Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wait Your Turn

So I had a woman who wanted to know if we could order something online for her. No problem there. I took her over to the computer and searched on the website for the item she wanted. While I was with her, this rude lady comes up on the other side of me and just starts talking while my customer was in mid sentence.

"Do you work the computers?"

"Yes, I know a bit about them," I told her, scrolling through the list on the website.

The woman starts getting huffy, presumably because I'm still paying attention to the customer I was already with. "Well, do these go online?"

I glanced at her and saw that she was pointing to the laptops on display. "Yes, they do."

She looks at me with this arrogant sneer and demands, "Well, what's the password?"

I wanted to look at her and say, "Ma'am, this is a retail store, not an internet cafe. We don't just hand out the passwords. Everytime we leave a customer unsupervised on one of our demos, we wind up finding various downloads, pictures, viruses, random programs, and most often, Limewire installed. Why people do this, I have no idea, but it happens quite frequently. We'd like to keep our laptops in working condition so that when actual purchasing customers want to see how they work, we have a WORKING demo to show."

Of course, saying that would've offended the almighty customer. Meanwhile, I didn't want to make the woman I'd already been helping wait any longer. "As soon as I finish with my customer, I'll be happy to come over and help you with laptops."

She looked at me as if I'd told her to eat a plate of cat vomit, but she quietly walked over and waited by the laptops. I found the product my customer had been looking for online, but our website was out of stock. I offered to check the surrounding stores to see if any of them had it in stock, but to do that, I had to take my customer to the computer in the rear of the store.

I barely turned to lead us back there before hearing, "OVER HERE!" and seeing the impatient laptop lady waving her hand frantically in the air. I pretended not to notice and proceeded to the back.

I realize many people are in a hurry, but that doesn't make them any more important than anyone else. Yes, the argument could be made that we should have more people on the floor to help customers, but that's a complaint to take up with the corporate office. We don't decide on our payroll limits and we get chewed out if we go even an hour over. We do the best we can with what we're given.


Shopping tip of the day for 8/25/09: The word is "debit." Not "devit."

(You might be surprised how many people don't know that.)

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