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Holiday Hell At the Magic Kingdom

Redheadactress2aHello RHU, it is Redheadactress again.

A lot has happened since my last post. As some of you already know, I am no longer employed with Cosmo's. They have a ridiculous point system that is hard to follow because the rules change when the managers see fit. I had car trouble the last day and lost all my remaining points (even though I had not called out in almost 4 months)

At first, I was sad to have lost the job since I needed the money, but I am not sad to leave the self entitled teenagers behind. Since I have been gone, I have heard the section has gone down hill and fast. My store, which was the top in the area has been consistently the worst since I have left. If I didn't say I was smiling on the inside at that news, then I would be a huge liar.

Since my termination, I have encountered a series of health problems. The first time I went to the hospital, I had severe abdominal pain, but nothing was coming up on the tests. The second time it was worse and I was vomiting blood. Nothing. The third time I was having all that plus chest pains. Nothing came up on the test. The doctor decided it was gastritis and peptic ulcers. Go figure. During this time I had to call out from the Mouse three times. When we call out, we have to call a specific number and tell them the reason. Well, I didn't do the actual calling, my boyfriend did because I was crying so much from the pain I literally could not talk.

So when I get back to the Mouse, I get hit with a reprimand. For what?

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Attendance. The policy is that if it consecutive, it only counts as once. But alas, there was a mistake: the second call out was marked as a no call no show. I am in the middle of disputing this since no record of me calling in. Since it is the holidays, there have been more available shifts galore and I have taken everything I can get my hands on, sometimes working 3 different shifts in one day.

I like it most of the time since I am not doing the same thing all day and I get outside during most of it. My feet, however, are screaming for a break and at the end of the day I crash from pure exhaustion. Most of the time these shifts are controlling people during the parades and most are very willing to cooperate. Christmas Eve was not the case. Guests were not listening, I got cussed at, ran over, hit in the face with stroller, pushed, shoved, punched, and screamed at during the first one. Then to get them out of there, we actually had to open a bypass area through our back lot. Now, if you ever go through our back lot, YOU MUST PUT AWAY ALL CAMERAS AND CELL PHONES. There are no exceptions to this rule. Many had a hard time with this and I got screamed and cussed at even more from this. One lady blatantly ignored me until a manager literally walked with her the entire way telling her to put her phone away. And one lady stopped in the middle of the walkway and told me she wasn't moving and that I should have watched out for her 80 year old Grandma on the bridge and how dare I let her fend for herself.

Just a note, I wasn't anywhere near the bridge that night. The second parade was a lot better since I was placed in special viewing for our platinum members. A little boy would not sit still and kept running in the street so we played Jedi vs. Cast member. It was amusing to say the least and of course he won. And the best part is he didn't run into the street again. And to end the story, I kept getting backlashed for saying "Happy Holidays." I even got the whole "this country was founded on Christian values" lecture. I could debate that for hours, but I just simply said that "It is the -th day of Hanukkah and we have guests from all over the world."

Well I have to get ready for another parade shift, hopefully I won't be a stranger for too long.

Have a Happy New Year!

--Redheadactress


Waiting On The Crazy Cat Lady

  QUEERGEEKWell RHU, the holidays are over and things are gradually getting back to normal (if you can call it that) so I thought I would share another crazy custy story that happened to me recently.

Now you’re probably wondering about why I’m posting this video and its connection to Retail Hell. If you peruse Youtube frequently, you might have taken a gander at this e-Harmony member who is obsessed with cats to point that someone autotuned it causing it to go viral. Well since my crazy custy loves cats I thought it would be fitting that I refer to her as the Crazy Cat Lady.

Crazy Cat Lady is one of our regulars and at first seems like a normal, sweet old lady who enjoys wearing Doris Day sweaters and speaking in this sweet as saccharine voice. After getting to know her, we discovered that she is the proud owner of several kitties and seemingly lives alone. (You can only imagine what her feline world is like.) Once in while an unfortunately slave is ensnared into her crazy, mixed up world. Sadly, I became such a victim.

I’m manning the retail counter recently when Crazy Cat Lady rushes over in a panic.

Crazy Cat Lady: Is this Lost and Found?

