(Sure, “10” would’ve been wittier, but you want a sequel, don’t you?)
So the holiday shopping season has been upon us for quite some time. As far as I’m concerned, it began as soon as America’s youth went back to school because there’s not a retail store in America that didn’t hesitate to start dumping Halloween decorations or candy onto their shelves once their summer stock was discounted and sold off.
Of course, I was a bit familiar with the holidays even BEFORE Joe Customer was because I actually work in retail, so I got to see the boxes and boxes of Halloween light-up pens and Peeps Cocoa Cats before anyone else did. Yeah, it feels good to be staring down a stock room full of Halloween candy in August. So it goes without saying, the holiday season began early for me.
And we barely had the Halloween stuff on the sales floor before we got Christmas, excuse me, “holiday” items rolling in off our delivery truck (just earlier this week items for Valentine’s Day, spring, and SUMMER started trickling in). Of course, our store and many more across this commercialized nation are stocked from left to right and top to bottom (literally in my store’s case!) with more stuff you DON’T need but you GOTTA have! And really, isn’t that what the holiday season is about?
And of course, there’s the dreaded “Black Friday”. Which to be honest, for my money, wasn’t so bad. Yeah, we had a few rushes here and there, but nothing too dramatic. And that’s pretty much been the line from most retail stores about Black Friday this year– “busy, but not as busy as we thought we’d be”. Oh well. As long as my checks keep cashin’, BAY-BEE!!!
Anyway, instead of taking the easy way out and posting more Christmas commercials or something, I figured I’d actually think for a second and talk about what annoys the heck outta me (so far) in this business we call RETAIL during the holiday season. Namely, the customers themselves. Besides, it’s a great way to gripe and complain (hey, I need to play catch up with all the other million of blogs that bitch & moan!).
Oh yeah, another reason for doing this: I’ve recently had three big cups of coffee. I ain’t goin’ to bed anytime soon.
1- “Well, why did you put it in your ad if you’re out of stock?!”
HELLO?! Are you STUPID? First off, fool, *I* did not put it in the ad. Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI only gets me so far and I don’t even have a printer right now. Secondly, we’re a NATIONAL CHAIN! Ads aren’t tailor-made for each store, or even by district! The corporate monkeys aren’t checking our inventory and printing up the ads for us right up until the minute YOU decide to grace us with your presence. That’s why you gotta read the fine print on those ads. They say not all stores will carry every item. I point this out to people. Heck, many times we NEVER get what has been put in the ad. So please, spare me the attidude and dirty looks, card carrying member of AARP. Yes, how SHOCKING! We’re out of milk! It’s the week of Thanksgiving and it’s on sale! How DARE we run out ?!?! Why be mad about it because YOU were too lazy to get to the store earlier when we DID have it in stock?
Y’know, I’ve gotten to the point of just telling people the reason we’ve sold out is because it’s on sale. Of course I do this politely, then roll my eyes as they walk away. Do people not understand that sales + holiday season = out of stock?
2 – When I’m obviously helping/talking to another customer and I’m interrupted by another customer, who apparently the world is supposed to revolve around.
Geez, these happens a couple of times a day now. Whether I’m running my own department helping a customer, ringing people up, or actually on the freakin’ ladder pulling stock down for a customer that is standing right there– someone is bound to come up, break into the conversation and/or physical act of me helping my current customer to ask me to look for some votive candles or toothpicks or their dog that ran away 12 years ago. Yeah, well that dog is probably dead by now and you’ll have to wait for the rest. Can’t you see that I’m helping someone else… You know, the person that was in line before you?
What self-absorbed ignorant person does this? Apparently, the ones that shop at my store.
3 – The phones.
The Phone’s for You!
Sweet Zeus, the phones! They WILL NOT STOP ringing during the day. And it’s not even an increase in calls about whatever holiday junk we have on sale. I work in the photo department, so I don’t even get the calls that are more about general merchandise (although occasionally there will be some spillover from the front register), but at times there’s a call to photo every 2 minutes it seems like. “Do you do passports?” “Do you do inkjet refills?” “I keep getting calls saying I haven’t picked up an order yet.” Okay that last one is OUR fault. Well, not mine. Someone else’s.
And then there’s always the occasional call for pharmacy that for some reason got to the photo department. Photo & pharmacy, despite both starting with the letters ‘ph’ are two totally unique departments that require two totally unique options to get to when you call the store. Maybe it’s the pronunciation that is throwing everyone. I’ll pick up the phone expecting another “how late is your photo lab open until?” call and it’ll be some secretary from a doctor’s office going on a rant about a patient’s prescription. And yes, I said (well, typed) “secretary”. You can be as P.C. as you want to be but a secretary by any other name is still a secretary to me. Executive assistant, pfft. We need to stop with the self-important job titles.
4 – I touched on this a bit earlier, but I have to say constantly getting the ladder to grab stuff off the top shelf has become quite a bother.
I haven’t had to climb this many ladders since I last played Donkey Kong. Cans of pumpkin, evaporated milk, chocolate covered cherries, lighted reindeer, Christmas trees… I’m doing it all. Granted, this could all be remedied somewhat if we made sure sale items we kept at a level for the customer to get their grubby hands on, but forward thinking like that is not conducive to gripefest blog posts like this one.
5 – The Look.
You know… “The Look”. The look that customers will give you when there’s a line at the front register and even though they see you’re doing something else, they expect you to drop everything and get on the other register and start ringing them up. The front register and photo department both have a good view of each other, so I can see when a line is mounting and the customers can see me. Sometimes I can help by going up to register two, sometimes I can’t. It’s funny though to watch someone walk up to the line, even if they’re only 2nd or 3rd in line, and turn around to photo and give me a dirty look wanting me to run up there all because they have to wait. Aw, poor baby.
Like I said, I have other tasks going that can’t be dropped. Such as ringing up a customer or taking an order in. Why are people so stupid to think that I’m just going to walk away from the person I’m currently helping in MY department all so that they can get their candy bars sooner? This oftens happens when I’m filling an inket cartridge, but hey, I’m not walking away from that machine while ink is filling up. The one day I do that will be the day that I come back and see our photo machines graffitied with cyan, magenta, and yellow ink.
Bill O’Reilly says: “You can’t wait your turn? Sorry, America, I’m not buying it.”
Stay tuned, kids. It’s only December 1st. I’ll sure I’ll easily be able to fill another post by the year’s end.