Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hell is other people, more specificly "customers"

I've been meaning to write a post about working in retail for a long time. I'm not sure why I haven't actually sat down and written one before now, maybe because it felt too much like bitching and moaning; whatever, I guess it is what it is.

Although I have some pretty snazzy looking fancy papers hanging on my walls, with my name calligraphed on them and fancy shiny gold seals in the corner, for the past year I've been working a retail job. Let's just say that having a fancy piece of paper doesn't get you a job in your particular chosen field by default and working in retail is much preferable to living in a damp alley behind the local pub in a mouldering cardboard box.

So, in the fall of 2008, when my EI was running out, I desperately sought a new source of income for myself so that we didn't have to sell the children off to gypsies. It wasn't the selling them off that concerned me, it was more what I would do when the gypsies came back wanting their money back when they discovered that they'd been swindled.

So, I set about to urgently find myself a new job. Luckily for me, there were jobs to be found and I rather quickly found myself the newest employee of a decently high end shoe store.

This was rather a shock to my system, having never worked in retail ever before; I'm not afraid of hard work, but all that running back and forth and climbing up ladders will just about kill you if your first exposure to the retail field is Christmas shoppers, I assure you.

I've since had a lot of time to get used to this job, having been there for over a year now; but I am still completely flabbergasted by the way that some customers behave in our store. The following are some good tips for shoppers in general that I'd like to share:

1) If you are a customer in a store, trust me, you are *not* always right. Do not attempt to tell the person who is helping you that you think that you, as the customer, are always right. I've overheard an amazing number of people tell MY BOSS this fact right before they ask to speak to her manager. It's really hard to keep a straight face when this happens, as my boss is likely to politely tell you to GTFO.

2) Do not ask me if these are "all the shoes you have" while waving a display shoe at me. The last time I checked, we do *not* merely sell only left size six shoes. Trust me, I have more in the back; some of them are even 'rights'.

3) Likewise, don't ask me if I have more colours in the mystical back of the store. Do you think that I'd keep the pink sparkly ones in the back if I have a particular shoe out in black, brown, red, purple, green, blue, chartreuse, and maroon? People have too poorly developed psychic powers to be able to request colours of shoes that we hide in the back, so we determined that this method didn't work well. We now keep them all out front on display. At least the left ones..

4) Don't tell me that no one told you that your shoes were a final sale if *I* sold you the shoes at closing the night before and I know that I told you ten times that they were a final sale. YOU are calling me a liar, and I really really don't like it.

5) Don't bother looking all shocked and hurt if I tell you that the shoes that you brought back in are for exchange or store credit only. Hell, some stores won't even take back shoes that were bought on sale at all, be thankful that we will give you a credit that never expires. Being a bitch to me is not going to make me change my mind, trust me.

6) In general, don't be a bitch to people who're helping you out in a store. If you treat me like crap and YOU need ME to get things for you from the back room... you can be sure that I'm going to not give you the service that you so obviously think that is your right. Trust me, it isn't. In fact, if you're a big enough bitch, I'll go stand in the back room for a few minutes and then come out and tell you that I don't have your size, even if I do. You know why? Because some people aren't worth having as customers. And do you know who told me to do that? The owner of the store.

All in all, it comes down to the fact that if you're going shopping... even if you're spending gobs of money on Italian shoes.. be considerate to the person who's helping you and think a little bit before you ask questions. A little bit of critical thinking goes a long long way.

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