Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rambling of a Working Guy: Working with People (2)

No matter what field of work you are in, be it in the office building, a stall at the local mall, Best Buy or Walmart, even a game room with hordes of children or street corner doing… whatever it is you do, there is always that one thing that pisses us all off. The customer, source of all evil (and income) for our way of life. From pure idiotic actions and sayings you wonder how they continue to reproduce. Ramblings of a Working Guy talks about the various "joyful" events these idiots give us.

During this festive time of year, we are suppose to inspire and spread cheer, good will, and peace to all. What actually happens is declaring all out war with anyone. Sad really. I mean just look around you, you have malls crowded with hoards of rampaging gits ready to spill blood for some stupid toy, you have people (really really) pounding down doors to get into stores, you have this silly "The war on Christmas". Not to mention the people who just enjoy complaining and causing drama. So in the spirit of this "festive" time, I thought I go about listing the common complaints we retail workers have to deal with every single year.  

When it’s time to close, it’s time to close.
Waltzing into a location, and expecting full service for as long as a person demands minutes before closing, is not only a dick move, but will only ultimately succeed in annoying us to no end. When a establishment has a closing time (let's say 11pm), then that is when all things are said and done. That time is not negotiable, nor does it not apply to people with "I'm a special snow flake" attitude. Regrettably, this is most prevalent the eve of any major holiday and suffered by the poor employee's of Walmart and Kmart. So honestly, does one really need to try every appliance? Does one really need to see a sample of every pattern? Does one really need to ask them to “look in the back” for this one style seconds before closing? Does one really need to try on fifty million outfits only to put all but MAYBE one back? Does one really need to do all of these things minutes before closing time?  Believe it or not, we retail workers are people. We have lives, we have families, and we have things to prepare for. Customers are not the center of the universe, and they are not always right.

When a ad says limited quantity, don't expect one to be waiting just for you.
Stores only have so much of any given item. After all stock rooms are only so big, you can't keep a billion of each item in stock. When said inventory runs out there is little, if anything, they can do to replenish it that day. These things take time, and it really isn't anyone's fault. However when such a thing happens, there is always at least one person who will complain about not getting "their" item. They will scream and rant about how they came from across the globe for that one item, and now they can't get it. Furthermore these people will demand to see a manager about compensation for such a event. "Well since this happened, don't I get offered something for free?" Considering such a event could have been avoided if they called ahead, no nothing will be/should given.

Watch. Your. Own. Damn. Kids!
Working in an arcade you come to expect a certain degree of crazyness. It’s all good, because it’s just kids being kids. I would much rather them be happy and enjoy their childhood than growing up to be emotional stunned cons. Letting children who can barely walk, run around rampant and UNATTENDED is generally a poor thing to do as a parent. Actually letting any child run around reenacting Godzilla unattended is a bad thing.  As any retail person will relate, we are trained to assist the customer in finding items, directing them around the store, performing sales and the like. In amount of training I have received from various locations, never once where we taught the lessons of babysitting, nor how to train children how to act in public. In short, we are not babysitters! That is the job of the parent and it reflects on them.Yes, we are well aware it can be a total PITA watching kids and juggling bags galor. We are really willing to cut some slack, as long as said person is not a total douche about it. Leaving bags on top of counters (where we help customers), leaving strollers in front of everyone’s way, blabbing on the phone while the kids reenact WW2 are things we shouldn’t have to tolerate. It's your damn child, if you didn't want to watch or take responsibility for it, you should have kept your legs closed.

Sometimes it’s just a friendly greeting.
The majority of us are by the hour employees, me included. We do not get bonuses nor do we get commission.  Hell we are lucky if we get a monetary Christmas bonus most of the time! The only encouragement we have to interact with customers is to make sure they keep coming back so we can keep getting a pay check.  Also, as said before, we are people just like you. We are local people of the working middle class. Just like you. As such, we have a tendency to at least say hi to people, even total strangers. So when a customer enters our store, when they are shopping about, or even doing this or that, when a employee greets you, we really are just being friendly.

