My Baby Is a Person Too!

Sometimes, funny things happen to other cashiers and not to me.

The other day, I was doing my thang at the service desk.  Refunding, and exchanging, and telling people no, and staring at the cart corral.  You know, the usual.  One of my LOD’s calls me over the walkie and asks for the number to our  corporate guest relations.  I gave it to her and didn’t think anything of it other than a guest must have been mad.

As it turns out, there was a woman and her family wanting to use a ton of coupons.  The cashier let her know that it was 4 per household.  The lady argued, so he caved and said that he would allow each of the people with her to do a transaction so that she could use all of her coupons.  He told her it was against the policy, but just for today, he would let it slide.

However, the woman was still not happy.  She wanted her infant child to be counted.

The cashier told her that he wouldn’t allow that because it was a baby.  He was already allowing her to do more transactions than allowed, but she wanted her baby counted as a person, too.

Now, I heard this story second-hand from a co-worker who was there, too.

An LOD got called and the cashier set her things to the side and started to take care of the rest of his guests.  The lady apparently got even more angry that he did this.  She began to yell at him and proclaim that she was “still here!”  He said “I realize that ma’am, someone is coming to speak with you about your issue, but I have other guests, I have to keep my line moving.”

How corrupt do you have to be to expect someone to count an infant in the person-using-a-coupon count?  How desperate to cheat the system do you have to be for that?  Oh, yes, let’s just say your infant child is going to be buying all of these cheap-ass razors.

As my co-worker who told me this story said “It’s one thing if the coupons were for baby formula.  I would let her do that.  But her baby isn’t going to be using this crap she was using the coupons on.”

And it’s true.

He bent the rules way out of whack for this lady and she STILL found something to bitch about in the process.  She wanted to talk to corporate so when our LOD went to talk to her, that’s when she called me.  Corporate won’t do shit for her.  The corporate authorization people hardly do shit for me when I need help trying to process a return.

I just don’t get it.  People these days are so utterly demanding.  You know, policies are in place for a reason and yes, there are times when they need to be put aside to fix a problem, but you can’t have the rules bent for you every single time.  It’s just ridiculous!

If it were me, I never would have allowed her to do multiple transactions like that.  But I’m just mean and cynical. Once I feel like too many people have been allowed to cheat, I feel like I need to do everything in my power to stop them.  I’m trying to police everything.

So, the argument at hand is, yes, your kid is a person, but they’re not an adult, they’re not the one actually making this  purchase, so why should we count this?   I just don’t get it.  We’re so greedy these days.  I find myself consumed with greed a lot, too, but I usually stop myself before I can actually take it further.  These couponers don’t care about saving money, they care about cheating the system and stealing.

That would be like me bringing my cat with me on the highway to try to use the HOV lane.  Uhm, no.  It just doesn’t work that way.

It’s probably a good thing that I wasn’t a cashier that day dealing with that guest.  It would not have ended well.  I probably would have lost my job.  I stopped putting up with that kind of shit after that woman said “fuck you and fuck your store” to me.  Once I’m disrespected, I tend to put up a wall and not take anything else.  You’ve got to be one hell of a special person for me to put up with that.

I’m starting to think I need to get out of this line of work before I become a crotchety old lady at 25.

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First World Problems

I must say, I haven’t been working on this blog as hard as I should be lately.  I have had a lot going on in life.  Trying to find a better job, trying to get things done around the house, working, being lazy in general.

As a consumer myself, I do hold the stores I shop at to a certain standard, which, of course, leads to double standards within my own work place.  When I shop and am ready to check out or I ask an associate a question, I expect to be paid attention to.  Now, if you are helping someone else, or are in the middle of an arduous task, then I totally understand that you may not be able to help me right away or you may have to share your attention.  That’s fine.

What really ticks me off, though, is when you have your phone out right in front of me and are playing some game, or texting your ‘Boo.’

Yeah, naw, shawty, dat shit don’t fly wid meh.

I don’t care that you have your phone on you, okay.  Because sometimes you have dead time and you can whip it out and play on it or text someone.  Whatever.  The problem isn’t that you have it.  The problem is that you are being rude.  You are essentially telling me and every other customer you interact with that they are not worth your time and your phone is more important.

I carry my phone in my back pocket whenever I work at the service desk, which lately is fewer and further between as I’m being scheduled as a cashier more often.  It stays in my back pocket until my break, or until I don’t have any guests in sight.  Then I scuttle along to the back, check to see if I have any messages or missed calls.  If I have texts, I see if its something I can reply to quickly, and if not, I save it for later.

