Retail Hell: Customers
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time or followed me on Twitter, you would know that I work part-time in retail as I search for a career. I’ve been working in retail ever since high school and let me tell you that it is one of the worst jobs imaginable. I’ve been meaning to delve into this gloomy side of my life and I’d like to talk about one of the worst aspects of the job: customers.
Customers are responsible for sales help, cashiers, and others being employed in retail but many retail employees wish they never had to talk to a customer. Although 80% of the people that come into a store are normal, know how to act, are respectful, and medicated as recommended by their psychiatrist, the other 20% are not. They are rude, inconsiderate, completely bonkers, make outrageous demands, and are generally despicable wastes of life. You might be saying that 20% isn’t a lot but when you take into account the average big-box retailer averages 1-4 thousand customers a day, 20% becomes hundreds of out-of-control, poorly medicated psychopaths that desire to make retail sales help’s lives a living hell. Here’s just a tidbit of what I have to deal with on any given day at lovely work:
I’ll be helping and talking with a customer when some maniac charges towards us and jumps into the conversation to ask his or her question without waiting. Inevitably, this pisses the customer I’m talking with off and the two exchange unpleasantries. One time, two customers got so mad at each other they went outside to fight. I have no idea if they did as I welcomed their absence and went to take a break in the back of the store. When customers ask a question when I’m clearly engaged in conversation with another customer, I now ignore them.
Not Knowing What They Want & Expecting Me to Know
Quite frequently a customer will attempt to tell me what they want or describe to me what their looking for but they don’t provide any information that could actually help me identify what their looking for. They use phrases like, “You know, that thing!” or “There’s this thing I saw on TV that um, you know…um, it’s on that commercial.” Somehow they expect me to respond with, “OH YEAH! That’s thing has been flying out of here like crazy. I know exactly what you’re talking about! Here you go!” I will now respond with a standard line for all situations where a customer fails to provide me with any useful information when asking a question: “You must be looking for Sham-Wow!”
People That Stop Taking Their Medication
These people come into the store, have a slight attitude to start with, and the slightest thing sets them off causing them to freak out and storm out of the store.
“Sorry sir, we don’t have the item you’re looking for.”
“@*(#&@*(#& Damn this f****** store you can all go to hell; this place sucks…I’m never shopping here again!!&*&@#”
“How do you use this product?”
“I don’t know sir, I’m not familiar, but I’ll look at the directions with you.”
“I don’t want the directions, I want to know about the product.” *Throws product to ground and storms out of the store.*
These people walk into the store and act like everybody in the store is a lowly servant whose only job is to service their any need. Some people go so far as to demand that their carts are pushed around the store for them. Others dictate clear reminders to the sales help as to what their job is – “Your job is to help me! I pay your check!” They often demand that you follow them around the store and place all items in their cart (even really small ones).
All the above are reasons I need to find a job!