A song many custys should listen to!
Greetings Curious Scroller,
If you've never landed in this part of cyber space before, you have taken a hard, fast plunge into the fiery depths of work hell. RHU is dedicated to giving the service worker a voice. If you are an angry customer, a corporate suite, a homophobic race-hater, and you don't like skull masks or swear words, this blog isn't for you. Click away now, before your ears bleed and your eyes explode.
I'm Freddy, Crypt Keeper of Retail Hell Underground RHU -- a place for service slaves to have a voice, tell their story, support each other, or just have a chuckle about the insanity of working in the 10th Circle of Hell! I'm also the author of "Retail Hell," the funny memoir about life as a handbag sales associate at an upscale department store! The sequel, "Return To The Big Fancy," has just been released in hardcover and e-reader and is available wherever books are sold!
A song many custys should listen to!
I have worked in retail (same store) for ten years. Every year the customers seem to get worse, especially (obviously!) at Christmas. So, I've taken to venting with a nice letter. Here is Christmas' offering...
Dear Christmas Shoppers...
So. We meet again. I am vastly amused by the fact that you haven't been to the mall since this time last year. Just like the other 200+ people who have told me exactly the same tale.
You are also easily the 100+ person to say "I can't believe how busy it is!"...WHY precisely can you not believe, in the middle of December, that a 200+ store shopping center is busy? What, did you think you were the only person who woke up this morning and thought "Hey, nearly Christmas, better go shopping?"
A "hello", "excuse me" or even a polite cough is a nice way to announce your presence, should you feel it necessary to do so. Walking in and declaring "Keyboard books! ...." is not. Do you walk into a supermarket and yell "Beans!" and just expect to be led to the correct aisle?! Actually, you probably do. @$$.
Being a lowly shop assistant, I have no responsibility over the plumbing. I realise that the toilets opposite our unit were closed for a whole 2.5 days. You think it's inconvenient for you as you pass through? Try spending 8-12hrs here in one go. However, I read the sign outside. I realise that you were too lazy to walk all that way, and it was quicker to nip into my shop/shout over the cabinet from outside, but had you bothered to walk an extra 20 paces, the sign would have also told you where the nearest working facilities were, ie, up one escalator, about 200ft away.
An important shop assistant calculation should be noted here. I'll even illustrate it for you:
For example, if you politely enquire where the nearest toilets are, I will tell you to head up the escalator and turn right. If you storm in, loudly demand "What's up with them, then?" and then proceed to loudly complain and demand directions as if I personally broke the toilets, I WILL direct you on a 10 minute walk to the furthest toilets in the centre.
If you have a perfectly good copy of a book in your hand, don't ask me for another because "it's a gift, this one's been flicked through." I put the book out minutes before you arrived. The flicker in question was YOU. I also will not discount the book for the same reason. I will order you another copy in, if you feel the one in your hand is not satisfactory. It will be exactly the same, but what the hell. It means that you have to make another trip to shopping hell, so if you really want to do that, even closer to Christmas, who am I to argue?!
Customer: "Do you have another copy of this book?"
Me: "No we haven't, what seems to be the problem with that one?"
Customer: "Well, it's been out. It's for a gift, I want a perfect copy. They have to have a perfect copy if it's for a gift."
Me: "No we don't seem to have another. I can order a new copy in for you?"
Customer: "Can't I just have a discount on this one? I'll take it if you reduce it."
I'm sure your precious relative would be overjoyed to know that you will sacrifice their perfection requirements for a 50p discount.
Whilst we're talking about your relatives...they are precisely that: YOUR relatives. I don't know your sister-in-law/child/father/Aunt/second-cousin's adopted Ugandan orphan, or whoever else you are shopping for. I don't know if they would use a plectrum keyring, or a music-themed notepad. I don't know if they would wear treble clef patterned socks, heck, I don't actually know if they even have both feet.* Asking me these questions is pointless, and wastes both of our time.
Telling me their age is about as useful as telling me their shoe size when it comes to "helping" you to choose a music book. Essentially without knowing what instrument they play and having a vague notion of what musical genres they like, I can't help you. Some 15 year old boys like Metallica, some like Mozart, some like Michael Buble. I don't know which catagory yours falls into. You really should know, or at least ask someone who does.