I don’t check my email.  I don’t check on my games.  I don’t try to make phone calls.  You know why?  One, I don’t want a guest seeing me and telling on me, to be totally honest.  Two, I don’t want that guest getting mad and thinking that I don’t respect their time, which I do, because if I don’t respect their time, that means I might lose my job if they complain or I get enough complaints.  Three, it’s just rude.  I check it because, yes, I do have a stupid technological addiction, but I don’t want to spend so much time on it that I alienate my guests’ time and respect.

You wanna pull it out after I walk away when you have no one else in line?  Sure, do that.

But don’t you dare pull it out of your back pocket the second the finish scanning my two items, laugh about what your friend just said, then reply while I’m still there.  My transaction is STILL going.  Finish your job, THEN have fun.  That’s exactly what happened to me when I went to Home Depot several months ago.  My cashier scanned my two items, pulls out her phone, starts laughing, replies, and is yelling across the check lanes to her buddy about what she just read.  Thanks, bitch.  Glad you respect me and your bosses who, you know, so graciously gave your rude ass a job which you obviously don’t respect or deserve.

There are plenty of other respectful people who can take your job for you.

I know I complain a lot about my guests being rude to me and blah blah, but you know, I don’t do things like this.  I don’t leave my phone out in plain site for everyone to see.  If a guests walks up and I’m having an off-topic conversation with a co-worker, I try to wrap it up or just cut it off to help my guest.  Now, sometimes, if my guest isn’t talkative, and a co-worker is talking to me, I will talk right back to them and carry on a conversation, but not before trying to talk to my guest.  And let’s face it, some people just aren’t talkers.

I go to shop somewhere and I like to be left alone for the most part, but if I need something, I’d like you, the employee, to make yourself available to me, and if you can’t, see if you can find someone who can.  It’s really not that hard to at least try.  Try to make the effort to give me your attention.  If you respect me, I’ll respect you.

Maybe that’s how a lot of the rude people feel about me, too.  I’ll never know, huh?

Consistency Isn’t Just For Cooking

It takes the right kind of person to work at a service desk.  Anyone can process a return and hand someone money from a register, but it takes a strong person to be able to refuse a return when necessary.

I only mention this because of the policies of some stores.  They will take anything and everything no matter the state of the item or what their policy says, really.  I don’t understand how stores who do that are still in business or at least not seriously hurting from it.

It’s rodeo season again where I live and I know that the next few weeks will consist of people trying to return the boots, Wranglers, and fake pearl-snap shirts that they bought just for the rodeos around town.  As long as I don’t get sweaty ones back again this year, I think I’ll be okay.  Even though I will refuse it, I still have to touch it, usually, which is gross.

And what’s worse is that this year, I think I’ll really have to take them back instead of getting to refuse them.  I mean, if we’re going to use the same logic in return underwear to the store to this stuff.  Underwear automatically gets damaged out whether or not the guest says they wore them because, uhm, ew.  Just ew.  Am I supposed to cringe and say “Why, yes, you can return this shirt that smells like barnyard and barbeque, no problem,” and then just turn around and damage it out?  Doesn’t the store lose more money that way?  Seems to be easier to reject the rank garment and move on.  We won’t lose money by refunding the guest and we won’t lose money on reselling the shirt.  Right?

I don’t even know.  You’d think that I would know by now, but in all honesty, I really, really don’t.  Sometimes I think it depends on the manager or supervisor that we talk to on whether or not we can do some things.  Which I think makes for a super confusing return policy.

What the hell is the point of having a return policy if we are going to bend the rules depending on the hour, the day, the month, the second, and the location?  We might as well say to hell with it and leave the service desk registers open for the taking.

I’m taught how to do a job and the guidelines to follow and I’m given the power to choose for myself because really, sometimes a situation calls for something that’s not written in the books.  You’ve really got to be able to think on your feet to be successful at the service desk.

But I also don’t think that means that we should just let everyone get away with everything.

Why is it that I tell Mary that she can return these used shoes (because she threw a fit to my manager), but Susie behind her has to take her back home?  Why can’t we just make Mary suck it up and deal with it because its our policy?  Because that’s not how we keep repeat business.