Me: Yes it is.

Crazy Cat Lady: I just lost my cell phone an hour ago! I’m lost without it! Did someone turn one in?

Me: No I’m sorry. I was here the last few hours and no turned any lost items to me. Why don’t I take your name and a contact phone number so I can call you if it gets turned in?

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Crazy Cat Lady: No! That simply won’t do! I know somebody stole it! It’s a Verizon cell phone! Somebody must have turned it in!

Me: I’m sorry but no one turned anything in. Tell you what, let me check our Lost and Found area just to be certain. (I go through our Lost and Found items and no cell phone whatsoever.) I’m afraid nothing got turned in last few hours since I’ve been here. I would be happy to take your information just in case we get lucky and someone finds it and turns it in.

Crazy Cat Lady: THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! SOMEONE STOLE IT! WE SHOULD CALL THE POLICE AND HAVE THEM ARRESTED! It’S PROBABLY ONE OF THOSE TEENAGE KIDS! THEY’RE ALWAYS CAUSING TROUBLE! I NEED SOMEONE TO INVESTIGATE THIS!

Me: Mam’, if you want to file a police report. That is up to you but all we can do as a store is take down your information.

Crazy Cat Lady: SOMEONE STOLE IT I TELL YOU! YOU SHOULD GET SECURITY TO LOOK AT YOUR TAPES! I KNOW IT IS ONE OF THOSE GODDAMN TEENAGERS! THEY ALWAYS STEALING! WHY CAN’T YOU BAN THEM FROM THE STORE?

Me: Mam, if you want our security manager to follow up with you I’ll relay the message but it is a very long process since they can’t pinpoint exactly where your phone was. As for the teenagers, they are customers like everyone else. If you have an issue with that, you call the company at this main number. (I hand her the info.)

Crazy Cat Lady: YOU CAN’T TRUST ANYONE THESE DAYS! WHOEVER STOLE IT WILL BURN IN HELL! (She scribbles her info, tosses it to me and leaves.)

At this point, I’m so relieved that I no longer have to deal with her and go about my business. Half an hour later, Crazy Cat Lady returns and I’m just about ready to shoot myself.

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Crazy Cat Lady: I’ve tried to use my store credit card and it is not working. Why is that?

I silently sigh and look up her account information. Unfortunately, she has an outstanding balance on her card so the credit department placed a hold on the account and it is my job to break the bad news to her.

Me: I’m sorry but because your have been behind on your payments, the Credit Department has put a hold on your account.

Crazy Cat Lady: THAT IS NOT RIGHT! I PAY MY ACCOUNT BUT THE BALANCE NEVER GOES DOWN! YOU KEEP CHARGING ME FEES!

Me: Mam, you have not made your payments on time. Credit does charge late fees every time you miss paying by your due date.

Crazy Cat Lady: BUT THAT IS NOT FAIR! YOU SHOULD NOT BE CHARGING YOUR CUSTOMERS FEES ON MY CREDIT CARD! WHY IS IT THAT EVERY TIME I MAKE A PAYMENT YOU CHARGE ME MORE FEES AND MY ACCOUNT NEVER GOES DOWN?

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Me: According to the information, you’re only paying the minimum instead of the full balance off. Plus, you keep charging more after your payments and with the interest your balance increases.

Crazy Cat Lady: YOU SHOULDN’T BE CHARGING INTEREST FOR MY CARD! I’M ON A FIXED INCOME! I WON’T PAY THAT BALANCE!

Me: That is up to you Mam but you do know that you do have a credit card and like any credit card they do charge interest if you don’t pay your balance in full?

Crazy Cat Lady: I REALIZE IT IS A CREDIT CARD! I’M NOT STUPID! YOU JUST SHOULDN’T CHARGE INTEREST! I WON’T PAY THAT AMOUNT!

Obviously, this was getting us nowhere so I give the phone number to Crazy Cat Lady to call the Credit Department and see if there anything they do for her. Crazy Cat Lady leaves but not before ranting how the company is cheating her with interest on her credit card. I thought I has finally gotten rid of her when a familiar voice called me over.

