Monday, September 7, 2009

An Unnecessary Thorn

To this point, my stories have been about how customers have driven me to the edge of insanity. However, as most customers will be quick to mention, there are plenty of dimwitted retail employees out there, and if you've worked retail, chances are you've dealt with your share of idiot coworkers that have only served to make your life even more miserable. There are a couple of those where I work, however the most notable is one of my morning cashiers. Keep this in mind as you read: She's worked for us for over a year and all she's ever done is ring customer service register. To put it simply, she's always done purchases, returns, and exchanges.

I was ringing up customers as the spare cashier while my customer service woman was handling an exchange. As I'm checking people out, I hear her customer just beside me.

"No, these are cheaper. You shouldn't be charging me any more."

The customer was calm and polite. My customer service rep was not.

"I don't know, I just scanned everything and that's what the computer says," she just shrugs without showing any amount of compassion.

"But the ones I returned were more expensive than what I'm purchasing. There should be an amount coming back to me."

Again, our service lady shrugs. "I dunno, I just scanned everything up here and this is what it says you owe me."

While the two of them go back and forth, I call our inventory control associate to the front. When he arrives, I motion toward the customer service register. "I've got a bit of a situation brewing here. Can you take over?"

He nods and takes over my register so I can go see what's going on with the exchange. So I walk up and say, "What can I do to help out?"

My cashier huffs and says, "OK, look. She's returning these here." She points at three spiral notebooks on the counter. "And I put them through as a return." Points at the return on the screen. "Then she wants to buy these." Motions to the three smaller notebooks in the woman's hands. "So I scanned them." Points to the new notebooks on the screen. "And now it says she owes me this."

She points to the total on the screen. -$6.42.

MINUS six forty-two.

I said, "That means she gets BACK six dollars and forty-two cents."

Now, we all have moments where we do something stupid. We don't pay attention to what we're doing or we just simply make a mistake. If my cashier had looked at me and gone, "Oh! I didn't notice that! Why didn't I look at that? I'm sorry for wasting your time," or something along those lines, I would've been fine with it.

But no, she acts like this is something brand-new that I'm teaching her. "Oh, so that means I give it BACK? So when there's a minus I have to give it back?"

I rolled my eyes. "Yes, that's a refund."

But she's not done. "So the drawer is going to open and I have to give her that money?"

Again, let me remind you, she's been doing nothing but purchases and returns for over a year.

"If it was a cash purchase, it will." I push the proceed button, and the total comes up as being refunded to an American Express card. "No cash," I tell her. "All you had to do was push proceed and you'd have been done."

I apologize to the customer and hand her the receipt. I walk away with my face in my hands as my cashier writes all this down as though I'd just taught her a brand new return procedure.

Shopping tip of the day for 9/07/09: If you are pulling out cash or a credit card from your wallet and my hand is extended to accept it, don't drop or throw it onto the counter.

This especially applies to you customers who want to pay with 89 cents in change. If I put my hand open on the counter as I often do, don't place the change onto the counter BESIDE my hand as you so often do. Now I've gotta pick all that up again, and unless I had nails like a dancer from a rap video, I'm gonna have to struggle to get each of those pennies up.

Piles of random crumpled bills haphazardly shoved in my general direction aren't appreciated either. My hand is out. Treat me like a respectable human being and hand the payment to me. Don't make me gather up and organize your money because you couldn't be bothered to place it in my hand.

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