Another entry in under a month! Not that I’m looking for people to pat me on the back, but if you want to I won’t stop you.
I made this blog with the intention of solving retail problems when and where I could. I try to cure all of life’s ills for those of you who are reading this (probably people with insomnia).
Today’s lesson is a discussion on regression. As a person who may or may not be somewhere in the age range of 18 to 75 (hey, I have to keep this anonymous, after all), I like to think that I have achieved some measure of maturity. I say this in the humblest of ways because as someone with said maturity, I see an awful lot of other people who are supposedly considered adults come into my store with zero maturity. Perhaps I fell into a sort of inverse universe where the older you get, the more immature you are? Those that are born infants are regarded as wise sages (which, if you look at any random parent’s Facebook page isn’t that far off from the truth)?
The point being, I – at whatever age I may be, should not act like more of an adult than those who are the same age or older than I am. Those who come in wearing business attire should not seem less mature than the guy wearing a work uniform with their name embroidered on it. You’re the one who has supposedly gotten farther in life (further? Hold on, I have to go check… I’ve returned and it appears that it doesn’t matter according to Grammar Girl. So suck it!) and as someone who has gotten farther in life, you shouldn’t be acting like you’re still in grade school.
“An example, please,” you say? Okay then.
Just the other day a customer came into the store. This customer had a product of hers worked on by our company but then called us and accused us of doing something we didn’t. Trust me when I say that we didn’t do anything. I’m not someone who blindly follows the company I work for for no reason. If we fucked up I’d be the first to admit it.
The customer made some ridiculous claim and wanted to speak to the manager that was on duty. By this point, everyone in the store knew what the manager was walking into on this phone call and everyone had some sort of quip at the ready. Oh, to be a fly on that wall during that conversation! Wait, that doesn’t work in this context. Oh, to be the NSA listening in on that conversation!
The phone call did not go the way the customer wanted because the manager, while being pretty restrained at the ridiculous accusations the customer was slinging, didn’t have the answers he was looking for. With the conversation coming to a close, we figured that that was that.
Fast-forward a short time later in the day when a lady enters the store. She was probably in her 40s and had the stature of someone who probably got what they wanted in most aspects of her daily life, and when that didn’t happen, she probably demanded she get her way. I was nearby and caught the vague conversation she was having with our cashier. She wanted to speak to the actual manager of the store but he was not in for the day. In the absence of the store manager, I got the only other manager we had at the time – the one that had taken the call earlier (I shall call this person Aaron).
If there is anyone you want to handle your issue if you are a customer that comes into our store, it is Aaron. He is that one employee that will generally listen to your stupid issues or complaints with the patience of Buddha. As long as you’re not swearing, being physically violent, or demeaning his workers, Aaron will talk to you until the store closes. I truly do not know how he does it. If I didn’t know him any better, I’d swear it was a heavy combination of alcohol and drugs. Patience of the Buddha.
Aaron came up to the customer and almost immediately the two of them realized who the other person standing in front of them was. This did not please the customer at all. Aaron couldn’t even attempt to talk to her or to ask her any questions at all about her interaction with our employees because the woman kept saying that she didn’t want to hear anything he had to say. To be clear, up to this point, he had barely said anything other than his name and asked what he could do for her. She refused to talk to him, shook her head, turned around, and repeated something along the lines of, “You’re still talking!” By now, she had clasped both hands over her ears while shouting the same, “You’re still talking!” line until she was squarely out of the store.
Really? You don’t like the fact that your issue was ludicrous, and when we tried to politely tell you that the complaint you had had no merit, your solution is to storm off like a child with your ears covered?
Do you see what I mean? I wish this was a single instance of infantile behavior that our customers have displayed. This is a reoccurring theme it feels like and while I could go on, I think this is enough for one entry.
Since I am trying to solve the ills of the retail world, this one is probably pretty straightforward. If you’re a customer, be a little less of an overgrown infant. It won’t get you what you want and all it will do will embarrass you in the eyes of every single employee in the store. I hate looking like a fool in front of 1 person let alone a store full of people. Who knows? You might just get what you wanted in the first place. And if you’re an employee, you should do what I sometimes do: picture the customer’s head superimposed on a baby’s body. It will make having to listen to their insanity a bit more tolerable. Good luck!
Does anyone else have a favorite example of customers acting like children? Please feel free to share!
More soon from the frontlines…