Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Justifiable Homicide Tuesday-Me



This is the third week for Justifiable Homicide and I have decided to take a different tact. The topic is I am why I don't work retail. This could also include other areas such as customer service, greeters or any job involving the public.

Basically I am a terrible customer. If I had to deal with people like me I would quit. When I was much younger I was a waitress and did quite well. I was pleasant, jovial and smiled nice for the customer. Many years have passed and my patience has grown thin. On my behalf I also think store employees have gotten "worse". As the saying goes "it's hard to get good help". It seems stores are understaffed and undertrained.


When I go into a store, whether to buy something, or look around, if I have questions I expect answers. If you can't help me find, someone who can. Just because you are a body in the store doesn't make you qualified and I can usually spot a fake. If  you are unfamiliar with the store and its inventory/product make it a point to educate yourself. It looks good for you and the store.

Case in point, a year ago or so I went into a large electronics store to buy a printer. The salesman, and I use this term loosely, helping me had no clue what any of the printers could do. All his answers were "I think so". I said to him, I don't want "think" I want "know". I finally sent him to get someone that did know. I did leave with a printer after awhile.

This next example happened just last week and is a prime reason why people like me would make Me not want  to work retail. I went into the same electronics store to buy a computer [side bar-I keep going back to said electronics store as it is the most convenient and has the best prices. There aren't a lot of choices in my area, except for Wally World and Target]. Soo I go to the computer department and I find what I am looking for and proceed to look for someone to help me..........no luck. A woman walks by with a name tag, she doesn't work there it turns out [is there selling wirless thingies that allow the laptops to get wifi anywhere] but she will find someone for me. I thank her, I can be polite, and we wait and we wait. There is no sign of anyone in the department at all. I would understand if they were busy helping someone else but that is not the case... there is NO ONE. I leave the daughters and head to the Geek Squad [opps a hint] and by passing customers I announce in my outdoor voice. "Would someone like to sell me a computer". A woman says "I will be right with you"... and she was. :)

I left with my computers, debt and satisfaction.

Now before all you retail gurus yell at me, I know there are some out there that are very knowledgable and helpful. When I bought my Macbook, the Apple salesman knew all about the laptop and the employee in the pc section of the store knew the windows laptops. I was happy in the knowledge I had made a sound decision made with sound advice.

Good lesson for my daughters? I don't know, but they do get service in stores.

Bottom line if I saw me coming into a store.. I would be a topic of some bloggers Justifiable Homicide Tuesday post.

33 comments :

Ekanthapadhikan said...

I had had such experiences too where I walked into a computer peripherals store and there was no one to help me out. The result is that I'm still using a UPS that helps me only 15 seconds if there is a power shut down!

Adam said...

i have a book of stories of customers like you.

i don't mind that a customer is demanding help. i mean it's their money they are parting with.

When the customer goes from demanding to rude is where i draw the line.

Working Mommy said...

I can feel your pain!! Another thing that just irks me is when I go into a higher end store and get ignored. Okay, so I'm in jeans...does that really mean I don't have the money to warrant good customer service?! HATE IT!

Will Burke said...

You can't expect Wally World $8-an-hour staff to knoww about everything, but you'd sure hope that in a specialty store, they'd have their act together a little!

The Lone Star Queen said...

I had the same frustration at a popular depot of office supplies. The kid knew less than me about printers. Luckily I managed to purchase a pretty good one but only because of luck. People just don't take pride in their jobs anymore. If I treated people like that at my place of employment I would be fired. Such is life...

Brian Miller said...

this one made me smile...way back when i worked in retail...yeah, not fun...i did try though.

Apple has been great as far as customer service though...

Cathy said...

I recently spent 2 hours in a Best Buy with my parents and a very knowledgable salesman. I was glad he knew his stuff, but felt bad that he had to answer my parents questions for 2 hours. However, they are now hooked up with a killer surround sound system.

Amethyst Moon said...

Having worked Retail for years... YES!!! I completely agree!

JP said...

What's worse is when they pretend to know...

I do this all the time. I go looking for something and the salesman will start spouting off crap... crap that since I'm actually smarter than him in that area I know to be crap...

Uh seriously dude, if you don't know, you don't know... and that's ok. But find out the information. Don't make crap up.

jessalyn said...

yes- i too worked in retail for what felt like an eternity. i love working with the public and helping people. however, when someone was rude to me right off the bat, they got nothing. granted i was in management, so i was seriously ONLY dealing with problem customers. if the person was nice, i would bend over backwards to make them happy! when they swore and yelled, i would tell them "sorry, there is nothing i can do". :)
also- the company i worked for, who shall remain nameless (hey, there's a thanksgiving day parade coming up in a few days!) would hire anyone that could breath to work for minimum wage- especially at the holidays. it was the worst!

That one girl said...

LOL. Okay, I totally suck at sales. I'm like, 'Yeah, don't buy it, it's freakin' expensive.' Wait, I mean, uhhh, buy it, it's great?! Ahhh. Sales quota NOT MET!

carissajaded said...

I just got stressed out thinking about it. Last week I walked into 2 different sprint stores and got so annoyed that I huffed and puffed and literally made "grrrr" sounds before I made some comprehensible remark and left. Like they even cared :)

Captain Dumbass said...

