April 17, 2004

Oh, Denis, there's some lovely filth down here!

The oh-so-delectable Johnny Oh posted about a retail experience a few days (ok, it was weeks, now that I do the numbers) back, but I was unable to offer salient commentary at the time because of work-related time constraints. Since we've gone back to "normal" business hours, I now have the opportunity to toss my two cents on the fire.

The substance of Johnny's complaint was "what I object to is you automatically treat me as an inferior." And while in his instance it was a co-worker who assumed Johnny was an idiot and thus made an ass of himself, I would estimate that 85 to 90% of the time, it is the customers who
1) Assume retail workers are drooling trogs who can't pin on their own name tags
2) Behave idiotically

As a retail manager, the one thing that really frosts my Frito's is when a customer with delusions of grandeur insults or tries to humiliate my "kids." Even worse is when they behave as if a clerk is some sort of subhuman, low I.Q. servant/punching bag.
So you're having a bad day--big deal! Is that any reason to get bitchy with the 17 year old behind the counter (who has already been accepted to IU's pre-med program) because the large popcorn costs four dollars? She didn't set the price! She also doesn't need you to tell her how much change you should be getting (since she's a math wiz studying Differential Calculus this term), and YES she's sure that she gave you a diet Pepsi, not a regular one. No, it's not her fault you can't read the clearly posted signs indicating which theater has which movie and you missed the first twenty minutes of "Miracle" sitting in "Lord of the Rings 3"--although I'm sure we can all understand how easily someone as superior as you are could mistake Orcs for the Soviet Olympic hockey team. And no matter how loudly you insist that the newspaper said our show time was 6:30, that is not going to change the fact that it's actually 4 and 9, and our competitor has the 6:30 show.

Every day they have to be polite to stupid customers, and it gets wearing after awhile. And we really don't pay them enough to put up with the idiots. Unfortunately, we'd have to raise the price of popcorn to $10 a bag to give them raises, and then we'd go out of business.

/rant (for now)

Posted by Susie at April 17, 2004 10:14 AM | TrackBack

Is that cheese flavored popcorn?

Posted by: Mr Mouse at April 17, 2004 06:20 PM

Oh, I just can't wait until I get a job...

Posted by: Taron W at April 17, 2004 07:33 PM


I've been waiting SOOO Long for the "post that my post spawned". Kinda sounds like a B-movie title now that I think of it. (announcer's voice) One Man....Sitting at a Keyboard....(/announcer's voice)

I have to put up with questions like: "Do you have any creeping-wild-monkey-diddling-zinnia's in yet?"

My reply is normally: "I have no idea, but I just checked in 8,000 plants, so who knows?".
That generally keeps them quiet.

Posted by: Johnny - Oh at April 17, 2004 11:49 PM

The 2 years I worked retail proved BY FAR to be the most eye opening of my entire career.

I think it should be a requisite for any job, anywhere. Nowhere else can you learn how to multi-task quite so efficiently... or how to handle people - all kinds of them.

Politicians talk about "mandatory public service" for kids, but I think a stint in retail or a service industry would be just the thing. ;)

Posted by: pam at April 18, 2004 12:40 PM
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