Monday, August 24, 2009

Excuse me?

Work has been, well, work. It seems as though every customer watched Andy Rooney on 60 minutes and decided to come in and act like the crotchity ass that he is!

I remember a few years back, Andy was taking on insurance and extended warranties in the consumer electronics industry. He said they were a bad idea, and how could you accept a company will give you a 'refurbished' or 'reconditioned' phone or ipod as a replacement to the device you paid your hard earned money for? Is this acceptable? No. Read the fine print before you buy.

I am not here to debate this topic. What I am here to talk about is the person who listens to Andy Rooney on 60 minutes, and takes his word as, 'The word of the Lord'

*congregation says in unison* "Lord, hear our prayer"

If you are this person, you need to stop, and think about how you talk to people. Obviously when you listen to Andy Rooney, his segment is meant to get you to act, get pissed off, or see the other side of an issue. His segment is not a license to walk into your local retailer to be an asshole.

A customer walked into my store and before you could say hello they were in your face telling you how this transaction was going to go down. They said that they wanted a new phone, even before you had a chance to look at anything. They said that they wanted a brand new device and refurbished phone is just unacceptable. They said that they would not leave until this happened.

What the hell am I supposed to do? Since when is it ok to walk into a store and talk to me like I'm a little child? Since when is it ok for YOU to tell ME what to do? Since when is it ok to be a douche bag?

So I look at the phone. I don't see what her problem is. Her phone works great. It works like it should. But why is this woman acting like this? Why on Earth is her husband cowering like the cowardly lion in her shadow, and her daughter taking notes on why it is acceptable to talk to people this way.

I have watched the television show Snapped on Lifetime. This woman is going to get killed by her husband one day.

I grab a manager, and he explains what we can and cannot do. My patience for this sort of thing is nil, and he is paid to deal with customers like this. Plus I am just skipping a step in the process for the sake of efficiency, because this woman will not listen to a single word I say anyway.

My manger explains that we can replace the phone with a warranty replacement. He is doing this woman a favor, as we have both determined that this phone she is presenting is working exactly as it should.

I can't remember exactly what she said, but it was like, "..blah blah blah, you WILL do this because I have already talked to your customer service department, and boy is your store under scrutiny..."

Why do customers feel the need to call our customer service department and bitch about us here in the store? At least in a court of law, the accused has the right to cross examine their accuser. In the retail world, customers think that they are getting the stores in trouble when they call and gripe about us. That is exactly NOT the case. So if you are one of those people, stop. Either deal exclusively with the customer care department, or deal exclusively with the stores if there is a problem.

My manager explained what he CAN do for her, and she shoots back with, "...didn't you hear me, your store in under scrutiny from your customer service department.."

No, he heard you, and so did I, but apparently YOU did not notice that we don't care about our customer service department.

The customer draws that line in the sand. "You will do this or I will file a complaint with the attorney general."

Stop. We just hit the emergency button on the subway to stop the train on the tracks. We are done talking now.

The fastest way to get exactly what you DON'T want is to tell me you are calling the attorney general. At this point to you're turning this stupid little transaction into a legal case, and everything we said BEFORE this point cannot be used, but everything we say AFTER can and more than likely will be used against us. So we are done now, continue on your way. I can no longer help you. We can talk with a mediator called the attorney general.

Why do people feel the need to be complete assholes? I can understand the economy being bad, but again, it doesn't give you the green light to be an asshole. Think before you act.

Don't be a dick to someone who is in a position to help you. This is a motto to live by.


Mrs Bee said...

Ah man do I hear you!

I worked for the phone company that rhymes really well with Bodabone for over 5 years.
Seriously... It. sent. me. crazy.
Actual quit on the spot, i'm not working here anymore, pulling hair out, wanting to put my fist through the next rude customer face kinda crazy.
I think it *may* have had something to do with the last customer I served...who bought his prepaid recharge top up OVER EBAY(!!!) and then screamed at ME because it was a fake and somehow that's my fault for his stupidity.

Retail ruined me.
I hate people.

But I like your blog.
so there.

Vodka Logic said...

She obviously didn't feel good. And that is a prime example why I don't work in retail.

