By All Means, Please Take Two

Ah, so as stated from my last post, the pool has been opened for the season at my hotel.  We had an exceptionally busy night at the hotel and in the pool the other night.  To me, it was too cold outside yet to be swapping my sweater for a two-piece, but what do I know?  I’m a Southern Girl in the Midwest Snow.  At one point I counted 15 people in both the pool and hot tub together.

Needless to say, the area was teeming with people.  We keep a healthy supply of towels in the pool room, so, with only 15 people at the max having been in there at once, I should have had plenty of towels.

Not so.  By the end of the night I had five towels left because people insisted on having pillows for their leisurely soak in the hot tub.  Ugh, of course.

You know, it wouldn’t be an annoyance to me if it had been busier in the pool.  But when we’ve got about 50 pool towels and suddely I only have 5?  That’s an issue to me.

So, here I am doing all this laundry because people are helping themselves to two pool towels.

Pool towels.  I’m complaining about pool towels.

It’s still rather slow at the hotel.  Stay tuned for more.

Seriously, though… just use one towel!  Or bring your own pool towel next time.  We don’t just pull clean towels out of our asses, you know!

Rise From the Corn Fields–Err, Ashes…

I am back!  Sorry I took a bit of a break, there.  I definitely needed the break from work and home and whatnot.  I enjoyed visiting my parents and seeing their new house.  The best parts of the trip were the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory in Boulder, Colorado and the Petrified Wood Museum in the small town in Nebraska that my parents live in.

This trip marked my very first plane ride.  I was excited and nervous, though I ended up really, really liking it.  I pretty much want to fly everywhere possible now.  However, that requires money and I work part-time in retail.  Not gonna happen anytime soon.  Not with bills and whatnot.  Damn, why do people always want money from you?

We left early Friday morning and almost missed our flight because I had printed our tickets at home and left them there.  We were about ten minutes from the airport and it takes about an hour to get there from our house.  Thankfully we had left pretty early so when we got back, we managed to get through security with about two minutes to spare.  Needless to say, we were even more tired when we got on the plane.  My girlfriend fell asleep for most of the short two hour flight and I stayed awake entranced by being so high in the sky.

I was off of work for six days and it was wonderful.  Very, very wonderful.  I went back to work yesterday, and well, you shall see over the next post or two how that went for me.

However, until then, I hope you’re not too terribly mad at me for disappearing and I do hope that I haven’t lost anyone, either.  I’d be so unhappy if that were the case.  And if you’re new to my blog, welcome!  I’m glad to have you aboard.

Gifts Suck

Aside from the fact that I can be a huge hard-ass when it comes to people returning things, sometimes I do genuinely feel bad when there is no way I can return an item for a guest.  What sucks the most is when someone has baby clothes that they received as a gift and the gift-giver bought them on clearance and didn’t give them a gift receipt.  Baby clothes usually fly right off the rack once they are marked down, so therefore they will salvage more quickly in some cases when the stock runs out.  This in turn means that the item will no longer exist in our system.  Which also means that after that has happened and it’s gone from our store, the guest can’t even get store credit for the item.

Gift receipts really are your best friend.  I find myself talking guests into at least getting a gift receipt with their purchases quite often in the hope that they will give the receipt to the recipient.  I’m sure most of them don’t, but at least I helped, you know?

Not that it matters if the purchaser never made the move to give a gift receipt in the first place.

I actually felt bad a few weeks ago when I could not find the gift receipt I had printed for a few items I bought for someone.  I’d left the receipt with the items until they were sent out and suddenly it was gone.  I preach about the importance of gift receipts (mostly in my head when people come in without gift receipts) and the one I had was gone.

So, there’s one set of guests I feel bad for.  If you’re giving a gift, give a gift receipt.  So many kids end up with the exact same toys or same clothes, or you got the wrong size, or the kid grew more than you thought.  It’s not that the recipient wants to be rude to return it, sometimes they just don’t have a need for several of the same thing for themselves or the kid.

Like, really, you’re going to a wedding and you really think that Aunt Sue maybe didn’t buy them the exact same thing from their registry that you’re buying?  Those registries can take a whole day to update at some stores and even that, most people don’t even USE the gift registry for the item.

