I’ve worked in retail for eleven and a half years. And I’ve learned to keep my cool where other people would yell. I can hold it together and smile and say, ‘have a nice day!’ no matter how much I want to punch them in the throat. But apparently, I have met my match. I hired a few new people recently and one is an eighteen-year-old girl with a very quiet manner. She’s doing great. But someone yelled at her and I saw red.
She called me to the front, and the customer started ranting the second I rounded the corner. “This cat litter said ‘was $6, now $5.50, but it’s ringing up $6 and this girl keeps saying *twisting her voice* ‘well it rings up $6’ and I just want the $5.50. It says $5.50 on the shelf.” And on and on and mocking my cashier in a way that she would never speak.
So I go check. Yes, there’s a sign that says that. It’s an old ad sign. I pull it down and go back to the register. My cashier asks to step away because she is visibly upset. I override the price and explain to the customer it’s an old ad sign. And then I dig in and tell her that my cashier is brand new. She handled the situation the best way she knew, and that I guarantee she did not talk to her that way. She tries to argue, of course, because that fifty cents is just the end of the world level important. But I tell her again that there is no way my quiet and polite cashier talked to her that way. And then I add a bit more and ask her if she’s proud of herself for making her cry. And she finally shuts up. They pay and leave.
I don’t know why I reacted so strongly. Yes, the customer was right about the price and I showed my cashier how to handle the situation in the future, but it wasn’t necessary to yell and mock. And maybe she reminds me of me at her age when I was just starting in retail. I used to get upset when people yelled at me and didn’t know how to handle it. But no one ever came to my rescue when customers were raging at me. It was a long time before I realized I was even allowed to stand up for myself. So maybe this will help my new cashier.
Another cranky person I had to deal with had to do with ice cream. She bought two small containers. Called a while later because she couldn’t find the bag of ice cream when she got home. We told her it wasn’t up here.
She comes back to the store and is yelling as soon as she’s in the door. “It has to be here. I went straight home. It’s not at home and it’s not in my car. It has to be here.” We look around again. It’s not there. I tell her maybe someone else grabbed the bag, but she can go grab more ice cream. *I am giving her what she wants without arguing!* She goes to the freezer section and comes back, still yelling. “Yeah, someone else must have grabbed it because there isn’t even any more in the freezer. So, I grabbed different flavors.” I tell her that’s fine. She repeats the fact that we were out of the ones she bought. I said, “yes, that’s what I’m saying. Your bag wasn’t here, so we didn’t put it away. Someone else must have taken it if you don’t have it.” She rolls her eyes and says, “Whatever,” and slams the door open.
We’re all confused at this point. We gave her the ice cream, didn’t we? If someone else took the bag that SHE FORGOT, we aren’t responsible. But she’s still mad.
But then a few seconds later she comes in, all smiles and laughing. “I’m sorry, I found it under my seat! Here’s these back!” And then leaves again.
I just… ugh. Ha ha ha, so funny, it was under your seat this whole time. So funny. Why wouldn’t you have checked there first before calling to yell and coming to the store to yell?
Anyway…. We’re inching our way towards Christmas now. And I have my fingers crossed I won’t be in retail much longer. Cross your fingers for me too!