I also cannot find the book they have asked for without a title or band. Asking me for "...a yellow one" does not help. I cannot search our database by colour of cover. Getting irritated with me will not help to ease your stupidity, nor will repeating "It's yellow!" in louder and louder tones. In fact, repeating anything at me in louder and louder tones will not help. Just because you have a name for something, it does not mean that I use that name, or understand what you are talking about, especially if the name is a word you have made up. Charades do not always help. You can stop miming now.
Bands these days have stupid names. I realise this. You don't need to call me over and tell me each time you find a stupidly named band. When it is mid-November and the shop is heaving I have neither the time nor the inclination to stand at the T-shirt rack and give you a history and back catalogue of every band featured therein, from Cannibal Corpse to Thin Lizzy and all genres in between. If the person you're buying for hasn't expressed a liking for thrashing death metal, buying a random T-shirt with a design that would scare small children is probably not the best idea.
Nor can I "sing a bit of one of their songs" for you to help you make up your mind. It sounds like a drumkit falling downstairs whilst a bear throws up. Does that help? May I also remind you once again that I have never met the person you are shopping for. Thus asking "Would the large fit him, do you think, or would medium be better?" is pointless. Maybe bringing in a recent photo of him standing next to something of regulation size, like a post box for example (as people who are selling things on eBay take a photo next to a coin or a ruler to give some idea of size), would enable me to contribute to the Great Size Debate.
"It's all noise to me!" isn't funny or helpful the first time you hear it. You were not the first.
* Speaking of missing limbs, you cannot phone up and ask me "do you sell anything that will help a person with one arm play the violin?" and not expect follow-up questions, such as "Which arm are they missing?" I am not being funny, nor am I asking out of morbid curiosity. I am attempting to help you. You were the one who phoned me with the stupid question in the first place.
This should be obvious. It appears not to be. If the person you love just HAS to have the most popular book of the year, don't wait until three/two/ONE day before Christmas, and then be outraged/upset/shocked that we don't have it. Ditto the fact that we cannot, at 9pm on December 23rd, order a copy in just for you. Don't tell me Amazon could get you one. If they can, by all means order one when you get home. But they can't. Like our suppliers, Amazon does not whisk books to you via teleporter in the wink of an eye.
And, about the whole online thing. Of course you can buy whatever we have cheaper online elsewhere. Online doesn't have to staff 13hrs per day. It doesn't have to pay extortionate rents. We do. We don't price-match. You don't need to queue up especially to tell me that you've seen the item in your hand cheaper online, and then leave said item on the counter for me to put away.
If you come into the shop and tell me that "I'd like to try that guitar. I'm not going to buy it here, I've seen it cheaper online but I want to try one before I order it."
Then I WILL say no. Go ahead, call me a bitch. E-mail the internet retailer, and ask to try theirs. You can't? They don't do that? Well there's one reason it's cheaper then. They don't have to pay a member of staff to humour assholes like you who ask to try stuff they tell me they're going to buy somewhere else. And, might I add, DUH.
You do not qualify for a discount for:
Babies...Don't expect me to watch your children. You spawn it, you watch it. We are not a creche. Unattended children will be sold to the circus. You will not be recompensed. If I peek into your push chair I assure you it's only out of mild curiosity, not an offer to babysit, nor do I need to know their sleeping regime, when/what they last ate, or if they need changing. To be honest, I'm probably just looking in case you have something freaky-looking in there so that I can alert the rest of the staff to go and have a look. At such times of high stress we're grateful for a giggle. Also, the freaky-looking ones fetch the best prices at the circus.
Don't tell me that your little darling who is wrecking my shop "...has ADHD, he can't help it..." What he has is a massive bag of sweets in one hand, and a bottle of fizzy orange pop in the other. That many E-numbers would make a sloth hyperactive. If you're not going to tell them off for swinging off £300+ instruments, rest assured that I will. Would you rather I discipline your child, or charge you £300+ for the damage they do? Because it's one or the other.
