“Thanks for listening to me…”

Friends, it’s Christmas.  It’s been Christmas in retail since October 1, but we’re in the thick of it, and a couple weeks ago marked the point where Christmas spirit shows itself to be a whole load of crap.  I don’t know anyone that’s been killed or even spit on yet, but we may as well have been.

You see, there’s a wide spread condition in the retail world called Subhumanitis.  It’s inflamation of the subhuman gland.  It’s bad enough we bring it on ourselves (let’s face it, I don’t work in retail because I have a passion for consumerism, and neither do any of my fellow peons, we do it because we don’t feel like there’s anything else), but we really don’t need to be reminded of our condition on a daily basis.

Take the customer who, for whatever reason, decides to yell at a clerk for something entirely out of their control.  It’s a lovely way to remind them they don’t matter.  For starters, they’d love to be able to help (most of them), but they can’t.  The product just doesn’t exist, they aren’t in control of ordering, they don’t have the power to make that decision, etc.  Secondly, the customer is getting angry in their general direction for what, at the end of the day, will end up being entirely insignificant.  But to them, it’s another piece of straw on their back.  It will end up being significant the more it happens.  Ending with “Thanks for listening to me..” doesn’t help them.  They aren’t getting paid enough to be yelled at.  I’m considered “well paid” and *I* don’t get paid enough to get yelled at.  Vent to your friends; or better, complain to someone who can actually do something about it.

Also, dumping unwanted product in the middle of the floor isn’t job security.  We don’t get paid to clean up, as it turns out.  We’re customer service.  Every time we have to pick up dumped shit (sometimes, sadly, literally) is another customer we can’t help.  Customers who don’t get helped don’t spend money.  No money means no jobs.  We also don’t get paid to babysit.  Babysitters, apparently, get paid more.  We’re not therapists, we’re not experts, and we don’t know what other stores carry.  I’m sorry, I just don’t know how to tie a toga and I don’t know where you can get neoprene.  That’s what the internet is for.

Don’t get me wrong… I have some great customers.  Sadly, though, they are few and far between.  And this is the time of year when all the fangs and claws and venom come out.  It starts with halloween and just keeps rolling on through the new year.  Thank god I get a vacation soon.  Jan 1 can’t come soon enough!


5 thoughts on ““Thanks for listening to me…”

  1. I found two bolts of decorator product yesterday in the kids product area! Just casually propped up there like they belonged in the section. So I brought them back to the counter. I also try to take the unfolded product out of the remnant bin and bring them back up to the cutting counter – otherwise more and more of them get ripped.

    I try to put my stuff away, or at the very least, give you guys less stuff to put away. And I don’t know why people would yell at anyone about this. So rarely does is cotton a life or death situation.

    Also? For the record? If you have taken a number, wait your turn. If you wander off and they skip your number? Get a new number.


  2. DK says:

    Heh, the day after I wrote this, we almost had a woman get in a fist fight with one of my employees. Another woman had called earlier to see if she could get advice about putting in grommets, and someone told her to come in. So while my employee was helping her, the bitchy lady started yelling at my employees for giving private sewing lessons, and how dare this employee take so much time when there are people in line. She was even grilling another employee about how long this had been going on, what her name was, etc..

    The customer getting helped finally just snapped back: “I took a number like the rest of you; I can take all the time I need.”

    At any rate… you’re good people. Can I clone you?


  3. I only get to be cloned if I get one first to clean my house.

    I almost saw someone break out a can of whoop-ass on a customer the other day who missed her number and wanted to cut in. I would have cheered her too.


    • DK says:

      It is current store policy to allow them to cut in–sad but true. That’s why there’s a bunch of signs telling people to take a number and keep shopping. Unfortunately, the people who make these new rules for us to follow don’t actually have to deal with the customers.


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