Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sometimes you see a darker side to humanity. The retail perspective.

In the course of my job periodically, I have to deal with the public.  For those of you who work in retail you will understand when I say that you meet the best and worst of humanity.  The best customers will make you want to move heaven and earth to help them achieve their goals.  Then there are the other customers that you wish would disappear.  In the last 15 years of dealing with the general public I've had the following occur. 

I've been at Denny's at 3:00 am after a night at the clubs when a customer came up to me wanting to discuss her ceiling fan order.  I sobered up enough to tell her we could discuss this on Monday morning.

Had several cranky old men come up to me and ask to speak to a man.  This is when I worked at a lumber yard/hardware store.  This was my cue to go locate Buddy, not the sharpest crayon in the box.  They just said a man, they never specified intelligence.  I would then assist Buddy with whatever needed to be accomplished.

Upon arrival at work there would often be customers who would meet me at my car before I even had a chance to get out and start questioning me about their orders.  I'm a bit of a crank and need a little time to myself before I can start dealing with others.

I had one customer who informed me that he was the owner's wife's Dr. and he expected special treatment.  Truth was that at one time he did take care of her but that she hadn't seen him in several years because she couldn't stand him. 

Along the same lines are the ladies who would expect preferential treatment based on their marriages, ie. "Don't you know who my husband is?"  Usually those were Dr's wives.  Apparently entitlement were included in the marriage vows.  Small towns are so much fun.

One time I greeted a couple of people with a cheerful "Hi there!  What are you guys doing here?"  The response was a snide "Paying your salary."  Since they were using another salesperson I informed them that unfortunately that wasn't exactly true.  That was a family member who made that remark and I pretty much stopped speaking to them.

This weekend I had a couple of people who arrived 20 minutes to closing and informed me that I was "going to have to work."  After looking around for 30 minutes they decided to purchase a clearance fixture.  The wife had told me she was a designer and wanted a discount on the already marked way down fixture.  The husband went to pay, when the total was stated he balked and said it was supposed to be another price.  When informed the difference was the tax he grumbled that he didn't want to pay the tax.  Finally he paid then told us that he and his wife received $60,000 back on taxes this year.  I felt that it was in bad taste to say something like that.  Am I wrong?  

I think the part that upset me the most is that they knew we were closed and decided to just wander around even after they had purchased the product.  He especially found it funny that he was holding us up.  The thing is that I will give my all during the work hours.  But after work I have things to do and places to be and people who rely on me.  I don't understand why people feel the need to treat others without respect.  He didn't just keep me from leaving others were affected, the receptionist/cashier, the manager who had to close up the store, someone in the warehouse who might be needed to pack up the fixture.   

Now for the record there are some fantastic customers who everytime I see or think about them I smile.  Most of the clients I work with are really neat people.

Well I've talked way too much tonight, I'll stop babbling.
Talk to you later.

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