Crazy Cat Lady: Excuse me! Excuse me! Did anyone turn in my cell phone? SOMEBODY MUST HAVE STOLEN IT! THEY’LL BURN IN HELL!

Is it me or do I attract the crazies?

--Queer Geek

 


Custy's Appreciation Takes The Grinch Out of Holiday Retail Hell

BookaceI hope everyone survived the worst of holiday hell!

My story today is not of hell, but of a customer who made my Grinch heart grow three sizes.

I love Christmas. I really do. But this year my holiday spirit was lagging from all the frustration of settling into a new job and other life anxieties. Customers had been a nightmare, there were assholes and bitches constantly coming in, and one of my co-workers abruptly quit, leaving us short-staffed against the onslaught of cranky custys. The fact that I’d only had one day off in a run of nine days wasn’t helping.

So I was feeling grumpy on the 23d, despite the imminent arrival of one of my favorite holidays, making me feel grumpy about feeling grumpy. The phone rings, it is dutifully answered by someone, and then I’m paged by my manager telling me the caller is for copy center. She said he wants some photos from his phone enlarged before Christmas, and that I should probably tell him we couldn’t do it.

I went to collect the call and see what was what. Turns out he had 10 photos and he just wanted them printed on 8 ½ by 11 paper. It was pretty slow in the department and I felt like taking a chance, so I told the guy to send the photos to his e-mail and to come in, and maybe we could do them after all.

Xmas2009 016He came in, we located his pictures, and he started explaining how he wanted them. He changed his mind a lot (“I want just a really nice color copy of each…oh, can I get a black and white set too? Can you put the pictures on a CD for me? Can you add text?” etc etc) It took a little while to settle on exactly what he wanted, but during all this I got some insight into why these were so important.

Customers like to talk to me about their woes, and he did seem kind of bummed out and subdued, so I wasn’t too surprised when he started. I groaned inwardly at first. But as he occasionally spit out random bits of his woes, I got the impression he wasn’t one of the usual “I have you captive so now I’ll milk sympathy from you / use you for free therapy” sorts. He was in that stage of “I need you to know I’m not a crazy emotional nut over some pictures, really, but I don’t know how much to explain.”

The short of it was that his family had died at some point in an accident, and his fiance’s aunt had just passed away, and you could tell the whole situation was reminding him of his loss, plus he was heartbroken because she was heartbroken. These pictures were important to him because some were of her and her family and aunt, and he wanted them printed and to have digital copies saved for her, but he didn’t have a computer.

AWESOMEHOLIDAYCUSTYSI probably spent a half hour with him, printing up different versions with different writing, and then going through and doing a set of each one. The thing was, he was really polite though. He thanked me over and over and pretty much every suggestion I made was met with, “That’s a great idea, perfect, I love it.”

When it came time to pay it added up to maybe $9 total. After paying, he opened his wallet again and said, “You guys can accept tips, right?”

Technically we’re not allowed to, which I told him, but he pulled out a $10 bill and pushed it across the counter and said, “Oh, then I guess I just dropped ten dollars someplace. Don’t remember where, whoever finds it can just keep it.”

I tried to tell him he didn’t need to do that, but he insisted. Nobody was around, so I accepted the money and thanked him multiple times, completely surprised by his generosity, to which he shook his head and said, “No, I want to. Thank you so much for this, it really means a lot to me and to her.” As he was leaving he thanked me one last time and I swear his voice was shaking.

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It got me thinking. I don’t feel like what I did was even worth an extra $10. I just enlarged some pictures and added text and saved some stuff to a CD, which I could do in my sleep. But doing that for him and his fiancé meant a ton to him. We all deal with dozens of customers a day who don’t think what we do, whether it be easy or challenging to us, is anything more than a duty we’re obliged to carry out. Most of the time, what we do is done solely to chase the almighty dollar for our corporate headmasters, but every now and then the things we do mean more than we realize.

I spent the rest of the day feeling more polite and cheerful than I had been at work for awhile. It was one of those, “the meaning of the season isn’t trampling others for sale items or owning the new flat screen/iPad/Lexus” moments. It’s just helping out others, often in small ways.

Thank you, random customer, for reminding ‘ole Grinchy BookAce of that just in time for the holidays.

--Book Ace