Friday was my last day in my retail job. It was interesting. It was an uneventful day for the most part until the very end when I was about 10 minutes away from punching out for good. An elderly couple walked in with measurements of their refrigerator, as I looked at the specs, they had a small fridge and they were looking at the large side-by-sides. I asked them if their space was bigger and the wife didn’t know. The husband kept interrupting me to speak slower…even in my slower pace, I was still speaking too fast for him. Oy. Of course this would happen on my last few minutes. The wife kept insisting on getting a side-by-side refrigerator even though she didn’t have any measurements of the actual space. They were looking at a discontinued fridge that was clearanced and I told him that I didn’t have any more new fridges but I could sell them the display model. They didn’t want that. I then showed the Samsung model right next to the original model they wanted and it was only $200 more. They “poo-pooed” my suggestion in a less-than-polite manner. SO THEN…I go to the computer and search for refrigerators and gave them some lovely print-outs…then I saw the time.
It was 5:15pm. I was supposed to be done. NOW…
I then attempted to pass the couple on to my coworker and they didn’t want me to leave. I then told them that I was off (for good) and then the husband tries to ask me more questions even after I told them I was off…and I was trying to pass them off to my coworker. Finally, I sternly say slowly, “Sir my coworker will be glad to take care of you.” As I walked away, my coworker shows them the Samsung and they go for it.
I punch out at 5:17pm and say goodbye to my coworkers and I walked out of the building.
My last week of work in this job seemed to have attracted the rudest people. Now, I have a lot of work ethic, and I seem to get along with people. I even grit my teeth at the occasional rude customer. This week though…and it was a lot of rude elderly people. I had an old man wanting a quote including tax so I grabbed my calculator and the old man proceeded to call me stupid and insult my intelligence for grabbing a calculator. I finally said, “I understand, sir. But I use a calculator to make sure that there is no error in the numbers.” I’m getting a Master’s degree in a week and I’m sitting here listening to an old man berate me because of my lack of skill in numbers? Since when do we workers put up with that treatment?
When did workers become slaves to the customer? When did workers have to deduce their own dignity and pride so that the customer will give them their money? It’s sad. And the customer feels that power. With many companies like Wal-Mart going 24 hours, and several other retail chains extending their business hours to make more money…got to be there for the customer wanting to buy that 4 pack of batteries at 9am. All in the hopes of making more money. I blame the consumer and the corporate hound-dogs who kneel at their feet. When does someone finally put their foot down and say, “No. We open at 10am. Wait.” And Black Friday, don’t even get me started. The whole idea of Black Friday is asinine. The stuff that is marked down usually isn’t that great, most of the time it’s a BF exclusive (so it’s probably a piece of poo), and people lose sleep, Thanksgiving dinner with their family, and camp out for these “great” deals.
I’m a sucker for online shopping though. And I’ll close with that.