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?


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