Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Customer Isn't Always Right

I don’t believe I posted about this before and at times I am still sore about it, but a week before Christmas I lost my job. I had been offered a promotion 2 weeks before and suddenly was out of a job. I won’t go into details about how it happened, just know I was shocked. Mostly because when I work, I work hard. And even when I complain about my job, I still make sure I give 110%.

Flash forward to 6 months later and I am working again, only this time I am working from home doing retail customer service via the phone. I have not worked retail in many, many years. But it doesn’t seem to matter because whether you are doing it in person at a brick and mortar store or over the phone, one thing never changes…the people. As time passes you forget about the customers, mostly because you become one. I know as a customer, I always try to treat anyone that is helping me with respect. I can’t say that when you are the associate I have been treated the same. Let’s reminisce, shall we?

In college I worked at the Gap, I loved their clothing and so for me it was a perfect match. Now if anyone of you shop at the Gap, you know that everything in the store is usually arranged just so. That just so is the work that occurs after the store is closed, usually for 2 hours! Store closes at 9? Guess whose shift ends at 11. Every folded item has to be just so and in size order and blah, blah, blah. I still fold my clothes the way I learned in Gap school. What was most frustrating about the two hours were the dawdlers that wandered into the store at 3 minutes before closing and mess up piles and then leave 10 minutes after without purchasing one thing! This taught me that I can go into a store at the last minute, and not touch anything unless I am going to buy it. Extreme? Probably, but I remember when I had been on my feet for the last 4 hours and only wanted to get done so I could go home!

In between jobs after college I worked at Ann Taylor in a snobby city in Central Florida. I didn’t think anything of it until I worked for a week with the manager who vented her frustration at being looked down at for being a retail store manager. Oh the horror! This came at her from her in-laws and the customers. I had never given something like that a second though, heck a job was a job and someone had to do it. I had been a manager before and made great money! But it didn’t matter, not in this city. I never thought of Ann Taylor as high end, but the women that shopped there did. And they would put you in your place without a second thought! So imagine my surprise when this same manager called me aside to tell me that a customer had complained that I had not given them the proper treatment when they came in a few days before and it was actually a girl that had worked there part time sometime before. Funny thing is, I knew exactly who she was referring to and I was dumbfounded! This “customer” had come in and asked for every shoe we had, trounced around the store expecting me to cater to her and ignore anyone else that needed help and then left without purchasing one dam* thing! Honestly I probably was a bit rude to her, but in any job I only take so much. If you want to treat me like I am the scum on your shoe, expect me to treat you with disdain, openly. No one gets paid enough in retail to be treated like a second class citizen. I took the managers criticism and promptly gave my notice a few days later.

So now here I am taking calls for Everyone knows Sears, job should be fun and easy, right? Wrong!! The amount of people that call on a daily basis over the DUMBEST things is insane; couple that with orders for things they have no clue about and you are having one heck of a shift. I am amazed after every shift, mostly because I have been ordering online for years and never have the issues that these customers have and when I do, I don’t get belligerent or loud. And if I have a bad experience with one retailer, I tell my friends and cross them off my list. It’s that simple, people. Now, don’t get me wrong Sears is far from the perfect company…I’ve seen my share of things that could be made easier for the customer, but honestly if you come at them with venom, your experience won’t be pleasant and no one will care if you come back or not. Or maybe that’s just me?

Ok, so you made it through my rant and now are wondering what I have for baby news, right? Well, I’m still peeing like a fiend! And thank goodness my appetite seems to have returned…hallelujah FOOD!


  1. I feel your pain. Almost all of my jobs have been in retail. I would LOVE to have at least one job before I die where I don't have to smile and be nice for nasty idiots.

    My only advice is to let the bad calls roll off your back and make light of the situation. It's easy to let rude customers eat at you, huh?

  2. you must have the patience of a saint girl!

  3. Good lord chic, is that the hormones talking or did some customer truly piss you off? roflmao.

    I remember the horrible customers all too well from my Publix days when I was in college. I used to take things so personally, until a manager finally explained to me "don't be offended by them, be thankful that your life doesn't make you THAT miserable of a person." After that, I kinda looked at things with a whole new perspective.

  4. I could never work in customer service. I'm too much of a bitch ... when provoked.

    I am like you with stores that have crossed me. I just no longer darken their door. Sears is one of them (sorry), because the sales people I have dealth with are incredibly rude. Zellers is another. Don't even get me started. Old Navy, nasty, horrible company.

    There's my rant. lol

  5. Oh gosh- I'm having flashbacks from working @ Eddie Bauer. That was the worst job ever.
    I think everyone should have to work retail or wait on tables for at least 2 weeks before they are allowed to get their driver's license or something.
    There is NO excuse for that 'customer' that used to work there ... what the heck?!?

  6. I was in retail too when I started out in the workforce. Customer Service. The. Worst.

    My Hubby was sales manager at Best Buy for 4 years. The stories he would come home with. The. Worst.

    Now, go pee! LOL


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