"the artist has one function--to affirm and glorify life."
- w. edward brown

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Notes From Retail...

I've learned a few things the past few weeks working retail. Here they are in no particular order.

1. Bad customer service, usually is caused by bad customers. (Seriously! though not necessarily the one being served at the moment, it could have been the crazy lady ahead of you.)
I know, people say no one is polite in stores anymore, but did you ever stop to think that maybe it's because the customers themselves are so rude that helping them is off putting? I am an intelligent person. I have a college degree. I'm a human being with feelings and emotions. There is no reason to get so upset and call me names when the computer has a problem, or the policies of a corporation which has to look out for itself (especially from people who want something for nothing) go against what you want, or when your card doesn't swipe or even enter manually and you blame me. I'm sorry, but if you are rude, mean, or grumpy and you lash out at me, you can bet I'm gonna ask you for 4 forms of ID and a blood sample, just to make you more ticked off.
Bottom line: Be nice and friendly to me and understand that while most things can be gotten instantly, it still takes a few minutes to ring up your purchases, and if there's a problem with your credit card, maybe it's because you didn't pay your bill (and don't get all mad at me telling me it's my fault you can't purchase your skanky tank top).

2. Read the signs!
Big one here. Just because the sign says 50% off or Two for $20, doesn't mean that it applies to everything in the store. Often, you have to buy two of the same style, and even if there is another promotion going on with a similar shirt, it doesn't mean you can mix and match. All the signs are (or should be) clearly labeled and reference the style numbers to which the sale applies, but do people read? No! In addition, sometimes people put things away in the wrong place, or even more common, other shoppers leave things in different areas of the store than where they are really from. Don't assume something is a certain price... because when you do, and then argue with me at the register and you're wrong because you can't read a sign, you make an ass out of u in front of me (and other customers... and then we roll our eyes at you when you leave).
Bottom Line: READ PEOPLE!! Admittedly sometimes things are mismarked, and you do need additional money off, but before you act all defensive and accuse me of cheating you and not giving you your money off, READ THE SIGNS!! It makes all our days a little better.

3. Screaming children, throwing temper tantrums, make me laugh.
I know, mean to the parents, but it just makes me giggle watching the parent struggle with the child and attempt all sorts of ways to stop the embarrassing display!
Oh, and if you want to spend hours in the fitting room, maybe leave the kids home and come another time when someone else can watch them. This mostly applies to the parents who are only buying things for themselves, which the kids see and being bored, usually start whining (leading often to the obligatory tantrum). Lady, if you don't plan on buying Johnny a shirt too, do your shopping when he doesn't see all the things you're not buying him, and definitely don't blame him for getting cranky when he has to spend an hour in the fitting room watching you try on everything, while he gets nothing... I mean $0.25 will get him a bouncy ball from the machine... at least let him be entertained while waiting for you to try on your mountain of clothing that you don't end up buying anyway. You see, to a kid, that was all just a waste of time! They just don't understand!

4. Just because you think you deserve the world handed to you, doesn't mean it will be.
I can't give you a discount just because you tell me too.
I don't need you to tell me that this shirt was on the wrong hanger. (It wasn't)
Don't tell me the girl in the fitting room told you these new shorts were on sale (she would have told you to bring them up front and have the price checked. And do you think I won't ask her what she said to you later anyway?) And when I won't give you the new shorts at clearance price, don't act like a brat and complain to the manager; they're gonna tell you the same thing as I did.
I don't need you to tell me how to do my job. I've had register training and you haven't.
Even though I don't like it, sometimes I have to stop and answer the phone. It's as much part of my job as helping you. Give me a second, and I'll put them on hold. Don't bark at me that I"m supposed to be helping you. (That person is important too!)
Returns are easiest when you keep your receipt, and don't try to exchange things over 90 days later for full price when you know full well that it's now on sale. I just can't do that.
If you tell me you know you're right in a snotty voice, I'll do everything I can to prove you wrong. Ask me nicely, I'll probably give you the benefit of the doubt.

Ok, so there it is. A smattering of things I've learned working retail, a few rants, and some interesting hints. Maybe people will be nicer in the future. Because believe you me, no one wants to help a mean jerk. And smile at your cashier! It just might make their day that much better!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Tonight during a pause in the ton of rain we have been having lately, I stepped outside to let the dog out, when to my surprise out back I saw not one complete rainbow, but two.
That's right, a full- more than half circle- double back to back rainbow. It was really intense and bright and lasted for about half an hour and then was obscured by more rain.
Cool while it lasted, for sure!