So, I Gotta Talk About Work

Published April 2, 2013 by Laitie

Because work ticks me off. When I’m not dealing with my bosses pressuring and pressuring me to get people to use their club memberships, I’m dealing with miserable, angry, RUDE customers. And I really need to vent right now.

Here’s some background knowledge. 1)We try to get people to open two store cards. Every card I open, I get two bucks for. So I really wanna open cards, and I’m going to ask you. And I’m going to be pushy. Because I work for minimum wage and I need to get out of my parents’ home and away from the luxurious $100/month deal.

2) We are excessively pressured to get people to use their club memberships. To do this, we push and push and push to get your phone number (or e-mail) during the point-of-sale. If that phone number doesn’t work, we’ll try an older one. We’ll try e-mail. We’ll love you forever if you just have your physical(omg sp?) club card on you. And if you don’t have a club membership, we’re going to push for you to get one because we have to keep the percentages of membership usage per sale up on the registers.

This is what I deal with.

Let’s start with the least vexing going to the most.

1) This morning, I had a customer come up to me with some replacement razors, I believe. I can’t really remember these small things. So, I started my credit card pitch: “May I put this on your (my store) card?” He told me how my store had harassed him before, calling him and some such. I “sympathized” with him and immediately decided not to continue my pitch. But we still had the club to do. So I asked him for his phone number and he said “no.” I told him “they aren’t going to call you or anything it’s just a free program where–” He interrupts me and threatens to buy these items somewhere else if I keep offering him things. So I just smile and finish the transaction and wish him a nice day.

But what am I thinking while I do this? Besides some obscenities, I’m thinking, “Wow, really? I apologize for doing my job. And thank you for ruining my register first thing in the morning.” I was tempted to tell him to go ahead and buy the razors somewhere else, because I don’t care one way or the other. It’s not -my- store, it’s not -my- concern how many customers we have. We have million more that are much more polite than him.

So that was my very first customer this morning.

2) My third customer managed to irritate me again. I did my pitch. She said, “We’ve had so many problems your card.” I’m all “OK,” and am ready to stop pitching it. Then she’s like, “And now you’re offering it to me again? I don’t think so.”

Uhm, excuse me. You’re not some special little snowflake. I had no way of knowing that you had troubles with the store’s card before you said anything about it. I will offer it to -everyone.- Every. Single. Person. No exceptions. Because that’s my income. That’s my rent.

3) This next one didn’t so much happen to me as it did to a manager. But I was there, and she still irritated me. Our store has a 90-day return policy. 90 day guarantee. After that, it’s your problem, because we can’t guarantee anything forever. I cannot stress this enough: it’s 90 days. Period.

So this chick comes in and has some overalls with a broken zipper. She always gets them from this store, so she has no troubles with ordering them online at the store. Now, she orders them online, and I overhear her talking with my co-worker at the register. I realize my co-worker is handling the situation incorrectly. My co-worker thinks the overalls have been all exchanged and taken care of at the computer where she ordered them online. The customer, obviously, has no idea. So I step in and explain that we need to refund her the broken overalls and have her pay for the online order. Otherwise, they will never be sent to her house. My co-worker and the customer (and I, a little bit) are now thoroughly confused. So I tell my co-worker to wait on the customers in line while I take care of this.

I’m a little vague on what happened at this point, so I’m gonna skip to the point where the manager was called and I’m going to mention that the customer did not tell me when she bought the overalls so I assume (which I should stop doing) that they were within the 90 days.

The manager comes up and the customer says, “I bought these last year and the zipper broke.” Well, my mouth almost dropped. Last year? OMG! I mean, c’mon. LAST YEAR?

So, my manager explains the 90-day return policy. The customer is not happy. She’s all, “You’re not gonna stand behind it?” And my manager is trying to explain that she simply can’t. Finally, after a few more “you’re not gonna stand behind it?”s, she decides to never shop here again. Because we don’t stand behind our merchandise.

People, the policy is 90 days. There is -nothing- we can do after that. And we shouldn’t have to! Nothing’s indestructible. You bought it. There’s gotta some point where it comes off our hands, because we have to make a living, too.

I know, I make minimum wage and I’m standing up for the company.

4) OK. The big one. I need to stretch before I start this one.

Sidenote: I just got a ton of e-mails about my earlier blog posts. Thanks, everyone!

OK, you still there? Good. Because this one is going to put you through a loop. This one has me still angry at myself and him three days after the incident.

A chick comes up to my register. She calls to her husband while I start my pitch. She already has one card, so I say, “depending on which one, I could save you $10 or $15 for being approved for our other one.” So we’re discussing saving her money while her husband shows up.

We discuss saving them money a little more until her husband says, “Is this to get another card?”

“Yes,” I say, as usual. “But you never have to use it or worry about it.”

“We don’t want another card.”

“OK.” And I prepare not to continue my pitch. But Mr. Husband’s not done with me. He goes on a rant about how I didn’t say it was for another card and some other crap I don’t remember. Well, I’m a typically shy person, so I don’t know how to respond. So I don’t. I just ask Mrs. Wife for her phone number.

“Do you understand me?” Mr. Husband asks.

“Yes, Sir,” I say, and try again for the phone number. But before I can say anything more, he continues berating and lecturing me. And what’s Mrs. Wife doing? Just standing there smiling. Not even trying to stop him. He’s making a jerk out of himself and his wife and she’s just making it worse. And I’m sitting there being all meek and defenseless.

After refusing to try and find their club membership, they finally pay and leave. Well, it’s pretty obvious why I’m mad at him. I’m just doing my job, it’s the same pitch I give everyone, and I -did-, in fact, say it was for another card. But why am I mad at myself?

Because, once again, I didn’t stand up for myself. I never stand up for myself. Ever. Not even in my closest relationships. I’m quite disgusted with myself, no matter how much my sweet mother tries to tell me I did the right thing by being meek.

I feel bad leaving ya’ll with such negativity, so let’s end with a story that I like to laugh about.

We have a store-within-a-store type thing at my work. Let’s call this store-within-a-store Insider, and let’s call my store Departments. (I’m wondering if you’ve figured out where I work yet… If so, please don’t go blabbing. I’d hate to lose my job D: )

Now, Departments coupons do not work for Insider. All the employees know this. And it’s explained on all the coupons. So this customer comes up with Insider merchandise and a Departments coupon to use with his Departments card. The customer tells me that he called the phone number on the paper the coupon came on and asked if he could use it on Insider merchandise. The man on the phone said “yes.” Well, as I told you, it doesn’t. I try to explain it, and he asks me to call a manager. The manager comes and continues to explain that it can’t be done. She explains that it’s even written on the back of the coupon that it doesn’t work. So he’s all, “Fine,” and asks for a pair of scissors. The manager says we don’t have any, but I’m an idiot and have no idea what he’s going to do with them. So I say we do and give them to him.

Right in front of us, he pulls out his Departments card, and cuts it up.

Just, cuts it up.

And at this very moment, I’m still laughing my head off. Guy tried to make a statement. More like a temper tantrum to me. I don’t care if you cut your card. I -tell- people they can cut up their cards after being approved.

Work makes me mad. But it makes me laugh sometimes, too. I guess that’s what you’ve got to hold on to, the parts that make you laugh.

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