The Over-Explainer

The phone calls I get the most are from people who over explain their situation to me.  They call to ask about the return policy and then proceed to tell me the story about how they thought the car seat would fit in grandma’s car, but it really won’t, so can they return it even though the box is missing now?  When I explain to them that as long as they have their receipt, and they go find one in the store that is exactly like the one they have, then yes they can return it, they feel the need to re-explain the story to me.

Please, save your breath.  I understand what you’re saying.  I don’t know how many more ways I can explain the same thing to you.  I just allowed you to return an item WITHOUT A BOX.  I’m GIVING YOU PERMISSION (this goes along with our policy change on making the guests happy no matter what –eye roll-).

Now, before I go on, I must state that I can be very bad at this, too.  I find myself over explaining things to people a lot.  Especially when I’m flustered.  I do it the most to my girlfriend or my mom when I talk to them and they either aren’t seeing my side of it, or don’t agree.  It’s like I’m trying to get them to agree when I know they won’t.  I guess I’m just not satisfied until people see my side and understand it.  And maybe that can be said the same for almost every person.  Especially those people who think they need to tell me their reason for returning several times.

I had a man the other day call to ask if he could return his coffee maker.  It worked fine the first week, but the week after, water started to leak out of the side.  He figured he must have closed it incorrectly and tried again the next day.  When that didn’t fix the problem, he realized that the coffee pot had a defect.  He explained this to me on the phone.  And I explained to him the process of how I would return or exchange it for him.  He was so very happy and came into the store about half an hour later.

Then re-explained the story to me, and even decided to give me visuals on how exactly the defect on the machine worked.

We went through this already, dude!  Come on now, I ‘ve got a line of pregnant ladies and coupon scammers behind you.  Just go fetch your new coffee maker and be on your way!  The entire service desk staff doesn’t need to know what’s wrong, nor do we care.  Okay, we care a little bit because we want you to get a product that works so that you keep shopping at our store so that we continue to get paid, but we don’t care enough to alienate the guests that are behind you by ignoring them.

Really, it’s the older guests who are the worst at it.  The guests that are 40+.   The younger people sometimes don’t even feel the need to give any explanation.  My favorite part during a return is when I ask them if there is anything wrong with the product and they flat out ignore me or pretend they don’t speak any English.

Bitch, I know you heard me.  It’s just part of my job, a simple yes or no would suffice.  Put your damn phone down and answer me.  It’s only polite.

Sometimes I wish we could put up a sign like they have a Subway.

“Please put all calls and text messaging on hold so that we can properly assist you.  I really don’t feel like getting yelled at by you because you weren’t paying attention to me.  I’m just doing my job, so please be polite and help me help you.”

A lot of women will bring back dresses or dressier clothing.  Most of the time, the reason for returning is because it didn’t fit right or look right on them.  Typical female response.  I usually frown and say something nice like “oh, it couldn’t have been that bad,” or “yeah, sometimes certain cuts just aren’t made for everyone.”  I try to make them feel better about their failed attempt to look nice.  But what gets me is when the guest starts to down themselves around me.  I hate that.  It makes me feel uncomfortable because they are being so negative about themselves.  I want to say something nice to them, but since they are a total stranger to me, it’s hard to do.  Most of the time I just smile and nod because I don’t know what to say.  Especially because a lot of my female guests will laugh while they take a dig at themselves.

I do it to myself to sometimes, but I try not to do it around strangers because that just makes things awkward.  It’s kind of like how situations aren’t really that awkward until someone points out that they are awkward.  Like, hellooo, keep your trap shut and things will run smoothly.

Listening to these stories, though, is part of my job.  Really it should be put in my job description that I also function as your therapist or journal.  By all means, please tell me that you bought that coffee pot so that your disabled husband could have coffee at home, but now it’s broken and you just need a new one because he is just so sad that he can’t have coffee.  I’m sorry that it broke on you, but you can’t take your new, working one home faster by trying to make me feel bad for you.
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