Harry Gordon Selfridge (1864 - 1947)
- The first to promote Christmas sales with the phrase "Only _____ Shopping Days Until Christmas", a catchphrase that quickly was picked up by retailers in other markets
- Either he or Marshall Field is also credited with originating the phrase "The customer is always right."
Somebody find me a necromancer. I wish to raise him from the dead just so I can kill him again.
Okay well maybe I can, in fairness, muster some moderation for the bloodlust that blows through my veins. Let's face it, this much loathed phrase has changed from it's original intent. When Harry (or Marshall) first coined this phrase, the world was a very different place.
Business in those days centered around the phrase 'caveat emptor,' or "buyer beware." Under this motto, anyone who pruchased a product was Shit Out of Luck if the product was defective. In modern terms, you know that refrigerator you spent $2,000 on? It's defective. Nope, you cannot exchange it. You need to shell out $2000 more for a (hopefully) working new one. Furthermore, there were no laws demanding that products be sold in good quality (i.e. 'merchantable quality' laws). So it was a Russian Roulette as to whether what you were buying was even going to be worth the money you spent on getting it.
Harry was employed by Marshall, and while no one really knows which one coined this phrase, it was to be the stepping stone of a better business model for the future. Marshall Field and Company centered their business around unconditional refunds (not-so-brilliant now-a-days), consistent pricing and international imports were totally innovative for their time and became standards for quality retailing. Field's employees were also taught to leave customers the fuck alone; if the customer wasn't interested, the employees were NOT to push products on them. The idea behind the phrase "The customer is always right" was not to take the message literally, but instead to help foster a helpful and more encouraging mindset when dealing with consumers.
[/end history lesson]
Of course, as the years went by, a new culture of entitlement came along. Now, the phrase meant to inspire helpfullness is warped beyond its original intent and is now flaunted by the scum and villany of customers everywhere who want what they want when they want it.
The corruption of the line's original intent now does more harm than good. "The customer is always right" is now an adge that custies AND corporations abuse, fostering within Retail Slaves a weary, bitter and all around negative view of both the company they work for and the people they were hired to assist.
If customers come first, where does that leave employees? Eating dirt. Why should an employee be loyal to a company that always sides against them? Custies can have legitimate complaints or needs that should be addressed to the best of an employee's abilities. If the Retail Slave cannot help, they should be able to turn to a manager or supervisor. However, a line must eventually be drawn. As soon as a request becomes a demand, and the special treatment asked for becomes unreasonable, the business SHOULD side with its employees. Employees want to be seen as valuable, as this positive feeling encourages them to do their very best at their jobs.
Granting unreasonable customers an unfair advantage only encourages them to act in a negative manner and encourages them to return, with the same abusive behaviors. This inability to see that some Crusties are bad for business is what creates an enviornment for scams, which are designed solely to rip off a company and steal the company's money. When a company loses more money than it makes, there is no way for the company to survive, and suddenly the CEO can't understand why the business is now bankrupt.
This is what we wish corporations would wake up and realize, but they never seem to.
"If you don't like our product, we'll give you another for free!" This is a no-win situation.
1) If your product is a piece of shit, I don't want you giving me another one.
2) If your product is defective, I will SAY it's defective and ask for an exchange.
3) If your product is good and I say that I don't like it because I want the freebie, I AM RUNNING A SCAM THAT IS STEALING FROM YOU! WAKE UP, DUMBASS!
And now, a bit of fun for the whole clan! Let's face it, the ending is something retail slaves have dreamed of doing to hellspawn for a looong, looong, looooooong time.