Before asking the question, "Are you busy?" please take a moment to actually LOOK AT ME and make an informed decision as to whether your question is necessary. Chances are if I am up a ladder, have a 20W amplifier under each arm, am mid-conversation with a customer, on the telephone, processing a credit card transaction, or with a sales rep, then yes, I AM busy. Heaven help you, you might just have to queue with everyone else.
We open 9am-10pm. SELECTED stores are open until 12am. We are not a selected store. We close at 10pm. You can find this information out online, over the phone, or by asking. Don't find out by wandering into the shop for a browse at 9:57pm and getting pissed when we politely ask you if we can help you find anything, as we close in three minutes. We are not going to change our policy because you would like to wait in our shop for your wife who's in the baby clothes shop opposite. Also, if you have been in our shop repeatedly during my 12hr shift and haven't bought the three plectrums you desperately need, don't come in at 9:57pm and expect me to be overjoyed to see you. If 13hrs are not enough for you to do your shopping, perhaps you should consider the wonderful world of 24hr online shopping, and leave me the hell alone.
You want an item. We have ordered aforementioned item for you, promised to phone you when it arrives, and given you an approximate date for delivery, which is still a week away. There is no need to phone up on an hourly basis to see if your item has arrived, and attempt to keep us on the phone for at least ten minutes each time. You ordered it yesterday. We said a week. Hence, it is not here today. No, I will not "phone around them all and see who has it" because I don't know which Courier service the supplier uses. I will not phone the supplier to find out who they shipped it with, because it is literally one of a million items they have shipped. I realise that "It's his main present!" I also realise that "he" is your 50 year old father, and that I am not toying with the seasonal happiness of a small child by refusing to waste my day chasing your item which WILL (and did) arrive before Christmas. I am, however, more and more tempted with each phone call to donate your item to charity the second it arrives, just to teach you a lesson in patience.
Don't ask me if I think you are/your question is stupid. It's the 2Xth of December. Honesty may outweigh politeness at this stage. Politeness is actually very important. Hence I politely request that you remove your iPod headphones (*gasp* BOTH of them) before attempting to have a conversation with me. Don't leave both headphones in and repeatedly yell "PARDON?!" at me.
On the subject of manners: phones. Quick rule of thumb:
If it would be inappropriate to take out a newspaper and begin to do the crossword, it is inappropriate to get out and begin using your phone.
I.e., if I am mid-sentence, do not answer your phone without saying "excuse me" and have a 10min conversation about so-and-so's drunken antics the night before whilst expecting me to wait for you to finish instead of serving other people. Don't come to the counter to purchase something mid-pointless-conversation. Don't talk about me to the person on the other end of the phone during pointless conversation. Yes, "the shop girl" is glaring at you.
There is a reason for that. Hang up your phone, and I might tell you what it is. I shouldn't need to tell you the reason why you shouldn't be wandering around a shopping center holding your iPhone in your hand, but talking on a hands-free earpiece. The reason is that you look like a) a total douchebag, and b) a crazy person who is talking to themselves. I also shouldn't need to tell you why attempting to serve someone whilst they are talking to someone else on a hands-free earpiece is never going to be a pleasant experience for anyone, but here goes...I CAN'T TELL WHICH ONE OF US YOU ARE TALKING TO. You are looking at me all the time. You are talking to both me, and the person in your ear. There are many and varied reasons why one, both or indeed all three of us are going to end up pissed off in this scenario.
Bear in mind, when you storm into my shop in the couple of days before Christmas, brandishing your attitude problem like an offensive weapon, that I have the items that your children are demanding. In effect, I stand between you and a peaceful Merry Christmas. I have what you need. Even Amazon cannot help you now. Therefore it is in your best interests to BE NICE. Then I am nice, and you have half a chance that your children will be placated and in turn, nice.
Merry Freakin' Christmas.
--UK Music Store Slave
I don't even know where to start about today. I apologize for the rambling.
Had a local restaurant place a HUGE order with deli, bakery and meat depts. She called on Mon to place the orders. Fast forward to today.
This woman was your worst nightmare. She went through each department picking up her orders. Mind you as the perishable manager I was overseeing everything. Everything is loaded on to a 6 wheeler for us to follow her to the check stand and have a carryout help her load it in to her truck.
