Tuesday, July 25, 2006

El Carto to me and you

Nothing upsets some people more than the large numbers of Haitian and Hispanic associates we have working at our Wal-Mart. Read my infamous nun post for more on this topic.

I know that when they come up to the Service Desk to complain they really just want someone to listen to them. I usually apologize, nod and say I'll call someone. When they leave, I go right back to what I'm doing, unless it is actually an urgent problem.

The language barrier is a real problem at our store. I'd say that probably half of the staff is barely literate in English, with only maybe 20% tops - the people in supervisory or critical customer service positions - fully literate in English. We've probaby got another 20 percent that actually work on the sales floor in various positions and who deal with customers that speak little or no English at all.

Some of the sales associates get drafted to do Door Greeter duty from time to time. Even the ones who don't speak English understand what the "bong-bong" of the security thing is and know how to check a receipt.

Well, Sunday was really busy, and one of the no-Enlish-at-all girls was watching one of the doors. As usually happens, we ran out of carts because three cart-pushers quit on us.

One old man came in, couldn't get a cart, and told her to get him one. She smiled at him - pretty much because she didn't understand much of what he was saying. So he started yelling at her. Well obviously, volume wasn't going to help.

So he came up to complain and then started cursing at me. "What kind of f****** place is this? I told her there weren't any f****** carts. El Carto. El Carto. She ought to understand that f****** much at least."

I just said "I'm sorry there weren't any carts. Perhaps you'd like to check the other door."


paulo said...

I really like how the sort of person who thinks that there's any point in swearing at you is also the kind of person who thinks any word can be turned into Spanish by adding an el in the beginning and an o at the end.

This is seriously one of the most entertaining el blogos I've ever read.

Ol' Lady said...

you are one of the sweetest people I know. Thank you for listing me in your 'frequent wal mart shoppers & commentators' section. I think of you each time I'm in wal mart, which is almost daily ;) lately I have had to return items I didn't need for our daughters wedding, the people at our service desk are the best. I hate it when someone gives them a hard time, it is so unnecessary. I am always super nice even if I'm having a bad day, they don't need any more shit thrown at them.