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July 2011

Shopping Carts Are Better At Parking

Cartpark
 
From Cujo: I live in a huge vacation area and there's something about the tourism industry... ...it's almost like the second that people cross the state line they realize we forgot to pack our brains!  And the second that the ocean comes into sight it becomes well we're already almost there, no point in turning around and going back for them...

This picture makes me wonder:  If the SHOPPING CART is smart enough to park inbetween the lines, then how is it that the out-of-state driver is somehow not able to?

--Cujo

 


Cujo to RHU: What makes a Custy Miserable?

Cujo2 Hello again RHUers!

I don't have any horror stories of pet store travesties today, I actually just had an idea for what I think may be a fun activity.  It requires participation, so I hope that anyone who is up for it will contribute.

Before we get started, I'm going to tell you about one of my old clients from many years ago:  Maryanne. 

Maryanne was my client at a salon that I worked at when I was a teenager (prior to being a puppy pimp I have done many many different things, one of which was cosmetology) and she came to me to get her hair colored and cut for a few years until I eventually chose to end our professional relationship due to the fact that she was such a difficult client.  Actually, let me correct myself if I may: she was a wretched bitch. 

Despite keeping her hair long and blonde she always wanted something different, some variation of what she already had.  Each appointment was accompanied by a picture of a hairstyle that she wanted to emulate.  It was always a picture of a famous news anchor, or an actress from Friends... ...one time it was even Britney Spears (back when Britney Spears was still someone you would want to look like).  

Each time I saw her the picture would come out, and we'd discuss how to make her hair look more like the picture, as she told me that it wasn't quite right last time, and maybe it should be more gold, or less whispy around the face, or something.  To this woman's credit, I will admit that she had awesome hair.  It did anything that it was supposed to, and her requests (add bangs?  Okay...) were simple, unlike her satisfaction which was too complex to be dissected enough to be earned.  Working on her hair was awesome, it ALWAYS came out exactly like the picture with pretty much no effort.  If I could have had the hair without her attached we would have been in business. 

But they came as a package deal. 

She was never EVER happy, always asking me why I couldn't get it right, or yelling at me that I just didn't get how to do it.  She even threatened to find someone else to do her hair (PLEASE!!  I would have paid for the appointment if someone else would take her) saying that she didn't look like the picture, that the way I had done it made her look OLD, or made her face look FULL.

Getoverit

The problem I realized, was that she looked old because she was old.  Her face looked full because it was full.  I know now that these are the things that she wanted to change, and by thinking that if she had the hair she believed she would be more like the women in the pictures:  young and thin and sexy, and pretty... ...talented, accomplished, well-liked...

No matter how much she yelled at me and complained about the hairstyle I gave her I knew that it had nothing to do with the hair.  It didn't even have anything to do with me.  The hair wasn't really the problem and neither was I. 

What was really the matter was that she wasn't satisfied with who she was (which I might not necessarily have guessed since she dealt this with issue by YELLING AT ME CONSTANTLY.)

Working with the public we get exposed to all sorts of hideousness. 

While a lot of the times the bitching about stupid stuff like getting the wrong order, or having to wait too long in line or whatever isn't terribly complex, sometimes it's more.  Those times when you haven't done anything except deliver service that is good or great, and someone responds by antagonizing you or screaming or swearing for no apparent reason, it makes you have to ask yourself, and maybe them:  What's really the matter? 

Because you know that when some person you barely know is threatening to have you fired or attempting to rip you apart as a human being simply because you can't accept their expired coupon, the coupon is not the issue.  Something else is.  Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with you, and it has nothing to do with the situation you're in. 

So this is where the participation comes in. 

For fun, list any reason why a customer might be miserable... ...to the point that they punish the world.  Any reason at all that you can think of. 

What' REALLY the matter?

I'll start: 

1 -  Upset about not looking like Britney Spears.

Anyone who wants to contribute please do so, numbering your reason (if you submit one) as we go along (I did reason one, whoever comments next would be reason two, and then reason three, and so on....).  Please submit as many as you want to, the community could benefit from the insight. 

If you have an anecdote to accompany your reason by all means feel free to share it.

And until next time, PERSEVERE! (because it's probably not your fault).

