It’s been an interesting few weeks at work. I think the summer heat makes people’s IQs drop. Also, I’ve noticed that customers are far crankier on Sunday afternoons than they are any other time of the week.
My theory on this is that they go to church, feel bad about all the sinning they’ve done all week, feel even worse that now they feel guilty, so they go shopping and take it out on us retail slaves.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been chewed out by customers for a slew of random things.
My favorite so far was when a customer asked where an item was, so I told them...
They went and looked for it, overlooked it, and came back to blame ME for their blindness.
Then they got all huffy when I took them directly over to the item.
At my very orange hardware store, I happen to work in a department where people will come up and ask all sorts of questions about hardwood, carpet, and how to tile showers, floors, backsplashes, etc.
Now I’ve never actually tiled a bathroom before, but everyone in our department has had extensive training on product knowledge, participated in demonstrations (including laying tiles on backerboard, grouting them and sealing them) and general helpful tips.
All of this would be perfectly acceptable to the customers if I were a snarky middle aged man... however, I’m a young adult girl who likes to actually look like a girl!
As a result, most customers dumb down their questions for me, until I start going into detail on how to tile their bathrooms, when they’re always surprised that I know as much as I do.
We also have an older lady in our department, one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet (and just as well-trained in tile) and she’s had customers refuse her help before and demand a man, ANY man.... AFTER she’d already answered all of their questions.
So, to keep our days interesting, one of the guys in another department and I have taken to prank calling the other departments for entertainment when business gets slow.
We put on an accent and pretend to be a customer asking for something ridiculous.
Keep in mind, we call the departments from one of our department phones, and they usually fall for it.
Thus far, we’ve called:
2. Plumbing, to make sure the display toilets are down “where I can sit on them before I buy them. I spend a lot of time on that toilet and I’ve gotta make sure I like it first!”
3. Hardware, to ask if they can duplicate a key. To your girlfriend’s heart. “She said I lost it...? So I need a new one.”
4. Tool Rental. “Yeah, I need to rent about 150 green light bulbs for around 5 hours next Sunday...”
5. Paint, to ask if they sell body paint. Or nail polish. Or makeup of any kind. 6. Paint again, seeing if they sell paint that will set underwater. “I’m just so tired of the blue in my pool.... I want it yellow.”
7. Garden, asking for a tomato plant that grows in the dark. When we have a shift with someone we’ve already pranked, we do Customer Challenges. This is where we give each other a word that we HAVE to use with every customer we help during the day.
My last one was “matrimony”. Have fun explaining that to a customer... “Yeah this tile has a certain matrimony with that color of grout.”
His last one was “egregious” (which means “obviously bad”). We’ve also had Plumb, Meow, Cute...
Guess that’s all I have for now. :)