Posts Tagged ‘violent’

Inner Beauty, Ugly Folding

October 31, 2010

As I watch people shop, I get an idea or a glimpse of who they are inside. There are some people with perhaps compassion or sympathy, understanding or wisdom, whatever it may be, it affects how they shop in a retail store. Some customers browse throwing everything up into the air, destroying neatly folded piles, acting like clothing grenades. There are other people who carefully lift piles to find their size, and they attempt to put back the clothes the same way they found it–even if they don’t do it perfectly, they do try.

The beautiful folders may have worked in retail, often saying they used to and they totally understand how frustrating it is, and how chaotic it can be, especially with customers. Then there are those people who have no idea. Either they were born with a total disregard for the world of retail. Some people use shopping as an outlet for their irritation and stress. Some people see it as revenge for their time working in retail–now they don’t need to be the one folding. Others see it as the benefit of modern day slavery–these people are here to serve you, even if you buy nothing, so you might as well belittle them and use them to the extent of your money’s worth, you don’t need to give a damn.

This shows the depth of one’s inner beauty, which is often reflected in so many other places and ways. We watch all those television programs with people who try to look beautiful but in the end, you pity them, you hate them, you wish no good to them–they are jokes, because they don’t even know they are. As I walk around the store, and I watch the people throwing clothes around mercilessly, as if they were giants on a battlefield of gnomes, I kind of pity them for their lack of understanding–being able to see outside that one-foot shell that surrounds their ‘reality’. There is no guarantee those kinds of customers will buy more or less. Just as much as there is no guarantee a customer who is kind and nice will buy more. Yet, one customer will be far more enjoyable to work with, because you already know on the inside if they’re beautiful or not. The ugly ones are rarely the nicest people you’ll meet. The ugly ones really show how ugly they can be, once you start to help them.

One time, I left a fitting room with clothes I didn’t want, and the salesperson was amazed, saying, “Wow, you even folded it perfectly!” Yes, because maybe I’m beautiful on the inside. Or maybe I’m not some selfish moron who adds ever so slightly to the chagrin and nastiness, the bitterness and irritation of the world. Every one of us, every moment, has an opportunity or a chance to stop negativity, even in the smallest of ways. Very few of us realize this.

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A Last Straw…

September 8, 2009

Last night, a woman comes up to the register with a pile of clothes and a previous purchase in a crushed, wrinkled bag–obviously a return or exchange. The state of one’s shopping bag says a great deal about the shopper, mind you. Which she let me know, was an exchange because she got wrong sizes. She also pulled out a tiny bottle of what amounts to a sample sized bottle of perfume, saying that she was surprised there was no sprayer–thus she opened it (violently?) and it has spilled all over the place, so she doesn’t want it–handing me vial with 1/4th its contents missing.I could already tell I’d be dealing with a neanderthal.

After I entered all her items, she decides to check if she got all the right sizes. Lo and behold, she got an XL instead of a L. (Who didn’t see that coming the moment she stepped to the register with eight shirts in her hand?) So I went to get the shirt from the children’s section. The piles here are neatly folded except for her meanderings–which equals everything above XL thrown asunder, and if you know clothing, XL is on the bottom of each pile, so everywhere I could see explosions of turned over piles. There at the top of one of her disasters was the Large-size she missed.

We have a promotion in which we must manually spread discounts between two items (50% and 50%), which she allowed me to complete before saying, “Wait, I want to see what I actually need.” Lo and behold, yet again, she chooses each item that was part of a ‘two item’ combination, thus leaving the single items with a full discount amounting to 100% off.

This left me with the task of starting the transaction over once again. Which is when I find out another coworker gave her an accidental discount far beyond 50%, closer to 75%-off for each item–which the customer reminded me, I needed to honor. I note, she did not remind me politely. Thus I had to price override every single item, and reapply the discount to 75%-off. Along with the scent she returned, and a hat and slippers she added to the transaction, she had a balance of about $15

She was incredulous with paying $15 (after getting 75%-off everything else). Thus she requested I recheck everything to make sure that it was done correctly, to the point¬† she didn’t believe the cash register. I mean seriously, who trusts the calculations of a computer, right? Seriously? So I needed to use a calculator to verify the transaction.

(Amusingly, she returned 4 shirts, and bought 4 shirts thus canceling out each other to $0.¬† She was also dealing with $23 from buying the hat and slippers which is more than the $8 for the returned scent which she exploded elsewhere. What is $23 minus $8? Is it $15? Congratulations if you know this, it’s math they usually teach you in first-grade. The fact she could not do the math on her own, did not trust the computer, and required me to calculate it, made me stop and breathe for ten seconds, because I was so furious I couldn’t even press calculator buttons correctly at this point.)

When my hands shake, that’s a very frustrating time.

After finishing the transaction, I was reminded by a manager this is something we always deal with. Which brings the good point that maybe I shouldn’t work in retail anymore, because the fact of demoralization as a part of work and life is not satisfactory nor does it make any actual sense. I don’t recall the job saying, “You shall be insulted, demoralized, and your self-esteem shaken by working in retail.” In a sense, it was like saying my friends were right five years ago when I retired from the world, retail is not a place for me, and I have too much self-respect and dignity to stand there and be spoken to unintelligably.
Confucius would say, you control the words you speak, you do not control what these words mean.

Customer Terms: Micromanagement