"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And Now It's Time For Retail Wednesday!

The part of the week when I regale you all with the insanity that is my life in a bookstore. So without further ado...

Vaguest Request Award: If someone approached you and asked for LD Debate for Dummies what would you think they were talking about? Tune in at the end for the reveal!

No, this book does not exist... that much I will give away now.

Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box Award: Customer approaches computer, reaches up and tentatively touches the screen. This I do not have a problem with. The screens do look kind of touchy. But nothing happens. Customer touches screen again. Uses other hand. Uses thumb. Uses knuckle. Slides finger across screen. Brow furrows. Jabs screen making the monitor vibrate. I clear my throat. There is no easy way to say this without making the customer feel stupid. "Use the mouse." Customer either a)glares at me, clicks mouse violently, refusing my offer of assistance; b)grins ruefully, abandons computer and says, "Maybe I should just ask you"; or c) uses the mouse and then laughs to their companion as they walk away, "I would have just stood there tapping that thing for who knows how long if she hadn't said something."

Wow. Just... wow.
Now if you approached this terminal and touching the screen didn't work, don't you think that maybe, just maybe,
you would try using the mouse before giving up or putting your fist through the screen?

Phone Freak Award: A coworker answers the phone. It is a woman wanting to know if we have any Hannah Montana books. We do. She wants to know what they are about, if they are connected to the tv show. If they are just retellings of the episodes or if they are new stories. My coworker indicates that he doesn't know and that the books don't say. Customer: "Well, is there anyone there who has in depth knowledge of Hannah Montana?"

Why yes, Elizabeth here just did her senior thesis on the comparison of Hannah Montana shows to books!
I laugh at your inferior knowledge of Hannah Montana. You fool.

Jerk Face Award: So this is basically someone that I couldn't even get any humor out of the situation, but maybe by recounting it here I will be able to see a funny side to it.

A man at the register demands to speak to a manager. Cashier calls for the manager on duty who, oh joy, happens to be me. I approach the gentleman and ask what I can help with. He shoves a receipt and a gift card at me and demands that I give him the balance of the gift card in cash. I patiently explain that I cannot do that. He insults me and the store, saying that he was barely able to find anything he wanted. I inform him that gift cards work on our website and we can order almost anything for him there and even ship it right to him for free. He jabs at the gift card and demands cash.

Meanwhile the customer behind him is now being checked out by the cashier. The man turns to the other customer and tries to bring him into it. Saying it's not unreasonable to ask for his money back and that we are not giving him good service. Customer glances at the man and then at the cashier and I, shrugs apologetically, pays and hurries away.

"So what can you do for me?" man demands. So I tell him that I can call the manager. "I thought you were the manager!" he bellows. I explain that I am a supervisor, but if he's not happy, then I will call the store manager. I page the manager and while we wait, the man continues to rant about how we carry nothing good in the store, etc. as well as accosting each new customer who comes to get rung up. He declares to one poor customer, "These people will just walk all over you if you let them." Said customer looks at him like, stop being an idiot and go away.

Manager arrives, I explain the situation and then flee the register before I become violent. After I leave man accepts the manager's statement that we cannot cash out the gift card and before he leaves, turns to the cashier and says, "I know they weren't gonna give it to me. I just wanted to make them come up here."

How bouts you just wear this next time you come in so we'll all be clear, hmmmm?

Other Side of the Counter Award: My Dad and I were shopping and had reached the checkout just as a sneeze overtook me. I lifted my arm and sneezed into the elbow. The cashier smiles at me. "I always wondered why people sneezed into their elbows," she says. "But then saw a sign at my dentist that said that's what you're supposed to do, because it keeps the germs off your hands."

Maybe that's true, but I find it odd that she saw this at a dentist's office.
9 out of 10 leading dentists agree you should sneeze into your arm instead of your hand

Private Amusement Award: Sometimes a customer asks you for something that isn't funny in and of itself, but the circumstances make it funny so you have to be careful to wait until they are gone before you giggle. Twice this week customers came in looking for Step Aerobic DVDs. A coworker was standing next to me so, while I was looking it up, I asked if they remembered seeing anything when they were working in that section. I can tell by her eyes that she finds this humorous, but she is good and merely says no. Then the search screen comes up and we both are fighting amusement. I contain myself and tell the customer that we don't have anything in the store, but might be able to order something from our website. Customer declines and leaves.
Coworker whispers, "I didn't think anybody did Step Aerobics anymore." What had come up on the screen?
Unfortunately I was alive in the 80s and can remember the horrid color schemes this video cover brings up

So, apparently it has been a while - but if the clothes can come back, why not the exercises?

Vaguest Request Award Continued: So, did you contemplate what LD Debates for Dummies could be?

A coworker approached a mother and daughter who were searching through a listing of Dummies books. The mother says, "You can help us, you're smart. That other guy doesn't know anything. We need LD Debates for Dummies. My coworker has no idea what the customer is talking about, but has just been called "smart". Awkward. Figuring that LD is a particular type of debating, she taps LD Debates into another computer. Nothing comes up. "I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by LD Debates, but it doesn't look like we have anything on it."

Woman gazes at her in exasperation and says, "I can't believe you don't have anything on the Lincoln/Douglas Debates!"

Coworker tries not to snicker. Goes around to the computer the customer is on, types in Lincoln Douglas Debate and, lo and behold! there are books on it!

Nothing for Dummies, though. Alas.


ashlie said...

Oh dear, you do get all sorts! I hate it when people go out of their way to be rude and difficult! I thought of you the other day! I was at our friendly-neighbourhood big box bookstore picking up a birthday present for my sister when I heard someone behind me approach an employee, "Excuse me, maybe you know what book I'm looking for," she said. It made me chuckle, because I was quite sure that it would turn into a very long winded discussion about some book whose title she couldn't remember. I was just glad it wasn't me - for some reason I'm frequently mistaken to be an employee in any given store. Weird.

AchingHope said...

Oh dear. People are just too much. But I like the shirt idea. It would make it so much easier to run away from evil jerk-faced customers.

Teebore said...

My favorite is when people like that jerk threaten to stop shopping at the store.

1. The way you're behaving, that's an incentive for us to piss you off.

2. I'm sure we're worried that the lack of business from one person who can't find anything to buy from the ENTIRE company is really going to bring down a national chain.

The Hannah Montana story is one of my pet peeves: people that want us to basically pick out the book for them, because they can't be arsed to come into the store and browse themselves (or, you know, look it up online, where they'll find just as much if not more info than what's available to us in store). You want to know where something in the store is, or whether we have it in stock, fine. You want me to tell you which book you should buy? Not so much.

Oh, and I knew from the outset that LD Debates was about Lincoln/Douglas debate, but that's just cuz I was on the speech team in high school and had many, many friends on the debate team as well. My school had two categories of debate: LD (Lincoln/Douglas) or Policy. LD was the trickier of the two.

SonshineMusic said...

@Teebore: hahaha! I can't believe LD Debates is an actual term used! Nobody in the store had ever heard of it before. I guess they weren't as crazy as I thought.

Joan Crawford said...

9 out of 10 leading dentists agree you should sneeze into your arm instead of your hand

Haha! I love stuff like this!

SonshineMusic said...

@Joan: every tongue in cheek caption like this is directly inspired by your blog - just so you know :)

You could take that as a compliment

Or you could be very scared

Blam said...

< Scotty in Star Trek IV >
"Hellooo, computerrr!"
< / Scotty in Star Trek IV >
VW: Objecto — The great 19th-century magician and defense attorney.

SonshineMusic said...

@Blam: bwa hahahaha!