The Urge to Punch: Part II

Now, I left off telling you about a woman who was extremely pissed that I wouldn’t take her coupons.  Then I left you hanging desperately by a thread as I began to tell you about the next irate guest who approached me.

The cashier had called just minutes before this man arrived, trying to verify a gift card situation.  In our ad, it stated that if you bought two items listed on the page, you could get a $5 store gift card.  Awesome!  However, the ad stated that you must buy two specific items on the page together to get the $5 gift card.  This particular guest did not see this and got Charmin toilet paper with Viva paper towels.  Which were part of the $5 gift card deal.

However, you had to buy Viva paper towels with Scott toilet paper OR Charmin with Bounty.  You couldn’t mix and match from there, the register wouldn’t recognize it for the $5 deal otherwise.  And in the ad, it was pictured as such.  Viva with Scott, Charmin with Bounty.

Pretty easy to understand, you’d think.  But with the wording of the ad, I suppose I can see how people could get confused about it. Well, this guy wasn’t about to tuck his tail between his legs and get the right matching set or even just go home without his $5 gift card.

He came up to guest service in a blaze of anger.  Almost immediately upon jerking his cart to a stop in front of the register I was standing at, he pulls the package of paper towels out of his cart nearly hitting me in the face with them, all the while screaming and cursing about how he wants his money back since we can’t find a way to get his $5 gift card.

My supervisor was flipping through the ad to read the wording and whatnot and tried to explain to him what the ad meant and that if he just switched one of his items with the proper one, it would work and he would get his gift card. Talk about adding flame to the fire.  The guy got pissed.  He started to yell so loud that guests that were passing by stopped to stare.  He started yelling and waggling his finger at us and then accused her of calling him stupid when all she was trying to do was show him how it was pictured and worded in the ad.

Then he really flipped.  Like, kind of scary flipped.  My heart started pounding and I seriously thought it was going to turn from an angry guest incident to a physical incident. He stomped over toward her, where she was thankfully guarded by a few carts of abandons, and leaned in toward her and started yelling.  He was challenging her to call him stupid to his face and to get rude with him.

At that point I lost it.  I raised my voice and told him he didn’t need to act hostile toward her or me.  He stomped over to me and got this serious look on his face and pointed at me and told me “No!”  Then he stomped back over to her and began screaming again.  At that point I called AP over the walkie.  It was serious.  This dude needed to get his ass out of the store.  He was overreacting and was on the verge of violence.  I cannot and will not stand by and let a guest disrespect one of my co-workers, even if my co-worker had been rude to the guest, I will not let it happen.  Yell at scream at me all you want, but hell no if you’re going to treat someone else like that.  You can promptly take your ass outside and cool down.

I process his return and instead of processing it back to his debit card like I should have, just to make the asshat wait for his money, I gave it to him in cash so he couldn’t accuse me of not giving him his money.

AP never answered, but we found out later it’s because he was on lunch at a restaurant just across the parking lot.  We ended up calling our manager and the man stomped off angrily again.  You could hear him yelling a few hundred feet away.  Guests were still walking by gawking.  Some of them even look genuinely concerned for us.

Finally, he starts to leave.  My heart is still pounding and I’m on the verge of killing someone.  But before he leaves, he accuses me of not giving him his money back.  I explained to him that I gave it to him in cash and I handed it to him and whatever he did with it after I handed it off to him wasn’t my problem. Then the bastard had the nerve to give me a quick apology.  Saying that he was sorry that he was like that to me. No, you were rude.  I’m not going to hold your hand and say “No, it’s okay sweetie.  I’m sorry that we couldn’t give you what you wanted when you were being a TOTAL ASSHOLE!”

I was pulsing with this high energy.  I felt so angry and was ready for the next person to piss me off.  I probably would have lost my job that night had another guest gone off on me like that.

A moment later when I walked over to talk to my supervisor and manager, he says after a while “Did our pharmacy run out of Prozac or something?”

Yeah, or something.  He then told me that he had just barely gotten off the phone with the other guest who I’d pissed off.

