The Customer is NOT Always Right
Misadventures in Retail

Aug
13

Here is one I definitely know my fellow retail workers will relate to.  It’s called closing time.  For some reason customers just don’t get it.  Now for all you shoppers that read this, I know what you all think.  We give the closing announcements and you think “well I’m already here, they won’t kick me out.”

You’re right, we won’t, that’s not good customer service.  But do you stop to think about all the workers that have to stay late because of you?  They have to miss spending time with significant others, miss hanging out with their friends, miss a late night movie date.  All for what?  So you can buy that thing you need to fix that other thing that’s probably been needing to be fixed for weeks and you won’t even do it till the next day anyway?

“But I have to work the next day…”

Well then you should hurry up and go home and go to bed.  Some of us have work or school the next morning, a test to study for, or other such things.  Why are shoppers so selfish?

We had an old man come up to our door the other night after we locked it.  He knocked and the manager opened the door. Before he could say anything the old man berated him.

“Are you going to lock me out or can I come in to buy the goddam thing I need?”

“Well sir we are closed.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

Why the hell not?!  What more of an explanation do you need?  Why does “we’re closed” not mean anything anymore?  If your date says it’s late and she doesn’t want you to come up, do you say “just let me come in for 5 minutes and do what I need to do and then I will leave?”  Do you wait til 5 minutes before closing before entering a restaurant?  Probably not, because you know your food may have a little extra undesirable something in it.  Do you enjoy staying late when your work is over for the day?  These are things to think about.

Now I know this isn’t a message board, but I would really like to hear some feedback on this. Even if you don’t agree.  I know we’ve all been in this position, even if it’s just as shoppers.

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Jul
23

So I’ve had this blog up and have enough people reading it that I decided I owe it to all of you to get…….drumroll………a T-shirt!!!!  And some other pretty cool stuff with our super awesome logo on it.

http://www.cafepress.com/retailruckus

Now I am not asking everyone to buy one, that’s not why I did it. I just wanted to put one out there in case anyone wanted one to show their support and whatnot ^_^

I can only imagine how neat it would be to pass by some unsuspecting reader (or customer) wearing one of them.  Who knows, maybe I’d even come talk to you.  Lol, like I’M some big celeb or something… yeah right ;p

Jul
22

So I was working at self checkout again today.  Most of the day went ok, no stupidity to report (or at least none that I had the pleasure to deal with).  Suddenly it got very quiet at the self check…..a little too quiet.  I walked out to the front area and looked over at the regular register next to my station.  Dear god a line was forming!  I quickly walked up to the last customer in the line.

Now, the following is only a small complaint, but for some reason it really hacked me off today.

Me: Sir, I have no one at self checkout right now if you would like to come over and not wait in this line.

Him: No thanks I’m fine here. *condescending smile*

Me: are you sure?  I will do it for you.  You won’t have to do anything but pay.

Him: *same smile* No I’m fine here.

I walk back to self-check.

This would have been fine if it had ended here.  BUT, once he had finally paid and was on his way out he made it a point to mention to one of the others that we really needed to have more cashiers avaiable because he had to “wait forever in line”.

This kind of frustrated me.  I mean, had I not just tried to help him?  Was I not, at the time, a cashier?  The only difference was that I was running 4 interactive registers instead of just one plain register.  I hate how these people who refuse to use the self check because they think it’s “taking away jobs.”  They have no idea how many new tech people were hired and programmers to program them.  And we don’t have less employees because of it, we just made it possible for three people, who would be stuck at a register, to be on the sales floor assisting customers. But don’t worry, next time we will pull the person off the sales floor in the department you are going to be shopping in so that he/she can be waiting at a register just for you.

…Bet you didn’t think about that, asshat…

Just shows that in general, so many customers just cannot be pleased no matter what we do.

Jul
17

It’s a wonder how many people come through our self checkout (probably true for any retail place with such a machine) and think that IT is the problem when things don’t go smoothly.  Case in point, how many times do I have to explain that the bagging area is actually a scale that weighs the item to make sure you put on it what you scanned. That way you can’t scan a candy bar and put a drill in the bag.