Repeat business can kiss my pale booty because I’d rather stay consistent and not wishy-washy than let someone walk all over me.

What makes it worse is that I know some of my co-workers will let someone return something without thinking about it, no matter what it is, and then that person comes to me and bitches me out because so-and-so let them do it.  Well, I’m not so-and-so and so-and-so isn’t living up to the return policy, so you can deal with it and deal with me because I’m not bending for you.

Susie-Q went to someone else at the desk one day and was allowed to return an open and used iPod which the other service desk jockey thought was cool to send back out on the sales floor to the sold.  Now, the package is open and the next person who wants to buy it is going to see this and immediately want a discount on it since it’s used.  Now the store is out even more money.  I’d rather listen to someone bitch me out for telling them no than have to listen to my managers tell us we aren’t doing a good job making sales and tell us sob stories as to why we can only get 15 hours a week.

Ah, but such is my life, right?  It’s not worth it if it’s not hard, right?

Yelling Fixes Everything?

Everyone knows that if you are upset with service you receive or treatment that I had that all you have to do is make some phone calls or personal visits and start yelling. This will certainly pave ways to better service and treatment.

Not only will you look like a Red-Blooded American for standing up for yourself, but you will also make yourself look and sound like a complete asshole.

We have all experienced bad service or treatment when we go shopping or when we are trying to contact customer service for our phone or Internet or what-have-you. It should be accepted as one of those things that happens. Doesn’t make it okay for someone who is servicing you to treat you poorly, but it happens.

I’ve been angry and typed harsh words in emails or raised my voice on the phone. When you expect good service, you feel very shocked when why you get is negative. Then your reaction is negative and then everyone is a big bundle of negativity and hatred.

They say hate is a strong word, but I’ve had guests treat me like I’m the scum of the earth because I didn’t give them what they wanted. They’ve acted as if I’ve murdered their first-born.

It really is hard to control yourself when you get angry. Some people are able to keep their cool, but most will lose it quick.

Just last week I sent an email to Shopkick about my profile not working so I could not access my gift cards. The problem had been going on for over a week, and nothing I tried on my own helped, so I emailed them about my problem. Their answer was that I just try a better wifi connection and then they moved on a ticketed my issue as resolved.

That ticked me off something horrible. The email I wrote back was pretty haughty. I told them how I didn’t appreciate that they marked my issue as resolved without my confirmation that their solution worked or not.

It took her a few days to respond, and she didn’t even apologize to me. She did give me another option that ended up working, so I still need to write up my response to her. What made me mad is the fact that it seemed like I was just shoved along the conveyor belt of emails, not to really be looked into.

Was it really this person’s fault? Maybe? Maybe she just didn’t care. Or maybe that is the response that she was trained to give and it is really the fault of her higher-ups for not teaching better customer service.  Either way, I was upset and I sent an mean email.  Now, I finally received a reply that was satisfactory and fixed my problem.  That was really all that I wanted and I actually felt a little guilty about the e-mail I sent.  I was condescending and rude.  Too many times I hate when my guests treat me that way.

Just the other day I had a woman get upset with me because I couldn’t take her shirt back.  She got angry very quickly and began to yell at me.  Then she said “This isn’t your fault, but…” and then she proceeded to yell at me even more.  Okay, lady, if it’s not my fault then why are you screaming at me and walking off like a five-year-old?

People have it built into them now that if they raise some hell they will get what they want.  And too many times that is the case, therefore, people keep doing it.  Sometimes, when an employee was rude or mean, then you should go talk to the manager, let them know and see what the manager can do to fix it.  Don’t go crying to the manager every time someone doesn’t look you square in the eye, or every time an employee doesn’t bend the rules just for you.  Grow a spine and get over it.  Policies are in place for a reason, and just because you had a bad time doesn’t mean I’m going to change them all around just for you.

All I can think when someone comes to complain is that one person slighted them or told them they misread an ad.  They feel embarrassed or they are just an overly sensitive person who takes personal offense at every little thing.  What makes me mad is when I see my managers offering up big discounts and coupons to a guest without getting the other side of the story first.  Too many times have I watched a guest who treated a team member poorly walk out with a huge discount on their transaction who called a team member names and verbally abused them.

I understand that they want to save face and make them happy so they go away, but at the same time, they are alienating their employees by making the employee look like an ass.  Thanks, bro, I enjoy getting stepped on all the time.  But I guess that’s the hazards of working as an hourly employee, huh?