The Stare-Down

Sometimes I en up having a stare-down with some of my guests.  Either because they are mad that I cannot or will not help them or because they are so stupid I have to re-evaluate how I will respond to them.

You know these people.  They are friends, family, classmates, random people at the bar.  You want to knock them all out.  I know, I feel your pain, sistah!  However, you can’t hit them.  There’s this thing called the law and you’ll get sent to jail will all these dumb assault charges.  Like, who does that?

Anyway, my most recent starting contest resulted in my loss and the guest being even more of a dick to me.

I’d had a pretty slow day, nothing much happening on my end of the store other than me studying the molecular structure of the desk.  I helped a few people who were doing exchanges.  One couple exchanging a microwave because the one they had nearly exploded on them.  Nice couple, they were gone for quite a while shopping.  No biggie.  Then another couple came in to exchange an online purchase they had made.  The purchased games for the wrong console by mistake.  No problem, I told them to head over to our Electronics department to have the team member over there grab the correct ones for them and then to come back.

Well, in between this time, I got very busy.  It was about my break time, so someone had already come up to help me, but I had about nine guests in line.  As I finish helping one guest, I start to call the next one in line when the game couple steps right on up to me.  Uhm, no.  What are you doing?

I started at them for about two seconds and said “Uhm, okay.  I’m sorry, but normally guests will get back in line.”  The woman looks at me and says “Well, at the other store, they let us do this.”  I shot right back with “That’s definitely not how it works at this store, but okay.  I will go ahead and help you.”

I didn’t care that I was being rude.  I had a very, very long line and a second person had come up to assist me with the line.  The couple coming to exchange the microwave had come back and had gotten at the end of the line at the time.  They weren’t being rude.  They were livid.  I could see it in their eyes.

Normally, when I’m cashiering, if I have a guest who couldn’t complete their transaction because of a card error or they left their wallet in their car, I will suspend their transaction and continue with my line until they return.  Once they return, I will apologize to the next guest in line and finish the transaction with the suspended guest.  That’s not a big deal because it’s something that was still in progress.

When a guest is coming in to exchange something, it is dealt with in two different interactions.  I’m sorry, but that’s how it works.  The Guest Service desk is a First Come First Serve setting.  If you came in to exchange and I take the items you wish to return for others and you walk out to the sales floor, that is one interaction.  Once you come back, you get back in line and wait your turn again.  My line is not the DMV line, you will wait a max of two minutes if I happen to be dealing with a difficult transaction.  Otherwise, it will be shorter.

This couple was rude to me after that.  And maybe it’s because of how I was to them.  Everything was complicated.  They had gotten some special deal online for the games and I was trying to figure out how to apply those discounts to the games on a different console.  And let me tell you, if you don’t own multiple gaming consoles then prices vary from console to console between titles.  A title could be $15 cheaper fromXBox to PS3 or vice versa.  So, when there’s a price difference between consoles, I can’t make it even because the consoles have different set prices for the titles they offer.  The best I could do was add up all the discounts from their original online purchase and use it on this one.

It took me about ten minutes to finish with them because the woman kept asking me “Well, what’s this?” “Well, how will this work?”  And being generally nit-picky.

I was livid by the time I finished with them.  I went on my break and had to calm myself down.  The audacity of some people boggles my mind.  Yes, I had already assisted you and given you further instruction, but obviously, I was helping other guests and you needed to wait your turn again.  If you had expressed that maybe you were on a time crunch beforehand, I would have understood and helped you, but instead, you cut ahead of nine other people without a care in the world and you expected me to think nothing of it.

There’s a big difference between going the extra mile with a guest who shows me respect and having to help a guest who was rude to not only me and my other guests because they might make a big scene.  It’s all about saving face for my job.

The Wonder-er

Yes, that is intentionally misspelled, so please, leave me be.

Sometimes I wonder if I have repeat guests that I have refused returns to before come back to me.  There are some people that I see that look really familiar, but I can’t tell if I’ve seen them or not.  Some people are really easy to remember because I see them in the store every time I’m there.  I know exactly what they will be doing and the order they will do it in.  I know their attitude and what to do to piss them off or what to do to make them happy.

