|Tales from Retail Hell #435
||[Jul. 10th, 2007|08:51 am]
|||||Elvis, Watching the Detectives||]|
So, my neighbors are on vacation and I'm helping out by minding the store, being the responsible adult. Hey, the kids that work in the store are a fine batch, but...even finer when being minded a bit by an experienced adult.
And thank goodness I was there when this b*tch came into the store. One of the kids told her that we had to limit her purchase of the Black Lab Webkinz. And later, when I have more time, I'll muse on what it's like to be at this stage in my life/career, spending an entire day checking in, merchandising and selling....stuffed animals. But I'm a sucker for helping out friends...and the extra dough doesn't hurt during the summer when so many of my clients skip sessions because of vacations.
Anyway, when the kid tells her she can only buy 2 instead of 8 (because she's already been noticed buying large quantities of this and other hard to get ones, which leads us to e-Bay and price-gouging and the store never having them in stock for the wee little darlings that come in looking for them.) she flips out, as only someone guilty of wrong-doing can do.
Just screaming hysteria. I move in to shield the kid, because, well, that's what I get paid the big bucks for. And she starts in on me...she was so hysterical, I can't even remember how the tirade went..."what have I done, what am I being punished for...what is wrong with you people...how do you expect to stay in business...write a letter to the business council..." yada, yada, believe it or not, I've heard it all before...and I'm doing my best to be earnest and sincere and repeat the store policy again...and again...and again...suggest that she buy her large quantities elsewhere, remind her that we're only doing it for the kids...that she can buy as many as she wants of all of the other kinds, just not a large quantity of this semi-rare one...trying not to openly sympathize with the other customers in the store who are making faces at her, rolling their eyes, etc.
And frankly, I had moved to retail manager listening to wound up customer mode. When you realize that whatever has got this customer wound up...well, clearly they came into the store with some baggage and some tiny incident in the store has popped the lock on the Samsonite and really they are no longer interested in a resolution of the problem or discussion or anything except verbally ripping you a new orifice and hopefully making you cave and let them do whatever it was they wanted to do in the first place. (Which, we will often do for customers who are reasonable and can talk intelligently and politely to us. Really, we do it all the time. But you start screaming at me...and I don't care how reasonable your postions was....you have now unleashed my inner Yankee and I will now make New Hampshire granite seem malleable.) So, I'm sort of checked out, waiting for her to run out of time, or spittle or maybe if I'm really lucky she'll just have an infarction and we can all get on with our day...
Until she gets to "so this is how you feel powerful, is it? Keeping me from buying these is how you get your powertrip, working here in this sad little store. The only thing you can control in your pathetic little life is whether or not I can buy a goddamned stuffed animal."
I'm not easy to break. Really. But I just burst out laughing. Yeah, you're right, lady -- this is the only way I have any power....the only thing I have control over...
...oh, I wish! What free time I'd have!
A side bennie for me -- beyond reminding me why I got out of retail in the first place -- the kids in the store think I walk on water.