Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have some class.

I'm a manager at a store where you shop. No, really. I saw you there last week.

How did you treat me? Let me explain something. The way you treat that girl who rings you up, or that waiter who brings your food--that says a lot about you as a person. I don't lose my humanity just because I'm on the other side of the counter, but you people apparently think I do. I have been cussed out, screamed at, threatened, and called stupid or incompetent. I've had people roll their eyes, tell me that my job is low-class. I've heard, "I have a real job. All you do is fold sweaters."

(As an aside, why do people think that I'm stupid because I work in retail? I make really, really good money. I generally like the people I work with, and my job is tough and requires quite a bit of brainpower. I manage sixty plus people. I hold immense amounts of information and am expected to access it at any given time. I know the policies, the computer programs, and information about over a million pieces of product that are sitting in my store at any given time.)

So let's just get a little something straight: If you're treating me and my associates like crap, you are the stupid one. 9.85 times out of 10, you are the one in the wrong. You don't have your receipt. You didn't read the sign. You didn't read the return policy that is printed on every receipt and every single register--that is the absolute number one reason I get screamed at. Our return policy is not complex. It is not any different from most of the stores out there. (Though you seem to think it is, but trust me, it isn't. I've been in retail for a long time, and I am a pro shopper.) You think you're special and the rules don't apply to you. You're wrong. You mean nothing to me, and the more you scream, the more you fight, the more you tell me how ridiculous and stupid I am, the less I care about retaining you as a customer. To tell you the truth, I never cared that much in the first place. We are a massive chain store. We are not Ann Taylor. We don't care about having that special relationship with you. You're nice to us, we're nice to you. Thank you for shopping here and have a nice day. You scream that you're never fucking going to shop here again unless we do what you want us to? Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. There are millions of other people who can act civilly who will buy the merchandise you just left behind.

Who raised you, that you will pick merchandise up, examine it, and then throw it on the floor? Barn animals? I hate to think of how your children act at their playmate's houses. People love to say to me, "That's your job." Well, first of all, it's also your job to act like a human being and not some kind of beast. It's your job to consider how hard the people here work and have some fucking respect for them. But second of all, no, that's not my job. My job is not to follow every person in this store around and pick up the things that they have strewn about. It's not my job to refold every sweater you touched because you apparently don't know a)what size you wear and b)how to take a sweater off of a table without messing up every single item on that table. It is not my job to remove every item you dumped on a table because you are too lazy to walk ten feet and put it where it belongs. It is part of my job to do necessary cleanup in order to make this store look nice. It is part of my job to help you have a pleasant experience, but I can't do that because you have made a pigsty out of my store. You've taken a pair of shoes out of the box to try them on, and then left both the shoes and the box in the middle of the floor for me to trip over. You've let your whining, screaming children run rampant, pulling clothing off of the hanger, throwing basketballs and stuffed animals through the aisles. (Oh, and when I say, with a bright smile, "Please don't throw things in the store, guys!" you freak out on me and tell me not to tell your kids what to do. THEN CONTROL THEM.)

Then you get to the counter. You are first angry because we didn't open up a whole new register line just for you, so that you wouldn't have to wait five whole minutes. Poor you. Please do not ever tell me you are in a hurry. Please do not expect me to feel sorry for you. This is not a grocery store. You did not have to come in here today for milk or eggs. Your need for a tee shirt or a pair of flip flops is not an emergency and if you don't have time then you should not have come in here. You are angry again in a few minutes because you do not understand the concept of waiting in line. A second register opens up because five people have gotten in line, and none of you understand what "I'll take the next customer in line," means. It means the customer standing directly behind the one who is being rung up. Not the customer who runs the fastest. Also? I am not a referee. I am not going to mediate a dispute about who was next, so do not come up to me and get in my face that I should've taken you first. That is most definitely not my job.

We then come to the variations on the same theme: I do not understand what a coupon means, I do not understand the return policy, I do not understand that when a sign says "Tee shirts, 2 for $10" it does not mean that the pants on the same rack are also 2 for $10, and no, that is not false advertising or bait and switch. That is you and your inability to read.

If you do not have your receipt, I will not be giving you any form of money back, nor will I be giving you any merchandise. You will receive a merchandise certificate in the mail. Period. No questions. I will not override anything--as a matter of fact, I cannot. The computer programs that we have do not have override codes. period. Do not tell me you worked in customer service and you know that I can. (If you worked in customer service, you should know how mean people are, and stop being such a prick.) I. can. not. You make speak to customer service, certainly. Here is the number, my name is Jackie, here is the store number, and my position title. Customer service will be happy to explain the return policy to you the same way that I just did. Customer service will tell you that they stand behind me. And when you're on your way out the door, I will tell you to have a nice day. And you will tell me to fuck off, because you were raised by white trash, and now you think your credit cards stand for having real money. But people with real money generally have some class, and you? Have none.

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