Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Matters of size

Here are two comments I often hear when customers are furniture shopping.  Examples:

"My wife is petite.  Like 5'2".  This sofa would be too deep for her."

"My husband is a big guy.  These chairs are too small."

I never have anyone tell me about obese spouses.  The statements I'm told are almost like bragging:  tiny, doll-like wives and big, muscly, manly husbands.  I also never hear about really tall wives or shrimpy husbands.  If a customer does comment on a tall woman, it is usually the woman herself and most often is part of a conversation about her tall family.  And short men don't complain about finding furniture that fits.  They just do it.

The other day I was helping a young, fit couple find chairs.  The wife asked if there were other styles because her "husband is big."  He was standing right there, looking pretty flipping average to me.  But to her, he is huge, a hero and a hunk of man who cannot and will not have dinky chairs!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Friday again

- I did an exchange for a woman who had received a book as a gift and months later realized someone had torn pages out (more on that later).  We didn't have the book in stock to replace immediately, but we could get it in the fall.  I explained this to the woman with careful, deliberate, honest statements.  I gave her other choices, like getting a different item or a gift card to use later.  Using her mouth, she told me that she wanted to wait and get a new book.  I wanted to confirm that it would be a long wait, so I said "it will be like getting it for Christmas all over again!" but I said it in a friendly, fun manner.  She laughed and said yes, which I assumed (dummy me) that she understood the time line.  Satisfied, I went to lunch.  When I came back, I was told that the woman came back minutes after I'd left, and asked my co-worker when her special order book would be in and kept insisting she find out the date it would arrive.  AAHHH!!!!!  I should know better than to assume that 1) people won't be dicks and 2) people will understand anything. 

- Who the FUCK tears pages out of books?  This has happened a couple of times at our store.  And I've checked reference books out of the library with the same problem.  These page tearers must live so in the moment that they cannot think of a way to find the information any other way than to tear it out.  I don't understand it and I don't like it.

- The woman complaining and complaining about her small and useless wallet:  I really wanted to tell her to just get a bigger wallet.  Some might say that about me and this blog and my job.  If I complain so much, why not just get a different job?  To which I would say:  a wallet is a much easier thing to fix than a job.  Seriously.  Get a new wallet.  I probably have an extra one at home I could let her borrow.

- There was a woman that spent close to an hour looking at napkins without being able to make up her mind.  When she was ready to check out, I was on the phone, finishing up a call I had picked up way before she came to the counter.  She waited at the counter for 5 seconds (I'm not even exaggerating on the time) before she stormed out the door.  I was off the phone when she was 15 feet from the counter, but she didn't come back when I said in a 15 foot voice "Didn't you want the napkins?"  I felt desperate and weird for sort of begging her to come back.  The annoying thing is that she is probably going to turn this into a story of how lousy our service is and tell all of her friends that she was ignored and that is just not true.

- There were some people sitting and talking at one of our tables yesterday.  I overheard bits of their conversation and it sounded like an interview.  Which I think is really weird. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

timely timing

Ok, here's the deal:

Most stores have posted hours.  So of course, if their posted closing time is 5 o'clock and you wonder in at 4:55, you are technically coming in while they are open.  There are generally 2 kinds of people that come in at this hour.

The first is the dasher.  "Oh my god are you closed?? No??  Can grab this one thing really quick?  I need it for a party RIGHT NOW.  I don't even care how much it costs!  I don't even need it in a bag!  Thank you SO MUCH!  You saved my life."  Dramatic, but sweet!

The other is the entitled browser:  "Oh, I know you are closing soon.  I just wanted to look at EVERYTHING in your store.  I just LOVE coming in here when everyone else is gone!  It's like my own private shopping experience!  Can you show me all of the (things that we have a ton of and also catalogs from which the customer could order this thing, basically unlimited selection that could take days to comb)?"  The entitled browser gets upset if you are even a little bit grouchy.  They want you to be as perky and chipper as you were at 11 a.m., when you had hours and hours before you could go home.  The entitled browser rarely BUYS anything.  Not that it is all about selling shit to people, but, um, it sort of is, right?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

3 little pigs

- I still don't like when grown women use a whiny baby voice, especially when they want something.  And when they are going on and on about how HORRIBLE their umbrella looks without its finial. 

