Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Heads or Tails Tuesday: 7 Customer Do's and Don'ts
This week’s Heads or Tails was - 7 things from any category
If you’d like to participate or read other entries please visit Skittle’s Place
I went back to work this weekend at my second job as a sales associate for a large retailer. I had been on medical leave since December with a variety of back and leg issues that I won’t bore you all with.
As I folded the same stack of shirts for the fourth time in two hours my mind wandered. If it didn’t I would surely seriously injure a customer or kill the co-worker who is supposed to be folding, it’s technically not in my job description but the store was as dead as a doorknob (as is the co-worker’s brain) and I couldn’t look at the mess, especially with all the regional managers floating around. Business is not good and they’d rather blame us than think about the economy.
Anyhoo – it occurred to me that it was Tuesday; time takes on a new dimension when you work two jobs, and I hadn’t written anything for HoT.
So, from the perspective of a customer oriented, responsible, friendly, grown-ass sales associate, I give you 7 Do’s and Don’ts for the customer.
1 - DO ask me as many questions as you need to about the stock. I will check, I will look it up, I will call the manufacturer. DON’T ask me why the fitting room is so far away or why the mirrors are cloudy or why the parking lot has potholes. I am not the floor planner, I am not the architect, and I certainly don’t have any control over the asphalt – I have to park in a clump of dead trees three football fields away from the store.
2 – DO expect me to smile at your children and make baby talk with them, it is part of being friendly and I love kids. DON’T expect me to watch them, carry them, or clean them. And definitely DON’T catch an attitude with me after I say (for the tenth time) – “honey please don’t play with that sharp stick, you’re going to get hurt – oh and please climb down off the shelves before you fall”. When you hear me say (and I KNOW you CAN hear me) “Sweetie, go back to your Mommy” what I’m saying is, “Come get your child, you irresponsible …”
3 – DO question the price, especially when there are clearance signs everywhere saying the same thing five different ways. I know you’re confused, so am I and I work here. DON’T act as though I am out to cheat you. I don’t work on commission and even if I did why assume I’m a bad person. Didn’t I just say I would check with the scanner. Didn’t I say I would get a manager to approve honoring the lower price since the sign was in the wrong place.
4 – DO expect a pleasant shopping experience. You have come here to spend your money which is how we make a living and you should be treated nicely. DON’T think I’m your friend, your mother, your wife. I am a person doing a job – you’re in public, behave like it. DON’T scream into your cell phone while talking to me, DON’T hand me your food wrappers and tell me to throw them away, DON’T shove your shopping cart at me saying “you can put that back”. If I was your friend I’d reconsider my taste in people, if I was your mother I’d smack you and if I was your wife I’d take the freakin’ cell phone away from you and call a divorce lawyer.
5 – DO feel free to take all the time you want. Wander the shelves, sit on the sofa (which I’m not allowed to even lean against) and go through the catalog, browse all you want. I smiled at you when we first made eye contact and you looked away, then I asked if you needed any help and you looked away so I told you to let me know if and when you needed anything. So DON’T get in a huff when you finally decide you want to acknowledge that I exist by shouting out – “Can I get some help over here!”
6 – I know you DO really need an extra large, and I DO know that it has to be peachy mauve with the caplet sleeve but DON’T take the entire shelf of blouses apart after I tell you that we have extra large in twelve other colors (three of which look like peach or mauve) OR we have peachy mauve in large. Why would I lie!? DON’T you think I want you to have what you want. And DON’T you know I will need to fix that entire shelf – again.
7 – DO try on as many garments as you’d like. Our store has a much more liberal policy than most. You can take as many articles in with you as you’d like, and we don’t hire scary looking surly people to stand there and stare at you – so feel free - look and model and suck in your tummy to your heart’s delight. DON’T throw it all on the floor when you’re done. I’m sorry nothing fit but that rack that says “Please leave garments here” is actually closer to you than the floor is. And if you DO leave your mess in the fitting room, then DON’T be pissy when it’s your turn to have to use a room full of someone else’s stuff.
I will gladly clean it for you as soon as I help the little boy who is bleeding from a head wound while his mother searches for the one and only peachy mauve blouse with caplet sleeves – in extra large. She KNOWS there has to be one.
Long before I worked in retail I was a customer, and before that I was a person. It will never cease to amaze me how the lines of civil behavior get so muddied when one person is in a service position and the other one is an asshole.
And I know there are terrible sales clerks – I work with them but, as in all other facets of life, we shouldn’t paint everyone with the same brush.
Now I need a drink – I think I’ll have a 7 and 7.