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!