Inside My Mommy Brain!

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Retail Work Frustrations and Whiny Associates

If you work retail, you have only a few truly important things to do:


  • Be Nice
  • Be Polite
  • Be Helpful
  • Smile
  • Be Professional
  • Be knowledgeable

Do Not:

  • Be negative
  • Text on your phone in front of a customer, especially while your counterpart is juggling three other people
  • Complain loudly about a job you are doing to another associate while they are with a customer
  • Complaing to another customer how rude the person in front of them was
  • Be mean and rude to a customer in the line, just because you think they don’t like you
  • Be an asshat, douchebag, or any other name that goes with these categories

So, tonight was one of those nights were I had the urge to physically harm a fellow associate for being a complete asshat.

Seriously,  SHE really has one job to do.  BE NICE TO THE CUSTOMERS.  If that’s hard to do, then you need a new freaking (I much prefer another term here) job.  I get it; it’s been a long day, you’re tired, and you’ve had some people bitch at you because some else made a mistake. Shit happens, life goes on.  Again, your only job at this point is to be nice to the customer in front of you, who was being quite tolerant and cordial despite your bad behavior, take her order for copies, do them, thank her for her business, and be done with it.  Then, when you make this customer feel like she inconvenienced you and upset your evening because she didn’t understand how to make something work; I want to punch you. That probably doesn’t make me much better but honestly, nothing pisses me off more than a rude associate whether its retail, fast food or in any service based industry. This is especially true when I know you are a chronically rude associate. You better believe when the customer(s), you’re only reason to be there, actually leave, I’m going to chew your ass out and tell you why you handled that situation poorly. I will do it in a professional manner, even though on the inside I see my self secretly banging your head into the copier.  If you don’t like it, quite honestly I don’t care.

Why I feel this way…

I work retail; I have for more than 18 years.  I started as a cashier in college and worked my way up to management. I know for the most part that doesn’t sound impressive.  I’ll tell you, my precious few readers, why it was actually impressive for me another day.  I started working in retail to help pay the bills in college.  I worked in soft lines, that’s clothing for the retail uninitiated.  Now I work hard lines, things other than clothing and bedding etc. I tried to get a real tech job out of college, but I made a few mistakes my last semester of school; again, another story for another day.

Back to my work horror story.  Like I said, I’ve worked retail for more than 18 years.  I actually enjoy it.  I know, hard to believe. I like to help people, I like to solve problems, find a creative solution and offer ways to help someone with the problem they are having. I understand that the company I work for is paying me to do these things.  That’s what they hired me to do. As a business person, I do my job.  For the most part, the good times have outweighed the people throwing  5 year old printers at my head.  I’ve had a day were someone called me enough nasty names for no real reason other than she (a customer) was blaming me for something I didn’t do, I went into an office and cried.  Those instance are pretty far and few between.  When they occur, you take the incident, blow off some steam, out of ear shot of your customer, suck it up and go back to work with a smile on your face.  You do not whine and complain and bitch and moan and groan to anyone who walks up to the counter. Then you do not walk through the store whining to every other associate trying to work.  You do not get an attitude when they politely tell you they are busy and don’t want to talk.

Moral of the story, if you are customer and you have to deal with this mess in any situation, ask for a manager.  They need to know from you what is going on. Fellow associates can and usually do say something but coming from a paying customer it really motivates them to take care of the problem. It also helps them to start to remove said irritating moron out of their store. If you get a manager with the same attitude, Go to another store. Don’t forget the flipside, if you get someone who gives exceptional service, compliment them to a manager or write a nice letter to their corporate office.  They can use this to get a raise, or a promotion.

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