Friday, June 17, 2011

An open letter...

to any consumer of a retail store:

I'd like to bring a few things to your, the shopper of any retail department store, attention. These "items of business," per-say, are things that most decent human beings are taught, along with common sense, at a very young age. However, whenever you walk into the big sliding doors of your nearest supercenter, your intelligence level seems to drop swiftly and steeply, leaving me, the corporate slave, to deal with your stupidity and utter lack of cognitive function. I have not yet figured out why this happens, but I think it may be witch magic....witch magic employed by the owners of the company to get you to lose your common sense and buy more cheap, plastic shit.

Have you ever asked yourself why it is that people who work in retail are often crabby, unresponsive, or rude? Some are just dicks. For every few people, there are sure to be one or two dicks among them. For the rest of us, however, the associates, cashiers, or workers of the store you are gracing with your patronage may simply be a mirror of yourself. Let me give you a few scenarios, cases-in-point, and general observations of a not-new-but-not-yet-numbed sales associate.

1. If I have taken the time to scan an empty shelf facing of the product you want, check if we have a backroom count, and we do not have any more of that particular item in the store, I will say it once again: WE DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE OF THAT ITEM IN THE STORE. Staring at me blankly, or whining to me about how we don't have it is NOT the correct response to this occurrence. I do not have the capability to pull your queen-sized pillow top out of my ass, and I'm sure you probably wouldn't even want an ass-pillow top.

2. If you are looking for something in particular, and know what department or general area of the store it would be found in, actually go into the department and look for it. Do not just walk up to a random employee and ask them where it is. More than likely, it's two aisles down from where you were just standing, and you've probably wasted your own time, and the time of the employee. You probably also look like an idiot that can't see the obvious aisle marked "vacuums" when looking for just that.

3. If you are looking for a seasonal item, say, egg dye for Easter, the day before a holiday, and the store is out of that product, do not ask us when our next shipment will be. Use your brain. Would we REALLY place an order of egg dye the DAY BEFORE EASTER? See item #1 for how NOT to react to the store being out of said egg dye. Also...when I suggest you use food coloring and glitter, do not glare at me, yell, or stare at me like I'm from space. Why you would want to spend money on an overpriced box of FOOD COLORING AND GLITTER, specially packaged for Easter, and act like the suggestion I gave you is completely nuts, I cannot fathom. Please seek help.

4. If you are the kind of person to stop and chit-chat in the middle of one of the high-traffic aisles of the store, and not move for twenty minutes, I hate you. I also hate people who rummage through purses, buckle children into carts, etc, right in front of the damn doors. What is wrong with you?

5. This one goes out specifically to the old guy who gave me a hard time the other day at a register. It's really cool if you have exact change, so I only have to give you paper money. It is NOT REALLY COOL when you give me partial change. What the fuck? To add to it, when you yell at me for not counting out your ridiculous change correctly because you've caused my brain to self-destruct with your stupidity, calling ME an idiot (literally), I really just want to throw all of your million lures you've dug through the clearance boxes for a half hour for in your face. Another thing, when I close the till at the end of this unfathomably ridiculous transaction, and hand you your receipt, you handing me four quarters and asking for a dollar has taken you over the limit of idiocy, now borderline crazy. I didn't think you could outdo yourself, sir, but somehow you did. As I wait for a supervisor to override my register so I can open the till, you freak out about how I CANNOT OPEN THE DAMN REGISTER WITHOUT A TRANSACTION. No shit. Do you seriously think that any schmoe can just walk up and open the till? Are you seriously that thick?

6. Also, girl from yesterday who paid for four dollars and some odd change worth of merchandise in all change? I hate you, too.

7. I am so onto you, consumer who uses three-quarters of a gallon of paint and then returns it with the complaint the paint is "too runny." The return policy on paint is stupid, and one day your tricks will get you naught.

8. If you are attempting to return an item from over two years ago, you are stupid. Repeating the phrase "It says Walmart on the vase! It says Walmart right on the vase!" six billion times will not magically make that item available in our stores anymore. It is worth a whopping one dollar and fifty cents. Why you still have the receipt for this item blows my mind. Go find a hobby. Seriously.

9. Presenting me with the used belt from your vacuum will not help me find you the correct replacement. The "numbers printed on it!" is the serial number, which does absolutely nothing for you. The fact that you don't even know what brand your vacuum is really doesn't do much for you, either. Again, see #2 for the way NOT to respond to my ignorance of the exact width and length of every brand and model of vacuum cleaners we carry. This also applies to lightbulbs.

10. Don't you dare swear at me. It pisses me off, and I want to slap you.

11. If the store is undergoing remodel or if departments or sections are being moved around, and you can't find something, do not take out your anger and frustration on the nearest employee. That person has probably had that exact thing happen repeatedly throughout the course of his or her shift, and they cannot tell you to shove it up your ass, for fear of losing his or her low-paying, mule-labor job. It is not that employee's fault the store has changed. Asking him or her politely to help you find it would probably be a lot more beneficial to you, and less demeaning to the employee.

12. If you are a creepy old guy, don't hit on any female in the store, especially not those employed by the store. Actually, don't hit on any female, ever, unless she is equally as old and as creepy as you.

13. If the store does not carry the particular item you are looking for, and I suggest you try a neighboring store or a competitor, I am genuinely trying to help you find what you need, and showing a real concern for you. Snapping back at me, or whining, that you do not want to go to ANOTHER store just makes you sound like a lazy two-year-old. Grow up. If you really wanted or needed that item, you would go to that store. If not, I am done trying to help you.

14. You only need to ring the bell for service once. Maybe twice if you've been waiting for a while. It is not necessary to repeatedly smack the bell from the time you reach the desk until someone comes running to your aid to please, please stop the infernal ringing, for the love of God.

15. "That one thing I'm thinking know....that one thing...." is not a good description of the product I'm supposed to help you find. Try again.

Please keep in mind, my dear customer, that most of the time the employee's attitude directly reflects how you are treating them. I, for example, always greet a customer with a smile, asking politely and eagerly if they need help with anything. If you walk away from me believing I am the biggest bitch on the planet, chances are YOU are the biggest bitch on the planet. I respect the fact that not finding things, stressful days, kids, a family, work, and other factors may make you on edge and impatient, but you must realize that the person you are aggravating over the store's lack of "strike-anywhere matches" is just that...a person. Use common sense and courtesy, and I will help you with nearly anything and everything you need to have a good shopping experience. If you are upset with me because I have refused to help you, been rude, ignored you, or said something uncalled for, you have every right to be angry and dissatisfied with the service you received.

If your complaint is out of my control, however, it is not appropriate to unleash a torrent of rage over our lack of Christmas lights in the middle of June. Buy a calendar, they are over in the stationery department.

Have a nice day!

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