We have quite a few regulars in our store, and they are typically big spenders, but they are also big returners, too.  They will spend upwards of $600 or more a week at our store, but one woman in particular returns at least $100 of that every week.  I suppose it’s a shopping addiction, which I’m pretty sure I’m developing, by the by.  Why else would you drop so much money at a store every single week and then return a big chunk of it the same week?

With the regulars, it’s easy to remember what I have and haven’t allowed them to do, I see them almost every single shift I work, so why would I not remember it?  However, I know I’ve seen guests come in who look very familiar and seem to be on edge when they come to me.  Either I haven’t let them do something in the past or maybe they’re just an edgey person.  Who knows.

But I wonder… have I gotten a guest that I refused before who got mad about it come back to me and I have allowed them to do something?  I’ve realized that sometimes what I will and won’t allow depends on my mood, too.  Sometimes I’ll let it slide that you probably wore those shoes for a day, and other days I won’t.  I never did tell you about the band-aid shoe story.  I’ll save that one for another day.

I wonder what they think.  Do they think I got in trouble for not letting things slide, or do they think I was just being a bitch that day?  Which, I probably was, so I suppose that doesn’t matter.  For the most part, I try to stay consistent with what I will and won’t allow to pass as a return.  I am steadfast on my electronic returns, because you really never know what someone did to something.  Clothing I’m more lenient on unless it’s very obvious that it’s been washed and returned.  Baby items depends.  People try to return little swings and bouncers after their child is too big for them.  And hey, if they still look brand-spankin’ new, then yeah, I’ll do it.  If they look dirty, then I won’t.  That’s just disgusting.  You could at least clean it off first, you know?

I know, though, that there are times when I am Positive Polly and I just turn a blind eye and I am the sweetest, most charming thing you would ever meet.

Too bad I can’t ask people if I’ve refuse them before or not.  That would make for an interesting conversation starter, eh?

Surprises

Sometimes things happen that catch us by surprise.

Here I’ve been frustrated with my own job lately.  As easy a job as it is, it is frustrating, and when given in high doses, you can really drive you insane.  Attitudes change not only toward your co-workers but toward your guests as well.  Anxiety runs high even when the workload isn’t very heavy.

I’ve been wanting to quit for a while now.  I’m frustrated at how things have turned out, frustrated at the lack of respect and pay.  Others keep getting pushed into positions that they really didn’t want to begin with.  It’s how these things work, I know, I know.

However, the last few shifts I’ve had, guests have been commenting on how kind, friendly, and personable I am.  It’s caught me off guard greatly.  One woman told me to never lose my personality and it made me remember how happy I used to be to the faces of the people I served.

Slowly I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.  I’m trying to drudge up the girl beneath the angry, sarcastic exterior that is this blog and her job.

But don’t you worry, my pretties, I still have plenty of stories to tell you.

Dictator Dan

We all have one or two bosses who are total dickwads, right?  They don’t even have to be male to qualify for that title.  Especially not in my store.

I have one manager that I cannot stand at all.  Every time I see her face, all I want to do is scream because I know that the store will end up being a total disaster.  It never seems to fail that when she’s there, everything falls to shit.

Out of all of the managers, she is the only one I’ve ever closed with who doesn’t help me at all at the service desk when I end up having a lot of things to sort through.  Everyone else will make some attempt, or have people from the sales floor help me when they bring their carts of shit to sort.  This woman takes her “I’m Above You” title too seriously.

She’s head of our AP department, too, which makes it worse.  She doesn’t trust any of us at all.  Not one single bit.  When she’s not the head manager, she sits at the cameras all day long watching the employees to see what they’re doing wrong.  She’s been known to call people who stop to talk to another employee too long over the walkie and ask them why they’re not working.

By the way, her idea of stopping for too long is about 30 seconds.

Even, though, you know, I watched her sit her ass down at the end of a register a few nights ago for about 15 minutes and just chit chat.

I know you’re our manager and shit, but if you want things to get done, maybe you should help your employees.  Not walk around like a Queen Fucking Bee telling us all what we’re doing wrong.  How about you put yourself to work.  You remember what work is, right?  I’ve seen so many other managers actually help because they’d like to leave at a decent time at night.  Folding sweaters, picking things up off the floor, sending help where it is needed.

Not one in the morning.  Two hours after the store is closed.

