Posts Tagged ‘tourist’

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

NOT M-SIZE!

October 3, 2010

I’m trapped at the cash registers again, and there is a couple visiting from another country, as I find out, Korea.

There was a long line, and I call the next customers over, but the man is standing there staring at me. Other people behind him are staring at the back of his head. Then he starts yelling in Korean with an angry face. He’s looking at me, but I realize he’s yelling at the woman nearby, who is rummaging through a pile of shirts. He yells again, this time at her, tugging on her arm. I just stand there. Finally, she puts the shirts she was looking at, down, and they approach the register.

The woman comes, shaking a shirt, “I like this color!” But, her face is angry, mad. “I like this color!”
“Okay, that’s nice.”
“No, I like this color, but the size is wrong!”
“What size do you..”
“I like the color, but the size is wrong!”
“What size do you need?”
“It is the wrong size! I like the color!”
“Okay, what size do you…”
“I like the color, but the size is wrong! I don’t want M-size!”
“What size do you need?”
“I don’t want M-size!” She shakes the shirt at me, pointing at the Medium sticker printed on the shirt. “I like the color, but the size is wrong!”
I look at the husband, who is also yelling, but at her. I don’t understand what they’re saying, but I’m sure it makes as much sense as I’m hearing.
“This is the wrong size,” she continues, “I don’t want M-size!”
I just stand there, with my hands on my hips. “I know.”
“I don’t want M-size.”
“Yes.”
Then the husband finally cuts in, “No M-size, she needs S-size.”
“Small?”
“S-size!”
“M is medium, and S is small. She needs a smaller size?”
“Yes, she doesn’t want M-size, she wants S-size.”
So I go rummage through the pile, while asking for a stock check. I find an S-size in the same color, but it’s a crew neck, not a v-neck. I leave them behind me, so they can stop staring at me, and instead stare at the counter, or each other, or a nice wall, or whatever. I go into the stock room, restating our ‘conversation’, while a manager on break says, “Breathe!”
I just reply, “They can wait for me to come back, they want the S-size so bad.”

Customer Type: Guessing Game, Learn the Language

Fake Japanese?

August 17, 2010

I have just finished helping a Japanese couple, speaking with the sparse Japanese I do know and understand. I greet the next customer. He’s a 6’3″, 225 pound man who has the look and accent of someone from the Mid-Western United States of America. He says, loudly, “Aye-Ree-Gah-Toe!” I instantly look away, thinking, “Are you serious. Why do I have to deal with these kinds of people?”

I quickly try to do my transaction, as he says random Japanese words he’s heard and can’t pronounce correctly. I speak to him in English, since I’m quite aware I look like a Japanese tourist and can act like a Japanese tourist. I tell him the total, and he proceeds to count, “Nii, San… Nii, San…” Or perhaps it’s, “Nissan, Nissan.” I much prefer the homophone, “Ichi, Nii” which sounds like, “Itchy knee.” Either way, I’m standing there rolling my eyes, since he can’t keep track of counting his counts, while saying “Nii, San.” I’m all but too happy to see him go. Really, why do I get the weirdos?

Customer Type: The Dumb, Lowered Expectations, The Racist,

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?

Heat: Bad for You, Worse for Me

May 4, 2010

Our air-conditioning hasn’t been working for a while, and there is no cold-air in the back of the store where the fitting rooms are located. I can basically handle the hot air with very little sweating and no whining and complaining. Yet, customer after customer comes into the fitting room for five to ten minutes and come out saying, “Wow, I’m so hot, why is it so hot in here? I can’t handle it.” They say this with a mix of surprise, and some with irritation and anger towards me, as if I broke the air conditioning, because I’m the Devil. (As my old friend used to joke, “It’s so hot the devil came up and asked us to turn down the heat!”)

The entire time, day-after-day for weeks I worked in the fitting room, running on dehydration and hazy delusions, listening to everyone complain about the heat, and only one–one customer–said to me, “Wow, it’s so hot in here, it must be terrible for you!”

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

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

*Sweats* I’m tired.

September 12, 2009

So I have two very large tourists come in, trying on a ton of clothes–maybe thirty to forty pieces between the two of them–for over an hour. They keep trying on different colors of the same style, and definitely keep trying on different sizes. This is a busy day, and I’m surrounded by customers in the fitting room. They keep requesting handfuls of items, which makes me focus more on them for over an hour, and ignore many of the other customers that also need help (perhaps thirty to forty customers). Although they are nice and cheery about it, they also get more snippy as they try on more clothes.

For one thing, the bigger sister (as they are two large sisters) is the fashionable one (?) and critiques everything her sister tries on–to the point that the smaller sister has to wait for her sister to reappear to ask, “How is this?” To my amazement, since this woman is a size 32, her sister keeps saying, ‘That makes you look fat. That makes you look stumpy. That shows your rolls.” I’m thinking how she won’t look fat when she is short, stumpy and fat trying on all sorts of spandex and skinny, slim pants. It is inevitable. At least some of the styles pulled in a little, yet her sister persisted on criticizing everything as just okay, or worse.

As the hour progressed, I was unaware–because I breathe through my mouth in the fitting room for good reason–that they were starting to sweat on everything, handing it back inside-out. One coworker noted, “Ugh, this stinks,” which grossed me out as I was trying to turn it right-side out. From that point, I left the clothes to sit on the side for a while, so another coworker could come by and innocently fold the sweaty clothes. Perhaps the smell will go away?

Yet, the clincher, after I was facing giant piles of clothes, and all the hordes of customers disappeared–myself tired, exhausted from running back and forth and helping dozens of customers–the smaller sister comes out, breathing hard, “Boy, I sure am tired from trying on all that clothes.” I can just stand and blink, it sure wasn’t a field-day for me.

Customer type: Micromanagement, Sweaty.