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Dim and rude customers, is there any danger of extinction? Please!?

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posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 02:33 AM
Preface; This is not an attempt at Stars or flags or smiley faces or even an agreeing response. This is venting pure and simple; something my Italian Mother taught me.

I work in a small town grocery store. We do a lot of specialty foods and were named the gourmet store of the valley last year. I am a manager and all employees are allowed to be activists in the matter of nutrition, food, and food additives, but no politics. All very understandable and some people do rise to the occasion but most do not. When you are hired you are instructed to watch Food Inc., Food Matters, The World According To Monsanto, Frankensteer, and now Fresh. Some of these films I have been finding and recommending.

Enough background.

Tonight a woman comes in and has selected three single bottles of beer from three different six packs, each a different label. This means, for those of you who are not following that she has ruined the sale of three six packs of beer. They will sit in the beer cooler now awaiting the odd chance that someone else will ruin another six of one of these labels, in which case we will then be able to use one more bottle of this ruined six pack. The rest of the bottles will be put on special at below our cost in a grab bag of ten assorted beers. We will then repackage some of this misfit beer again, maybe two times, as other customers who do not work and play well with others will not enjoy the surprise of ten assorted beers but must rip them open to see what is inside and then leave them sit.

So to enter a beer singly in today's wondrous new cash register you must hit on the touch screen 1 X 6 X Department, Beer, type in the birthdate, and then finally enter the six pack price. Nice huh? So I look at the three labels so that I can remember them when I walk back to the beer section and find the three prices. At which point she says; "Oh, they are all $8.59."

As a manager I am fully aware that these types of beers all went over the $9.00 mark, but even if I hadn't known I would have walked back to check anyway, just to make her wait. It i s the only retribution I am allowed, by God I am going to have it. When I get back to the beer section, indeed the beer is not only over $9 but each six pack is a different price. Returning to the check stand I enter the correct price for each one, all the while hoping she says something. She does not.

What she does do is proceed to tell me how she just got back from Alaska and it turns out she wants to talk to me as if I was supposed to like her now. Sorry too much time as a bar manager to pull that off, besides she is over the three hundred pound mark and singularly unattractive.

My roommate had another woman hesitantly ask if she could try the cherries - yeah he works there too - and he said as nicely and sincerely "Of course." the woman ended up going to town on the cherries, then bought just a very few - so few it looked a little silly putting them on the scale. After she left he went around to the other side and found that she had placed the pits from the cherries back onto the uneaten cherries. Hmmm, yummy!

Anyway back to my night...

A little after the attempted Beer Bamboozle, another guy comes in. This guy is weird. He only comes in at closing time, always by himself, and he looks like a gay hillbilly. Now I do not know whether this guy is light in the loafers or not, frankly I do not care in the least, one of my friends and co-workers is openly gay, but he isn't over the top. I merely use this to give you a picture of what he looks like. He is young, has really wiry long hair, a bad complexion, a really stupid looking hat, and he is a close talker and yet he is trying to act like he is really cool. You know all up in your face, hanging in anticipation of every word.

He knows I used to live in Mississippi - 2.5 years ago - and he asks me how the economy is in Mississippi. I am already annoyed by this time and he is in my way as I am trying to close the store. I reply that I have no idea, I am in Washington State.

"Oh, aren't you from Mississippi?"

"No i just spent twenty years there." then I relent. I will make an effort to be nice. "Did you hear about what happened in Iceland?"

"Iceland, haha..."

"Yeah, they dismissed their fictitious debt, jailed their bankers, and their economy is now recovering."


"Yeah, they did the same thing Venezuela did with the same effect."

"Oh, it's really bad in those two countries?"

"Uh, no. those are the only two it is going well in." I am starting to feel like Stan in South Park trying to explain something simple here.

"Well Germany is doing good too though, huh?" This guy does not know an economy from a toilet plunger.

I take the time to explain what actually is happening with Germany and then I trail off to deal with the Lotto machine.

