May 22, 2015

Why Everyone Should Work Retail At Least Once In Their Life

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I honestly never thought I would write a blog post about this, but the other day I just had the rudest customer. I don't know if she was having a bad day or what, but she just blew up in my face.

I started by asking if she had our store credit card, she said no and that she's not interested. Okay, so me being the cashier, and being that I get paid to always ask twice, I asked again at the end if she was sure she didn't want to open one since she could save so much money. Most people at this point just say, no thank you, that's the polite thing to do, but this customer said no and looked a little upset. So I said okay, and went on to payment. Next we have to ask for their e-mail, and this is where she exploded. I don't know what her exact words are, but she felt as if I was hounding her, and said something along the lines of she loved shopping in our store but doesn't like that every time she comes in she gets hounded.

First off, it's our job to ask twice for opening a card and we also have to ask twice for e-mail. Our store ratings are affected by how many cards we open and how many e-mail subscriptions we get. I also was not hounding, I was politely asking if she wanted to open one and if she was sure she didn't want to because she could save so much money. I wasn't forcing her to do anything.

Second, if she doesn't like getting asked, then a) don't shop at our store or b) just open a card and give me your e-mail! We still have to ask "Do you have a ______ card," but then we only ask once and you just have to say yes, or just lie and say yes, we won't know! And once you enter your e-mail, it connects to your credit card, so it won't ask again unless you use another card or you get a new card. You can always create another e-mail for junk, or you know what, make one up! We won't know the difference!

I know it's annoying and I hate getting asked all the time too, but since I work in retail, I know why they have to ask. It's what they get paid to do and guess what, it also affects how many hours they get! Those who open more cards and get more e-mails are going to get more hours because they are the ones helping the store, so before you get upset, think about why they/we have to do it and realize they/we aren't out to get you!

Seriously though, I think everyone needs to work retail once in their life to understand what "we" (the sales associate) go through. We are not there to make your life miserable, we are just doing our job, and all you have to do is say "no thank you." Maybe you have to say it three times, but just politely say it and we'll leave you alone.

I had a customer that got annoyed and was like "do you ever get tired of doing that?" Yes, why yes I do, BUT that's what I'm PAID to do, I can't just stop asking customers if they want to open a card or for their e-mail, or to take our survey. If I don't ask, then guess what, I won't have a job! Plus we have to ask because all of these help our store!

Is it really the end of the world that we ask these questions? It's not like I'm asking how much you weigh or where you live. These aren't personal questions, they are simple yes and no questions. Also, some people like knowing that if they take our survey they can get entered for a chance to win a gift-card or get such percent back on their next purchase. Some people might like to open a credit card so they can start saving or earn rewards. We also don't have psychic abilities. I don't know if you are going to be one of those snippy people or if you are going to be a nice and polite person just by looking at you! So I can't just pick and choose who to ask and if I do, well then, that makes me judgmental, which most people consider a bad thing.

So PLEASE just let me ask my questions, let me do my job, and all you have to do is say "no thank you" and "thanks for letting me know!" It's just the nice thing to do.

Here are a few more customers that annoy me:

The late returner - Seriously, I don't know why we continue to take back items that were bought after 90 days. 3 months is enough time for someone to return an item, heck I think 1 month should be enough! Then people get all upset because we tell them we can return it, but it's going to be for what it's worth now and well, after 3 months, items go on clearance, so you may have paid $20 for it, but now it's only worth $5. Why should our store lose money because you couldn't make it back to the store in 90 days? I don't understand some people. Do they not read the return policy?

The "I want to return this" (but I ripped the tag off) - Here is another, why? Don't take the tags off until you try it on! And I'm not talking about the stupid paper tags that always fall off, but the ones inside attached to the seam! I can understand if the paper tag falls off, they do all the time, but why rip out the one of the inside? We can't take that back of course because we can't sell it. Again, why should our store lose money because you for some crazy reason decided to rip out the washing instructions! One customer threatened to sue the store because we wouldn't take her items do to this (plus they were also wet, said she left them in her car, well that's stupid and probably not true). I don't think she ever did. She had no case, our return policy says we don't take items that appear washed/worn and taking the inside tag off = worn.

The "I thought this was ___% off" - I can understand this. I mean signs can be confusing, but often if you read the fine print, it answers the question. A lot of the time signs will say "up to" as well, which people often miss. What I don't get is throwing a hissy fit at the register when something isn't as cheap as they thought it was. It is not my fault, I didn't do the signage, and hey, maybe you read the sign wrong? Don't go blaming me! Why not just pass on the item if it wasn't the price you thought it was? Do you really need it? And if so, then don't get upset when someone goes to check the sign for you. What's worse is when the sign is for something else and then the customer has to go back to see it themselves. These people must really have nothing better do in their lives... Seriously, just pass on the item, it's not like you'll die without it or pay what it rang up as, most of the time it's only a few dollars more, which is really annoying. Who gets upset over a couple dollars? Really? If you are that poor, go to a consignment store or garage sale!


By working in retail, I have become a better customer. I am more patient when it comes to waiting in line. I often give out my junk e-mail to help out another cashier. I may not open a credit card, but I politely say "no thank you" each and every time they ask, no matter if it's once or 4 times (sometimes we go on repeat, even I have asked more than twice on a few occasions, it's just habit). This is why I think everyone should work retail at least once, because by being on both sides, you become more understanding and also learn to always read those return policies! And hey, if it's passed the return date, why not sell it on eBay? Or gift it to someone else?