Friday, February 23, 2007

Legal is as legal does

Really. I dislike yuppies. If my income ever catches up to my desires, I'll probably turn into a granola yuppie, but for the meantime, I dislike yuppies (and old people, and children, and ESPECIALLY women of a certain age) with a purple passion.

Yuppies seem to be especially good lately at "forgetting" merchandise at the registers and then showing up days, sometimes a week, later to claim "someone" said they come come in and get it.

Now, our store has a mondo understaffing problem, which results in customers being hacked off beyond belief by the time they finally do get to a register. And most of the cashiers we have don't speak much more than broken English, and that's only if they know and like you. For the customers, they nod and smile and go "Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh."

So the customers just throw all the bags in the buggy and scram, because they're just too pissed off to stand there one more second while the girl spins the rack. Or the person behind is already yelling at her to start scanning their stuff. Or the girl on the register is just a dim bulb. There's a million reasons -- but really -- I've been shopping at grocery stores for YEARS and never left a bag. I still don't understand how people manage to "forget" SOMETHING THEY PAID FOR.

Anyway. Yuppie Man waits in line for at least 20 minutes with a trash can. It is not small, mind you. You could fit a small child inside. When he gets to the counter, he slaps the trash can down and plunks the receipt on top of the counter. He crosses his arms and looks at me.

Ummm. I'm no John Edward, but the only think I can tell at this point is that you're a total tool, dude.

ME: "Can I help you sir? Do you want to return this?"
HIM: "No. I don't want to return it. I checked out and this was not given to me." And I get one of those "Is everyone in this place stupid?" looks.

I look at the receipt and at the trash can. It's the same trash can.

ME: "Sir, you forgot the trash can at the register, is that what you're saying?"
HIM: "No, that's not what I'm saying. They didn't give it to me."

So now I'm arguing semantics with yuppie wearing Dockers, a Ralph Lauren button-down (I can see the monogram) and an Izod pullover.

I still don't understand how you manage to "forget" a trash can the size of a six-year-old. And then I notice that he forgot this two weekends ago.

ME: "Sir, let me try to get this straight. You came here on [this date], which was two weeks ago, and didn't get the trash can?" See, I can play the dumb card too.
HIM: "I've been busy. It's still legal." And that has what to do with it exactly? You're the idiot that left an $17 piece of merchandise in the store because you were probably too busy yakking to your pal Gary about your golf game. Or about your portfolio. Or about a 20-year-old secretary and a 25-year-old bottle of scotch you were planning to share at the same time.

I didn't sigh in his face, although I wanted to. I also wanted to slap him, just because he was being a total tool. But you know yuppies, they're "busy."

And actually, we're not supposed to give anything away after a week. But I know any supervisor or manager would have given him the frelling trash can anyway. So I slapped a sticker on it and said "With our compliments, sir" gave him a totally fake smile and prayed to the golf gods to send all his balls into the rough for the next month.


yellowdog granny said...

If I had your job I would have ripped off his balls and played 18 holes with them..

Chaz said...

I feel for you. My significant other worked in retail management for one of Canada's largest music stores for over 6 years. I can't count the number of times I've heard stupid shit like this. I don't know how you people can do it.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap!!! You used "frelling" in a sentence!!!! You are awesome!!!
You made my day!!

Ben said...

I'm glad you are venting here, intead of saying the thing you want to say to the customer.

I'm really surprised that you've kept it up this long, and frankly, kind of saddened by it. You don't work there to serve the customer, you seem to work there to be angry.

Are you angry because people are mad? Because your hands are tied to the walmart manual? Because you can't actually help anyone?

It's customer service counters like the one that you work at that are ruining retail. $1.76 ice cream cones, and $17 trash cans are not something YOU should be getting angry at.

Treating each customer as a new experience should be your objective. I hate that when I return something legitimate that I'm judged as a criminal because someone stole a cell phone charger in the line in front of me.

Cheer up, bucko, and find a new job.

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

Treating each customer as a new experience should be your objective. ... Cheer up, bucko, and find a new job.

No offense, "Ben", but is your name really Rob? Would you, by any chance, be the scrawny, self-righteous know-it-all manager I had when I worked at a call center a few years ago? This sounds like something he'd totally say because he just didn't get it...

I actually think more customer service people should be like this guy/gal. He/she shows amazing grace when having to deal with the idiots that come into Wal-mart on a daily basis. And that's saying a lot from me -- a frequent shopper who seems to encounter rude, unhelpful customer service employees on a regular basis! And that's when I'm BUYING stuff, not returning.

By the way, I love your blog. One of my blog readers directed me here because someone mentioned my blog on Behind the Counter. Keep up the good work!

Rob the Webkahunah said...

You know... if I had forgotten something like a trash can at the register, and it had taken me two full weeks to realize it, I would feel way to embarassed at my stupidity and lack of awareness of the world around me to ever consider trying to get another one.

Then again, maybe I just don't have the mind of a shyster.

inspectorguy said...

I realize it is a lot different when you have to deal with these obnoxious fuckwads all day, every day. However, I think I would have called a manager over just so that I could make the greasy, dog-raping prick wait just a little longer. And I would have told him that was exactly what I was doing.

MavenofMoxie said...

Save your lectures and self-righteous babble for someone that gives a shit. Good grief, read the damn blog or don't, but no one cares about 'preachings' on what one should and should not get angry over. YOU, Ben, should not give online lectures about the hilarious rantings of others.