So there we have the US in microcosm. Some feel that just because they can, they should. Forget propriety - what's that? I recently had a college student ask me - forget being considerate. I want it, I must have it, no thought to how one's actions might affect others. And a great portion of our citizenry would flunk if given a pop quiz on what is actually happening in our world today.

The only consolation I can find is that when these folks purchase products with Aspartame and High Fructose Genetically Modified Corn Syrup, I don't feel so bad. Even if i explained it, they wouldn't understand.

I don't know if this will get cut or not, I can't tell, but I got it off my chest and feel a little better now.
edit on 26-7-2012 by Ittabena because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 03:46 AM
reply to post by Ittabena

Being as we are self employed in straight sales, I know how you feel.

As far as the beer thing, I would put it off on the beer companies and say that the 6 packs can't be divided up like that because the beer companies themselves stipulate it. Say if the beer co. had to take them back for some reason, the incomplete 6 pack would mess up the inventory. Make it sound legit.

But yeah, people will push you & test you. Some times it's hard to keep your cool but we don't let the customer get their way if it's way out of bounds. And any more, if I say no, that's not the way we do it, and they don't like it, oh well. Let them get upset, not me. No means no. That simple....

Needless to say, when we go in some where, being as we can relate to the person at the register, whether it's a restaurant or store, we are extremely sympathetic if they are having a bad time with a customer. Some times the customers forget that we are not there to be hustled nor are we there to be treated like a dog. And no, the customer is not always right.

Kindness goes a loooong way......

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 05:04 AM
reply to post by Ittabena

My favourite photo.

After almost 20 years managing retail supermarkets I could tell you some stories that would make your head spin. All I can say is there are regular idiots that think it is their god-given right to walk into a store and a)treat the staff however they see fit, and b) take and do anything they want. Why? Because they're the customer and they're right. Some idiot in head office gives the typical moron off the street the idea that they can do this stuff, and as usual when given a chance to take it a step too far, most people do.

I do share your pain (or at least did), but sadly it will not get better, only worse as the money dries up and retailers will allow customers to get away with more and more for the almighty dollar. The only hope retail has is these 300 pound arrogant so and so's won't be able to fit down the tubes the rest of retail is heading.

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 06:47 AM
That tears it, Imma open a store where the theme of the employees is rudeness......and you wont be served unless you are rude.

just think, a place to be yourself and as assinine as you want......

And you cant say people wont go there because I think it would be largely popular.

The only rule? you can't get angry, they're just words.......any physical fighting will get a visit from mongo.

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by snarky412

As far as the beer thing, I would put it off on the beer companies and say that the 6 packs can't be divided up like that because the beer companies themselves stipulate it. Say if the beer co. had to take them back for some reason, the incomplete 6 pack would mess up the inventory. Make it sound legit.

As I said, I am a former bar manager - also a DJ - and could pull this trick off easily, except it is official policy to allow this type of behavior in customers. The owner doesn't like it either but it has taken five years to build our client base and begin making money in the winter, which we are now doing.

Now he will take many of my suggestions but as the newest manager I feel it is important to pick my battles. Of course what I described is a small annoyance when compared to a produce guy who gets caught giving away eighty dollars worth of oranges, or a cashier who can't seem to wrap his mind around the concept of politeness and service. Both of these gentlemen have been replaced due to my efforts. Before I got there, there was much consternation but nothing was ever done.

Basically, it is a matter of; "Is this the hill I want to die on."

I agree with you, but I have decided to tackle the biggest problems first and let the little ones wait, hence the therapeutic rant. Otherwise I become the whining/complaining manager, and we already have one of those.

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 10:10 AM
reply to post by Kastogere

That tears it, Imma open a store where the theme of the employees is rudeness......and you wont be served unless you are rude.

Ooh, do you need a manager?

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 10:13 AM
reply to post by 74Templar

The only hope retail has is these 300 pound arrogant so and so's won't be able to fit down the tubes the rest of retail is heading.

If only... lol. I am picturing a narrow doorway with a sign; "If you can't fit, you don't need to eat yet." Ooh that was mean.

Oh! Did I say that out loud?

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 10:33 AM
I've been in all positions as both the customer service employee as well as the customer.