If shit is that bad, you kind of see it coming long before the store closes and there is ample opportunity to try to correct it.

Not to mention, it’s not my fault that people from the sales floor don’t get their abandons.  All I can do is call over the walkie and tell them they have some.  Don’t give me a dirty look or thread your words to me like it’s my fault.  I’m not their boss, therefore I can’t exactly make them do anything.

She also seems to think that the front end abandons and closing duties don’t matter.  Thanks.  Let’s just let all of this work pile up on us.  You know, it’s not like the cashier always have tons of time to clean up the check lanes and put away junk.  Some days we get lucky and we can pull a cashier to do those things.  I have my own shit to do at the service desk and I don’t have time to go around putting things away.  Especially when I get too far away and guests can’t find me.  Then we’ve got the issue of people getting pissed off because no one is standing at the service desk to help them.  Aren’t we supposed to put guests over our other tasks?

Maybe I’m just mad that two nights in a row I’ve closed with her as my manager and things ended up being really bad.  You know, I’m only one person and I can only do so much.  And when it’s a Monday night and we only have so many people scheduled to work, and most of them are at night, only so much can get done by them, too.

And let’s just go ahead and forget that this is the week leading up to Easter, so of course we need a thicker daytime and nightime staff to get things done.  Of course it will be busy.  And have you not met people?  They’re assholes.  They like to carry things around and then at the last moment decide they don’t want it anymore then place it wherever they feel like.  And they’re also a big fan of just dropping clothes on the floor and walking away.

 

 

Stolen Gift Cards

Lately at work, I’ve noticed an uprising in empty iTunes gift card backers.  If you’ve ever bought one or seen them at the store, you know that they either come in a seal package or come with the card sort of temporarily glued to a little backer.  A lot of these backers have made their way to the service desk lately with no card attached.  I’ve yet to find any actual gift cards, so my only assumption is that they are being stolen.

My first thought is “why steal a gift card that isn’t activated?  If you don’t put money on it, there’s no money on there to steal.”  However, from my avid Googling skills, I’m starting to realize that these thieves may have some tricks up their sleeves.

Hah, that rhymed.  Look at me go!

Thieves can clone the gift cards with handheld scanners.  Or, it seems the most popular way according to several forum threads I’m reading on the topic, most of them will just write the gift card numbers down alongside the balance inquiry line and keep checking to see when the card is activated.  They will attempt to use the gift card before the real customer who PAID for the card does.

Thus resolves the long-standing question I’ve had as to why a Chick-Fil-A gift card my girlfriend got Christmas 2011 didn’t work.  It seems it might have been possible that someone got the upper hand on us.  Would a Chick-Fil-A accept just gift card numbers instead of a gift card?  I’m not sure, but the theory would make sense.

I have heard before that people can do that with our store gift cards.  They can clone them and load them with false money.  This is the case when a lot of the time when people come in and try to buy two of the $900 iPads at the same time.

Who in the hell carries around a store gift card with two grand on it?  I mean, seriously.  Obviously some shady shit is up.

Okay, so that survey at the bottom of your store reciept is actually legit.  You can actually win that money or that gift card.  Sometimes it just takes a long time.  My store recently updated theirs so there’s actually a bigger chance to win it.  I’m not eligible, unfortunately.  Maybe I should start sending my surveys to my mom to complete for chances to win.  Is that cheating?  I sure hope not.

Look at this dude, who in 2010, was found guilty for his gift card cloning crimes.

Criminals will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Look.  I’m pretty poor myself.  There are some paychecks that I actually laugh at (or cry over…) because they are so small that I’m pretty sure I make pennies per hour instead of dollars.  Don’t get me started (again) on how shitty retail pay is.  But, I would never resolve to steal gift cards and go through some cloning/copying process to steal them.

So, to all you dudes and dudettes out there stealin’ this shit.  You’re stupid.  Is it really worth all this time and effort?  Take your ass down to the temp agency and put in an application.  Hell, why don’t you even try to apply at the store you’re stealing from.  You’d be in with it, then.  You could steal everything first hand.

Oh, and get caught quicker and go to jail quicker.  Most big retailers are big on sending shoplifters of any form to jail.  So, watch what you’re doing.  You may not think so, but the guys behind the scenes are always watching you.