This woman cuts in front of 5 people in lines at the check stand hands the cashier her tickets and says, "Hurry up I am ready to pay."
She then belittles and insults the carryout (found this out later), and I am thankful she is gone. About a 1/2 hour later I get a call-it's her! This woman is screeching and yelling at me that nothing is right. The rolls are too big, not enough cheese, the deli trays are too small, and the list goes on!
Finally after 15 minutes of listening to her yelling and me and the store manager over the phone we asked her what she would like us to do to "make it right". Her answer remake EVERYTHING, Do it in a 2 hour time frame, refund all $250 and then hand deliver to her business 18 miles away from the store.
If we weren't going to do that then she would report us to BBB. My store manager caved. So the busiest day in the grocery business I literally RAN my ass off helping these departments redo ALL these orders. One of the kids in the deli lives near the restaurant and offered to deliver it.
My store manager was SO thankful that we all stayed late to cater to this psycho that he paid all of us double pay. I hope we NEVER have to deal with this business again. $500 down the drain!
I'm pretty sure that hell froze over today.
I had a customer come in while he was talking on the cell phone (this is really annoying since I work at a sub shop and have to ask a shit load of questions in order to get anything done).
But before he got to the counter he hung up and apologized for how rude he was for being on the phone.
I was so stunned that I didn't even know what to say. I wish more customers were considerate like that!
He restored my faith in humanity.
My phone number is almost the same as a Rite Aid down the street (the one I use to work at)...anyways, phone rang today and here is how it goes...
Person: Hi, this is *****. (first name only)
Me: Ok, and?
Person: Is this Rite Aid?
Me: No, this is not, did I say Rite Aid??
Person: Ok, well, I need to see if my prescriptions are still up there to be picked up.
Me: This isn't Rite Aid.
Person: Oh, well you could have just said that in the first place. <in a rude tone>
Me: I did, you just didn't listen to what I said.
Person: You, know you're just a rude person.
Me: Thank you, I pride myself on that. I was going to give you the number, but now you can just find it yourself.
I thought I was being normal in my answers, until she commented on how professional I was being on the phone.
The first thing that I thought was, "Let me guess, people answer the phone with "WAZAAAAAAPPP" or some variant..."
It's bad when Hello, Yes, Sure and "Please hang on and let me get a pen and paper so I can write this down," constitutes as being the height of professionalism throughout the day.
My deepest sympathies for this poor woman. -_-;
May all your Customers Be Nice,
Is it normal for a receptionist to get snippy with you when you refuse to get into detail about why you would like to speak with a doctor about your medication?
I gave her a general reason why I would like to have the doctor call me back when she gets a chance; I was not demanding to speak to her right then and there.
When the receptionist asked what specifically about the medication I wanted to speak with my doctor about, I politely told her I would prefer to discuss it with the doctor. Then the girl snapped at me and demanded that I tell her in detail what was going on. I won't lie, I snapped and firmly told her that I have the right to discuss it with my doctor in private.
Is it normal practice for a receptionist in a medical office to request in detail why you need to speak with a doctor?
I get obtaining basic information, which I gladly gave her, but honestly, the rest is none of her business. I do feel a bit bad about snapping, but then again, one of the side effects of the medication is that I don't feel too terrible about shit I say either.
When a nurse called me back, I was still pretty heated, and I firmly told her that it was also none of her business either and that I wanted to speak with my doctor in private. Luckily, she was a lot nicer than phone girl and calmly told me that she would make sure that the doctor called but she wanted to make sure I was okay.
Of course I am not hospital emergency room injured, or even trip to the Dr injured, but "okay" isn't exactly a word I would use to describe myself right now so I started crying and told her what was happening and she was very sweet. She said that she was going to tell the receptionist that if someone says that they want privacy not to grill them. So that is good.
I had my first encounter with a TMI customer. You know the one I mean, the one who has to tell you all about his life.
I hear a page that someone is calling for housewares. So I pick up the phone, guy asks me about electric shavers because his old one was broken, reminds me three times in less than five minutes that Wal-Mart has the one he's looking for.
Then why the fuck are you calling Soul's, if you know Wal-Mart has what you're looking for?