Sometimes I just don’t get it.  I don’t get how someone can be so ugly to a simple store employee.  Listen, dude, I’m just doing my job.  Yelling and screaming at me isn’t going to get you anywhere.  I won’t take a coupon that I know is a fraud, and you cannot and will not tell me how to do my job.  Just because a coupon scans doesn’t mean that it is real.  It just means that it’s a really good fake.

Guests who yell and scream at me don’t phase me either.  Sometimes I even think I take that stoniness home with me.  When I go into work, the second a guest starts to get rowdy, I just stone-face it.  I do find it hard some days to not take it personally, but when they start to get really angry, I just don’t care.  You are no longer treating me like a person, therefore, I don’t feel like I need to act like I care.

Man, you know, just writing these two entries has raised my adrenaline.  It’s time to go work it out with some Zumba CORE on the Wii.

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New Features

I just wanted to point out to you lovely people the new page I have added to my blog.  It is called Aristrocrafts.  From there, you will find a link to my (small) web store where you can buy a few of the things that I, my girlfriend, or my mom have made.  I can only sell five items at a time, however, don’t let the low amount of items fool you, we have tons in our inventory to choose from.  I’ll try to rotate them out every few weeks.

Right now there are a few duct tape wallets up there.  They are $8 plus shipping and tax 😀 So go on, take a look on that page, it will link you to where you need to go

The Urge to Punch: Part I

Some days and in some instances, it is hard to not want to punch people in the face. I know that sounds violent, but you work a few months in retail and you tell me that you don’t ever feel the same. And I feel this urge quite often.

However, I exercised some pretty good restraint the other night at work. All I wanted to do was go to work, get my job done, and then go home and go to bed. Obviously that wasn’t in The Plan for me or a few other people that I work with.

The night started out just fine. We didn’t have enough employees as usual, but we were handling it pretty well. I was at my usual post at the service desk, minding my own business, doing my thang. I went to give my supervisor a break and we got busy at the front lanes. When she came back, I decided to hop on a lane to help clear the back up before heading back up to the service desk before the other woman up there had to leave for the night.

I wasn’t meant to go back before she had to leave, though. No, no.

My lane was flowing very well, everything was pretty pleasant. After a quick glance around, I decided to go ahead and flip my light off and finish with the line that I had and then head back on up. I got through all of my guests before I hit the guests who had a basket-load of groceries.

This is where the night got bad.

The woman was very polite, told me first off that she had a bunch of coupons on her phone. I nodded and asked if I could see them first and explained that our store only takes certain mobile coupons, Shopkick and our store mobile coupons.

She pulls out her phone and opens her camera roll on her iPhone. This was the first red flag. No valid coupons are saved as photos on someone’s phone. None. I politely ask her where they were from, and she told me: SnipSnap. Our store does not accept these because it invalidates coupons that were once valid.

Basically, the way SnipSnap works is you can take a photo of a coupon that you want to use. Well, if you pay attention to most coupons, they say that they are no longer valid once copied. And Snip Snap is in fact a copy of these coupons. Therefore, the coupons are invalid, fake, no good, crappy, shitty, take them away from me, I will not take them no matter what names you call me, honey.

I informed her that we do not accept them because they are not valid in our store. She told me they are from our store and I told her that no, they are not. They are not from our store, but a copy of something that used to be a store coupon. Therefore, they are invalid and I will not accept them.

“But I used them last night and they were accepted.”

“I’m sorry, but I will not take them. Whoever took them may not have known that they are an invalid coupon.”

“Why don’t you scan it and see?”

“No, I am not going to scan the coupon. It is invalid. I’m calling my supervisor to verify.”

The phone at my register didn’t work, so I went to the one behind me and started to dial. My supervisor was actually two lanes behind me helping guests check out there. I asked her and she shook her head no and told me that we don’t take them because they are copies of coupons that get passed around within the app.

I explained this to the woman. She started to get ugly with me.

“I want her to come over here and tell me that, not you.”