Honestly, there is no secret conspiracy going on to empty a wallet and sign away any life savings. We don’t get marked on how many people we greet, nor do we get a gold star or something stupid like that. Shooting back with “Leave me alone I’m just looking” or anything of like shatters the mood, and kills any further politeness in your direction. That one stupid item that someone needs? Sorry we are busy with other customers who arn't dicks, and no we aren't going to rush them either. That special coupon that gets x off the total bill that only the cashiers know about? Kiss that goodbye! (It's amazingly awesome when you get something like this, I actually got 50% off my bill because I was super nice with the staff) Any type of further service needed is going to be crap… because that's how the employees where treated.

If you need help, just ask.
Once a week, or every other week, we have the wonderful day of payday! Granted that experience only lasts a few moments once we realize all the money is going to bills. We get these paychecks because of our job, and part of our job is to assist the customer. So if you honestly need help with something, be if finding an item, looking for a certain pattern, or just have general questions, ASK! Standing in the middle of the isle signing as high as you can while complaining just makes you look like a booming idiot. Also please keep in mind, that depending on the size of the store, a worker can not always be right next to you every second you’re there. Sometimes you will have to wait a moment or two for help. Sometimes you will actually have to put some effort and walk to the customer service desk or heaven forbid look in another isle.

Know your limits.
Watching just one kid can be a handful. Every little light and sound can be a potentially disastrous distraction. Add bags, strollers and even more kids, it can be murder. So it’s always important before going out, to know exactly what the limits are, and what is over the limit. Hell this can be applied to just about anything, yes? If it is found that one is unable to watch and properly care for x amount of children, it's not shameful to admit such. It's knowing what the limits are and avoiding a very bad situation. If one is unable to handle what they have either get a baby sitter or , as harsh as it may sound, don’t go out. Honestly it is not our responsibility to watch the children, nor should it be our problem. THEY ARE YOUR CHILDREN!!!! Sometimes one must just admit it can't be done, and stay home. "But I have to do this, I have no one to watch my kids" While understandable and something that does happen, people like this must also remember they are THEIR kids, not ours. Do not force your "problems" onto other people. Also, never EVER use a disabled child as an excuse to be a prick. These kids are part of the nicest people in the world, and know only perfect love and trust."Well my kid is retarded so you have to do what I say" (Yes I got this once), is inexcusable, and incredibly egotistical. They no longer care about the child, they are only using the child for their own selfish ends.

Cell phone or Customer Service. Not both.
Waiting in line, especially if it is a long one, can really be a pain sometimes. We still have X amount of things on our list to do, and have fifty million more places to go. Every minute waiting in line is another minute we have to tack on to an already short day. Honestly there is never enough hours in a day! While waiting in line, one might be convinced to check their email, do some texting, or even browse Facebook. While playing on the cell phone is ok, make sure it's put back down. One of our top annoyncess when trying to assist a customers, is when said customer is chatting away on their phone. We shouldn’t have to talk over the customer AND the person on the phone. Not only that, but while they are screwing around talking or texting, any number of things can happen that would only lengthen their time in line. Just like in the movies, put the cell phone down and pay attention.

What ever you may think, being rude doesn’t get you jack.
Screaming, yelling, dehumanizing and belittling are things one would never want inflected upon themselves. As retail employees are still people (despite the uniform), doing such actions to them will net nothing in return. Honestly, how anyone ever thought being a douche to customer service was a good thing, is beyond me. It's much like what I said above. When anyone does this, when they flaunt a “I’m better than you” attitude, it not only pisses everyone off, but only winds up screwing the person instead. Any help needed with be sub-par, any special discounts are now gone, and my fellow employees will most certainly NOT go out of their way to help people like this. 

Now, how about we end this little thing with a few personal experiences eh?

Apparently manners are now racist. Who knew?
Me: Here you go (ending the sale)!
Customer: *takes the item and goes to leave*
Me: You're welcome and have a great day now!
Customer: EXCUSE ME!
Me: .... uhhh have a nice day?
Customer: I don't remember saying thank you!
Me: Ok?
Customer: How dare you, trying to put me down just because I'm black!
Me: .....
Customer: Yea that's what I thought, damn white people.
Me: So because I said your welcome and have a great day, I'm racist?
Customer: DAMN RIGHT! I am never coming here again! *leaves mumbling how evil we are*
Co-worker: Wtf just happened?
Me: I have no idea..