--Cujo

 

     

Epic Fabric Store Hell Tale of Entitled Custy And Horrible District Manager

Entitledbitchstory Fabric Faerie back after a really long time, and also back working at my fabric store. I had attempted to break away and get a job/internship relevant to my career... but luckily my manager is still ridiculously awesome and let me have my job back within a week of asking. I still love my store to pieces, but things are starting to get on my nerves. 

Not that I'm trying to say I particularly minded only having good stories, but it does feel appropriate to have something to actually complain about on here, for once. It's almost like things were going too well so they've got to be worse the second time around. Really, though, the entire problem can be summed up in three simple words:

New. District. Manager. 

After our last one was fired for being a liar (having permission to work from home since he lived far, and then lying about actually going to the stores), this new DM started pretty much at the end of my first round at the store. We overlapped for a few months, but nothing major happened. 

So, I return from traipsing about Asia and school to find that the new DM has moved into our store. Carved out a chunk of the classroom, made ridiculous planning choices like having them remove a light fixture from the ceiling because she wanted to use lamps instead, and is there from starting from an hour before open and staying until close every single Monday. Awesome. Luckily, she tends to just lurk in the back of the store and mostly stays out of our hair, content to simply be using my store's office supplies because she's too dumb to remember her password to log into her own personal work-computer. 

Along with the new DM, corporate's gone nuts with the customer service thing. I mean, yes, that's our job, but what they want us slaves to do isn't customer 'service' it's customer stalking. The expect us to approach wandering customers an average of three times while they shop, offering suggestions on what else they need (which they really don't, of course), man the cutting table, do register, complete tasks like unpacking and setting out everything from the weekly truck within 48 hours of the delivery, clean the store, and be available at all times for customers to ask us questions. By the way, they've cut back the hours the store can give, so usually there's only two people working at a time. Maybe three, if we're lucky. It's just gotten ridiculous. RHSEPT 191

So, keeping those two bits in mind - new DM moving into our store, and crazy corporate expectations - I have an entitled custy story from today. Settle in, everyone, it's a long one.

The morning started out fairly busy but not ridiculous, until around 11 am. Around then, I see a custy at the register waiting, so I go ask what I can do for her. It turns out she has a return, which means I have to measure it. No big deal, it will only take a couple minutes. It was upholstery fabric, on a big tube which we have a machine for in the back of the store. I explain to the custy that I have to measure her fabric and I'll be right back. Easy. 

So, about halfway through measuring the return, a customer comes up. Tosses a shopping bag onto the cutting table like she just walked into her house, and says something along the lines of "Are you the one who's supposed to help me?"

"I'm with another customer right now, but I'll be back for you as soon as I can." Standard response, whatever. I'm cheerful, perky, even. Entitled custy nods vaguely, sipping her overpriced beverage, not even bothering to look at me while she expected me to drop what I was doing. Anyway, I get back up to the front of the store and hand off the return to my manager, since it was over my price limit. 

Now, some time between when I went to measure the return and reappeared back up front, customers started leaking out of the fucking woodwork. Hour cutbacks mean that there were only two of us to work the whole store, myself and my awesome Manager, who is in the middle of a return and then has another two customers in line behind her. There are at least three at the cutting table, and I start on them since it would look negligent to completely bypass a line of customers, and one impatient customer is better than three.

So, we're doing what we can and as a whole fabric store customers are pretty patient, so it's going fairly well. I somehow trade places with my manager, doing register while she cuts fabric, when I get a question about elastic from the customer I was ringing. Its a legit question, she wanted to know if we had a bigger variety than what she had found. Turns out she had found the tiny display of cheap pre-packaged elastic, not venturing to the back wall of the store where all the real elastic is. I go to take her back and show her, and on the way run into Entitled Custy again. I recognize her and offer another "We'll be with you as soon as we can."

"I should hope so, if you actually want my business." 

OCTOCAROL 024
"We got really swamped suddenly, ma'am. We're doing the best we can."

I lead my elastic custy to the right section, and start to help her find what she wanted. Before I could actually say anything, though, Entitled Custy calls from the other side of really tall displays.

"Miss! Miss!"

I figure out she's calling to me, and answer. "Yes?"

"Would it be better if I called before coming in to make an appointment?" ... What? Does this look like the classy kind of big-city store that takes appointments? There are only even two people working right now.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, we don't take appointments. We just help customers as they arrive." How was I supposed to respond to that? Nowhere in the guidelines does it explain how to tell a customer that we don't operate under appointments since we're usually not busy enough to warrant them, and don't have enough staff to sacrifice someone anyway.

