38 thoughts on “July 1, 2017

  1. “Well, what I mean is they come in different sizes and depending on the gift, you’ll need a specific kind of box”

  2. “Well in that case, let me fetch you a 6’x6’x8′ box. That should be able to hold almost any gift you’d possibly give out.”

    • *GASP* It’s PERFECT for the pallet of drywall I’m giving them as a housewarming gift! (They bought a handyman special, you see.)

      Can I get that gift-wrapped?

    • Same. And the walk from the parking spots furthest away from the store is the fifty seconds I have to negotiate with my mind a way to try and get through it without snapping or breaking down crying.

      • I sympathize. I run into people where I work now who are in retail, and I tell them how that was me for 15 years and how I feel for them. I hated that feeling of driving up in the parking lot and having my stomach ache.

  3. “Gee, don’t you think a box is pretty crappy gift? Why not spend a few bucks and get the person something nice?”

    Yeah, I can play the ‘dense’ game, too.

  4. For once I’m on the customers side. A *yes, they are in aisle 6 on the second floor* or a *No, sadly we don’t* would have sufficed. Val doesn’t need to know what she needs them for in order to tell her yes or no.

    • Well, it might be that gift boxes aren’t kept on the sales floor. Some of them are fairly large and the retail shelf space might be better used for more profitable items. Val might just want to know about what size of box the customer needs.

      It might be they only carry certain sizes, and rather than send the customer all the way to wherever they are, it might be more helpful to determine what the customer wants directly.

      In some cases, the retail employee might be required to actually walk the customer to the product and assist them with a selection.

      Maybe Val’s question is legitimate. Maybe it isn’t. But it’s a simple enough question that might allow Val to help the customer better.

      I used to work in auto parts, where questions about what the customer wants (or even NEEDS) were absolutely crucial to the job. And I swear, getting answers from some people was like pulling teeth.

      One thing I can tell say for sure is that snarky answers seriously diminish my already limited enthusiasm for helping you.

      • ‘Do you have gift boxes?’ was also a very simple question but Val didn’t answer it. You thought of some good explanations as to why Val needs to know what size of box the customer needs. Problem is that Val didn’t *ask* what size of box the customer needs, instead she asked a much more personal question that could be misinterpreted and had little to do with what Val actually wanted to know. It’s a breakdown of communication and sorry, but it started with Val.

    • I assumed these are are free gift boxes that department stores give out. So Val would need to know what was going in the box to fetch the right size.

        • Sure. Then when the customer asks for a size the store doesn’t carry, she shows that the only word she heard was “yes”, and rips into Val for “poor customer service” or some such nonsense.

          • I suppose that’s one way to avoid any personal responsibility. If you make a mistake don’t owe up to it, correct it and move on. Instead wander into fantasy land, play out a scenario where you didn’t make a mistake and still got punished for it, feel vindicated and mad at the person for what they did in your imagination.

          • The only person “wandering into fantasy land” is you, scrumptious, because the scenario agentsmith described happens all the goddamn time but you’re trying to pretend it doesn’t.

            The customer was being deliberately obtuse and rude- notice the eye-roll and ending her sentence on “duh”. Val’s question might have been a bit vague (although pretty much everyone I know is able to interpret what she means), but that customer was 100% unhelpful.

            Instead of being an asshole, the customer could’ve said something along the lines of “my cousin is having a baby shower and I need something for [blank]” or more simply, “I need a box about this big”.

            Or, if she was simply inquiring if they HAD boxes, she could’ve said “not for anything specific, just wanted to see if you had them in case I need them”.

            The customer was rude, full stop. That behavior is not acceptable, but for some reason you’re trying to make the argument that it *is*.

          • @kat
            >The only person “wandering into fantasy land” is you, scrumptious, because the scenario agentsmith described happens all the goddamn time

            Right, because all customers are horrible monsters out to get you, got it.

            Yes, the customer was rude but Val’s response was very unhelpful. Just because the customer is rude doesn’t automatically mean that Val is blameless. My point is, Val communicated badly because she asked a question that is vague and can be misinterpreted as nosy and too personal in lieu of asking the question she actually wants an answer to, which is the size of the box the customer wants. Concocting a wild story of what the customer *would* have done if she had asked a sensible question, is absolving Val of all responsibility and giving her free reign to repeat the same mistake over and over again.

    • TrulyScrumptious, I agree with you. Val walked into this one. She might have replied with a more artfully phrased such as “what are you looking to box?” or “please tell me more about the gift” or something. But being open ended, close to rude, got her the response she deserved. Even in my short retail career, I knew better than to bring on a smart retort.