He finally shuts up long enough for me, and I go and look to see what we have under the name brand he's looking for. I find them, I report back to him, then get a ten minute description of how his shaver broke, how much it would cost to fix it, and people telling him it'd be cheaper to buy a new one.
I had no idea what he was saying because most of his conversation consisted of long stretches of "Cause uh... the um... uh... um... uh... um... part that... uh... um..." I just gave up and said "Uh-huh" when he wasn't hemming and hawing and uh-ing and um-ing at me.
Then he explains that he had grown a beard and wanted to shave it off. I kinda figured that because that's what shavers are used for. When I told him it might be easier if he came in to look for himself. I then got (what felt like) another 10-15 minute explanation of he wasn't sure if he'd be able to make it in because he didn't have a ride, and he also needed to buy new shoes. And then he asked, should he bring his old razor in so he can compare it to what we have, what does it mean when you have the razor on the charger and the light is blinking, and told me, "If you don't have what I'm looking for you need to order it."
I wanted to help the guy, I really did, but he kept uh-ing and um-ing to the point that I think even he forgot what he was talking about, and going off on tangents. Asking me things I had no idea how to answer, and then kept talking not giving me a chance to answer even if I did know the answers. I was glad he couldn't see me, because by (what felt like) hour three of the phone call I was making the, "get on with it" hand motion, because I had a metric fuckton of recovery left to do. We had a call out, so one section went untouched for most of the night.
What I gathered from the nearly 30 minute long phone call was that his electric razor broke, and he could either get it fixed, or buy a new one (whichever cost less), and long stretches of conversations that had nothing to do with razors or whether we had the one he was looking for.
Hey Guys, I haven't submitted in forever. Hotel Maverick here, well that kinda doesn't apply anymore; just call me Nova its easier honestly. Had a LOT of bad happen and now I'm back in my hometown working at a gas station.
Working at this place, you would think its a little town, there is nothing going on, oh how wrong it is.
So here is a few of the random weirdos I get walking into my store on a daily basis.
The Chatters: These people will come into my dinky store, buy one coffee, talk to their friends for 4 and a half hours, then demand a new coffee because the one they had in their hand, THE ENTIRE TIME, got cold because they forgot they were holding it. Nope sorry, NEXT!
The Is That It people: These are the folks that come up to the counter and when you ask is that everything today, say yes, then IMMEDIATELY turn around and start grabbing stuff of the shelf or ask for 5 packs of cigarettes. If your not done shopping, simply state such.
The Flingers: I hate these people. When you give them their total will FLING whatever denomination of money at you and then glare at you daring for you to do it back. I'm sorry my penis is not measured in a contest with some grumpy ass truck driver who gets his jollies off by abusing some poor kid at a gas station at 4 am, here is your change, placed IN your hand, now get out of my store.
The Non Lookers: These people drive me INSANE! They are either blathering away of their cellphone or talking to their friends and wont acknowledge the fact that you are trying to receive or give them money to move the line forward. If you want to talk about your baby mama or your new skidder (yes those two things come up in the same sentence around here sadly) do so outside where I don't have to listen to your drivel.
Finally we have the Nas-Scratchers: This will make sense in a moment, these are the people that come into the store with a hand full off dollar or two dollar scratch tickets, then they spend a half hour to four hours, (I have seen it happen) circling the store, going from the scratch counter back to the check out back to the scratch counter always hoping to win the big one. The first few times its fine, when they STOP you from being able to do your job because they simply won't leave, that's when it gets a bit obnoxious.
I guess that's it gang, when I come up with more stuff, I will send it on over.
Ok. I need some advice and then I have a quick shitty story about my job.
The TV and internet is in my boyfriend's name, we enjoy the package that for TV and internet, but we don't need phone service. We're currently living with his parents while we save/house hunt, so we just use our cell phones.
At least 4 times a week, our TV/internet company calls and asks my boyfriend if he wants phone service. This has been going on for about 6 months and each and every time, he has politely declined and politely told them that he won't be needing phone service from them. He's even asked them politely to stop calling because they usually end up calling when he's trying to sleep, since he mostly works nights.
I came home from work today to my boyfriend SCREAMING on the phone at them. Apparently they've called three times JUST TODAY. So he told them that he never wants phone service from them, and if they call back one more time, he's going to cancel all services with them.
