Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why do we have rules?

I was the only Customer Service associate scheduled from 2-11 last Sunday. What that means is that I'm on my own from 4-6 p.m., then they send someone up for my lunch at 6 p.m. When I get back, that person goes back out on a register, and I'm on my own from 7-11. Which, on a Sunday night, is no real peach.

And that's when you get some of the most difficult customers. The crackheads who are out of money and need quick cash trying to shoplift and return thing (see below), the people who are bored of sitting at home all weekend so they decide to shop, or the ones who just like to make my life hell.

Women of a certain age and a certain income are absolutely some of the most difficult customers on the planet to deal with. I think it is a combination of never having been told "NO" by someone ostensibly in a position of service and the thought that their money buys them whatever they want. To wit:

This one woman came in late Sunday. She had a bag full of clothes. Two pairs of pants and four shirts. She wanted to return them. The receipt was from February. I told her she couldn't because it was a 90 day return policy. She got pissy and then wanted to know "Well, where does it say that?"

Right here ma'am, in two-inch letters.

So she goes on a spiel about how she's been out of town and there aren't any Wal-Marts in the state she was visiting. Umm, yeah. I truly don't think that there is any state in the entire country that is without a Wal-Mart.

I stand firm. So then she pull out the tried-and-true "Well, I want to talk to a manager" line. I get one of the supervisors. While the girl looks over the reciept, the woman changes her story, saying now that she was "traveling" and "left the clothes here" for three months.

So the supervisor checks the prices. All the shirts have been reduced to $3.00, because they are January merchandise. I show the woman the tags. The pants are still the same price, so the supervisor tells her she can exchange the pants, but she is stuck with the shirts.

The woman leaves to look for the pants but comes back 15 minutes later. "Why can't I exchange the shirts too?" I call the girl back up, who explains that we are doing her a favor just by taking back the pants. The woman goes back out in into the clothes.

Unbeknowst to us, she's causing mischief. She finds a manager. How, I don't know, since WE can never find one when we need one. He buys her line of crap, and tells us to give her her money back on all the stuff.

So why do we have rules and try to enforce them if all the management does is make us look like fools? We were at least going to make her take some merchandise. This woman bought some clothes in February, got too fat for it, then is returning it for full price FOUR MONTHS LATER — although it has been marked down probably 90%. That is straight-up profit we're losing.

She claimed she spent $700-$800 in Wal-Mart every week. What about the three months where the "wasn't a Wal-Mart in your state" you stupid cow?


Marie said...

I've only read a couple of your posts. You seem like a very unhappy person.

A few examples of how you put people down: "crackheads who are out of money", "women of a certain age...", "stupid cow". That's 3 in one post! I've read other posts and there is an insult/stereotype/slur in all of them. Composing an entire blog on the basis of complaining, insulting and attempting to find your own superiority to all the lesser beings that enter a Wal-Mart must be very tiring for you.

I'm thinking that your job and/or personal life must not be making you very happy.

You might want to look into that.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps you are an unhappy person. If you are, it is just because you do not realize how much joy your blog brings to the hordes of people that have ever had to work retail.

My guess is that Marie has never worked retail and is be most likely a "woman of a certain age".

-Bradt (Toast)

just tip me said...

BBC YOU ROCK! Working with the public is "tiring"! I think about you everytime I am at my local wal-mart.Your posts get better and better every month. I don't know what I would do without them to read. LOL Looking forward to more. Best Wishes! Happy 4th of July!!!!

Hey Marie.... don't let me wait on you at my restaurant I just may spill your drink on you! STUPID COW!!!!

L said...

Marie needs to get over her self help self.
If you've ever worked retail - YOU GET IT. Period.

BBC - you rock - your just unloading steam about your job. Everyone who works likes to complain about something about their jobs - it's just life.

adam said...

Wow, there are some fiery comments today! I love it.

BTW, I hate people who are critical and judgemental ;)

FARfetched said...

Yeah, one of those Marie types pretty much soured my daughter on working in a restaurant. But that doesn't matter; to the Marie types, the world is only there to wait on them, hand and foot.

I would say "screw 'em" here, but I can't imagine it being worth the effort.

marie said...

I have worked in retail. I treat customers well. I also treat those that help me with respect. I'm not always happy with the people that come to my counter, but I never classify them by stereotypes. And I in no way expect people to wait on me hand and foot.

I'm not a fan of the critical or judgemental either. That's my problem with this blog and, admittedly, the problem I have with my own response.

Lesson learned. Sorry for the intrusion.

Anonymous said...

Dear BBC American,
I love your blog very much and I, unlike Marie, wish to thank you for:
a.) Airing your complaints in a healty setting like a blog, rather than perpetuating the cycle of negativity that people put on your everyday at your job
and b.) being so hilarious. women "of a certain age" are seriously the bane of my existence. You should see them at a Whole Foods. It's sad.

your friend in the blogosphere,

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people get angry at jobs like these. When I worked retail, all I would hear are the inane rantings of my co-workers. Some where so fed up, they threatened to quit. Yet, they never did. They were there for years before me, and will be for years after. I quit long before they ever would. Because I believed in something they did not. That I was good enough to find a better job.

I know every job has it's gripes. And this blog has been a great and amusing insight into the irrationalities of retail customers. But there's a difference between griping about inane work place practices and venting personal unhappiness. It did not appear to me that Marie was judgemental. Being assaulted everyday by angry customers can make a person defensive to criticism. So I can understand the hostile responses she got. But her comments should still be taken with the same intent that it was posted, with respect. All those who jumped the bandwagon to ostracize someone who was concerned should be ashamed. You are acting just as irrational and unfair as the customers you loathe.

So long as employees endure the indignities of their job, so will employers continue to shovel it down their throats. Do yourself a favor and get a better job you deserve. Make it harder for ungrateful companies to find good employees like yourself. Hard enough that they may actually start reconsidering their unfair and hypocritical practices.

And don't take this the wrong way. This post is more for the retaliatory attacks on Marie, than for the original poster. If you can handle your job and still be able to tell a good story then by all means, tell away. I certainly enjoy your blog. I point it out to anyone I know who hasn't worked retail themselves in the hope they will find it equally humorous as it was intended to be.

So, no, I'm not judging. But stating the rhetoric fact that many employees with jobs in retail often forget. And so many forget.

MavenofMoxie said...

My guess is that, 'Marie' is crackhead frequenter of Wal-Mart who waddled her 'ginormous' self to the public library, finally had someone log her into a public computer terminal and while she was waiting for her crack dealer to show, stumbled across your blog.

Id wager to guess that 88% of Wal-Mart customers fall into at least one of the following categories, most times multiple: 35% or more over-weight; perpetually unemployed and on welfare, with zero ambitions at finding any work, ever; drug addict of some kind; IQ not above 95 and education not past the 10th grade; lazy, sloppy, dirty pigs who have no cognisance that anyone else in the world exists or matters.

Marie lkely falls into all of these categories.

MavenofMoxie said...

BTW, Marie, if you dont like the blog, dont read it! Nothing burns me up more (other than rude & stupid people) than people who bitch about 'offensive' material on the radio, TV, internet, books, etc is to them yet they dont stop reading, listening, etc. WTF??? NO ONE is forcing this down you! Turn off your computer, turn the channel, put down the book!!!

You are a stupid cow and that's being nice. If this offends your senses so greatly, start a worth-while blog of your own or dont read it!

Is this such a difficult concept for, 'these people'???