“Well, I’m one of the other front end supervisors, so what she says is the same thing I say. I cannot and will not accept these.”

At that point she is seething. I can almost see the steam coming out of her ears and melting her whore make up.

She starts to yell at me about how she just won’t take any of her things then. I tell her, okay, that’s your call. Then she says that she’ll just stick it all back into her shopping cart. Oh, no, then she decides she’s going to hand me the knock out punch!

She’s not going to put ANY of it back into her cart!

Whoa-oh now! You’re making me tear up here. How could you be so cruel to me? I can’t take it! Oh, I can’t handle this. Please, oh please, have mercy on me. I will take your fake coupons. Just please, spare me the task of throwing your items off the conveyor belt into the shopping cart you have!

Her boyfriend had still been putting things up on the belt, and she snaps at him. Asking him why he’s still going. After she gets him to stop, she walks off and looks at me and says “Fuck you and Fuck your store.”

Damn, that was the dagger through my heart. I bled to death on the scene.

I had hoped that was the end of it. Hoping that they were just going to storm out of the store. I started to walk away to get my supervisor and as I did one of our AP guys was walking with her. I flagged him down and told him about those people. I left out the nasty thing they said at the end, because I was just more pissed off that they confronted me in such a manner. He told me to hang on to their items just in case he could do a recovery off of it. I did, I went and placed it all back into their cart and fumed a little bit.

Then I saw that they had stopped off at the service desk. Oh, that was it. I knew what they were up to. They were going to complain on me. A few minutes later she came back to get my name. And I gave it to her and even spelled it all out for her. I knew that my managers would know that I was stopping them from using fake coupons and that I wouldn’t suffer any consequences from it.

My supervisor printed out the memo that we do NOT accept that coupon service.

After it was all said and done, I finally went back up to my home base and let the other woman go home. I was still fuming when not too long after, another irate guest headed our way….

Yes, I’m giving you a cliff hanger, deal with it.

Livin La Vida Retail

Okay, stupidest post title ever, I know, but the song was stuck in my head and I had sat down to write, so that’s what came out.

Sue me.

So, most people will work in retail until they find a Big Girl or Big Boy Job.  That’s cool.  People will work there right out of high school or during college or after college until a career comes around.

But what if someone wanted to make retail their career?

People are given a lot of flack for it, too.  Nevermind that someone could be really happy in retail and be working their way up the ladder.

Yes, I know, a lot of people end up stuck in retail in the same position for years and sometimes decades.  But that’s more than enough time for a change if you really want it.  I think retail is one of those job fields that can successfully, and respectfully go either way.  It can be your stepping stone into a better career field for you, or it could be your foot in the door.

Me personally?  I’m still unsure.  If I can ever get my interview out of the way and get better at a certain aspect of my job, I think I’d like to stick around for a while, and if I still feel pretty content, then I’ll stick around a lot longer.  But some days I wish for something better.  I’d love to write novels and short stories and get paid for it.  Maybe sell a few crafts here and there, which is harder for me to do, but hey, whatever.

I’d like to go back to school one day, but right now, I’m actually pretty happy where I’m at.  I don’t get paid enough, no.  But this is something that I feel like I’m pretty good at and think more experience in it will help me along the way.

So, I’d like to know why so many people harass those who have been working in retail for a year or longer.  Why must you harass someone like that.  Maybe they are stuck.  There could be outside factors that keep them from moving onto something they’d really like to do, so they are there for a longer period of time.  Or, they could actually be happy doing this.

Retail work is hard.  A lot of people think it’s simplistic work.  And it can be.  But it’s hard to try to do your job and take care of a guest and their needs.  It can be hard to keep up with the backlog of work and guests and guest complaints and everything else in between.  Retail work can either show a person great respect and responsibility or it can make a lazy person even lazier.

It’s like a job double standard.  You’re not good enough if you work in retail, but then if you work in the corporate world, you’re just another clone moving along destroying the American way.

