Ranting About Customers (Again)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ok, I should preface this by saying I want you to understand that I was already a little irritable when these customers approached me. Even if I was in a great mood though, these customers may very well have made me irate anyway!

The first was a pair of college aged sorority girls on a shopping mission for their mom. They have a page full of a shopping list and bring their cart up to me and say "We need all these things, can you help us out?" Next thing I know I find myself leading these girls through the entire store hand picking out all of their selections. Now, maybe it's just me, but I would like to think that a couple of college aged girls would be able to browse the aisles for what they need. After all, every aisle is marked with the basic contents that reside on their shelves. And paper? Well if you look at the wall, there is a 15ft x 30 ft sign that says "Paper".

Let this be a lesson for all of you. I am not here to do your shopping for you. I am here to assist you and answer any questions for you. Do your own darn shopping people!

I am sick and tired of people asking me "Do you work here?" Do people really think I'm wearing this get up because I think I look cool? Or because I'm comfortable? Please! Yesterday this lady was looking right at my name tag and then she asked me that question. Do people usually walk around a store carrying a box, cutting it open with a knife, and placing the stock on the shelf? If they do they must be really nice people. I wish those people would make it to my store! But in any event people, please use common sense. If you see a group of people throughout the store wearing identical clothing, an they have name tags on, or they are putting stock on a shelf, then they probably work there. You have no idea how discouraging that can be for an employee. Maybe I should go to your office, walk up to your desk and ask you the same thing.

I realize that the office retail world is different than the office world, and I'm ok with that. But don't you dare start thinking that just because you work at an office, or have a secretary, or have a platinum card with a $100,000 limit, or have a fancy car, that makes you better than me. While I may be ranting and raving right now, truth is I treat all of my customers with respect and I truly enjoy working with people, helping them find what they need, or attempting to work out alternative solutions. If I am out of an item, believe me, I do feel bad but I will do everything in my power to find what you need, whether it is form another store or online. So please, do not complain to me that we had the item the other day, last year, or years ago. Please don't tell me that we aren't doing our job because we are out of an item. Please, do not ask me "Are you sure?" or "Do you have any in the back?" Those questions leave the retail worker feeling a little discouraged and, for some (not me), they will start to feel less inclined to help you out because you are belittling their pride. These people work in the store and know where everything should be. I can't speak for all of my co-workers, but if I tell you we don't have any more of something, I urge you to take my word for it. After all, I have performed the duties of an inventory analyst and in the position I learn where everything would be and know how the inventory system works better than anybody in the store. I'm not bragging, it's just the truth. No means no.

And finally, for today, do not tip me. I know that sounds weird because you would think I love earning extra money on the side. Truth is, I am not allowed to accept tips. If you try to give me a tip I will tell you that it is ok and I appreciate it but will not accept it. I am getting paid to help you put furniture in your car. Some associates will take them, but I find it unethical. I'm not driving you anywhere and I'm not serving you food and drinks. If I am providing you exceptional service, then please send a comment to my bosses or the regional office. Believe me, that helps me out a lot more than $2. So if you are the kind of person who feels obligated to tip the people helping you load your car, instead of reaching for your wallet to give them a couple bucks, make a mental note of their name (or names), go home, and drop the corporate office a line thanking them for the job well done and mention their name and location. This feedback gets back to the store, and a lot of times leads to awards such as employee of the month, which usually ends up as a $20 gift card. Now, your tip of a couple bucks could have transformed to a $20 reward.

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