Justifiable Homicide? I like it. Especially since the recession has dragged me kicking and screaming back into retail. Luckily people who buy books are a little more laid back.

Julie said...

totally agree. I can be a complete nightmare in stores, mostly because I used to work retail many moons ago, my family owns stores, and I plan on opening one in the near future, so in my book...there are no excuses!

ashley said...

I too am a terrible customer. More so with restaurants than retail stores.

I expect my waitress to be friendly and knowledgeable of the menu. I expect my drinks to be made with alcohol; not water. I expect to finish my appetizer before my HOT meal arrives. I expect everyone's plates to be removed once ALL parties are finished. & I'm not afraid to tell them when they don't do any of these things. Partly because I'm a large tipper and partly because I feel like this is their job.

Now, fast food (which I rarely consume) is a different story. Is it that fucking hard to get a simple order correct? Especially when I annunciate! Is is really so hard to make said order that it takes 10 minutes to receive? & come on.. "What do you want?" is not exactly a proper greeting for a paying customer either.

Wow, now this comment has turned into a mini-rant! Just know you're not alone & I feel like we have every right to demand good customer service!

MiMi said...

When I was young I worked in retail. I had more patience then. If I had to work it now I would drive my car into a ditch to get out of it. In fact, many times on my way to work I thought about doing that.
Anyway, when I was in customer service it was "Customer is ALWAYS right." Even if they were jackwads.
Now, I am the customer and I get treated like crap so much. I can't even believe some of the shit (pardon my french) that I've dealt with from people who work at stores. In fact, I may have a blog post in my mind now about this Hallmark aisle incident...now I'm mad just thinking about it.

plainolebob said...

VL,
yep you had me runnin, and i don't even work there, is it me or do you just project that, hell, i started lookin for the manuals.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING
big hugs

Joanne said...

I have great respect for people in the service industry but that said in retail I would give anything to find a happy medium between "get the hell away from me!!" and "does anyone work in this f**king place??"

From one long retired Denny's graveyard shift waitress.

adrienzgirl said...

I don't think it is too much to ask that when you go to a retail establishment, or a food establishment, or any other effin place where you are going to spend your hard earned dollars that you receive prompt, courteous and knowledgeable service. I don't.

If said establishment doesn't pay staff enough, not my problem. To that staff: if you don't like the position find another one somewhere else. But if you work there I expect you to provide customer service. Period.

See, I am the topic of many a justifiable homicide blog too.

S3XinthePantry said...

Oh, I agree with you ... but I would pick the untrained sales person. Sometimes, even worse is the over enthusiastic ones.

I remember years ago trying to pick out a game for my nephew. The sales person kept pushing this "kill everyone fast" game. And when I told him I didn't want to buy anything like that, the kid was only turning 7. The sales guy said, "My 6 yo plays it. There's a feature where you can turn off the blood."

NO kidding. He said there was a no blood option.

I'm still wondering if that was true.

But, still... ugh! It's not really the blood that was my point!!

I love Tuesdays now & posted a JH again this week!

Tamela said...

I hate going into stores and not being able to find anyone to help with. What I really hate is being a a restaurant for 30 minutes before someone acknowledges you and ask for your drink order then..maybe another 20 minutes later takes your food order. That irritates the fire out of me!

blueviolet said...

I don't think you're expecting anything more than you should expect. You don't sound bad to me at all.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I can absolutely relate. And I've had to use my 'outside voice' to get someone off their butt to actually do their job... ;)

otin said...

I think that fast food drive thru workers get my vote!!!

Melissa B. said...

I basically dislike shopping. Period. Explanation point. Except for shoes...

Samsmama said...

My heart is weeping for Joanne. The thought of waitressing at Denny's, graveyard shit to boot, makes me want to cry. My last job at a bar/grill we were required to memorize the menu and all ingredients of all the items on it, despite it being right there in print. And we weren't allowed out on the floor until we passed all the tests. Fun times. But I made killer money.

Christiejolu said...

I am a former retail employee. If I was hte manager of that store and no one helped you in a certain amount of time I would have gotten upset. Any good store manager would agree with me. When I was a store manager I always made sure every customer was greeted and helped right away. Of course I worked at a small accessory store.

Sara said...

I have a low tolerance for crappy customer service.

I am actually really freakin' pleasant in most situations, but I have a hard time when I have been walking around the store for 20 min looking visibly confused and there is not a helpful employee in sight... ESPECIALLY when they're not busy.

That's when I get really passive aggressive by using my barn voice and saying things like, "Well, I guess I'll just sell myself the damn toaster!"

WhisperingWriter said...

I hate when I get crappy customer service. It frustrates me when the worker has no idea how to answer my questions.

magda said...

it seems like the standard answer is "i don't know". where is the rest? should it be followed by "let me find out for you or get someone who does know?" the assumption is that if you want it badly enough, you will find it and buy it. it is maddening. stupid lazy phuqqerz

JennyMac said...

bad customer service irritates me..and your daughters are better for learning how to handle it and handle it well.

TwentySomethingMomma said...

You won't hear me complaining about anything you've written here - my husband is a tech-guy and he is constantly irritated by co-workers who know NOTHING about their products (and are actually making more money than he is, grr).

Justifiable homicide, indeed. ;)

Kitty Moore said...

In my student days - I got sacked from every bar/store job I had..so I feel for people who have to serve me!