talkie.
“Hey, you lost something.”
I look around, but I don’t see any new people working today.
“Hey, you.”
I look around, but no one is talking to me. I decide to go about my business, thinking one of the salespeople are playing games with someone.
“You, in the black dress. You’re bending over, folding clothes. I see you. I’m right behind you.”
Okay, that’s definitely not me, but I know who they’re talking about. I go up to my coworker, who models during her spare time, and ask her what’s up. I see her looking around, she’s flustered and angry. She tells me she doesn’t know who is talking on the walkie.
“I see you folding clothes, over there in the black dress.”
“I don’t know who that is, but it’s f-ing annoying,” she tells me. “Hello, who is this?” She says on the walkie.
“I see you,” the voice says again, “I’m right behind you.”
Soon, this older, Caucasian man man walks up to her, saying someone must have left this laying around, and hands her a walkie-talkie. He laughs saying he was just joking around. It was he who spoke on the walkie. She doesn’t say anything as she takes it from him.

After, she and I have a conversation about how creepy that man was. Especially, the fact he thought it was okay and fine to say those kinds of things, like a stalker, for everyone to hear, while referring to her. How oblivious was he to understanding just how scary, and possibly illegally immature he was being? I mean, I know some customers view us as modern-day slaves, there for their amusement, to abuse, to use to get things, and otherwise boss around to make themselves feel bigger than they really are in their real mundane lives, but there are times when you just cross the line–but how do you not know it? How does someone think sounding like a creepy stalker in a public place, where someone is working, how is that funny or appropriate? Because Retail Law does say these people will always appear, and there will always be at least one of these people who do or think these things are right. Oddly, mostly everyone else just thought it was a coworker and disregarded the situation entirely, ignoring the entire conversation. Of course, that says a lot about us, too, doesn’t it?

Customer Types: Capitalist, Modern Slave-Owner, Sexual Discriminator

The Art of War in Retail: Flags and Signals

May 26, 2010

Chapter 3
Walkie-talkies- The best weapon of any General in battle. Walkie-talkies with headsets instantly send messages to others on the battlefield. Headsets help to keep communication private, and allows you to speak more clearly. Without a headset, you must develop more complex Codes in case the Opposition is listening. You can easily and quickly get others in motion to deal with situations and problems on the sales floor and registers by use of walkie-talkies.

Looks and Gestures- When engaged in battle, a General may need to rely on other ways of communication when speaking openly is not reasonable–most often when faced with the Opposition. Making eye-contact with another General on the field can help bring more reinforcements or supplies to ensure success. These looks must be understood beforehand, or a General may be left stranded and helpless, drowned by the Opposition. A strong, wide-eyed glare can often alert other Generals to the status of their colleague. Even using your eyes to point out something is useful. Gestures can also be used instead of Looks, although they are oftentimes more revealing in your intent; especially if you point, which is not often a good tactic to use. Many gestures can mean, “Save me! Bad customer!  or to say, ‘We don’t have any!’.” This includes a beckoning wave, a glare with a point, and shaking your hands in exasperation. Although this needs more training then walkie-talkie exercises, oftentimes this method is needed when engaging the Opposition.

Code-words- Many armies are prepared before battles with Code-words to mean anything from sales and discounts, to pointing out troublesome situations, such as shoplifters and unreasonable customers. Code-words are essential to verbal communication, as they only reveal a certain amount of information to the Opposition; yet they still provide more detailed information than gestures and looks. “The Benefit of the Doubt” can be one such code-word. “Can I get a manager to the cash register” is always a danger-sign, challenging the strongest Generals to come to battle. “Our friends are back,” can alert people to shoplifters. “These people need help,” when stressed differently can just mean they need help or mean they’re going to be a handful of trouble, so watch out!

Often, using a mixture of all of these techniques can create a streamlined cooperative system to deal with all situations like a well-trained army, which you are. You don’t ever want to end up in a situation, where you’re giving a Look, using a Code-word, and the other person is looking at you, asking, “What’s wrong with you?”

Shoplifter: Welcome to the Jungle

May 6, 2010

We have a group of shoplifters, they are basically drag-queens–at least one of them is, and we think they others are. They could be ugly, fat women or ugly, fat guys with boobs and bad make-up. I’ve seen the drag-queen as a man, and he’s better off as a woman, believe me it’s scary. The man, though, is over six-feet two-inches tall and weighs well over two-hundred thirty pounds. He also wears high-heels.