I really don't condone him screaming at them, but how the fuck do we make them stop? He's emailed them and asked, but they've said that they can't take him off the calling list.
And now, the story from my work.
My coworker had a heart attack on Monday. She's ok, but she's probably not going to come back to work. I picked up three of her shifts next week, all full shifts. I'm now working 9 days with one day off. I honestly don't mind because I'm still in my 3 month probation, and I want to make a really good impression. Plus, I like money. But then the same manager who bitched at me about my skirt asked me to work in the shoe department on Sunday... With absolutely no training before hand. I don't even know where the extra shoes are kept!
But I said no because I'm going to be out of town... And she got mad at me. HOLY FUCK I'M REALLY SORRY THAT I CAN'T WORK ON MY DAY OFF. EVEN THOUGH I'VE BEEN TAKING EVERY EXTRA SHIFT THAT COMES MY WAY, BUT HOLY FUCK, ONE SHIFT I CAN'T WORK AND I'M EVIL.
She looks at me and goes "Really? Because I have no one in shoes on Sunday."
How the fuck is that my problem? Fuck you.
RHU has been one of my daily reads for quite a while now, and I've left a few comments under several aliases, the most recent of which has been Reliable Slave. So I guess you can call me that. I've been a Retail Slave for over two years now as a drone for a Major Supermarket Chain. Specifically, I work in the Deli Department of our store, which shall be referred to from here on out as "Location M."
Now the way Location M is designed, the deli shares its back room and walk-in cooler with the Cheese Department. Deli is a traditional supermarket counter, so our entrance to the back room is behind the counter, but Cheese is laid out as a sort of free-standing island in the middle of the aisle, so its entrance is readily accessible to the public.
Can you see where this is going?
Anyway, it was maybe ten minutes after I'd clocked in for the day and arrived behind the counter. It was the weekend, so naturally the counter had been crazy for the last several hours, which meant our back wall full of product was seriously depleted. Fortunately, we had a momentary lull in customer traffic, so I volunteered to start re-stocking the wall. I grab a cart and head into the back room.
There was a guy walking around in there. Which isn't unusual, since between Deli and Cheese, the back room sees a lot of employee foot traffic. Only I'd never seen this guy before, he wasn't wearing a MSC uniform or nametag that I could see, he didn't have a hat on (which is required if you're in a food-prep area), and he was talking not on one of the store's cordless phones, but on what appeared to be his own personal smartphone.
Puzzled, I returned to the deli counter and asked one of the assistant managers (who shall henceforth be referred to as Sweetie), "Who's that guy in the back room?" Sweetie gave me a confused look.
"There's a guy in the back room talking on his cell phone. I've never seen him before."
Sweetie, our other assistant manager (I'll call him Jag), and our brand-new manager (Codename: Joker) all crowd around the door to the back room and start peering through the window at the mystery man. They're soon joined by several of our coworkers. Nobody recognizes the man or knows what he's doing there, though there is speculation he might be the new Cheese Department hire we've been hearing rumors about.
After a minute, our new Assistant Manager (call-sign Nemo, he's going to be Sweetie's replacement) returns from stocking our pre-packaged case and asks what's going on. We tell him about the mystery man and our suspicions that he's a new employee. Nemo takes one look, and his eyes get really big.
"Holy crap!" he exclaimed, "That's [NAME]!"
"Who?" we all asked.
"Wait..." Sweetie said, "You mean he's a customer?"
"Yeah! He doesn't work here!"
No sooner had the words left his mouth than Sweetie marched into the back room and approached the crusty.
"Excuse me, sir," she said, politely but firmly, "You can't be back here."
Crusty gave Sweetie the stink-eye, cupped his hand over his phone's mouthpiece, and huffs, "I'm on the phone!"
"Sir," Sweetie replied, "This is an employees-only area. You are not allowed back here."
"It's too loud out there!" Crusty complained, "I can't hear my phone!"
"Sir, you're not wearing a hat," Sweetie explained, "That's a health-code violation. Now you need to leave this area right now."
