"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 17, 2010

Retail Wednesday!!!!

And now it's time for the post you've all been waiting for... (and by all I mean my sister, of course)... the First Weekly Retail Wednesday Blog!

Wherein I share with you the quirks, idiocy and downright insanity of working in retail! ::loud cheering commences::

Award for the Strangest Topic: The customer that asked me where the books on Antique Construction Equipment were.
Whoa! This picture came up when I Googled "strange" - 1st picture too!

Antique Construction Equipment? Is there a market for those things? I never knew! Guess I can get rid of those old pavers, bulldozers and bucket trucks that have been piling up behind my house!

Award for Most Idiotic Customer: Woman who CLIMBED up the shelves to reach a book on the top shelf. When I asked her not to stand on the shelves, because they are only held up by small metal pins, she responded (in a muttered voice) "I'm only 100 lbs and she tells me I'm gonna collapse the shelf."

(to myself I think... I kind of wish those shelves had collapsed and EVERY BOOK HAD FALLEN ON YOUR HEAD!)
Under this mound is a 100 lb. woman begging for my forgiveness >:)

Densest Customer Award: Looking for books on social work. I tell her I've looked that topic up for people before and we don't carry anything. She tells me to use this keyword, then that keyword, then a combination of the keywords. I patiently do, showing her that each time nothing comes up. Reiterate that I have looked this up for people before and have never been able to find something under that keyword. She will need a title or more specific information. She asks me 5 more times to try looking it up, then spends half an hour browsing the computer herself, asks another employee (who immediately asks me if I've seen anything - that made me laugh because she got so annoyed) and still cannot find anything. Hmmmm... I've been working here for almost 4 years, maybe I know more than you!
See, you as the customer know one block's worth of knowledge about what we carry.
I, as the employee, know the entire giant block's worth of knowledge about what we carry. Let us compare...

Most Annoying Award: (This belongs to those things that customers do over and over that drive me absolutely batty.) Customer is using the computer. I approach and ask if there is anything I can help them with. Customer says no in a definitive tone. I begin to walk away and the customer yells after me, "Where are the books like this?" I turn around to see the customer gesturing wildly at the computer screen. I then spend the next ten minutes helping the customer that did NOT need my help.
Can they give me one of these buttons to make the customer disappear?

Tune in next week to see what new and interesting things people in retail will throw my way!


AchingHope said...

That pic of the construction thing... It's going to eat me. I just know it. I am barring my windows and never walking down empty highways alone. It will find me.

Ahaha... love the blocks.

kinshne: <-- Not sure of it's verification yet, but I am totally using it in my book. "Kinshne!" the girl cried, calling out the one word that gave him permission to seek revenge. Dun dun dun!

Teebore said...

Ha! I love it. I've dealt with everyone of these customers before too.

Do I recall correctly that you work at Borders?

Here's my crazy retail story. I always say that Sundays are the day the crazies come out. We always get random, bizarre or stupid questions, but Sundays, they just seem more random, bizarre or stupid.

Case in point: Woman asks me if we have any magazines or books about Wayne Gretzky. Her son needs pictures to put on a poster board for a school project, and she figures she'll just take apart a book to get the pictures. I cringe at the thought.

This not being the 1980s, we don't have a lot of Gretzky-specific books, but I take her back to the hockey books and point out some general books that might have some Gretzky info. I then suggest that printing out the results of a simple Google image search might be more effective, but she says that buying a book and taking it apart will be cheaper.

I fail to see how buying a book (just to destroy it) would be cheaper than a few color printouts at Kinkos, but whatever. I leave her to browse.

SonshineMusic said...

@Teebore: haha! Yes, I do work at Borders and I have dealt with many customers like yours. I've never understood why people think we sell cheap books on random people just for their chopping amusement.

Teebore said...

And the copy machine question. I'm sure you've had that one a million times. Like a book store is the same as library, and all we care about is making sure you get your report done quickly and cheaply.

Yes, I do work at Borders

As a Barnes and Noble employee, I won't hold that against you. :)

SonshineMusic said...

hee hee - at Borders we refer to ya'll as "The Evil Empire".

I have a whiteboard on my bedroom door and someone (I have no idea whom) wrote Barnes & Noble on it - so I responded with, all right, who left the hate mail :P

Teebore said...

Yeah, we pretty much ARE the Evil Empire.

Jenn said...

I work in an office now, but for years before that I worked in food services! Oh man! I know what you mean! Sometimes customers are absolutely silly.


I also cringed when I read your story about the mom who wanted to cut up some books. Magazines I can see, but books? Terrible!

@Aching Hope

If only your VW read KinShine. Then I would say that is your nickname for your sister. The rest of us know her as Sonshine:P


You and Borders = white rock on the scale. Teebore and Barnes and Noble = black rock? LOL

Joan Crawford said...

@Teebore - This not being the 1980s, we don't have a lot of Gretzky-specific books

...wait, you guys don't have whole libraries dedicated to the guy?

When I worked in retail, I had a sweet old man and woman come in and ask me about a satellite TV thing. I go through the whole song and dance and at the end the old man asks "How many adult channels do we get with this one?" And the wife nodded eagerly at me.

I mean, hooray for you for being able to shake it still but gross - I want to be able to again too!

SonshineMusic said...

@Jenn: You and Borders = white rock on the scale. Teebore and Barnes and Noble = black rock?

hahahahaha! Yes!

Emily said...

We have some whacky people at B&N, too! (And I'm pretty sure we're not the evil empire--an empire, perhaps, but not evil)

Teebore said...

You and Borders = white rock on the scale. Teebore and Barnes and Noble = black rock? LOL

I love it!

@Joan: your story about horny old people cracked me too.

AchingHope said...

@Jenn: Man! I wish it had been KinShine

@Teebore: *shudders* That poor book, in the hands of a maniacal crazy lady...

Verif Word: Ovensupe, soup made out of ovens of course.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

I sort of miss working at the "Evil Empire" now...I don't get as many really stupid questions or funny stories.

I have an old people retail story for you (sorry Teebore, you've heard it before):

I was across the isle shelving in the science fiction/fantasy section and spied a little sweet old couple in front of the sexuality section. I immediately thought they must be lost because everyone knows you don't have sex after the age of 50. Duh. Then the little woman starts picking up books, one by one and shows them to the old man. He just stands there shaking his head at each one. Finally, I hear him say (rather loudly) "But it's MY birthday!"

True story.

Terrific. Terrific.