So, it sucks when there’s a monetary limit on how much you can return at a store without any kind of proof of purchase and the person you gave things to is stuck with the item.  Then they bitch at me and tell me how it’s all my store’s fault for having a shit return policy.

You know what?  How about it’s shitty that the person who gave you this stuff didn’t give you a gift receipt?  Oh, no, Uncle Tom can’t be blamed because he’s old and that’s not how they did things in his day, no no.  You didn’t get no dad gum gift receipts!  You took what you got and you liked it!

Maybe if people weren’t so shitty and liked to steal everything and defraud everything and everyone, we wouldn’t have to have such rules in place.  So now, because of that, our policies suck to you because someone couldn’t give you a gift receipt out of the kindness of their hearts.

So the next time you’re buying someone a gift and it’s a big event like a birthday, a wedding, a baby shower, something where a lot of people you may not even know existed could be buying them gifts, do that person a favor and give them a gift receipt.  It’s not that they don’t like what you got (not all of the time anyway), it’s that they don’t need 8 food processors.  Seriously.  Who does?

Biking After Theft

Some people are really, really brave.  And really, really dumb.

But this should come as no surprise to me or you, my lovely readers, that people are fucking dumb.  Especially not in my line of work.

A few weeks ago, a guest walked into the building that immediately roused suspicion.  I’d been at the service desk trying to help a guest with something and one of my co-workers had come up, too, and was trying to help.  He lost concentration in what we were doing when he spotted this individual.  I turned to look what he was looking at and knew.  He finished with the guest and myself quickly and got AP on the walkie.

After I went back to piddling around the service desk doing nothing important, I actually forgot about the guy who walked in.  Then, maybe twenty or thirty minutes later, as I was outside the desk rummaging in a cart, I saw him again.  Holding some items in his hands.  He stopped at the cart well by the exit door and looked at me.  We had a stare down for a moment.  I didn’t react or do anything because I knew he was already being watched.  I knew he’d be caught.

Well, the dude just walks out the exit door.  Didn’t even try to hide the shit in his hands, either!  He just walks out.  I walk back behind the service desk just in time to watch our newest AP addition come racing from around the corner and fly out the door.  I didn’t see what happened outside as there’s this thing called a wall between me and the exit doors.

However, he escorts the guy back in and points up to me and says “She can help you right here.”

I smile and begin ringing up his items.  The total was just under $100.  While I’m doing this, he’s humming and talking to himself avoiding eye contact with me completely.  He goes to swipe his debit card.  Upside down.  About five times before he realized he was doing it wrong and fixed it.  He was so nervous, but was trying to act cool and confident at the same time.  It really wasn’t working for him at all.

He leaves with his almost-stolen goods.  I have a good laugh at his expense and so do a few other people.  It was a grand ole time.  We decided that he would probably be back eventually to try to return the items.

The rest of the night goes on without a hitch.  Nothing else interesting happens.

Then, about five minutes to close, I’m standing by a checklane talking to someone when out of the corner of my eye I see a white flash and hear the familiar clicking of a bicycle.

It was him,  he’d come back just a few short hours later.  Riding his bike through the store.  He took off down an aisle.  Immediately I heart my co-worker from before call AP.

How bold can one person be?

He  grabbed something and rode his bike up to the only checklane left open and got in line.  He got off his bike at a request from my supervisor, but there he stood.  Our AP didn’t even try to hide that he was watching him.  He stood at the checklane next to the one he was in and just watched.

Apparently, he forgot something and had to come back to get it.  He paid for his item, but not before leaving dirt and grass all over the check lane, and then making sure he wasted more time by hanging out by our trash and recycling bins.  The store had been closed for at least ten minutes at this point.

What he was really doing, we may never know, I just know that I will never forget him now.  Especially since he had some of the longest dreadlocks I’ve ever seen in the worst half-ponytail in the world.  It was like half of his head aspired to be Snooki’s wig replacement.

Some people just don’t know when to cut their losses.  He got on his bike and left the store.  I haven’t seen him since, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been in.

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.

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.