31 thoughts on “February 16, 2017

    • It would be like refusing a $50 or $100 bill if the customer said “Just printed it this morning!” as they handed it to you, or doubling the price of an Item if it wouldn’t scan and the customer goes “It must be free then!!!!!”

      • Oops, didn’t finish that thought! Would be something I’d have loved to say/do but would at least get written up for acting on it!

        • I got a public dressing down by a floor manager for telling someone (while I was rushing to help someone else) that when I had a minute, I would help them. That was near the end of my tenure, I was so glad to be gone by that point.

      • I’ve gotten to refuse a large bill after they said that. In fact, I was TOLD to. The entire strip mall had gotten hit with fake bills, anywhere from the usual $50s and $100s, down to a $10.

        The last was only discovered because I’d just used hand sanitizer, put my hand on the bill, and the ink smeared.

    • Back in the 90s, I worked the gun counter at a sporting goods store and it would’ve been worth getting fired from that shit job for telling a customer who worked for the government that I couldn’t sell him a weapon because Federal law prohibits selling guns to members of corrupt organizations.

  1. This one I’d file in “Retail Tics”: The things that really only make sense in the mind of an employee who has dealt with something AND its conflicting opposite this over and over and over enough to make this a deserved “take that” at the customer base, but, out of context (and a few years out of retail), is actually just kind of petty and weird.

    He didn’t want help before and now he does, and it’s not even the usual “Okay I give up after wandering around for ten minutes clearly looking for a specific something but insisting I’m not and now I’m willing to bother the busy-looking worker with what may just be comparative shopping for the future and possibly risk being upsold Teavana-style in the process.” Heck, it isn’t even a demanding “Why can’t I get service or attention?!” kind of request. He looked, found something, and had a question.

    Retail does things to you, man.

    • part of it is the fact that she greeted him, and instead of saying “hello” back he just dismisses her saying “just looking”. that’s kinda rude no matter how you slice it. if you ARE just looking, at least acknowledge the greeting for politeness sake. “Hi, I’m fine today. thanks for asking. Just looking around a bit.” would get a heck of a lot better response.

      • Ah, I see your point.

        I guess it’s a cultural thing that I don’t see simply not engaging in empty chitchat that you didn’t ask for with strangers as particularly rude. I forget the rules and norms are different in other places.

        Plus, the “How are you?” question is already an empty, mostly formalized exchange that, coming from people who make their living off you, can be the foothold into something you didn’t ask for. And while Grumbel’s doesn’t seem to be that kind of store, I’ve been on both sides of the kind of salesmanship that encourages the immediate, evasive “just looking.” It’s like giving a curt response at most and then hanging up when you get a telemarketer instead of formally ending the call.

  2. Working a job where one is expected to tolerate a high level of abuse and disrespect is corroding. It’s too bad people who work these jobs are required to take it and take it and take it.
    There is no price tag on the item. The tag is on the shelf. It matches the SKU number. Amber would have no way of knowing what the price is without leaving her post and taking the time to locate where it is supposed to be. Given that helpless clueless customers often set traps because they like to torture people—as in “You do work here, don’t you” (subtext: you are so stupid)— I’m not sure what Amber is expected to say.

    • Add call center work to retail as well. As far as the corporate executives are concerned, you have no soul and are entitled to all the abuse that a customer can dish out in the name of padding the bottom line and increasing shareholder value.

      • When I worked in a call center, it let me channel my inner Vogon.

        I need you to turn my service back on!

        I’m sorry, i can’t do that.


        Because your bill payment is overdue, and has been late every month for as long as you have had your account.

        I need service for a very important project!




        Ad infinitum

        On the other hand, customers with legitimate problems I would bend over backwards to help.

        • At the only call center company I worked for, you had to perform unspeakable anatomical acts on the customers or risk losing your job. The one time I even tried your Vogon approach, the customer unloaded a mountain of abuse on me, and called everyone in the company until he actually got to the CEO where he screamed and cried like a little [slur] until he got some sort of satisfaction. I, needless to say, don’t work there any longer.