At some point in your life, I can guess you've been to an arcade. You play some games, get some tickets then get a toy you will probably break five minutes after getting it. When a customer comes up with their tickets, we generally show the customer where they can pick from. At some point this practice became offensive to a customer;

Me: You have (x amount) today, so you can pick from -
Customer: We arn't blind we can see the prices for things.
Me: Ok then, please take your time looking around, and let me know when you are ready.
Customer:  *after about five minutes* This is stupid.
Me: Something I can help you with?
Customer: How much is that thing with the 200 on it?
Me: 200 would be the price for it.
Customer: Well how was I suppose to know that?
Me:  Because as you already told me, you can see the prices on things.
Customer: .... 

Even better is when people try to threaten me, because I am a small guy.

Me: How much do you have today? Ok you have 200 (think it was around that much) points, you can pick anything from our first showcase, as well as the first shelf from the second showcase.
Customer: We're not f***ing worthless idiots like  you, we can see the where pick from.
Me: .... all right then. Please take your time and let me know when you are ready.
Customer: We are ready now, that's why we are here.
Me: All right, what can I get for you?
Customer: We don't know yet, can you give us a f***ing second? 
Me: ... take as long as you like.
*I go to help other customers*
Customer: You know that was really f***ing rude. 
Me: What was?
Customer: Helping these other aholes while we where here. 
Me: Sir, please watch your language, we do have kids here.
Customer: I don't give a f*** about them. I'm a grown f***ing man, pencil dick!
Me: And as such, you should be man and fatherly enough to want to see a good example for your child.
Customer: You're lucky I don't fucking kill you for that comment.
Me: And we are done here sir. You may either leave willingly or by the police that are on their way.
Customer: I don't give a f*** about them, I'll f***ing shoot them too!
Me: Sir, I'm not sure if that is the best thing to say in front of your kids.
Customer: BRING IT!
*At this point I'm just trying to clam him down until the police arrive. When they do, the guy does a 180*
Me: It's this guy right here.
Customer: Pardon? What did I do? I'm just here with my kid trying to get some prizes right kido?
Customer's kid: Daddy, why did you say you would shoot him (aka me) and the police?

And with that, happy holidays all. 

1 comment:

  1. LMAO! Wow I loved this! Everything you said was very true. I've dealt with costumers like that all the time at the arcade I work at.

    Surprisenly (but understandable) since mine is at a mall that the mall has their own rules that all stores must also follow including their own. One being that the mall does not allow picture to be taken. A lot of people who go shopping get really upset when their looking at an item and someone takes a random picture of their friends acting goofy and now their also in the picture as well. I've actually seen people approach the person with the camera and asked them to remove the picture because they don't want to be part of it. So eventually a lot of people complained about it to the malls costumer service and now everyone in their own stores and security are told to tell people not to take pictures in the mall. Theirs a reason I'm bringing this up...

    Me: Excuse me sir. We do not allow anyone to take pictures in our store or in the mall.
    Costumer: What the fuck!? WHY?!
    Me: Its the whole mall rules that applies to every store. A lot of people don't enjoy being part of someone else pictures.
    My Manager runs and jumps in: YO BUDDY! That wasn't necessary! She only told you the rules that apply to here! She wasn't even mean about it so don't act like that towards her!
    Manager: Yeah you are! How many tokens do you have and I'll give you back the same amount its worth. Than your out of here with your kid.
    Costumer: ITS $10 WORTH!
    Manager gets his tokens and its only $3. So he gave him his $3.
    Manager: Your kid is done now get out.
    Manager: Hey smart*ss... His game says Game Over so now get out.

    Some people are very immature. Especially when parents look bad in front of their kids. My manager and I agree that some costumers actually come into a store looking for a fight. In this case from the experience I wrote that this guy was indeed looking for a fight. Its only more humorous because my manager is EXTREMELY tall and looks like he could of thrown that costumer out from where he stood to the store across the way. So its like seeing a little guy vs a giant.

    Anyways thanks for sharing and loved reading it :)