Friday, September 29, 2006

How may I help you?

I've never been accused of being too helpful, especially at a Wal-Mart, but this is how it went down Saturday.

There were three of us at the Service Desk Saturday night, trying to sort out the enormous number of buggies of stuff that always gets rolled up there from all over the store as associates "clean" their areas and then dirty up ours.

An elderly gentleman comes up with money and a bill of some sort in his hand. He lays the money and the paper bill on the counter and waits. I say "One moment, please sir." One girl is loading a cart with toys; the other is trying to sort out a cart of groceries. I head back behind the counter.

I see a barcode on the bill and (wrongly, as it turns out) assume that he wants to make a payment on his Wal-Mart or Sam's bill. (I've had enough credit cards and department store cards to pave an eight-lane expressway, and I've never seen one with a barcode on it other than the Wal-Mart Discover).

Anyway. I say "Would you like to pay your Wal-Mart bill sir," and reach out for the bill. I would like be very clear that at no point did I ever touch the money, the paper bill, or the gentleman's person.

He grabs the money and the bill and jumps back and yells at me "Don't you touch that." WHOA NELLY!

There are four security cameras PLUS a closed-circuit TV above Customer Service. Do you really think I'm going to steal from you?

What he wanted was a money order for something else. I looked at the bill again and it looked exactly like our Wal-Mart credit card bills. I'm desperate to know what it was. But I'm telling you, he was in no mood to tell me.

One of the girls told me later "I heard him yell and I turned around - you weren't even halfway across the counter. I guess he thought you were going to take the money from him and then say he owed you more."

I guess you can be too helpful.

And you know what? I'm going to sit there like a bump on a log from now on. "Whaddya want? Wanna return? Wanna exchange? Lemme think on it. I gotta get my pen. Where my tape at? Shameka, you seen my pen? Whaddya doin? Whaddya want?" I will never seek to be pro-actively helpful again!


Tator Salad said...

People can be difficult. Worked in retail for many years. One story for you. Actually when I was manager of a restaurant. We had this one lady that would come in everytime and order several drinks and the most expensive food on the menu. Each time she got a drink she would take it back to the bar and not a waiter (after almost finishing it). Of course she would do this to make more of a scene. "This is so weak" and "I am paying good money for this", bla bla bla. After doing this 3 or 4 times shes drunk and her food comes. Well, of course, the food sucks. She wants a free meal and asks for the manager. Ding ding ding (thats me). Our policy was "whatever the customer wants" so I consistently gave her $1,000's of food (not kidding). She even had the balls (well maybe she did) to ask me for a pack of cigs becasue she ran out while waiting for new food and drinks. I got sick of it and told her to get out. I was, of course, backed up by my employees but it just goes to show the crap you have to put up with. One of many stories. Keep on keeping on and if I come into your store and get a "Whatya want?" I'll understand.

Anonymous said...

I worked at a fast food restaurant once. It was near the end of my shift, and I was out of both dollar bills and quarters. My last customer ordered and needed change of a little over $2 back. I tried to give him a $2 bill I happened to have (since paper is easier to carry than 20 dimes) but he yelled at me "Don't you gimme dat thang! I cain't spend dat thang nowhere!" as if I was giving him fake money or something. So, he walked away with a fist full of dimes and assorted other coins.