          • I used to work for a government call center. No abuse was tolerated beyond a “I’m sorry, sir/ma’am, but I will have no recourse but to end this call if you persist in using such language.” Thankfully, they knew we wouldn’t sit still for it and that happened only twice the whole time I was there. (Might have had something to do with the fact that all calls were recorded, and recording were available to the supervisor of said individual. I was very sorry when that contract ended.

  3. I tell my kids all the time, it doesn’t take too much to turn to someone and say I’m well thank you. You don’t even have to ask them how they are. Just don’t be rude and ignore them. The only thing I have is CVS started this thing that as a customer walks in the door the cashier from across the way says Hello or some kind of greeting. That’s fine if you don’t have someone else in line. I also don’t think you should be yelling it from across the store. I know it’s not the employees fault but again corporate should watch the tactics in action for which they deploy.

  4. “I’m fine, just tired, thanks. How about you?” is a quick, sufficient nicety that reciprocates the humanity of the asker. Even if you know such a retail associate will say “I’m fine, thanks. Anything I can help you with today?” you should return that nicety. You can reply with “Not right now, I’m just looking. I’ll let you know if I have questions.” You also need the proper tone, and it seems like this guy did not have.

    tl;dr: Go Amber!

  5. Being snooty back is only exacerbating the problem. It’s one reason why the world is in such a bad state right now. Someone needs to just take the high ground and show some kindness even when they don’t necessarily feel like it.

    • The high ground? You ‘avin’ a Turkish?

      How will the louts and dumbasses of the world ever be made to stop their unacceptable behavior if no one ever calls it to their attention?

      The world is awash in bad behavior because, ironically, people aren’t combative enough.

      Think about it.

      • There’s a difference between being instructive (“Sir, that attitude puts people off and makes them not want to help you. Think about it.”) and combative (“I don’t talk to jerks.”). One tries to control the fire, the other just dumps kerosene on it.

  6. I don’t even acknowledge the ones who just start barking at me out of the blue with the only intro being “Hey” or some variation. How was I supposed to know they weren’t yelling at someone on a Bluetooth headset (especially if I can’t see them)?

  7. Sometimes I get customers who initiate conversations with a single noun. They don’t say “Hello,” “Excuse me,” or even the more curt “Hey,” they just commence with a single noun.

    “Telephones.” -when asking where the telephones are.
    My response: “Telephones to you, too!”

    “Barbecues to you, too!”

    • I remember this one-word abuse! It made me think “Does my nametag say Google on it?” Had one lady in the middle of an articulate conversation with a friend, then walked up to me at the Customer Service desk and chirped “Trees?” in a voice you’d use with a toddler. Took me a moment to answer because it was such a complete 180.

  8. If you have to ask, sir, you can’t afford it.

    Or, at least that’s what those salesmen for really expensive stuff keep telling me.

  9. I think Norm is trying to make the point that common courtesy cuts both ways, but there are some shoppers out there who are rude and also expect immediate service when they want it. It’s kind the nature of the beast when dealing with the public. Kind of like the customers who insist you search the backroom for an out of stock item when you have already looked ten times for other customers or you know your inventory in detail.

    • Also has rather a lot to do on the customer side with companies that push associates to get into people’s faces and hassle them about the promotion of the moment. After you’ve been hammered by an obviously desperate and embarrassed sales person a few times you get gun shy. Mind you, I can reply a touch more nicely than that – but I can see where a customer like that is coming from.
      I’ve had to damn near pry floor people off me with a crowbar though. I actually have used the phrase, “No, seriously go THE #%&* AWAY!” on a guy that followed me around half the store for 10 minutes plus, expounded on the virtues of in store warranties and ignoring repeated requests to let me be so I could get my shopping done. Extreme example, but they do happen – and those are the ones that produce “Just looking!!1BBQ” people.
      In other words – excellent jerb corporate.

      *: Try not to take it out on the sales people, they don’t want to do it either
      **: Unless they’re like the guy in the above example, in which case extreme measures can be warranted.

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