Kudos to those that do.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Don't be a dick to someone who is in a position to help you. This is a motto to live by.
And the congregation says: AMEN!
Great post, and very true:)

Uncle Skip, said...

I'm sure she felt much better when she was done.

Customers like that are a good reason to have a dog biscuit in your pocket.

tangobaby said...

It's been my long held belief that a) everyone should have to work in a restaurant and b) work in retail.

That give a person a lot of compassion. People who abuse retail staff would have a lot more heart if they had been in your shoes at once.

Mathilde said...

Customer is king !! haha. My ass. Been working in customer services in the tourism industry for years and you're right, every now and then, you get the mr or mrs know-it-all who spits at your face pretending he/she knows how to do your job better than you do! HA. WHATEVER. I have zero patience with this kind of assholes and my boss can say whatever he wants, if someone treats me like a piece of shit, he/she'll get the same treatment in return. I'd probably go above and beyond to help someone in need ... but all of it will depend on the approach.
These people should be slapped in the face from time to time, or better, given a mouthful! See how that feels fuckers? haha.

StepherB said...

That is now my official motto to live by! I love it!

Kelly Muys Wood said...

Amen. (And, by the way, I have ALWAYS, always said the same thing about Rooney.)


p.s. You might like my recent post about Anderson Cooper.

Anonymous said...

This is why I firmly believe it's better to act sweetly to people in customer service roles than to act bossy. Bossy never only gets you in trouble.

Andy Rooney drives me nuts.

Kyle said...

Amen to everything that you said!

~K said...

Oh Gawd I fucking hate the public. Why? Because the gap toothed, sloped foreheaded, knuckle draggin, cousin marrying,inbred yocals that get a little bit of information and think they are Gods. They exercise power not in a smooth or magnanimous fashion, but rather a punitive and small minded way. Why? because they have no real power and therefore truly do not know how to weild it. Then they foist the frustration of their vacant humanity and ignominious lives upon you with what little power they have only to learn in the end their one shot was "nothing but net"

~K said...

correction I meant to say their one shot was a total air ball!

2 Teach The Teacher said...

I truly DON'T miss working in customer service.

Pseudonymph said...

I agree, Mr Throwing Quarters. I work in retail and firmly believe that we should have a slap quota per day - without any ramifications we can slap whomever needs it.
If you don't mind my link, I had a similar (although more relevant to my area of business) encounter - where you just can't get through to them.
Although, it does provide us with blogging gold sometimes...

the person within said...

I guess it goes both ways... though in this case, I completely agree with u that the customer was acting like a complete jerk.

But, many times, there is also those who work in the retail segment and when the customer asks some doubt, he/she won't even bother helping out..

As always, there exists two sides of the coin.. If everyone understands the other side, only then will there be peace. This is applicable across all aspects of life.

Sourire11 said...

people suck.

Nikkisix said...

Like my little sister used to say, "Its totay you'll be all light" I work in the auto industry as a customer service rep. BAH those customers are the WORST! Not to say cell phones cant be bad either but oh god the days I would have! Either way It pays the bills, in the end you have to just breath and move on because there's another customer after that one :D

Will Burke said...

Ph'kyah, Brother!
I work in retail, and must admit, 99% of customers are fantastic, and quite enjoyable to work with. But then you gat those with Day Passes from the Asshole Assylum (or Moron Assylum). I was going to do a similar post at -- I still might, but you've sure raised the bar!
Uncle Skip's "Dog bisquit" was such a LOL moment, I scared the cat!
Cheers! Will

Uncle Skip, said...

After somewhere around forty years dealing with the public in the food service and retail world I developed a motto:
"This job would be great if it wasn't for the customers."

I always felt that the customer deserved my complete and full attention. Where I drew the line was when their behavior imposed on other customers.

Ironically, I finally retired because of co-worker behavior.

rxBambi said...

Oh my. Well said! I'm in retail too and when people come in with a problem I do everything I can to help them out. But I wont break the law to do it and sometimes they Just Don't Get It! Very infuriating!
Take a deep breath, grab a beer (well, wine, if you're me), and remember there ARE people out there who do know how to act like humans!

Shawnee's Girl said...

And this my friend is why I work with dogs! :) I get to slap a muzzle on their face if they act up.