Sunday, April 06, 2008

Random Rantings of a Retail Sales Clerk

I work retail, ergo, I hate people. No, seriously. I hate people. Ever seen the movie Clerks? Remember the tag line? “Just because they server you, doesn't mean they like you.” Well, it's freakin' true! We really don't like you. Ever wonder why so many retail clerks seem to have attitude problems? Well, it's because we've had to deal with dozens of assholes before you arrived and our ability to filter our emotions has worn to a nub and now everyone gets on our last nerve and every question is a “stupid question.” Seriously, who decided that it was acceptable social behavior to treat sales clerks and customer service people like they're total pieces of shit? We're there to help you, we've been trained in the product(s), we know what we do and don't have in our store. Note: OUR STORE, not the fucking Wal-mart down the street, so stop asking, “Does Wal-mart have it cheaper?” I don't know, and I don't fucking care and it's rude of you to ask. If you want to know what another store has, go bother them and stop wasting my time. Oh, and on that note, don't expect me to help you figure out how to use something or activate a pre-paid cellphone or bluetooth headset that you didn't buy from me. Why should I help you? You didn't put any money in my pocket by purchasing it from someone else, and are, in fact, potentially taking money out of my pocket by wasting time that I could've spent actually making a commission sale to that person that just walked out of my store because they were tired of waiting for me to finish answering your stupid questions.

The people I hate the most are assholes with cellphones. Yeah, I own one, but I took the time to read the owner's manual and figure it out on my own and I also don't walk into a store talking (loudly) and still expect to be given the undivided attention of the clerk even though I'm not giving them mine. You get the idea I hope? SHUT UP AND CONDUCT YOUR BUSINESS. Do you know how easily I could cheat people just because they're so tied up in their self-absorbed cellphone conversation that they're not even really paying attention to what's going on at the register? I could so short change someone or add a bunch of crap to their ticket, and they'd probably never realize it. Good thing for them I was raised to act with integrity and honor, huh?

Other cellphone annoyances include things like people yelling at me or my co-workers because of their bill. I don't work for the carrier dumb-ass! Call their customer service and ask them why your bill is so high. Don't call me complaining that the payment you just made hasn't posted yet, either. If you handed me the wrong “PreCash” card or told me the wrong phone number, that's your fault, not mine!

So, in short, don't' be an asshole, and maybe you won't get attitude from the sales clerk. Now, I'm not saying that's always going to be true, because frankly there are sales clerks out there who should be fired. But most of us work to hard, and get paid to little, to be treated the way a lot of people treat us. And remember, the clerk doesn't make the rules/policies for their respective company; they're just expected to follow them or risk being fired. So, if you don't like it, that's fine, but don't take it out on the person behind the counter; they're just doing their job.

~ JC

PS. To those of you out there who try to be polite to sales clerks, thank you! I wholeheartedly mean that. It's easy to tell those customers who themselves work or have worked retail and know what it's like to be on my side of the counter.

PPS. This rant doesn't just apply to retail, by the way. It applies to anyone in a service related industry, such as the folks a the ticket booth or concession stand at the movie theater or local sports arena, the people at the bank (although, they could stand to use some lessons in being faster, in my humble opinion), and even those folks whose job it is to answer the phone for whatever customer service hotline for whatever company.


Upcoming (possible) Topics: I'm debating whether or not to comment on the situation involving the Fayetteville (NC) Dogwood Festival and a local church (which, for now, will remain nameless); “Wasting Time on the InterWeb”; commentary on so-called Reward Programs; credit card applications; “The Wit and Wisdom of Randall Graves”. To many things run through my brain on a daily basis for me to decide right now :-)

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