Many props for the use of the word, shyster. LOL

Yellowdog Granny,
Tee time and whiskey sours, say 2pm sharp?? :-)

Dear Yuppie,
Please cut off your appendages, one by one and place inside 'forgoten' over-sized trash can. Add some lye and acid for good measure.
Next time you go to Wal-Mart, please locate the nearest staple gun, add some staples to what's left of your balls and then proceed to use no less than 17 on your mouth.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, on my most down days it keeps me going. That said I have forgotten bags at Walmart. Shopping with a baby and toddler when your exhausted and have had zero mental stimulation and your husband is out of town so you don't even get to talk to an adult all day can really kill brain cells. I have never forgotten any thing as large as a trash can however! I'm just saying that not everybody who forgets something is stupid or trying to steal something, some of us are just having really crappy stay at home mom type days. Thanks for listening...

Ben said...


The managers that gave you this 'lecture' were trying to help you. This isn't self-riteouness, it's a matter of fact. And the reason that guy was your manager is because he DID get it, and you worked for him because you DIDN'T.

I work a regualar, 40 hour a week desk job. On the weekends, I have a retail job. And If I ever talked to my customers like this, or treated them like this, I not only would get *fired*, I would cause the company to go broke.

Luckily, when I get a dumb customer who refuses to belive somethign I say, I have the entire staff at my back to help. And usually, when we resolve the problem, it doesn't have anything to do with us. Helping the customer realize what's REALLY wrong is why we are scusessful - they aren't mad at us, they are mad at themselves because the part they bough is metric and they only have english tools. Instead of refusing to return the part, we sell (or even lend!) them the tools they need.

And they come back.

Putting up with this sub par, bullshit customer service is why walmart succeeds, and being "behind the counter" without being able to fix things is why they are so aggrivating.

Have a backbone and HELP people or QUIT.

Anonymous said...

ben - feel free to learn how to spell, dr. helpful

FARfetched said...

I've been known to leave stuff behind… like a gallon of milk on a couple of occasions when I was single.
Unlike Yuppie Twit, though, I just wrote it off and got more later.

There has to be a statute of limitations at some point — if I bought something, left it behind, and didn't think about it for two weeks, I wouldn't expect to get a replacement no matter what I paid for it. Dang. Maybe I ought to go back to that grocery store and see if I can get a free gallon of milk; it's only been 25 years or so.

Anonymous said...

@10:30 anonymous...

LOL. I was thinking the exact same thing.


Anonymous said...

Ben, Hostile Heidi "gets it", far more than you realize!

She worked under that "know-it-all manager" while in law school.

Yep, asswipe, you're "arguing" with a lawyer! :-D

Read her blog guys...she's AWESOME!

MavenofMoxie said...

Now, now, it's obvious that, "Ben" is the head of such uber-important industries, like his local Big Lots store. Obviously his place of importance isn't lost on him, in fact, he's perfectly in-tune with his too-high pedestal and ridiculous ramblings. I'll bet everyone at his store bows before his superior knowldege and wisdom. How could one not be in awe of America's next Fortune 100 CEO??

***tee hee***

Anonymous said...

People should treat others the way that they wish to be treated. Customer or not. The author probably helps hundreds of people in a friendly and effective manner, but the idiot customers are better reading.
If people insist on treating customer service reps badly then we're not going to take it well. Just because we work at Walmart doesn't make them better than us.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come now...Ben has a point.

I mean, wouldn't the world be a much better place if customer service jobs were all held by folks who were there solely to please the customer, and didn't think too much about being derided day in and day out by customers and bosses alike?

I think that many of those in the middle and upper middle class are more than just a bit tired of hearing about how badly the working poor are treated in this society. Honestly, if it's that bad they should all just go get much better jobs where they were paid a living wage and they were all treated with basic respect and cake in the conference room on their birthdays.

I mean really, did we hear much complaining from Jurgis Rudkis in Sinclair's The Jungle? I think not. Thank heavens Sinclair wrote only to point out the horrific conditions of the food consumed by the middle class of the times, and the mildly substandard treatment of the workers was just a plot filler. Who wants to be dragged down by such sad thoughts?

And really, couldn't those people have just gotten better jobs, too? It's terrible to make good solid Americans feel bad about their own lot by working in such horrible conditions and then publishing works about them. Shame on those people.

(did I keep a straight face the whole time there?)

Ryan said...

I'm just happy I wasn't "him" and had yellowdog granny at the return counter....

Anonymous said...

BBC, I agree with your feelings about these "special" customers 100%. The stories you tell are the exceptional ones that stand out from the whole day of customers bringing in returns.I work at WM too,and experience similar situations.Most of the return customers are great and don't give you problems,but then you get the ones that act like they should get PAID to shop at Walmart and you owe them something.They treat you like you are beneath them because you work at Walmart.

Brock said...

"And usually, when we resolve the problem, it doesn't have anything to do with us. Helping the customer realize what's REALLY wrong is why we are scusessful - they aren't mad at us, they are mad at themselves"

Sure, SOME PEOPLE will realize the mistake but what this blog is all about is those a$$holes out there that won't LISTEN to learn and won't ever BELIEVE IT IS THEIR OWN FAULT!

Customer Service ends with these people and the blogger here is doing everything he can to still be nice and TRY to illustrate the problem. However, some people are born dumb and mean and these are the people that we need to screen to make sure they never are allowed to have children.

Anonymous said...

I have only left a bag at walmart one time (thus far). But I take no responsiblity. The girl checking me out must have been new, or totally Obsessive Compulsive about bagging, because as she was scanning my items she would put one in this bag and then a couple in another bag, then when all the bags on the carousel had at least one thing, she had to twirl it around and try to match up the next item with something already in a bag. It was some bizarre game of concentration mixed with roulette or wheel of fortune.

Anyway, when I got home I didn't have the mop head I had purchased, so I went back that night or the next day. Of course, no bags of anything were returned to customer service, but they graciously told me to pick out whatever I wanted from the store and take it home ;).