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Flattery will get you everywhere (warning: adult language)

I feel like a lot of my posts on this blog are starting to sound the same. But you know, if the same things didn’t keep happening, I wouldn’t keep writing about them.

A guy comes into the store, and I recognize him as having been here a few times but never very pleasant. He is complaining that his phone charger and battery are “pieces of shit” and he wants new ones. No, of course he doesn’t have his receipt, even though posted multiple places around the store, on the product packaging, on the receipt itself, and coming out of the cashier’s mouth whenever an item is sold, the return policy states that you must have a receipt. Yes some of the bigger stores can look it up by your debit card information, but we don’t even have a debit machine here. (All debit transactions must be run as credit.) We, as a small store employing 6 people, just do not have the means to process any returns without the individual transaction number that is printed on every receipt.

“So what you’re telling me is that I’m fucked.”

“Well sir, I can’t do anything without the receipt. I need it to make sure you are still within the return period or the warranty period.”

“I have been working retail 15 motherfucking years, and I’ve never heard of a goddamn policy like that! How long have you worked in retail?”

“I’m not anwering that question.”

“Fuck this! This is bullshit! Get me the goddamn manager!”

“Sir there’s no manager here right now.”

“Well call him up at home then!”

“Sir, I’m not calling my store manager at home. And frankly, even if there was something I could do to help you (which there isn’t), I’m not sure that I would want to because of the language and the tone you’re using while speaking to me.”

“I’m not doing it to be mean! I just hate getting fucked!” (I filed that one away for some later time, to snicker when I wasn’t being yelled at.)

He continued telling me his problem, and I offered to test both the battery and the charger. Sure enough, they both test as good. I tell him he may need to go talk to his phone company, because that’s something I can’t fix even with a receipt. He cusses me out one more time and storms out. By this time there was another customer in the store, so I turned to him with an exasperated smile and offered to help him.

Damn this feeble feminine brain!

The phone rings, so I answer it.  A man is on the line.

‎”I need to ask someone about batteries.”

Ok, go ahead.

“Oh, YOU’RE going to answer them? I thought ladies were only hired to look pretty and answer phones.”

I said “no, I actually work here. What’s your question?” Normally I would be more polite, but for some reason I wasn’t really feeling it this time.

He proceeded to ask some pretty run of the mill questions, and I easily answered them. I even threw in extra jargon and technical terms that I normally leave out so the customer can understand what I’m talking about. Call me petty, but I didn’t want this guy to be able to understand me. (Of course he would never admit that he had no idea what those words meant since as a woman, I am obviously inferior somehow.)

Eventually we got to prices, and when he didn’t like my answer to those questions, he just hung up on me. Good. Didn’t want his business anyway. (Not that I would have been able to help him, right?)

No, I won’t hold

Apparently I lost a customer (read:sales) by putting her on hold.

Now, sometimes there is a literal store full of people and four lines ringing at the same time. Sometimes there is only one employee to handle this rush. This was one of those times.

When we can’t assist the people on the phone right away, they get put on hold. Generally we finish up with the person that actually took the time to come into the store, then before helping the next guy in line, we answer the phone. (Otherwise the phone makes a really annoying beeping sound until we answer it.) Usually it works out ok, because phone questions are 95% a question of 1) where we are, 2) what time we close, or 3) do we have something in stock. And I’m not disparaging this practice at all – I’d rather take the 2 seconds to answer a phone question than hear “I drove all this way and you can’t help me!”

This time started out like any other. “Thank you for calling <the store>, can you hold please?” I always wait for the ok because sometimes they go ahead and ask their quick question now rather than wait. That is acceptable. So the person said ok and I put them on hold. Not 30 seconds later, the phone rang aggain. We have caller ID, so I saw that it was the same person calling back. So I did the same thing – answered and asked them to hold. I didn’t tell them this, but there was already another person ahead of them, since they got impatient and hung up only to immediately re-call. This time when asked if she could hold, she said “I don’t think so. And I won’t be shopping there.” And hung up.

Well, no skin off my back. If you’re that impatient, I don’t want to deal with you in person anyway. And as your reward, you’ll either end up paying more for your product, or getting a shoddy product that you order for cheap on the internet. Obviously we are busy enough that we don’t need you. (And chances are very high that you wouldn’t be spending a lot of money, since if you were really “in the market,” you’d know that we are the only specialized store of this nature for at least an hours’ drive in any direction.)

non-repeat customer

A guy brings an old battery in under our warranty policy, which is one year from the date of purchase. In order to satisfy the warranty, i.e. justify handing out brand new product without taking in brand new money, we have a series of tests that the battery must undergo. It usually takes about 24 hours.

When I walked in to work today, this guy called to check on the tests. I didn’t know how long it had been there, but the tests were still running so I told him it wasn’t done yet (true). I told him he can call again tomorrow, otherwise we’ll call him when it’s done. He didn’t say it was urgent, he didn’t sound mad, he just said he was “in the area” and thought he’d check on it.

He didn’t like my answer, so he called back to get our corporate phone number, which the store manager gave him. Not 20 minutes later, the battery finished testing. It was bad, so we prepared a new one for him to come pick up. However, he had already called corporate on us, and while the store manager was leaving a message for him, corporate was calling me. I explained the bad timing, and the message was relayed to him (twice). When he came in, he snatched the new battery away and said “Well you’re never getting any of MY money again!” Of course, he didn’t say that to my face – he said it as he was walking out the door. Maybe he thought the door was already closed behind him, I don’t know. But I gave my reply that I didn’t want any of his attitude either, and since the door still  wasn’t shut, I’m fairly sure he heard me.

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