You know, why don’t you mind your own business and leave the little guy alone?  Because the people who work in the service industry will forever be the little guy.  They will forever be the ones doing all the hard work and getting paid next to dirt for it.  They are the ones working the hardest to make sure you have free health care, free food stamp programs, free welfare.  They are the ones working hard not only for their own families, but for the rest of the country, too.

So, the next time you want to make fun of the 40-something working as a cashier at a store, why don’t you walk in their shoes, huh?

It’s Poll Time!: Your Biggest Shopping Complaints

Okay, so I’m trying a new feature, maybe to get some people to interact a bit more.  I see that I have a ton of viewers, but no one ever comments or subscribes, so let’s see how you do with a poll 😀

 

Most Memorable Holiday Moments

Now that the Holidays are over, things are slowly starting to get back to normal.  And let me tell you, we are all very ready for this to happen.

Last year, I was a newbie.  I was a cashier.  I didn’t know anything about anything in the store. Sometimes, I barely knew how to do cashiering.  This year I was at the service desk and doing training for a slightly higher position.  The stress was high, and I am still feeling a lot of the after-effects of it.  I believe the Holidays not only made me more knowledgeable of my own job, but definitely a lot crabbier.

But crabbiness isn’t always a bad thing, is it?

I can look back now and pick out some of my favorite moments of this past season.  One of those moments was technically after Christmas, but it is still pretty high up there on my list.

About a week or so ago, a woman came in with her two young daughters.  She had a bag and inside was a package of Squinkies and a whole kit of Squinkies and a little house or holder, or whatever the hell those things are called that you keep your Squinkies in.  I’m not a kid, I don’t know these things.

Anyway, I pull out the package and it’s half-opened and the cardboard logo that is in the package is missing.  I then pull out the big box of Squinkies.  At first glance, it looks just fine.  And then I notice that the lid is taped back on to the holder/tank thing in the box.  Then I see that all of the Squinkies are taped back into the box here.

“Ma’am, was there anything wrong with this?”

“No, no, no.”

“Well, it’s obviously been opened and used.  I can’t return this if there’s nothing wrong with it.”

Now, I must point out now that this lady didn’t speak English very well, so it was hard for me to understand her.

“My daughters, they play with it, and didn’t like it.  So I put it back in.  I just taped it.  It was like that.  Just like that.”

“Uhm, no, I’m sorry, but I can’t return this because you’ve opened it and taped everything back together.”

“I didn’t open it!”

“You just said you did.  It’s all taped up.”

At this point, one of my supervisors walks over after she is finished adding a change order and steps in to argue with her.  We go through the same process with her again.  She got mad.  She was scowling at us and telling us how there was nothing wrong with it her daughters just didn’t like it so she was bringing it back to get them something else.

My supervisor bagged her stuff back up and pushed the bag towards her and told her to have a good night.  To which the lady snatches her bag up and says “I’ll just take it to the other store!  They always take my stuff!”

“I don’t care, you do that.” My supervisor says back to her as she stomps off angrily with her two daughters.

Like, really?  She thought she could just bag it back up and bring it back?  You could see the scotch tape in there.

I just don’t understand people a lot.

Something else that boggled my mind during the entirety of Christmas was the sheer amount of people who came in to ask if we sold Christmas lights.  Well… yes?  Why wouldn’t we?  It’s like when people ask if a movie theater as a bathroom.  No, dipshit, you have to go around out back and take a piss by the dumpster.  Of course a store this size sells Christmas lights.  We sell anything from grocery items to patio furniture.  Granted some of our locations are small stores and only carry limited merchandise.

I actually got into a fight with one guest.  She completely instigated it, too.  She was already irate while standing in line at the service desk.  When she came up to me, I asked what I could do for her.  She spits out “I need a Green Machine and you have three of them!”

Slightly confused at her hostility, I looked at her and said “Okay, would you like to check out with it, or are you looking for more…?”

“I need it!  You have three and I need it now.”

“Okay ma’am.”

