back to the grind

When I came into work today, I noticed that the foam letters we use for the COMING SOON sign had been peeled off, and left on our back display wall. I took two N’s and two O’s and made two ‘NO’ signs with just a bit of Scotch tape.

And I used them. Repeatedly. Honestly, no matter how brightly colored, large, or conspicuous you make the signs at a liquidation sale, people still try writing damn checks, or hand me a coupon book, or whatever, and each time I’ve held up the NO letters, tapping on the necessary signs with an empty safety cone tube. Flippant? You bet. But short of hitting people across the face with the tube, I don’t see how much clearer I can be about this sort of thing.

And the people who come in trying to return things! Honest to goodness, what part of All Sales Final does not register?

But the thing that really irritated me was this couple of ladies that kicked up a stink about their paid membership. I had someone not too long before them come to me with similar irritation (“I am so pissed off right now,” she said with her basket full of stuff), but by the end of the sale, I had told her that since she was still in her initial month of signing up, she should still be entitled to a refund, she just has to do it thru the Customer Care phone line because we don’t have the necessary codes to do a refund and revert her card. (Also note how she liked her membership enough to get her discount with her sale!)

But back to this couple of ladies… An older woman and a younger woman with magenta-dyed hair. Designed to stick out. They start literally yelling at my colleague, who then has to call for our service manager. He stands there for fifteen minutes just absorbing all their verbal abuse and claims that they were forced to get this membership they didn’t want in the first place.

I’m sorry, but that is such total bullshit. Nobody at our store is into making people sign up for memberships at gunpoint. Your parting with your $20 was your decision, not ours. No, we didn’t know about our closure when you signed up, otherwise we would have been told to stop offering it. And besides which… why do you wait two months to complain about it? You didn’t come in to shop in those two months–whose fault is that? You make the decision at the register whether you’re going to come in enough to justify the membership’s cost, nobody’s going to fault you if you can’t. But you bought it, it’s up to you to make it worth the investment.

When I sold memberships, I always circled the bit on the brochure about having 30 days to decide whether it was worth it, and to call that number beforehand if it turned out it wasn’t suitable. From that point it was always out of my hands. Does it suck that we signed up a lot of people in the weeks before (and the day of) our closure announcement? Of course. Can I do anything about it? No, short of directing you to the people who -can- help.

But, this is the nature of the beast, I realize. People come in expecting service up to and including the licking and scrubbing of their boots without any regard to the people, the humanity involved behind the counter. It still amazes me how many people are coming in buying just one item –often 10%– and then questioning me when the price is barely 20 cents or so less than the sticker price. It’s called state sales tax, you ignorant jackass.

This was day one of my five day work week this week, the most I’ve worked in over two months. It’s still really sad its taken a liquidation to get me an increase of work hours, but at this stage I just have to take what I can get.


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