44 thoughts on “March 24, 2017

    • The only thing I can think of not covered by the comic would be ‘country of origin’. But the comic is right; some customers have their own weird vocabulary that makes sense only to them.

    • You’ll never make it in retail if you can’t read the customer’s mind. That’s why we ask a MINIMUM of three open-ended–no yes or no answers–questions. In Marla’s case, she should’ve come back with, “What kind are you looking for?” rather than giving the nitwit a list.

      • “What kind are you looking for?” “What kind do you have?”. Now put that on a ten hour loop and you have a very likely outcome that can happen if you just ask them that.

  1. I get this all the time. It blows me away how many customers questions could be answered if they went to our website.

      • “Are you open?”

        “No, I’ve come into the building secretly while it’s closed and figured I’d turn off the answering machine and answer calls for fun-OF COURSE WE’RE [censored] OPEN, I’D TELL YOU TO COME AND LOOK BUT I’M NOT CONVINCED YOU CAN MANAGE TO WALK AND BREATHE AT THE SAME TIME!”

        Anybody ever quietly dream about having a retail space and treating customers like they do in Black Books? 🙂

    • Most retail sites can be difficult to navigate, have poor search engines and are lacking in basic information for the listing. Worse, many pages load slowly because of unrelated content (ads).

      • On the other hand, you can call during a rush, wait twenty minutes until someone has a chance to answer, try to explain what you want to said someone as six other people and a manager try to get their attention, wait on hold for half an hour while that someone tries to get a hold of the one guy who might know the answer, wait forty more minutes while the guy double checks to make sure he’s giving you the right answer while being distracted by nine people and two managers.

        Use the website.

  2. This kind of reminds me of something I read about miscommunications due to cognitive things and how there are ways to spot and navigate these kinds of conversations instead of both sides just getting into a frustrating dead end due to the other party being obviously unreasonable.

    Of course, while in other fields this knowledge might give you something to brag about and a special ed specialization, in retail and service jobs you’re just thrust at the public without any appreciation for one of the reasons it’s so challenging: not everything is so self evident. Usually this gets chalked up to a character judgement (not that this is undeserved), but the fact that people operate, interpret, and perceive differently really makes dealing with the public a skill.

    • But those tend to be classified as work boots, which should’ve answered his question. And generally speaking it’s better to actually buy those at an actual shoe store as it affords the possibility of Ceramic Composite toe boots as well for trades-people who tend to work in electrical environments.

  3. On my annoyance scale this ranks right up there with the customers that charge right at you and just say single-word declarations of the item they want with no other preamble question or even greeting.

    “DEODORANT!”

    • I have one for you Dave – I had a co-worker who once had an elderly gentleman approach her at the front of the store and yell at her “Soft Core Porn! Where is it?” (I worked in a bookstore)

      • Oh man, the very first week I started working at our local bookstore, fresh out of high school, my uncle thought it would be hilarious to yell at me down the main aisle of the store asking where to find the porn magazines. I wanted to melt through the floor. I have since then hardened to such requests.

  4. “You people are so stupid!”?

    Look who’s talking. If you don’t explain yourself specifically to what you’re looking for, then it’s you who is the idiot.

  5. My interpretation is the caller wanted either “We sell only designer name brands” or “We sell the cheap common boots that only poor people wear.” You know, because those are the only two types of clothing in the world. It doesn’t matter what the boots look like or if they serve a purpose, it’s all about being able to brag about the label.

  6. I am guilty of making a single word question, particularly in stores where signage is scarce or misleading. Our grocery store moves things constantly, in an attempt to get customers to wander around and buy more, but they don’t bother to correct the overhead signs. A simple “canned kumquats” is sometimes preferable to a long sentence.

  7. I’ve had worse calls, believe it or not.

    I once had a caller asking me what we sell. Not what kind of something we sell, but literally what we sell. I started with furniture, electronics, clothing, then I hung up on her because I couldn’t believe I was trying to give a serious answer to such a vague question when there’s a long line of customers at my register.

    I didn’t get in any trouble, but if I did, I would’ve gladly paid the consequences. Stupid customers aren’t anything new, but there’s a limit to how much stupid I can handle.

  8. OK, the customer might mean boots with heels vs flat soled boots; or leather vs vinyl; aaaand that’s all I’ve got.

    Definitely should be more specific, and there’s no need to call other people “stupid”; explain what you want.

  9. My sister says that one time a customer walked up to her but, just as she was obviously about to ask a question, burped rather loudly. She was absolutely embarrassed, slapped her hand over her mouth, and ran away and out of the store without making another sound. My sister didn’t work there for very long, but doesn’t remember ever seeing her again.

  10. We have black, brown, red, blue, cowboy, hiking, ankle, men’s, women’s, stiletto, jeweled, Brands 1, 2, and 5, furry, vegan, leather, velvet

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