Crusty gave a very big, dramatic sigh, flipped Sweetie the bird, and stormed out of the back room, griping to whoever was on the other end of his call about how rude the employees were.
Now, like I said, the Cheese Department's door to the back room is accessible to the public, but there is a HUGE "Employees Only" sign on the door, and a second one at eye level right next to the door. They are all but impossible to miss. And the back room is filled with prep-tables, sinks, cabinets, and shelves. It's obviously not part of the sales floor. Anyone with half a brain can tell that customers are not supposed to be back there.
And while I do sympathize with Crusty because the store does get very loud, especially during the weekends, for the love of all that is good and holy on this Earth, if you can't hear whoever is on the other end of your phone conversation, call them back after you're done shopping! Which you should do regardless of the noise level in the store, but that's a rant for another submission. And if the call really is that vital that you can't hang up (and from what I overheard of Crusty's conversation, his wasn't by a long shot), then step into one of the store's restrooms. There's plenty of them, and they're all over the store.
I thought I'd seen everything a Crusty could do, but this guy proved me wrong. And not just me: Nobody had ever seen a Crusty deliberately walk into a back area of the store before. And I don't just mean my department, either. We actually had employees and managers from other departments (even the Front End!) come by and ask us if we'd really had to chase a customer out of our back room.
*sigh* May none of your crusties ever find their way into your back rooms.
Long ago, in a Big Red Star far, far away, Without Nametag got trapped in a horrible land called "Cosmetics." Being that I had proved myself to be a worthy on-call slave, loved by managers for reliability, I would sometimes be placed in situations that were not the norm.
There came a day when I clocked on and the cosmetics manager Bettie Page asked me to fill a spot at one of the counters. Now, cosmetics people are a special breed. They get commission, and hours in that department are not available for pick-up. They are specially trained. And being that I am the sort of female that shrugs off make-up, it was fine by me that I never ended up there.
But Bettie needed me to fill a spot for a few hours during some kind of promotion. The girl in charge of the counter told me to just do simple stuff. But trying to find specific things in unmarked drawers was like trying to cook an elaborate meal in someone else's kitchen. And the counter girls were super-busy, so no chance of asking them. The phone rang. No one was available to pick it up, so I went ahead. I should have just let it ring.
"Face Paint counter, this is Without Nametag, how may I provide outstanding service?"
"Yes. Hi. How late are you open today? Is my favorite Paint girl working now? And also, when does the Dohggashes event start?"
"Um, ten pm, it looks like she's off today, and I'm sorry, which event?" I was juggling a calendar with tiny writing, trying to determine what she was talking about.
"Dohttashes. What date?" She sounded annoyed that she'd had to repeat herself, despite the fact that she could probably hear the cacophony of noise on my end from the crowds in the store.
"Um, I'm not seeing that event on the calendar. Gohddashes?" I was really just trying to be helpful, but really I had no idea of what was going on besides the fact that there were not enough counter girls, and too many customers. I couldn't hear her, and couldn't figure out if what she was saying was gibberish or not. "I'm really sorry, I'm not understanding. I'm just filling in at this counter. I'm not a cosmetics person."
"I'm sorry, ma'am. As I've said, I'm just filling in for someone, just answering the phone." And getting frustrated because I can't fucking hear. "Could you repeat it for me again?"
"Kohdashes! You're so stupid! How can you work there and not know what drohmashes is?" Now she's irate, and telling me that I'm stupid, and I still can't figure out what word she's yelling at me.
"Open your ears, bitch! Did you not hear me say that I don't work in this department?" I wanted to bark back. But too many years of crustomer service have drilled into me that the correct response is to once again apologize, repeat that I do not work in cosmetics, and ask again what she was asking about.
"Doh'mmashes! Fucking dohmmashes! You're the dumbest fucking bitch I've ever talked to, and you need to be fired right fucking now!" And she promptly hung up on me.
Of course the counter manager became available as I was hanging up the phone. Wearily, I asked, "What is dohmmashes, please?"
She frowned and repeated the word, then asked "Oh, Doll Lashes? A new mascara that's coming out."
Never in a million years would I have guessed that that was what this bitch was hollering at me. In hindsight, I should have just asked her to spell it, but it would be just my luck that she couldn't spell, and would rattle off a bunch of random letters, an ampersand, and a semi-colon.