My very first job was working at my father's restaurant and I don't have time to get into all the horror stories from rude and moronic customers. And yes, there were times where I was very rude and condescending as an employee. On the other hand, I have been a customer and have dealt with horribly rude and moronic workers. And, yes, there were times where I was the insane screeching customer.

I guess everyone sees it from their own perspective. I am starting to get more and more weary of employees though.

For instance, I went to the store the other day and there was not a single shopping cart in sight. I asked the first employee I made eye contact with where the carts were (I was neither rude nor polite- just asked matter of fact). She told me to go get one out of the cart receptacles in the parking lot.

That might be no big deal for some but it was just a slap in the face how much customer service levels have fallen. She was pretty rude in a 'get it yourself lady' when all I was asking was where they were.

A couple months ago my elliptical trainer broke and I had been haggling with the repairmen to come fix it. I've never literally been yelled at by a service rep like I was over the phone by them. It was bizarre.

Then again, I've been the worker before having to put up with ungodly rudeness from customers.

I think it's a cycle where both feed off the negativity. A rude customer ruins the day of the cashier. The cashier gets disgruntled over time and starts lashing out at customers. The customers then go off and be rude.

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 01:48 PM
The great retail battle. Employees verse Customers. Here are my viewpoints from both sides of the counter.

Employee's Point of View.

Having worked in retail for a brief period several years ago I have horrid memories of rude customers. My approach to dealing with demanding, rude customers was to provide the bare minimum level of service. If a customer didn't know what they needed or didn't articulate it properly I would say we didn't sell that or I needed them to give me more information. I would be very brief and to the point. If a customer asked for a green widget that had flashing lights on it and if we didn't sell that EXACT item, I would just inform them we didn't sell that item and ask if they needed help with anything else. I would do this even if we had a similar item. If the customer didn't possess the critical thinking skills to inquire further then that's their fault. I have no desire to provide anymore then the very bare minimum to people that are rude and demanding while maintaining plausible deniability if I was questioned about the encounter later by management. I didn't deal with all customers in this manner, only the rude and demanding. If a customer was polite and sincere I would pull out all the stops for them. You only get out of most situations what you put into them.

If a customer ever decided to become verbally abusive or show signs of aggressive behavior I would just walk away and a get a manager. If the customer was on the phone I would say please hold for a manager that could better assist you with your concern and place the customer on hold. I would then inform a manager of the customer and their "issue" and wash my hands of it.

I was a lowly paid employee making a few bucks more than minimum wage. I didn’t get paid enough to take abuse from customers. I have self respect and refuse to allow anyone to treat me with disrespect. In my business now I have actually fired customers because I didn't want to do business with rude and demanding people.

Customers point of view.

Over the years I have dealt with a large variety of incompetent employees at places where I have shopped. My main approach to dealing with incompetent or rude employees is not to deal with them. I have no problems with leaving $300 in groceries at the register because a cashier wants to chat with another employee how beast last night’s party was or focus on their phone, instead of doing their job. I won't yell at them, call them names or anything of the sort. I remain polite and civil. I just make sure I find a manager on my way out and explain to them why I just left and why I am going to their competitor.

I have also learned what to expect from certain retail establishments over the years. I know that I can't go out to dinner at Applebee’s on a Friday night when the place is packed and expect perfect service. It's just not realistic. The same goes for calling Best Buy on a Saturday afternoon and expecting an overwhelmed employee to track down an item for you. As a customer if you have unrealistic expectations you are setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

I also make a point every time I receive outstanding service from an employee I make sure to let both the employee and their manager know my thanks and appreciation. If I am out to eat I make sure to not only let the manager know on my way out but to write a small note of thanks on the receipt along with a generous tip in upwards of 30 to 50 percent.

