So, I was going to post something along these lines prior to Black Friday but thought it was a bit snarky so decided not to. A couple of things happened this weekend though that really irritated me and I have some things to say. Friday night I got off work pretty late, I decided to get some take out instead of going home and making a mess in my kitchen. Plus, I feel guilty cooking after 10 at night since I have neighbors next to me and below me but I’m not sure they’d even notice. Anyway, so I’m getting a sandwich and the line is backed up all the way to the door and I assumed that they were just having a rush. Turns out that the guy at the front of the line had requested that the sandwiches that were being made for him be thrown away and that the barista go to look for more of whatever salad he was getting on his because the stuff they had out looked dry. Aside from the fact that there are people starving all over the world, he was ordering a sandwich from a sandwich shop where the ingredients sit out, all day, in a refrigerated counter – stuff might look a little dry. The guy continued to berate the barista saying that they were going to poison someone and he’d be making a complaint to the manager. It was totally nuts and meanwhile, the line was just stacking up so these poor kids were going to be working double time to get caught up. Did I mention that this is a vegan sandwich shop?! It’s not like they had fresh meat just laying around on the counter, honestly.
The other event that set in motion something that really set me off also happened on Friday night. The cashier next to me was cashing out a lady who asked if there were any coupons out. Now, many retailers have membership programs where you can get exclusive coupons but you have to sign up for the rewards program and this lady wasn’t even signed up. We aren’t supposed to just give coupons out so it puts us in a tough spot when customers assume that we can look coupons up or just have them on hand. This lady would not let it go and finally the associate caved and gave her the exclusive discount that was currently running for rewards members. Well, you can get fired for doing this and she did. Which brings me to the topic of this blog post, how not be an asshole customer especially during the holidays.
I cannot stress this enough, it slows us down when every other customer who gets up to the register doesn’t have their coupon ready. Don’t ask what coupons are out, if we tell you then it sets an expectation that we may not be able to meet. Don’t ask for additional discounts or if we have coupons, we don’t. It just astounds me the lengths that shoppers go to for a coupon, come prepared and if you can’t afford something without a coupon then maybe you shouldn’t buy it. I understand shoppers having no regard for retail workers but have some consideration for the people behind you. Lastly, read the fine print – all coupons have exclusions so read them. Keep in mind that we have no control over what’s excluded or how clear the coupon is.
Again, it slows us down when we don’t have a receipt and usually we can’t give the full amount back without one which sucks for us and for you. Sure, you can talk to the manager but she’s going to say the same thing.
We are going just as fast as we can and usually it’s the stupid questions and unprepared shoppers that are slowing us down. Feel free to call them out for holding up the line though. It astounds me how many times I’ve apologized for the long line but rarely has someone in the line ever turned around and apologized for holding it up.
There seems to be this assumption that the role of a retail worker is to just take people’s shit. And to the people who think this, do you go to work to get shit on everyday? Our role is to provide the best customer experience possible, within our ability to do so – that’s it. Could some associates be a little more helpful? Sure, I’ve been on the receiving end of some really shitty customer service but on the whole, they do their best.
I’m so thankful that retail is not my full-time gig and that I do it for extra spending money and fun. Also though, when I worked retail full-time years ago, I don’t recall people being so consistently rude. I’m not sure what’s happened to society but just stay home and shop online if you can’t be nice. That’s my rant, I love shopping during the holidays and just want everyone to have a fun time. Is that so much to ask!? What’s been your shopping experience so far this year? Are customers becoming ruder or am I just getting old?