Recent events at work have prompted me to question how far a sales clerk must go to avoid giving poor customer service? Is a customer entitled to hours of a clerk’s time? Should the clerk (who is probably not making much more than minimum wage) be forced to become a customer’s personal shopper? How about their interior decorator?
Should the customer be entitled to know when the clerk is working again in case she (*ahem* or he… this is purely hypothetical, after all… sure…) has any more questions or needs any more help? If so, is it okay for the clerk to… fudge… a little on the hours she (or he….) is working just so she can be guaranteed some alone time?
At any point is it acceptable to say, “I’m sorry, but my schedule just doesn’t allow me to devote so much time to one customer”? Should the clerk just suck it up and help the customer the best she can? Other customers and obligations be damned? Even if this customer is maybe spending $50 after taking up hours of my her time?
Would this customer’s behavior be more acceptable if it weren’t the Christmas season? What if it weren’t during the time of year when the store takes in twice as much freight as “normal” and is having to work twice as hard to even pretend to find room for it? Would it be more acceptable if the one clerk that has been singled out is the only one who is truly responsible for making sure the stock gets out on the floor? Even when there are dozens of other clerks to choose from?
I guess I don’t really have the answers, or I wouldn’t even be asking the questions. I know what I want the answers to be, but I have a feeling the “right” answers are opposite that. Maybe the clerk needs to set up a sort of blind date system where she, regretably, receives a very important call partway into the interaction.
Retail employees should be given tips. At least in situations like these. Mandatory 20% gratuity. If I’m she’s going to get in trouble because the work isn’t getting done, she might as well get and extra $10 out of it. A thank you should be enough, but frankly, it isn’t. And being told God put me into her life isn’t enough either.