I personally believe that we should never reward poor behavior with good behavior.

edit on 26-7-2012 by AssiduousSpook because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 05:03 PM
reply to post by AssiduousSpook

The beauty of being both old school retail and a manager is you can see both sides of the fence. As a customer I don't care that you don't have my item, or even if you can't get it, as long as it's there that's all that matters. But it's a part of the service. I had a rule when managing, if we can't get you what you wanted, we get you something the same at the same price. If it meant losing money, so be it, service came first.
Nowadays it's all about how much cash the customer can hand over and the hell with service. On a recent trip to my local supermarket I off-handedly said to the attendant about using please and thankyou over the PA and she told me they get into trouble for that because it's inefficient. Whaaaa?

But the majority of the time the customer has this mindset that "they are right," and they take that attitude too far. It's not just retail, all customer service industries seem to be going this way.
As much as sometimes I wish I coulod be an ass to another retailer for all the grief I and no doubt others have had over the years, but I just can't do it.

The two worst I've had? I had a customer try to run me down with his car, and I had my tires slashed after catching a thief in store. That one crossed with having rotten condensed milk thrown on me. And that's just a few.

posted on Jul, 26 2012 @ 05:24 PM
I worked at a walmart, people would eat chicken wings jn the storethey got from the deli, didnt pay for....then throw the freakin bones wherever. And theyd never buy the first item in the front....made it impossible to rotate stock. Milk had to be carefully stocked to accomodate for this....we usually had milk with a full extra 7 days on the expiration, hidden of course.

Wtf is with people that go in the backroom lookin for crap?

Burger king came in one time cause there was a boil water order. They bought most of our 2 liters of pop and wanted me to give them the plastic thingys theyre shipped in. Ummm..... Those arent ours to give you! Just like how we couldnt give out pallets, even if you bought a wholee pallet of something....

I drive a tanker. Got dispatched at 100mph. Cant do that, bossman. Got yelled at for being late by the customer. yet i wasnt late enough. Huh? I was told to deliver at 6, i came in at 3. I always try to be early....

Some of ny customers are awesome. Youd think they would all be courteous. im delivering millions of dollars worth of chemicals safely.

posted on Jul, 27 2012 @ 04:17 AM
reply to post by Ittabena

Not everyone is fat because they eat like a pig. Some people take medications for psych issues that increase their appetite. Some people are genetically predisposed to be fat.

Yes, there are those who will eat a whole box of Twinkies and three bags of potato chips in one sitting. I'm not saying there aren't gluttons out there. I'm saying choose your words carefully. Some who are fat can't necessarily control it.

posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 01:39 AM
reply to post by aaaiii

Yes, there are those who will eat a whole box of Twinkies and three bags of potato chips in one sitting. I'm not saying there aren't gluttons out there. I'm saying choose your words carefully. Some who are fat can't necessarily control it.

Yes, you are right, and I am sorry if I offended. However this was a rant, and I added the "venting disclaimer" at the beginning.

In fact I was one of those people. I was big boned, that was established. Everyone said it. It was accepted. Then I changed that. I have been thin ever since. Oh, okay I do have a little belly, but I am thinner and in better shape than most 53 year old men.

And anyway I didn't bring the whole tubes idea up, I just rolled with it. Why pick on me?

posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 02:11 AM
reply to post by phroziac

Some of ny customers are awesome. Youd think they would all be courteous. im delivering millions of dollars worth of chemicals safely.

Used to drive a truck too. When I lived in Milwaukee I had to hot shot a straight truck to NYC. When I pulled into the dock the receiving guy was kind of startled that it was all there.

Later when I lived in Memphis I made an attempt at a delivery to Disney. They asked about an appointment. Appointment? I couldn't help but think about the guy in Manhattan and shook my head. A week or so later my dispatcher sends me to Disney again.

"Did you make an appointment?"

"No, it'll be alright." It wasn't, I had to bring the load back again. A good dispatcher is worth his weight in gold, but they are few and far between.

They want you to drive all night, with little warning, because there is snow and the locals are scared to drive in the crap. But you are from up north and used to it, and then they all go to bed while you drive on the ice and snow, looking for trailer storage drop boxes on county roads. Then if you get too tired to drive, they are mad because you are late.

I know your pain man.

posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 11:14 AM
reply to post by Ittabena

Good for you.... it does take a strong spine in this kind of business.

Best of luck~~

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