Retail Hell

Today was just another normal day for me at the store. Lots of people everywhere purchasing things and asking questions. Lots of having to move around quickly and get things done. And the bright side of the day was I only got yelled at by two people in my four hour shift. One was over a return, and one was over a coupon.

Yeah, people really want to argue over coupons.

When I first got the job that I have been working at for nearly a year now, a lot of people were jealous of me. It’s a small store where a lot of people I know, and a lot of people in general, apply. It has a more “homey” feel to it. And when you are a customer, it seems like it would be one of the best places in Vegas to work because of the atmosphere and the employees and the products.

But, like with anything you get into, once you’re in the inside, it’s a lot different.

Why are people so needy? That is one question I don’t know if I’ll ever get a real answer to. I don’t know why, but for some reason, nearly every single person who walks into the store seems to not be able to look for things themselves. I wish I got paid by how many people ask me three questions, because I would make a lot more money than what I am actually paid:

1. Do you have this ____________ (fill in with any choice of CD/book/movie)?

2. I didn’t bring my coupon. Can I use one of yours?

and the ever so popular

3. Where are your _____________ (fill in with a selection of kids items, videos, music, cards, etc.)?

I can’t tell you how many times I am running a transaction and someone walks right into the store and instead of looking at the huge, coloful signs hanging from the ceilings that says where certain items are, they walk right up to the counter, hover over the person I am currently helping and making them feel uncomfortable, and stand there and try to stare me down until I ask them what they want. And then, inevitably, their question is simply “Where are your cards?” And I, once again have to say, “In that back right corner, under the yellow sign that says cards.”

All stores or businesses have return policies. I mean, that’s pretty much a duh thing. Then why is it that everyone always wants to argue with you over their transaction? My store’s policy is that you have to have a receipt for it and return it within 90 days (as long as the item(s) is not clearance) otherwise you will receive a merchandise credit if it’s been over 90 days or you don’t have the receipt. Also the policy is that in whatever way you paid for it, that’s how you will get the money back. For example, you paid with cash, you get cash back. You paid with a Visa, the money gets put back onto your Visa. So why do people want to argue with you when you say you won’t give them cash? It drives me nuts.

So this older woman wanted to return a piece of wall art today. I asked her if she was going to be purchasing anything else and I explained to her that we could use the credit from her return towards another item if she liked and then she could pay the difference if it was more money than the original item or that if it was less she would have that money returned to her on her credit card. So first she wants to argue with me that she should receive cash instead. After explaining the policy to her, she says she’ll go shop first. Then she decides to approach the register again when there are many people in line. I start to ring her up and realize that the receipt she has is not the right receipt. It is from our store but has different items on it. After I tell her that, she says she’s going to look in her car because she knows it has to be in there. I start to ring somebody else up since there was a line and then she comes in and is mad that I did not wait for her to rummage through her car. Since she felt like my attention should’ve been on her anyway, she continues to ask me questions and I explain to her while ringing up my customer that she will have to receive a merchandise credit because she does not have a receipt for the item and that the policy is that I have to take 25% off of the item (people use so many coupons at the store that they made the policy like that because we wouldn’t be able to know if they used a coupon originally or not). I guess it took her a few moments to realize what I said because then she says, “You mean, I’m only going to get 75% of the value of the picture back?!” in an accusatory tone. By now, I am sliding my guest’s credit card and I said, “Yes. The return policy is that I must take 25% off.” Her: “Well, that’s stupid and ridiculous! I paid full price for it! Why should I only get 75% of the value back?!” Me: “Because you don’t have your receipt, there is no way for me to see if you paid full price or if you used a coupon. When we give out merchandise credits, we have to automatically take 25% off because of this.” Her: “That is absolutely ridiculous!” During this, the assistant manager had come up to take a register because of the long line of customers. Assistant Manager: “Ma’am, that’s the store’s policy. We can’t change the rules.” Her: “Well then just give me my picture back!” I suppressed my laugh and put her picture back in a bag and placed the wrong receipt she had brought into it and handed it back to her. Do people really think that taking their items back hurt our feelings?

I am not somebody who has much empathy for people. When it comes down to it, my brain always says, Well, it’s their fault anyway. They have to deal with what’s their own fault to start with. Not a very good thought process, I know, but I can’t make myself have much empathy for people ever. (I don’t for myself either, in case you’re wondering. I don’t agonize over what has happened to me if it resulted from something that was my own fault to being with.) As far as I’m concerned, it was her fault to start with that she brought the wrong receipt. All of this could have been avoided if she had simply paid attention to something as important as dealing with the return of money to her. Now, I don’t know her life or anything. As far as I know, she could have been having a terrible day and just wasn’t paying attention. But it really irritates me when people want to argue with me over store policies or for not giving them that coupon that they didn’t bring when I don’t have coupons on hand at the store anyway to give out, because, um, duh, we don’t want to have to discount everything to everyone. Profit margin, people.

So, are you the person who thinks: Well, it is their own fault anyway or are you the person who thinks: We need to give everyone a break or are you a 50/50? Am I just a jerk for my thinking or am I right about some things? Let me know what you think.