RHU Discussion: Have You Ever Reverse-Sabotaged Yourself at Work?




Has anybody else ever reverse-sabotaged themselves at work?

For example, a few years back I worked as a rock climbing instructor at a gym owned by an enormous prolapsed asshole. I had gotten myself on his shit list for being vocally annoyed that I had been assigned as the only instructor/supervision for a group of 30 or so tweens who were having a birthday party. I just wanted help keeping these kids alive, since that age group tends to do stupid things anyway, and when you give them access to a 50 foot climbing wall, you're just asking for trouble.

Anyway, Fartbrain McGee was unhappy with me and since I couldn't afford to be jobless right then, I hatched a plan. I filled out one of the waivers we made people sign before climbing for a fictitious person and created a throwaway email account for this purpose. When I got the expected survey I proceeded to give myself a glowing, yet still believable, review. It was enough to get back in his good graces for a while, at least.

I don't always get good reviews, but when I do, I write them myself.
Stay sane, my friends.







RHU Question: To Say "Thank You" Or Not?



From Beaches:

So I've been reading stories on this site for so long that I have taken to heart how the retail staff gets treated, both from customers and from their co-workers/boss. For a while now I've been trying to be nice to staff, and really thank those that go way out of their way to help me. Lately though, I've been left wondering does it really matter being nice and thanking staff? The past several times I do say thank you I'm treated like I'm annoying them, and that they're just glad that they're finally done. I'm aware that they may be timed on how long they help a customer and get in trouble for going over that time. Even if they are, it doesn't get rid of that feeling that I did more harm than good by making sure that I thank them at the end. So I just wanted to ask; should I keep on saying thank you or should I not?

I found this to be an interesting question because when I worked in retail I always appreciated when people would say hello or thank you, but I have noticed in today's fast paced world there are moments where there doesn't seem to be time for either of them. 

New Freddy 037aThere is a Jewish market in my neighborhood that I shop at often, I've mentioned it on RHU and taken reject and signage pics there. When it's time to go to the checkout, I honestly never know how to approach any of them because years ago when I started shopping there, I'd say "Hello" or "Thank you" and more times than not, there would be no response. Just stares and quickly moving on to the next order. Unfortunately, this is with all the cashiers there. Owners, management, young, old, male, female, and one even appears to be a guy who plays on my team! And we are always usually friendly! (Unless we're having a bad day. I get that. But what about all the other days?)

There are some rare moments where they say hello and thank you but most days all they are capable of speaking is just the total and do you need a bag? The minute they slap the receipt on the counter they are on to the next order, there is no time to say "Thank you" to my "thank you" or "have a nice day" or even "fuck off and drop dead...." 

Now to be fair, this is an old, family-owned Jewish market, and sadly, even though they are extremely busy, they are well known in the hood for having horrible service. So those cashiers are just following what the owners do. None of them appear to hate working there and they don't look unhappy.

I could choose not to shop there, but it's across the street and they have items I buy weekly and the produce is a good price. They also don't seem to be horrible or mean people, I have had positive moments with some of them, including the owner. So after years of them sometimes saying "Thank you" and "Hello" what I decided to do was follow their lead. 

If I make eye contact when they start ringing my order, I will say hello no matter what. I have done the human thing and acknowledged their existence in a friendly way. If they want to ignore me, it's on them. It's their loss.

If they don't make eye contact with me and say nothing as they begin scanning, I usually say nothing. Sometimes I will force a hello though...(because it's in my retail genes) or I'll say some form of greeting when I had them my card.

When it comes to the end of the transaction, I totally follow their lead now. If they don't say "Thank you" (which is 90% of the time), I don't say thank you. They sort of trained me not to. I also feel less put off if I say thank you and they don't.

I went there today while writing this post and everything happened just as I've written about. No hello and no thank you. So I went with the flow of the process and ended up not having to say a word during it. Silent customer service.

What do you think about silent customer service, RHU? Not saying thank you and hello? Of course we all agree it's the best customer service to say those words, but have you noticed a change over the years? Do you think it's a result of technology and fast paced times or are these moments just isolated bad service?



RHU Question: Is It Okay Not To Tip If You Can't Afford It?



Plummie Newbie again, and with a question.

I'm a fan of going out to eat, when someone I know can afford it, however, most of the time we can't afford to tip.

Sometimes I read a lot of articles, or waitresses online complaining about lacks of tips, and what not. Or how rude it is not to tip at all. (Sometimes I read it's ridiculous a server's payment for rent depends upon tips.) I've really liked a few waitresses, but again; unable to tip.

Is it bad I go out to eat at restaurants and am unable to tip for the lovely service besides trying to be the best custy ever?

--Plummie Newbie





Management Hell Question: Would You Rather an Employee Come To Work Sick and Go Home Early or Just Call and Not Come In at All


Freddy2 003

From Mollywobbles:

A question for all here who are in management positions: If an employee is going to come in sick and then ask to go home early because they are sick, would you rather they have just called in, even if they were to call in only an hour before their shift starts?

