19 thoughts on “July 23, 2016

  1. I wonder how they would feel if their coworkers did that to them. As in, “Good morning!” “I’m working, leave me alone.”


  2. “What happened to good customer service?”

    “God, why won’t they leave me alone!”

    I have to choose guys, and I’m picking upbeat customer service.

  3. While I try hard never to actually say it in so many words, because after all the employee’s just trying to do her job, in this case I tend to side a lot more with the customer. I know that the combination of store policy and the way “secret shopper” evaluations work means that, when the store is mostly empty, a lot of employees are going to interact with relatively few customers. But when I’m walking briskly and purposefully from the entrance directly to the item I need, and more than half a dozen people have to ask “Can I help you find something?”, it’s really difficult not to use a tone of voice that makes my “No, thank you” sound an awful lot like “Leave me the [bleep] alone.”

    • I prefer a smile and pleasant tone. Why get hostile toward someone who’s just doing what management makes them do?

      • They might have been burned by a store where basic politeness (or minimal unwillingness to be impolite) and acknowledgement of what people say is taken as consent to aggressive selling.

    • Well, from the employee’s standpoint it might be “Risk annoying a customer who knows what they’re looking for” or “Get fired” (I’ve seen that once)

      So, yeah, it’s annoying. And you don’t have any recourse, really, because complaining to manager will likely just get “Thank you for telling me my employee is doing their job” if they’re at all smart, or make things worse if they’re not. Because that turns the choice to “Risk annoying this customer who complains and gets me written up/fired” or “Get fired”

    • Yeah, but is it that difficult to not use that tone when all they’re saying is hi and they leave it at that? I had many, many customers react just like this guy when all I said was “Hello.” and turned back to whatever I was doing before. Sometimes they would even interrupt me in my task to say that they didn’t appreciate being “harassed” while they were just trying to shop in peace.

  4. I always try to be polite no matter which side I’m on but sometimes it’s hard. People like this seem to have an agenda to be rude.

  5. Later he’ll complain that “Nobody asked if I needed help”…

    I had that happen where I work. Went to say “Hello” to a customer who came in the door, she barked “just looking”, then as she left she said “I’ve never been to a store where nobody offers to help you”…well the way she said “just looking” indicated she wanted to be left alone, so we did.

  6. I used to work for a certain store with a “five times no” rule (in a mall where the kiosks would try to sell to me even when, in my company apron, I was pushing a loaded cart of garbage), and it did weirdly hurt when people did the evasive maneuvers on me, but at the same time I couldn’t blame them one bit for aggressively shaking me off.
    That’s an extreme example, yeah. But even in the less extreme ones, I understand both the sentiment of the customer and how it hurts when you’re the employee. The status quo of retail is one recipe for alienation and bitterness no matter who does what, but that’s old news, huh?

      • Yes, I have a much greater understanding of how pickup artists operate from that job.

        (For those not familiar: It means that you don’t accept no for an answer until you force the customer to refuse you at most five times. They definitely won’t back down after the fifth, but if they’re going to give in, it’s usually before five times.)

  7. speaking from the customers side (and I have been on both sides) the only time your asked if you need help is when you don’t
    when your wandering around like your lost they never ask cause its easier and less work to ask the customer you know doesn’t want your help and if your in a big box store or grocery they always ask about some obscure item you have no idea where to find or even if you carry it

  8. There is no happy medium, is there? Either the sales associates are following you around, asking if you need help every time you touch anything, or they’re invisible. Or it’s “not my department.” No, you’re not expected to know every single item in the store, but if you don’t know, ask another associate! There’s bound to be someone who has an answer!

  9. I worked in convenience stores. Basically our policies were to say hi to everyone entering the store. Depending on how busy I was, “Hi” might be all I can say.

  10. Past history drives future behavior for me. If I go into a store and get pursued aggressively, I’m more likely to cut them off at the pass the next time, although I do my best not to be rude about it.
    I have not run into excessively aggressive sales folks in department store such as ones that Grumbles represents in a long time. The kiosk sellers at malls are the biggest offenders and the reason I avoid malls like the plague these days.

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