Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sunglasses at night

Customers seem to think that the "service" part of customer service is the equivalent of "bend over, touch your toes and look through your ankles" in that every request must be met instantly, without question and the customer must then be begged for another.

I'm there to help. If I CAN help you I will. BUT YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS RIGHT, no matter what you think. And this is not your house. My job is more important than your sense of self-worth. To wit:

If you buy sunglasses at Wal-Mart, they come with that really clunky thing that has the security tag and the UPC code strapped around the nosepiece. This is of course to prevent theft. And it ain't coming off except with either a knife or a pair of scissors.

Customers generally gravitate up to the counter for things like stamps, scissors, copies, band-aids and all sorts of what-not. If we can help, we're glad to.

However, if you're asking us to remove the security tags from a piece of merchandise, there is an ironclad rule which we must follow: THE CUSTOMER MUST HAVE A RECEIPT FOR THE ITEM.

Which, you know, only makes SENSE. Most customers understand why we ask, and fish the receipt out of the pocket or checkbook where they've crammed it. Some fish for a while, but I don't cut until they do find it. Some idiots get offended and think you're accusing them of stealing.

I had encounters with not one but TWO idiots this over the last few days. One was a woman who ran up with a pair of sunglasses in a Wal-Mart bag.

"Can you cut this tag off for me," she hollers breathlessly, holding out the bag. I ask for the receipt. "I don't have it," she says.

I pull the scissors back. And she turns up the nastiness. "My husband is right there." I can see registers 7-14, and I don't see anybody obviously with her.

"He's on the other end, paying for these. I'm not trying to steal them." I go ahead and cut them. She runs off. I come out from behind the customer service desk and walk out from the area to see if she walks straight out of the store or goes out to a register to meet someone.

She sees me coming after her and then really gets ugly. "This is my husband. Here is the receipt. I told you I wasn't going to steal them."

I just said "Thank you, ma'am" and let her go. But look. Anyone can grab a pair of sunglasses and a bag out of the trash or off a register. Having a BAG doesn't mean you bought it. Having a RECEIPT means you bought it.

The second idiot was this guy who actually said "Are you accusing me of stealing?" I said "No sir, but people do things like this all the time. That's why I have to see your receipt."

He coughed the receipt up.

I wonder what sort of fantasy-land these people live in where everyone is just so honest? Or maybe I'm just jaded, bitter and cynical.


inspectorguy said...

No, you are not jaded. These people are morons living a sad little fantasy world. When they get carjacked later they will understand better.

Pookie Pie said...

Nah... you are jaded. But then again most of us are. Do they get upset when they go to some grocery stores that ask for reciepts as people exit the building? Or at Sam's or CostCo when they want proof that you purchased that huge cart of crab your rolling out to your Excursion?

Jane said...

I work in a value fashion shop in a very rough town in the UK and we have no security guard or cctv or anything, so stock literally WALKS out the door. It amazes me no end how our customers react when they find out how much we lose every week... they are always like "people actually steal from you? I can't believe that!". Ignorance is bliss I guess. By the way, just wanted to say I love your blog to bits and read religiously every day. If it makes you feel any better you deal with the same people I do daily... I guess people are the same whatever country you're in!

IrishOshen said...

You are totally jaded but I can't say I blame you. How do you work such a job where people expect the world or they eat your soul. Mad respect to what you do. I for one treat my customer service people very nicely so at least they know good people still exist.

Your little sayings crack me up too. Thanks for the entertainment! oh and sharing your life

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Totally Jaded. But totally not your fault.

For proof, see any of your previous jillion posts attesting to the gall, arrogance, brashness, and stupidity of the folk that walk in wal-mart. Not all of those folks, mind you, it's just that whenever you do business, you will get goats and wolves along with the sheep. Chaff with the wheat. Penguins with the tuxedoes. Wait. What?

Props to your blog.

Anonymous said...

I love your Blog, however could I get some general information on you?

I'd guess that you are a minority woman but I think I just read an old entry where you stated you were a man.

Given your love of British comedies I'm guessing you are a gay man. No worries.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I worked for Wal-Mart (aka H3LLMART) for almost 12 years while putting myself through college for an Electrical Engineering degree. I had to work to pay for my tuition & books since I got no help from the school or government with loans, scholarships and etc. So I had to work, which caused me to take longer to graduate than a normal student. I hate to say it. Customers (IMHO, uncivilized barbarians) will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. Always wanting something for nothing. So if they can steal it they will. If they don't they will treat the associates badly by yelling, cussing, threats of not shopping their again & even threaten lawsuits for discrimination, verbally abusing and even had one customer try to physically assault me, because I told him NO. Since I was the manager on duty (Support Manager) at the time. Then later on I get told by the main store manager, that I was in the wrong, for letting the situation get that far out of hand. HUH! That I have to stand there and take it no matter what even if that means getting assaulted by the customers. To ensure they come back to shop at H3LLMART. That I am there for the customers even if they abuse me. WTF!!!!!!!! NOT JUST NO BUT H@ll NO!!! I am glad I quit. I got tired of the constant emotional, mental, and physical abuse by the customers and associates (managers).

I believe everyone once they graduate HS, should work in retail or other general public service jobs and be treated like how they treat associates. So maybe things will change customers views and aspects of associates. I do not treat other associates of other companies the way I was treated, I know how it felt. It sucked for being yelled at and cussed at for something that was out of your control. So I do not get mad or upset over something small and uncontrollable that happens. Things happen. Nothing is perfect. The world is not perfect. Yes, I may have a jade and cynical view, but I got that by how I was treated by customers and other associates (managers).

Ex-H3llmart associate/manager now Electrical Engineer.... :)