Let the phone ring if you value your sanity,
Hi there, RHU. You know the deal, long time lurker, first time poster and all that jazz. I have been commenting under the guise of Sadie the Cleaning Lady, but I have given up the cleaning game to go work for one of the Big Banks. Since I'm studying psychology, I suppose you can call me "Headcase."
About a month ago, I started working in the call centre for Big Bank and I can't believe how many stories I already have. Really, I wonder how some of my custies remember to breathe. In the interest of keeping things short, I'll just tell a few quick tales of some things that irk me.
1) For security reasons, we have an identification process that we need to follow. If you do not pass this process a suspension is placed on your phone & internet banking to prevent fraud and you need to go to a branch with ID. Please don't bitch me out when you don't know enough about YOUR bank accounts to be able to answer simple questions like whether your account is in joint names or what transactions you've made in the last week. How do you not know this? Also, if you come through already suspended and you ask why, my standard response is going to be "Someone has tried to gain information about your accounts and has not passed our identification process." I understand it's frustrating, but what do you think you're going to achieve by screaming at the messenger? Also, to those who come back with the oh-so-clever response of "Well that can't be right, I've never called!" Think about what I just told you. We've clearly just prevented you from losing all your money to a fraudster. You're welcome. You can stop yelling now.
2) Please have SOME kind of detail there for me to look up your accounts. I can understand that not everyone can remember their customer ID or even their account number, but can you please make sure you have at least a card before you pick up that phone? Yes, I can search your name and DOB, but it's not accurate, and it's time consuming. If you can't speak clearly or you have a long/unusual name we're both going to get frustrated as I ask you to repeat yourself 10 times.
3) When you've only been banking with us for 6 months and you only have our 2 most basic accounts and no home loans or anything, I'm not going to refund $25 in transaction fees because you couldn't be bothered paying attention to the type of account you opened when you opened it. Yes, a savings account will charge you for every withdrawal. You have a transaction account as well, make your payments from that.
4) Don't whine at me when your credit card gets declined for insufficient funds and you're already hundreds of dollars over your limit. The credit limit is there for a reason, that's how much the bank believes you can reasonably pay back to us. Yes, in good faith our system has allowed you to spend a bit more, but you've not even tried to pay any of that back, and you're doing it every month. If you want to be able to spend more on your card, go an apply for a limit increase. No, I'm not going to refund your over limit fees when they come through.
5) No, I am not going to hang up the phone and call you back. We are an INBOUND call centre. As soon as I hang up from your call, the next drops straight in. If it's too expensive to call from a mobile, try to find a land line to call us from. There are a few mobile carriers just charging a flat fee for 13 numbers now anyway.
6) We have a survey at the end of our calls. The numbering system goes from 0-10. If you think my service was excellent, please, PLEASE just leave a 9. All too often I get left a 1 because the customer didn't hit the 0 fast enough. It screws with my stats and those surveys are a massive part of my KPIs. Also, if the service is about mid range, leaving me a 6 counts as if it were terrible. Please be nice and just go a 7 or 8 if I was great but you're not a fan of the bank as a whole. If I spend an hour going out of my way to help you and fix all your problems and you leave a 3, I will try to kill you through the phone.
I'm sorry this has turned into somewhat of a novel. It's been great to be able to vent. Hopefully I'll be back with some more stories as I've been working retail/customer service for quite a few years.
Had to call a customer today, to confirm some details. Well, one detail, really. Just needed one thing. Should have taken about 2 to 5 minutes.
Instead,the call took about 20 minutes, because the guy just went on and on and on.
And then tried to tell me all about his book, in which the Earth gets blasted away from the sun every 2000 years, and then comes back to the sun, and everyone dies in an earthquake, and all the ozone goes to one side of the planet, and the sunlight cannot get out, and then the earth will freeze overnight, TOTALLY freeze, but then thaw again the next morning, and every scientist is too highly paid, and they do no studies, and all this can be proved, and every myth in the world is correct, because people were apparently too stupid to lie back then, and they only told about things they could see, actually see with their own eyes, and and and.........
I just needed one thing. :( Just one...