  5. Is she asking “Do you sell gift boxes?” or “Do you give gift boxes out with purchases?” Makes a difference in the answer.

    • Yeah, this is what I was thinking too. Val’s response might have been worded poorly but this would be my next question. lol

  6. Reminds me of the time a customer got super pissy when I asked her what she needed the change for, when she’d asked for a bill to be broken down.

    I was mentally thinking “bitch I need to know so I know what kind of change to give you calm the fuck down”. Like, if it’s for laundry, you’re gonna need quarters and loonies. If it’s bus fare, you’re gonna need nickles and dimes.

    Questions are asked in order to help serve you better you goddamn cretins…

    • I used to have dreams where I said exactly what I was thinking just this way, and got away with it. Never in real life though!

    • To be honest I would probably find it insulting too. It’s not really your concern what I’m using my money on, but on the other hand I understand your point and reason why you asked, but the other person didn’t and probably felt like you were invading their privacy. They probably should have just said “I need change in X amount if you have it”. Just asking for “change” is vague and weird.

    • Tbh. I can see how your question could be interpreted as very confrontational. Understandably not all cashiers are happy to give change. She might have thought that you are checking to see if her use is worthy enough for you to give her the change. Or she might have thought you are nosy.

      What I see here is a misunderstanding because you didn’t ask the question you actually wanted to be answered but one tangentially related to it. You *wanted* to know what coins to give her but instead of asking ‘what coins do you need’ you instead asked the much more personal question of ‘what are you going to spend these coins on later?’. I can see why a more private customer would have a problem with that kind of perceived noisiness even if *you* know that you didn’t mean it that way.

      • Except I said it in a non-confrontational manner and it was responded with utter hostility.

        “Sure, what for? :D”

        • Considering that you refer to those people you interact with as bitch and cretins in your head, you might be not actually be as non-confrontational as you might think.

    • Remind me not to go to your store. Sometimes a customer is flustered, rattled, or is just plain tired. Of course YOU are always on top of things, never need to be prompted for a response, always get it perfect the first time. Yup, I stay away from you all toting around your own pedestals of perfection..

      • Buddy, I asked a relatively simple, benign question (in a cheery manner! what more do you WANT) and she responded with hostility and swearing. It has nothing to do with being “perfect”, it has to do with being treated the bare fucking minimum of human decency and respect.

        Because god forbid if I don’t smile 100% of the time every time but a customer can swear to the moon and back and I’m not allowed to *think* less of them.

        So yeah, I don’t want someone like YOU in my store, since you seem to think yelling and swearing at a cashier is acceptable behavior.

        • Based on your manner here, I’d question just how “cheery” you were. And was it sincere? Because people can often tell if it isn’t, responding in kind.

          It was invasive, no matter how it was presented. Maybe the customer over-reacted, but you still asked the wrong question.

  7. Librarians call this process the “reference interview.” It’s where we go from “Do you have any books about animals?” to “We just got a golden retriever puppy and we need to know how to raise her.”

  8. Well to be fair “for what” is kind of a dumb response. You either have them or you don’t, does it really matter what the person is going to box up?

  9. This is one of those times were I see both sides. The customer’s question really isn’t communicating what they want, but Val’s response is too wide of a catch-all for specifics.

    • I find the customer’s question entirely reasobable tbh. She wants to know if they have gift boxes. If the answer is *no* then there is no need to go into details or specifics, if the answer is *yes* then she can go into details as to what size she needs.

  10. Reminds of the stupid people who come into CVS and ask us “Where can we find cards?” And then look at me like I’m annoying when I ask, “What kind of cards?”
    -Gift Cards
    -Calling Cards
    -Phone Cards
    -Greeting Cards
    -Playing Cards
    And I’m just suppose to automatically assume.

    • No, the people are not stupid. YOU are. When we, the unwashed customers, are asking for an item, we are thinking of the specific kind of card we need. I would never ask for a calling card, phone card or gift card because I don’t buy those. I do buy greeting cards. I doubt if I would think of buying playing cards at CVS. Now, you, the CVS employee, might respond by a simple “what kind of card are you looking for,” direct the customer and leave it at that. Thank goodness all the other CVS employees I have met have been friendly, helpful and a CREDIT to the store. You, on the other hand, clearly are not.

      • Woah, hold your horses. It never hurts to be specific. Cashiers aren’t mind readers. How are they supposed to know that you are thinking of greeting cards if the store sells many different types of cards?

        • That’s my point. Simply ask me what kind of card I want. Being snarky is not an answer. “Hi, could you tell me where to find cards?” “Are you looking for greeting cards?” Would be fine. Or “What kind of card?” I don’t expect mind readers. A little nudge for more information never hurts.

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