Sadly, I don’t have any.
Perhaps with the rare exception of a customer going to up to my manager and verbally complimenting me, I have never received any feedback in my retail career where a consumer went above and beyond to acknowledge my customer service skills. Oh and all those thank you letters I got when I was a Big Fancy slave doesn’t count since many of them feel a bit forced. Face it when you work for the Big Fancy, outstanding custy service is expected and you don’t want to know the many instances I’ve seen of fellow asshat coworkers telling custys to write a positive letter about them so they can rack up points for Employee of the Month. *cough cough* BULLSHIT!
However, I will reveal to you all what I did to make a retail slave’s day. As I noted before, I’m a refugee from Big Fancy and everything you read in Freeman Hall’s books about the company are ABSOLUTELY one hundred percent true! Big Fancy has a habit of building up their slaves, working them to death, and spitting them out if they don’t produce their ridiculously high quotas. I have seen the revolving door of employees come in and out of my rinky dink store without so much as a thank you for the pleasure of working for the Big Fancy. Now get the fuck out!
Now when I was working for them, I had the misfortune of being their corporate lackey by manning their complaints counter. Basically, my job was to kiss a custy’s ass and make sure they left happy and massage their overinflated egos to the point they get their happy ending! One night, a sweet little old lady came in to my counter crying and all upset clutching her Basic Fancy shopping bag that contained a blouse that had not been touched. Everything was on it including the tag, the return label, and the poor woman had a receipt. Immediately, I’m thinking. She wants to return.
No biggie. I start the transaction when she suddenly she shakes her head and tells me not to proceed. Then in Spanish she tries to explain to me the situation. Since I’m not a native speaker, I picked up a few key words on her explanation: something about shopping at our other bigger Fancy and needing a gift. Since we had a failure to communicate, I grab the phone and try to contact a few departments with Spanish speaking employees to help me translate. Then the frustrated shit storm hit me like a ton of bricks. All of them REFUSED to assist me because they didn’t want to miss out on sales in their department from their sharky coworkers! Well fuck me that you actually care about getting a potential sale!
After getting nowhere andseeing this poor woman more visibly upset, I finally got Pilar from ladies clothing to help me. Pilar is a white haired, Hispanic woman with the sweetest disposition who raced her little self upstairs to my complaints counter to help me translate for this custy. Taking a few minutes to converse in Spanish, Pilar gives me the 411.
“Basically, this customer went to our Big Fancy store in Ritzy Area and they refused to take it back,” Pilar explained. “She said that the salesperson who sold to it to her was so rude to her that she wouldn’t wait on her. On top of that, she wants to exchange it for something else because it’s a birthday gift for her sister.”
“It’s legit,” I reply to Pilar. “The tickets are on there, it has a return label, and it’s never been worn. Plus, it’s only been week according to the receipt. I don’t understand why they won’t take it back.”
“Because they’re not nice people at the Ritzy Area,” informed Pilar. “They made her cry. It’s only $40. They should have taken care of it there.”
“Can you help her?” I asked Pilar.
“Of course,” smiled the older woman.
Leading the Spanish speaking customer by the hand, she takes the upset consumer into ladies and returns the item. Pilar then finds another dress and even sells more merchandise to the customer landing a total of $300 in sales. If the person at Ritzy Area Fancy knew how to sell, she could have turned it around. The upset customer left our store with her purchases happy as a clam and Pilar with some extra sales figures in her daily pocket.
Yet, I did not want to stop there. Since Pilar worked so hard on this woman and without any appreciation, I went out of my way to do something nice for her. Purchasing a Big Fancy gift card for $20, I went to her department during my break and handed the older woman my gift. Pilar’s eyes widened with surprise to the point she began shaking her head.
“Queer Geek,” she clucked. “You shouldn’t do that.”
I force the gift card into her hesitant fingers. “Oh hush. Just take it. You earned it. You helped with a difficult situation because no one in this greedy company wanted to take time to aid their fellow man. Plus Big Fancy can care less about us so at least I wanted to show you that your assistance is greatly appreciated. Now don’t be humble. Accept it.”
She gave me a hug and I left her department with this weird feeling inside my stomach. Was it generosity? My humanitarianism? My overwhelming need to be a good Samaritan? My ability to sympathize as a retail slave? Damn. It means I’m developing a conscience. Whatever the case I made this Pilar’s day which gave me this warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Sadly, Pilar didn’t last another year. Big Fancy spit her out because her sales quotas placed her at the bottom of the department totem pole. Pilar, like many of us, became another victim of the corporate serial killer. It shows that even the most decent of human beings can fall prey to the big business bullshit!