I thought about going about this in a sarcastic and brutal way, but then I remembered how being in retail has taught me to be polite even in the worst of circumstances. So, in keeping with the theme of this blog, I’m going to clue some of you in on the Do’s and Dont’s of shopping in a retail store. Maybe you are guilty of some things and perhaps you were unaware of others. Read and learn. Then apply.
1. Return your items to the store in which you bought them.
If there’s one thing you take from today, it’s this. You may not realize it, but you’re actually hurting my sales at my store when the store you originally bought it from still gets the credit for your purchase. Yes, our stores are part of the same company, but returns hurt our numbers and when my store gets at least 20 returns a day…it adds up. Also, don’t be that guy who comes in 10 minutes before close with a huge return. That’s a make or break. (And by break, I mean I break your face) Kidding.
2. Think twice before picking up your phone.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I understand we all have busy lives, but I would think that phone chat could be put on hold for 2 minutes while I try to have a polite conversation with you. It’s not only rude, but awkward. It makes me uncomfortable when I have to ask you a question or for payment. That line of customers behind you shouldn’t have to wait while you talk about how “So and so is such a whore.”
3. I run a business, not a daycare.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen kids as young as three running around, being loud and screaming in my store while their mom or dad shops. Too many parents let their kids go unsupervised while I have to constantly watch while they pull stacks of shirts off tables or make a nice tangled ball out of necklaces. It’s sad when I have to discipline your kids instead of you. I also am not at all surprised when you have to call security when your kid turns up missing. Maybe you should get one of those leash things. They make them in cute little animal kinds now, so it’s not as cruel looking!
4. That shirt you found online?
Oh yeah, we don’t have that one. Also; no, we won’t get it. And no, we don’t have it in the back either so don’t ask me to go double check. It’s what we call “Online Exclusives.” Yeah, I’m positive we don’t have it. The other manager you go ask will tell you the same thing too.
5. Don’t just bring a list. Bring pictures.
I like to think that I’m pretty knowledgeable about our product, but when you come at me with a hand written list that says, “Brown belt” or “Spirit Eagle Sweetie Pie Tee” I have no idea what the hell that is. Your guess is as good as mine, Grandma. Bring me a picture or a sku number and I’ll find it a lot faster.
6. When I say, “Hello!” I’m being polite. You should try it.
It’s pretty amazing that most people don’t know how to respond to great customer service. I’m honestly just being polite. I was kind of raised that way. (Thanks Mom and Dad) The least you can do is acknowledge me and say “Hi” or even “Thanks!” I also saw the way you just looked me up and down and then continued walking. Bad idea. You, my friend just gave me an invitation to follow and greet you in an even louder tone until you say hi back to me. It’s not a good situation for you to be in. To those that respond back with a happy and genuine, “Hi! I’m fantastic!” I love you. Thanks.
7. Be nice.
Let’s just take a minute to realize that I work early mornings, late nights, weekends and holidays. When you’re at home with your family enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, I’m home asleep in order to prepare for the biggest day of the year. When you’re opening presents on Christmas day and watching A Christmas Story with your quirky family, I’m at home sleeping to prepare for the next biggest shopping day of the year. (You know, the one where you return all the stuff you got the day before.) I never see my family. I deal with a lot of ungrateful people who think they deserve service at the drop of a hat. You can yell and be rude, but I have to smile, nod and tell you to have a nice day after you just called me a bitch.
8. Here’s the thing with receipts; They kind of prove that you bought it.
Understand that if you don’t have your receipt, you’re not getting cash back and you’re most definitely not getting the original amount back that you paid for it. Don’t get angry if you feel otherwise. Also, trying to return that pair of shoes that you allegedly “never wore” when the soles are worn out? Lady, come on. You’re not fooling anyone. I also cannot make “exceptions.” Rules are rules. You forget sometimes that I don’t make them. My corporate office does.
Meanwhile….That shirt that you wanted online is still not here. I told you we wouldn’t get it in. Oh yeah, it’s not in the back either. Would you like me to run in the back and make it for you?
9. Do I really have to tell you the price of every thing I ring up?
I mean really.
10. If you don’t like our prices, go to Wal Mart.
Believe it or not, I’m not a fan of trying to help you find items when all you do is whine and complain about the price of that $40 pair of pajama pants. Take your “That’s ridiculous” and “I’m just gonna go somewhere else” ….somewhere else.
11. “It doesn’t have a tag on it so I guess it’s FREE. Right?!” “Hahahahaha”
12. I don’t get paid to be a housekeeper.
Are you really that lazy that you have you leave your cup of Starbucks on my table of brand new sweaters? And before you ask, No. I cannot throw your smoothie away. It’s still full. Are you mad, bro? Walk 3 steps out the door and throw it away in a trash can. I do enjoy how you try to hide your sample cups of chinese food on shelves and inside fitting rooms though. I actually was kind of hungry.
13. If I tell you I can help you find a size, I’m not being polite…
I’m telling you this because in some way, you’ve managed to destroy my store. Do you know how long it takes to board fold a table of shirts? (It’s roughly 2 to 3 hours) And yet, you’ve demolished every stack in less than 2 minutes. I’m actually here to help you. I’ll find that size XL for you and I can probably do it a lot faster than you could have.
14. The mall is closed. You may leave now.
Imagine you’re at your job. It’s 5:00. You’ve had a long day and you’re ready to get home and relax. The problem is, you can’t because your boss is talking your ear off and doesn’t know when to stop. Doesn’t he know what time it is?! You start cleaning your desk off and grab your keys. Maybe he’ll get the hint. He doesn’t. You slowly start walking toward the door. Why is he talking about You Tube videos?! You start screaming in your head wondering when you’re ever going to leave this hell that you call work?! Oh, God why!? You just wanna go home! Ahhhh!!
Yeah, that’s how I feel when you stick around after close. I might even turn the music off just as a polite reminder. (But I know you won’t notice anyway) The mall may be closed, but I’m actually here 2 to 3 hours past closing time in order to finish paperwork and straighten the store. The only thing you’re doing is getting in the way of me being home on my nice comfortable couch with my 6 pack of Stella.
*Looks like my sarcasm worked its way through by the end of this blog. My apologies. In all seriousness though, my job is pretty awesome. The amount of good outweighs the bad. Sometimes I run into some difficult people, but it only takes that one friendly and appreciative customer to turn my bad day into a great one. Also, the people I work with are a delight.*