Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On the other side of the counter

I had to return some shoes at the mall today. I got all the way into the store and up to the counter before those two girls looked up. And neither of them greeted me.

Me, no matter how bad a day I'm having, no matter how much my feet hurt or how much I want to punch the last person out, I try (but don't always succeed) to pretend-smile and ask "what can we do for you" or "how are you doing?"

Apparently at this store, you have to fill out a slip to return shoes. And then one of the girls gave me a back-handed compliment - "You've got pretty handwriting for a guy." And then she hands the slip to the other girl and goes "Most guys just scrawl some stuff down." I was all like "that's nice."

And then she had trouble with sliding my credit card. I'm like "put it in a plastic bag." I know that from 18 months at the Wal-Mart. Don't ask me why it works, but sometimes it help the magnetic bits along. Finally, she gives up and just types it in. Which takes all of 30 seconds, which she should have done in the first place.

The whole time, her partner in crime ignored the people waiting in line behind me although the other register was open. And the other girl was directing two other sales clerks to "move those shoes over there" while all she did was draw on a piece of paper. I wonder if these were the managers?

She did not thank me, nor did the other girl. It is just odd to compare how different places handle customers. Of course, they are first and foremost sales clerks, whereas I deal with Customer Service eight hours a day on both weekend days. Still, I think these two could use a few refresher courses on customer courtesy.


FARfetched said...

I think the difference is that you care. Most people with crap-wage jobs are primarily interested in putting in the hours.

I remember reading once that outside of retail, the sales staff is at the high end of the pay scale; of course, it's just the opposite in retail. I'm not saying that a shoe store should pay their sales clerks $100K or anything, but if those girlies were making more $$$, they would be more involved with the customers — if only because there would be lots of other kids ready to take that job from them.

J in So. Ill. said...

I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. I'm also the wife of a twelve-year veteran of WM.

Yesterday my husband came home and shared a little slice of his day. He was in the breakroom with a couple of female co-workers. One was reading aloud from a magazine article about healthy meals and snacks. My husband overheard the following:

#1: It says hummus is a healthy snack. What the hell is hummus?

#2: I don't know, but we've got some back in Garden Center. It comes in big plastic cubes like the peat moss and stuff.

#1: Hummus is dirt? And people eat it?

#2: I thought people just grow stuff in it, but I guess you could eat it too.

At this point my husband couldn't contain himself any more and jumped in with a short lecture on the difference between hummus and humus. He told me that he wasn't sure the women believed him, and it was entirely possible that they might try eating humus as a healthy snack.

I don't know how capable, intelligent people like my husband (and bbcamerican) can put up with the people they deal with every day. It's not just the customers; it's the "associates" too!

TheHopelessMoof said...

Hi! I was reading pat entries and I have a question (Probably a dumb one) but I'm at home with an ear infection so pardon me for the stupid question. About the putting a charge card in a plastic bag. So you rub a plastic bag against the magnetic strip them slide the card through or do you slide the card through while it it is in the plastic bag? I'm just wondering. Feel free to respond here or e-mail me at Moof219 at aol dot com if you have a minute!!