Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This is not in my job description

I have come to despise the couple with the little snorting dog. They are the ones that will stand at the counter for 20 minutes, waiting for one of us to feed their stupid pet, no matter how busy we are with other customers. If we don't feed him, they will talk to us through the dog. "I guess she's too busy to give you a treat, Little Dog. We'll have to try again later." Then they pull the tiny beast away.

At first I only hated the owners for encouraging the dog's behavior. But now I hate the dog too. He salivates at the sight of anyone in an apron and strains himself against his leash to get to the counter faster. I would never wish harm on him, but if I heard that he died peacefully in his sleep, I would think "Meh."

Though I have to admit, the situation has gotten better for me since I told them I was allergic to dogs . . .

Friday, March 26, 2010

Egg poachers and rotary cheese graters and the people who buy them

There are some gadgets that are especially appealing to a certain customer. This customer is high-maintenance, particular, demanding, and won't let you console or talk sense into them. These people buy egg poaching apparatuses and rotary cheese graters.

The egg poaching crazies are concerned with so many things: construction and materials of egg poachers; quantities of eggs that can be poached in a poacher; ease of clean up of a poacher. They fret and bemoan the egg poachers available on the market. "Why hasn't someone made a better egg poacher?!?!" And I have learned from experience that the worst thing you can do is suggest they just make poached eggs in a pot. These people don't want solutions; they want gadgets!

The rotary cheese grater crazies want 1) a grater "like at Olive Garden," 2) a grater "like their grandmother had," 3) a grater that will allow them to grate cheese without actually having to touch it. Despite the fact that we usually have one or two styles of rotary graters, they are rarely pleased because they have a fantastical vision of a grater in their minds.

I just had a poached egg for breakfast. I made it in a sauce pot. It was fucking fantastic and easy.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The "C" word (customers)

Yesterday was one of the most annoying days ever. Nearly everyone I helped treated me with some level of jerkiness. And I didn't get a morning break because we were short staffed and demoing the popcorn machine. I did stuff my face full of popcorn, discreetly, on the sales floor.

Here's the major jerks:

-The old lady freaking out about sink saddles. One of my co-workers called her to let her know that sink saddles were back in stock. So imagine her dismay when she made a trip in and discovered that they are not the sink saddle she wants! The sink saddles we have are clear with drain holes on the sides. The sink saddle she wants is white and without drain holes. No matter how many times I told her that the clear one is the only sink saddle we have, she just wouldn't except it. I looked up inventory in the computer and saw that in past we did sell another sink saddle, and though I am not sure if it was the one she wants, the description said white. But that one was discontinued and we don't have any and we haven't had any since 2004. Though I hated to do it, the only way I got the bitch to shut up was to tell her that my co-worker must have been mistaken about the sink saddles.

-Yesterday there was a St. Patrick's Day parade that went right past the store. I didn't know there was going to be one. For several personal reasons, parades sort of depress me. Plus, I just don't give a shit about parades. Before I knew there was going to be a parade, I had a customer ask me what was going on. I said I didn't know and then immediately turned to my co-worker and asked if there "was a parade or something?" Then the customer told me that I should know about such things for when people ask. Why is it my job to be the community events information booth? He lives here too and he didn't know about the parade either. Dude, you can go shove a shamrock up your ass.

-The lady who asked me what materials made up the outdoor furniture. When I told her it was wrought iron, she freaked out and went on a tirade about rust. She was bitching about something she didn't even buy at our store. I didn't mention the 37 years worth of testimonials from hundreds of other customers about how well the furniture holds up. Sometimes you just have to let them dump and leave.

-I had a customer call and ask me about our stainless steel stovetop espresso makers. She asked me the style name. I read it off of the box. "Class." And then she laughed at me. Not like, "oh, what a funny name for a stovetop espresso maker!" but "you idiot! It cannot POSSIBLY be called Class!" But you can see for yourself, via the link, that the fucking thing is indeed called Class.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Teakettle idiot

Yesterday a woman asked me to show her our teakettle selection. I gave her the tour, told her the prices, and then let her look. A few minutes later, she came up to me and asked, "Do they sell Le Creuset kettles at Macy's?"

I answered her honestly. "I don't know. I haven't been shopping for kettles there." Because why would I shop for kettles at a chain retailer and pay full price when I could shop at my local kitchen shop and employer and get my employee discount? And I don't feel that it is my job to know the prices and availability of a product that is sold in a million places around the globe. I am not the internet.

She decided to purchase a cheaper kettle from OXO. When I was ringing her up, she mentioned that she was on our "VIP list" (our mailing list) and wondered "if that did anything." I pretended that I didn't know she was fishing for a discount and told her if I put her name on the receipt, she would continue to get our mailings. I love playing dumb in situations like that because customers have to keep talking and actually vocalize their asinine requests rather than have me intuit them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What the F*ck'n'Chunk

This was our Gadget of the Month for February: the Cut'N'Chunk! These special scissors are the most gadgety of gadgets. I did not hate them until we decided to demo them.

The problem with demonstrating gadgets is that is can easily backfire. Instead of enticing people to buy it because the idea is sort of cool, you immediately show them the stupidity of the product.

The first day, we had apples out for people to cut. They worked fine: not too soft, not to hard. People made comments like "these would be great for fruit salad." The apples were sticky, though, so we decided to cut'n'chunk vegetables instead. Celery was tricky (don't be fooled by the celery and rhubarb in the picture) and carrots were near impossible. When customers snipped, the last force of scissor closing would flip the carrots all over. Little pieces of carrot, jumping into the air and onto floors and counters, everywhere but the plate. We left the carrots out because it was hilarious. We actually sold some, with customers saying, "these don't work for carrots, but they would be great for (fill in long soft food)."

For kicks, we wanted to put some cheap hotdogs out for demo, but we feared the scornful looks processed forcemeat would most likely get from our vegan vegetarian organic natural free-range eating customers.