Here is what I deal with:

Computer: Item removed from bagging area.

Customer: (Looking at me like they just don’t understand what happened, they have put their bag in their cart.) Excuse me, can you help me?

Me: (Putting the bag back on the scale as I explain) The machine has a scale on it. You have to put the bag back before it will quit saying that.

(2 seconds pass)

Computer: Item removed from bagging area.

(Customer has taken the bag again.  They see the screen asking the bag to be put back and they do so.  After the screen goes away they pick it back up.)

Computer: Item removed from bagging area.

Customer: Forget it, I’m not dealing with this stupid thing. It’s not working right.

(They leave the items there and storm out).

PLAIN. GENIUS.  Another favorite of mine (please note heavy sarcasm) is when they know there is a scale.  So they take their bags too early, leave them in the cart and then push on the scale with their hand.  What the hell?  Surely they can’t think the machine will be fooled by 40 or so pounds of pressure when the items only weighed about 10, or that if it does work, it will continue to work when they take their hand off.

Next time I should say something like “Sir you have to leave your hand there until you are finished or it’s not going to go any further.  What? You need it to pay?  Well, you should have thought about that first.  Do you have a cell?  Here, let me call one of your friends or a family member to come help you.  Hey, hold still a second, I need a picture of you to put on our wall.”

That or just tell them they messed it up and they have to go to a regular register.

I like the first idea.

Jul
12

So the move is over. I’ve started at my new store. Expect more fun stories soon, once we are all settled and I have more time ^_^

Jun
26

This is just a quick blog to apologize for the lack of stories.  I’m in the final stages of a move so hang in there. I’m not quitting this or anything.  Don’t panic, As soon as the move is over and I have internet in my new place I will be back with more amazing tales from the retail front.

Jun
20

Sorry for the lack of updates the past few days. I am in the process of moving. I had the day off yesterday, but when I got to work I was presented with proof that the stupid people aren’t just there to see me.

Apparently the cashier at returns (ever notice how the majority of the stupid people I write about are returning things?) was having a problem with a customer. The guy was returning something without a receipt and yelling at the cashier because he wouldn’t give him cash back. Our policy states that if you return something without a receipt you get store credit (that way if you steal something and we let you return it, you have to give the money back to us-HA!). The customer was being so loud that the service desk the department head heard it and came to help. She too explained the policy to the customer. At this point the guy stepped behind the returns desk and got in the face of the department head. He was again being very loud with his berating. The assistant store manager (ASM) heard this and came running up to the desk. Two customers began to call the police on their phones as the man began to yell all forms of four letter words at the ASM. The ASM calmly informed the customer that our policy is set up by our corporate office, and that even if we wanted to give him cash, our computer would not allow it.

So the customer shoved the ASM backwards. The ASM said something about him being on video for assault now.

Then the customer swung and punched the ASM in the chest, knocking the wind out of him and ran out of the store.

Evidently the police had responded quickly so the man didn’t get very far.

Seriously…What is the point of that? I mean, sure our policies aren’t the best, but they are put there to protect the business. What good does punching someone over it do? I’m quite sure our corporate execs aren’t going to look at the tapes and say, “Gee, maybe we should let people get cash back without a receipt. Quick, change it before some other poor ASM gets hit with a haymaker!”

Just not happening, sorry.

Hope the jail time is worth your wasted tantrum.

Jun
16

Today’s blog is going to be about something from a past job, due to the fact that I have to work all night and may not have time to blog later.

I used to work graveyards at a 24-hour convenience store. This particular store was a huge money drainer for the surrounding community because of one word…Lottery. We were the highest seller of scratch-off tickets and number drawing tickets in the state according to statistics. We would literally have lines of people of all ages buying the scratch-offs. They would buy some tickets, then go to the back of the line and scratch off their tickets as they made their way back to the front. Some people would spend hundreds of dollars at a time and sit in their car, scratching furiously. We even had a few minor scuffles because people would buy tickets right before someone else who had been buying off of that roll and then hit the big winner.