- Stools are the bane of my existence.  The worst stool shopper yet was the woman that was apparently angry at me because our stools weren't "nice like chairs but high."  Whatever that means.

- More thought on the vampire customers, you know, the ones that hold a clerk hostage and talk at them because they are lonely and we are nice because that is our job.  Sometimes when I tell people about these sorts of customers, they make me feel guilty.  "It's hard to be lonely," they say.  "I could probably be that guy."  And I'll feel a bit of pity.  Then yesterday, while overhearing one repeat offender talking to one of my co-workers, I thought "Fuck that pity shit."  If they are so fucking lonely, love to talk so fucking much, and have so much fucking free time that they can wonder from store to store talking at clerks, baristas and other hired help, why don't they volunteer or something and spend time with people who might actually want human interaction?  Like in a nursing home?  The brief time I have spent visiting old people I have known in homes was depressing because so many of them seem lonely and eager for visits by younger people from the outside world.    But what the hell do I know.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's that very special time of year.

It's sidewalk sale time again!  We haul unsold clearance, scratch-n-dent, and old merchandising merch, out onto the pavement and let people paw for deals.  Every year that I've worked, the long term employees say that this is their least favorite sale.  I never really had a problem with it until this year.  Now I say it too:  I hate sidewalk sale.  I was trying to explain to my boyfriend what makes this sale and these customers worse than any other sale shoppers or hagglers.  Here's one example of a typical transaction:

I sold a customer a tray from the sidewalk.  It was properly labeled with price tags, on the correct rack, and in great condition.  Before purchasing it, the customer asked me the cost of the tray.  I want to state that I am perfectly fine with people asking the price of items.  In fact, with this sale, I have gotten in the habit of saying aloud the price of the item as I ring it up, so that they know that I know it is on sale.  So, customer asked the price of the tray and I told her.  She said ok, paid, and requested to have it double bagged.  Done.  Right?  Nope.

As I was coming back from lunch, I saw the tray customer at the counter with 2 of my co-workers.  The tray and the receipt were out.  There looked to be a lot of talking.  I ducked around the corner to eavesdrop.  To my horror, but not surprise, the customer claiming confusion and that I didn't tell her the price when she was buying it.  That sneaky bitch! Fishing for a deeper discount.

These tricks pulled by sale customers are universal.   I forget sometimes.  It is not one or two contentious jerks to deal with, but a whole day of people who think that but having a bad attitude and playing stupid, they will get an even better deal.  How could you even enjoy a purchase if the whining, lies and "confusion" did work?   "Isn't this tray great?  It was 75% percent off, so I snatched it up and paid for it.  THEN I went back later and told them that the girl who rang me up mislead me, so they gave me an extra 10% off the $34.99 sale price!!"  Gross.  You're probably a hoarder too.

As I was closing the store yesterday, I thought about how beautiful and dignified it is to buy something at full price.

Do you like to read about sales?  Hmm, do you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

EXTREME PILLOW!! expounded

One of my loyal followers wrote me requesting further explanation on the EXTREME PILLOW post.  In responding, it is not my intention to shame my reader for missing my brilliant sarcastic humor, but to allow myself the chance to rag on the ridiculous pillow more and to plug a past post.

You may or may not remember this post about fabric names.  I am pretty sure the "extreme" in EXTREME pillow comes from the name of the fabric.  This is funny because it is not extreme anything.  It is not extremely durable, expensive, colorful, textured, interesting, soft, crisp, flammable.  So that it is named EXTREME is ironic and I wonder if the manufacturers were purposely being hilarious.

This pillow is the most boring thing I've ever seen.  Not welted, not boxed, just a beige smear on the sofa, built for the fearful conformists.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


This 14x14, cotton poly blend, down filled, beige pillow is labeled "extreme pillow."  Yea, extremely BORING!  Zing!  Take that pillow!