She had slammed down a piece of paper that I recognized as a merchandise locate slip.  So, I went into the proper functions on my register and typed in the store item number.  It showed that we had three.  She had kept blabbering on to me about how she needed one and we had three and someone better bring her one.  Just as I was about to call the backroom to see if they could bring me one, one of our backroom team members starts walking toward the area with one in his arms.

“Look, he’s got one right there.  That’s mine!”

“Well, let me just verify with him that it’s not for another guest first, and then we will go from there.”

“It’s not!  It’s for me!  I CAN GUARANTEE YOU THAT IT’S NOT FOR ANYONE BUT ME!”

Jebus, lady, calm the frikken frack down.  At this point, I started feeling really pissed that she was yelling at me.  I had no idea what was going on, and I was trying to help her.  She was obviously really pissed about something to do with this product.  I tell her again, trying to be calm, that I wanted to make sure with him since I didn’t know the situation and then she went off on me.  She started telling me I needed to stop arguing with her and just do my job.  She then started to tell the other team member that she would appreciate it if I stopped arguing with her.

Slow down, bitch.  I didn’t do anything to you so fuck off.  I wanted to slap her really bad.  The urge was burning in my veins and I found that I was clenching my fist out of her view.  Why was she treating me like I killed her kid?  I tried to calmly tell her that I wasn’t trying to argue with her, that I was instead trying to help her.  Still, I didn’t know the situation.

Finally the Bellowing Bitch explains to me that someone she talked to at the store earlier in the day told her that we didn’t have any of the items she was looking for and thus essentially sent her on a wild goose chase throughout the metroplex searching for all of these items.  When she finally went to her last location, they didn’t have this Green Machine and their search said we had three so she came back to our store.  She was already incredibly pissed off that she had to go to so many different stores and waste so much gas.  Okay, that’s understandable.  I’d be really pissed off, too.  But I wasn’t the person you spoke to this morning.  I’m not the person who told you to go to a store an hour and a half away.  Don’t treat me like it’s all my fault you blabbering butthead.

She really pissed me off.  She demanded to speak to a manager, so I called one over the walkie talking in a voice much louder than usual.  I wanted to make sure the entire store knew there was a situation at the service desk.  Possibly immature, but I didn’t care.  This woman had way overstepped her bounds with me and I really was ready to start a screaming match with her if necessary.  I apologized that she was sent all around and explained that I didn’t know the situation and that I was doing the best that I could do for her without having known that someone sent her in the wrong directions to begin with.

This woman had no right to treat me like this and if I’d been a little calmer, I would have called someone else over to deal with her.  I understood that she was upset.  I understood that she wasted a lot of time and gas going back and forth.  And it was really shitty that she had to do that for only a few items.  But I wasn’t the one who lead her wrong.  I wasn’t the one who didn’t make sure we couldn’t help her in the first place.  I hadn’t even been argumentative or hostile toward her until she started being totally disrespectful to me.

However, I think one of the best moments of all the holiday season was Christmas Eve.  I was set to close and closing was going as well as it can on Christmas Even with the service desk full of defective items and abandons.  When closing time rolled around, our manager did not hesitate to kick people out less than politely.

Two hours before closing time, she asked our store operator to make the overhead announcements every half hour until the hour before we closed.  Then she wanted it every fifteen minutes.  Guests couldn’t even try to pretend that they didn’t know what time we closed.

9:01 PM came and our manager made an overhead announcement.

“Attention guests.  It’ is now 9:01PM and the store closed one minute ago.  The registers will be closing exactly at 9:10PM.  Take your items up now or you will not be able to make a purchase.  Merry Christmas and have a good night.”

Just a minute later, she started to yell across to a woman shopping in the girl’s department that we were closed and she needed to leave now.

She wasted no time in trying to get us out of there.

And thus we ended the Christmas season and could sigh a bit of relief.

You know, until the weeks of recovery that come after Christmas in retail.  The weeks of trying to make the store look good.  Defecting out the copious amounts of broken product.  The weeks of struggling to live on the teeny tiny hours you are given.