Blogging about Crazytown ( “a.k.a. Wal-Mart) the other day got me thinking about customers in general. I’ve been in retail for a long time. It’s a thankless job at times but it’s never boring. You get to see a really diverse (i.e. crazy) bunch of people and acquire skills that will enable you to survive the Apocalypse. Customers in general are not bad. They come in, get what they want, and get the f–k out. Very few are considered awesome. Then there are those who can wreck your entire day and make you lose faith in humanity. The following is for them:
Things You Should Know Before You Go Shopping
1) Stores do not employ babysitters. Staff are hired to generate sales, maintain merchandise, and ring through customers. DO NOT let your kids run amok like the inbreds that they are. They can get lost, fall down, or even worse, GET TAKEN! Furthermore, don’t ask them to discipline your kids. I had a customer once ask me to tell her daughter that she was “being bad”. Like that is not going to screw with her head? Honestly.
2) Make sure you have enough money. It really sucks to scan in a gazillion things and then have to either delete items or do the transaction over because some numbnut does one of the following things:
(a) forget that they’ve already reached their account’s daily limit
(b) forget that a check can take up to five business days to clear
(c) leave their wallet in the car
By the way, if your credit card/debit card doesn’t go through, maybe you should stop shopping. Forever. Clearly you have no money management skills.
3) Cashiers are not therapists. If you’re asked “How are you?”, please don’t go into how your father died or how your ex-girlfriend cleared out your bank account. It’s a little awkward.
4) Stores have no control over system crashes. If the debit machines aren’t working, the problem is usually at the bank end. This can happen when it’s really busy (i.e. Boxing Day). Too many transactions can overload the system. Please, for the love of God, always have an alternate form of payment.
5) Speaking of debit…it is NOT the same thing as cash! This applies to refunds. Paid in cash? You get cash back. Paid by debit? It goes back onto debit. One of these tenders involves a plastic card. That’s the difference.
6) You can’t use someone else’s credit card. Yes, some stores don’t check to see if the signatures match. They are stupid. Read your cardholder agreement. Actually, I’ve saved you the trouble. I’ve provided an example from Visa:
You will not allow any person whose name is not embossed on a Card to use a Card or the Visa account. If this happens, the Primary Cardholder will be liable for all resulting Transactions and any interest, fees and losses incurred, even if the other person was a minor or did not comply with any limitations you placed on their use of the Card or Visa account.
The key point is “whose name is not embossed on a Card“. Verbal permission or a note does not allow someone to use another person’s card. Stores check for your protection. If you want your teenager or wife to use your Visa/Mastercard/American Express, get them their own damn card.
7) Speaking of credit cards, SIGN THE BACK! And, don’t get all huffy if you’re asked to show ID. I had a customer get all condescending when this happened. “I just got this card” she whined. That’s nice. But I don’t know if you applied for this card legitimately or fished it out of someone’s mailbox. This is for your own protection. Better yet, sign the back and add “See photo ID”.
8) Staff don’t set the prices. They have absolutely no influence over how much an item costs. Zip. Zilch. Nada. You can complain until you’re blue in the face. But that $50 top is still $50. If you think you’re being gouged, lodge a complaint with the head office. Better yet, don’t shop there.
9) Codes are always needed. You may know that the price is $9.99. The clerk may know that the price is $9.99. The person next in line may know that the price is $9.99. A code still needs to be entered. Save everyone the aggravation and only bring up tagged items.
10) Read properly. If the sign says “$20 and up”, it means that not everything on that rack is $20. Duh.
11) Customers misplace merchandise all the freaking time. Just because you found that cashmere sweater on the “75% Off” rack does not make it so. Don’t go postal on a cashier when they tell you the actual price. It’s not their fault people are stupid. I had a customer tell me that it was false advertising. Yeah, except that the item had a sticker with the correct price. There’d be some chlorine in that gene pool.
12) Have a little respect. Walking into a store is like walking into someone’s house. Time and care is put in to make it presentable and inviting. Would you go to your mother’s place and throw her things onto the floor? Would you dump your snotty tissues and empty pop cans wherever you wanted? No? Then don’t. Employees don’t get paid enough to clean up after you.
OK. I think I’m done. I could go on I’m sure. But ranting is for crazy people. I do feel better though. By the way, what do you think store staff do on their breaks? Bitch about sh–ty customers. Don’t be one of them.