What I submit here isn’t a stupid customer story, but rather a humorous little thing that I had written one night while it was slow and I was bored.  We kept a store log of anything important to let other employees know about the situation. I wrote a false report (not in the real log) that I thought I would share with you.  (Please note, this didn’t really happen.  I was delirious with boredom when I wrote this.  I’m sure you’ve felt this way at some point at your retail job.)

Dear fellow employees or anyone else who might care,

A lady came into work today after a big lottery rush claiming to have lost her grandmother. She described her to me but unfortunately I had so many customers that I honestly couldn’t remember if I had seen her. She left her name and number and I told her I would call if I saw her. Later in the night, while cleaning, I came upon a huge pile of scratch-off shavings. As I was sweeping it up I found a little old lady buried inside the pile. She matched the description of the missing grandmother perfectly. As she stood up out of the pile she held up a single scratch off exclaiming “I won a free ticket!!!”

Remember friends, please make sure you keep an outlet for yourself.  If not, you just might go insane and unleash literary havoc on your place of employment.

Jun
16

So today’s story will be short, mainly because it’s late and I had to work all day. Sorry, I will try to make it up to my readers tomorrow.

It never amazes me how lazy customers can be at our store. The other day I had a guy come to the returns desk. He was returning some items he had special ordered. Well when you want to return items like that you have to go to our special service desk. I informed this customer of this fact.

“Well I’m not going all the way over there with this cart.” he replied sounding frustrated.

“Well I’m sorry but I can’t process your refund here. Special orders have to be dealt with at the service desk. That includes refunds on them.” I pointed at the service desk while I said this.

“I’m not going ALL THE WAY over there.” he practically yelled. “I’m coming here to return my items, because it is the returns desk.” I have to admit, he had a point. But, I don’t make the rules, and this guy was really acting like a baby.

“I understand you want to return it, and if I could, I would. Unfortunately my computer does not have the capability to process it. So you will have to take it to the service desk.”

“I am not going all the way over there.”

I pointed again, frustrated myself now, “Sir.  It’s only THREE feet over there, and that is the only place you can do it.” (It is really only that far away-ok, maybe like five feet.)

“Fucking god dammit” was his response as he pushed his cart over there. Once again, a very good point. And you all should take that to heart.

Oy.

Jun
14

Today’s blog is going to be split. The customer story just didn’t seem long enough.

We have this customer from time to time who likes to come in and point out things that we don’t have written in plain sight for the general public. He does it like he is a customer that is really needing the info, then he makes us admit our fallacy and leaves.

Today he came in and went to purchase his item at our self-checkout. He chose the Credit/Debit selection and then ran his card. When the pin pad brought up the numbers for him to enter his pin the fun began.

“So where are the instructions for using this as a credit card instead of a debit card?” He asked, as if he really didn’t know.

“Well you have to hit cancel on the pin…” I started to explain but was cut off.

“No, I want to know where the instructions are. Where does it tell me how to run my card as a credit card?”

“I’m trying to explain how,” I replied.

“I don’t want you to explain, I want you to show me where it tells me how to do it.”

“It doesn’t sir.”

“OK” he nodded triumphantly. “Now tell me how to do it.”

Wow, thank you for showing us where we are lacking oh-wise-one. Now take your crap and get out of my sight, you geni-ass.

Now on a smart note for once, I had a customer bring his dog in. The dog obeyed really well. He sat, and when the customer told him to lie down he did that too. We keep dog treats by our self-checkout station to give to all the dogs that come through. I asked this particular customer if I could give his dog a treat.

“Sure,” he replied. “But make him do something for it.”

“Sit,” I said to the excited dog (he had noticed the treat in my hand).

“No, that’s too easy,” the customer replied. “Point your finger at him and say BANG!” I did as he said and the dog fell over on its side and laid there until I gave him the treat.

How come more of our customers can’t be that smart?