I woke up this morning with a damn cold out of nowhere. Coughing my head off, so hard I'm giving myself headaches and chest and back pain. I tend to only wake up an hour before my shift starts when I work in the morning (today I was scheduled to come in at 11:15) and I decided to try and power through it. Well, about an hour and a half into my shift I had a coughing fit so bad I thought I was going to pass out and puke, so I asked if it would be at all possible to go home early.

That was over an hour ago, I had to wait for one manager to get here at 2 before deciding what to do, then they were all "We're only going to have three people if you go home, go on break and take something and we'll see if we can find someone to come in to replace you". Firstly, if I had something to take, I would have taken it by now. Secondly, I'm sorry, this isn't a "My tummy hurts a little, can I leave?" five minutes into my shift, I am sick and knew you guys would probably need me but I can't fucking be vertical right now.

So, should I have just called in this morning, even though they want three hours' notice for not coming in? One of my managers, the one explaining all of this to me, is giving me death glares every time she has to ask me a question or whatever. I feel like I fucked up for going against my judgement and trying to help them out today.




The Best Response To a Customer Accusing You of Ruining Their Kid's Christmas


From Sales Agent Guy

I just read a list of 28 things all holiday retailers are tired of hearing. The last one about ruining a parent's kid's Christmas really got to me.

This is what I'd like to say when someone says, "You're ruining my kid's Christmas!"

"Actually, I am not doing anything to ruin your child's Christmas. I am merely a person who handles sales of whatever merchandise we have here. I have no control over what happens with this merchandise, nor do I control who buys it. In fact, the only person ruining your kid's Christmas is you, since you did not have the common sense to try to find this item sooner. Now please refrain from using me as a scapegoat as to why Santa Claus* didn't bring your child the gift they wanted this year,OK?"

If only I could say that, but my tenure in the field would be terminated, and the agency would disavow any knowledge of my actions! Still, it's fun to think about saying.

--Sales Agent Guy


 What would you like to say to a parent who accuses you of ruining their kids Christmas?




5 Things You Can Do To Make A Retail Worker's Day on Black Friday Thanksgiving




While Macy's and Walmart have led a retailer stampede to kill Thanksgiving for millions of Americans and these corporate machines could care less about petitions and their employees, there is something you can do as a Black Friday Shopper.

Shower those retail workers with intentional acts of kindness. 

Show them you care that they have to work long, strange hours during a holiday that used to be devoted to family and friends. That many of them won't even get a Thanksgiving Dinner or they'll have to do it the day before or the weekend after.

Here are 5 ways you can make a tired retail worker's day on Thanksgiving or Black Friday:


1. Bring Them Thanksgiving Desert



Bring them a piece of Pumpkin Pie or a baked treat.

A few years back I posted a story on RHU that involved a Blockbuster Slave who had to work on Thanksgiving. During the early evening hours a customer came in with his young daughter and handed out pumpkin pie to all the people working there! What an awesome act of retail kindness!

Another RHUer suggested any kind of Thanksgiving food: 

Go to Walmart, Sears, K-Mart, etc, but don't shop. Show up with Thanksgiving food. Treat the workers with a meal and some good cheer, then leave. Make sure you're on camera, as well, so the VIP's that forced these good people away from their holiday see it later.


2. Bring Them a Drink



Even though most retail workers would prefer a cocktail to coffee, they will be quite touched to receive any kind of drink from a custy.

When I worked at The Big Fancy, the handbag counter was nearby the coffee bar. We were often given Lattes and coffee cards from custys who appreciated our service or saw that we were working really hard.  


3. Give Them a Sweet Treat


Hogwarts isn't the only place where chocolate can cure the blues. It does wonders in Retail Hell. Chocolate bars or candy can definitely sweeten up sucky shift!


4.  Buy Them Lunch



Purchase a Store, Mall, or Fast Food Gift Card they can use it on their break for lunch or dinner.

Obviously this might be a little expensive to do for the random cashier or sales associate, but if you are friendly with a retail worker or salesperson from a store you shop at often, this is the perfect day to show your appreciation for the great service they give you all year long.


5. Straighten a Messy Display


Well, maybe not one this messy. But you get the idea. I talked to a few ladies who worked at a Ross store where the photo above was taken and they told me they have to work till 3am during the holidays straightening up the messes of piggy shoppers.

In my last book, Return to The Big Fancy I wrote about a custy who straightened the entire wallet display while I was wrapping a handbag she bought for a present. I was stunned! And oh so happy! 


6. Thank Them for Working on Thanksgiving  

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Maybe you can't afford to buy anything, but simply thanking a retail worker for sacrificing their Thanksgiving memories with family (even if it's at a place where they are nicely paid for it), will put a smile on their face and make them feel that their service is appreciated. 


Okay RHU, now I KNOW you all have some great ideas on how shoppers can brighten the day of service workers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,

Share your ideas in comments!