She ended up turning back around and I'm not sure whether she left the store or lurked more around the back. That's another point against this entitled custy: she never even bothered with the line at the cutting table, or the register. She just marched her little drink-baring self into the back of the store and stayed there.

I get back to the elastic customer, and finally help her find what she needed. But, this means that she needs it cut since it's not the pre-packaged kind. So I cut her the 10 yards she wanted, and when he hears the price ($0.34 for three feet), she decides she wants the entire roll. Usually this would be awesome, since she's buying the whole thing, but in this case it was simply poor timing since it meant that I had to measure it all. By hand. After the 10 yards I had already measured and cut, there were 40.3 more yards. 121 feet. By hand. And the customers are still lining up.  OCTOCAROL 029

I finish with the elastic customer, and move on to the next one. Sometime in the middle of this, my manager had tried to answer the phone which had been ringing off the hook and ring at the same time. So I'm measuring fabric, and hear someone telling me that they'll measure, and I should go do register. I look up, and lo and behold it's the resident DM, surfacing from her office/cave in the very back of the store. Shocked, I tell her the yardage and immediately move to the register.

I didn't even know the DM knew how to use scissors.

This glorious display of common sense doesn't last, of course, since as soon as Awesome Manager is done on the phone, Resident DM retreats back to her lair. I guess she must have figured out that if the phone was ringing for ten solid minutes, we might be a little busy. Awesome Manager and I keep working, and eventually the we get the line back down to normal.

It's at this point I discover the truth behind Resident DM surfacing: she had come to tell one of us that there was a customer waiting in the back of the store. Entitled custy strikes again. My guess is that amidst her lurking, she had came across the DM's office and asked her to serve her.

Awesome Manager returns empty-handed, so apparently Entitled Custy couldn't handle us not taking appointments and left. She came off as rich enough that it could have been a potentially large sale, but of well. I mention to Awesome Manager that I had encountered the entitled custy and had tried to buffer her patience, but couldn't make it back there before she gave up. It was at this point Awesome Manager reaffirmed her awesomeness.


"But so why didn't Resident DM help her?" RHSEPT 095

The entire this was passed off as "It was insane and this is why we need more hours. Also, DM is a dumb bitch who doesn't know shit about managing a business that actually serves the customers." .. Though maybe not in quite so many words.

It's alright, though. We were so busy, I also didn't have time to find a way to tactfully tell Entitled Custy that she had a quarter-sized stain on the back-middle seam of her white capri pants. And if you can't say something nicely, don't say anything at all, right?

Alright, storytime's over and it's bedtime now, kids. I'll be back soon with some of my usual happy-times to brighten your day.

-Fabric Faerie

Update:

Hey everyone, I've got an update about my Entitled Custy from yesterday. Apparently she came back to our store later in the afternoon, while Awesome Manager was still working but after I had gone home. Apparently she has been to our store before and received good service, so she figured she'd give us another chance. By then it had died down to normal, so we were able to help her right away, and get her all set. 

While my manager was working with her, though, the custy decided to share her opinion of that morning. Apparently she had understood that we were busy, but it was the Resident District Manager that she was upset with. DM walked by her a bunch of times and never once offered to help her. Even when the DM showed up at the cutting table, my manager asked (once she was free from the phone call) if the DM wanted her to take over, or to help the customer in the back. DM said to take over cutting because "she has so much to do." So, the DM told the store manager to put off a customer so that the DM can go stare blankly at her computer some more. 

The custy was apparently full of nicknames for the DM, including "Ms. Clickity-Click" and "Ms. Long Eyelashes," straight up mocking (and rightly so) the DM's fashion choices. The custy even said that with the attitude the DM has, Awesome Manager should be the district manager instead! Which is entirely true. And Awesome Manager is going to tell DM that a customer called in to complain about her, specifically. Seriously, though - if any of us, even my Manager - had even -thought- about acting the way DM did, we'd be written up for it. And DM pulls that kind of shit all the time. It's obnoxious. 

I kind of feel bad now about not telling the custy about the stain on her pants... but oh well.

So, there you go. At my store, even my bad custys turn out to be good custys...

Sometimes.

--Fabric Faerie