The one thing I am blown away with is that, as huge as this man-woman is, whenever they walk through the store, no one, at all, ever sees them. It can be ten seconds later, and I ask, “Did you see a giant, giant fat drag-queen just walk by with two other giant fat women?” “No.” It is utter insanity that these shoplifters are such masters of illusion that they are totally invisible to the naked eye, because to me, they stand out like a beached whale at a sushi-bar. Or, perhaps my coworkers are chosen for the fact they see about as well in bright-daylight as bats, whom only use sonar and would consider these shoplifters just gigantic stalagmites in their way, similar to pillars. Since they are such skillful ninjas, they often just steal entire tables worth of clothing, and then disappear, without a single person seeing them–other than I. Seriously?

One day, we had a major project, and nearly the entire staff was working. I’m talking about one person every ten-feet. The shoplifters chose a really bad day to come in. I greet them as usual, and they, as usual, decide to split up and walk away from me–I can’t follow them all, right? I laugh, pulling out my walkie-talkie. Each and every one of my blind-as-moles coworkers received a very loud, “Hey, turn to the left!” I call out their name. They look up and find a giant drag-queen or a fat woman, whom jumps in surprise, and starts to bounce away like a pinball. I continue doing this for a little while more, then call out to them, “Bad day to come in, the entire staff is here and they all know what you look like now. Congratulations!” I went on to announce the presence of our most infamous shoplifters, whom have stolen hundreds of work-hours worth of clothing from my coworkers bank-accounts to pay for rent, food, and survive. They all turn to look at the drag-queen and his cohorts as they quickly leave, scowling at me.

“Thanks for coming, please come again!” I tell them as they leave. “At least they know what you look like now.”

Angry Panties

December 21, 2009

Today, I had a customer come to the register with a pile of panties. I tell her a sale started this morning, which she’s utterly happy about. We get along just fine, until I scan all of her panties. There are promotions: buy ‘X of full-priced panties’ for Y dollars (3 for $25, 4 for $30, etc.), and she only needed one more for that promotional price. I tell her this.
“But they’re all on the same table,” she states.
“Oh, I guess we marked some on sale, but they didn’t remove the sale from the table. Did you want to get one more of the full-priced panties to get the discount?”
“But they’re on the same table, it says I get them for that price! They’re all on sale, right?”
I’m looking at the sale panties which are cheaper than the promotional price. I push the button on my walkie-talkie headset, and I speak into it, “Can the person in the panty section make sure to remove the sale items from the promotional table immediately?”
“I don’t know why there are sale panties on that table.”
“Don’t worry miss, I just told them to remove the sale panties, it’s all being handled. Do you want to get one more of the regular priced panties for the discount?”
She agrees and heads back there. I tell the person back there to help to woman with the panties. Sadly, this was only partly effective considering my coworker didn’t hear me, nor understood what was going on. I only hear a faint, “What did you say?” on the walkie-talkie.
So the woman returns with another pair of sale panties, which doesn’t activate the promotion. (You need four panties for promotion, or the register won’t accept it.)
“Oh, you grabbed another sale panty, I’m sorry–”
“What? What are you talking about? She said they are all on sale! You aren’t making any sense at all!”
And my coworker from the panty section says, “No, these are on sale,” she points first at the sale panties, then at the regular priced panties, “But these are full-priced, but also on sale.”
I gasp inside my head, because now I’m trapped between a confused customer, and a co-worker that is just as confusing. I try to tell the woman she’s picked several sale panties, and a few full-priced panties. For the discount, she needs one more full-priced panty.
She starts to yell, saying I’m not making any sense.
Another cashier comes up to me saying, “What’s going on here?!?”
I’m already over it, and I say, “Okay. Fine. I will give them all for the discount price.”
And the customer says, “Good.”
“So I’ll mark them all up to the discount price, because the sale panties are cheaper. Okay?”
That seemed clearer than anything else I said, because the woman suddenly didn’t want me to give her the discount, nor was I willing to bend at this point since I don’t like being yelled at.
“Wait, these sale panties are cheaper than the promotion price? Oh! So you’re saying I just need one more full-priced panty and those will be cheaper?”
“Yes.” I think to myself, “It says four for X dollars.”
“Oh, I get it now.”
I ask her if she just wants one more black, since those colors don’t generally go on sale. I decide to run and get the full-priced panty myself. The woman leaves happily saying she’s sorry about the confusion and wishes me happy holidays.

Epilogue: So another cashier comes up to me after the transaction and says, “So when you were talking on the walkie-talkie saying you’re handling the problem, I didn’t hear anything. You weren’t even pressing the button.”
I smirk a little.
“That’s a veteran move,” he says.
I nod, and quickly run to take all the sale panties away from the promotional panties.

Customer Type: Agreeing to Disagree, Big Baby, The Deaf