I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day Blues

Well, the Memorial Day weekend is upon us and I, as usual, am working.  This is one of the limitations of retail; holidays cease to exist.  Except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I work every holiday.  Is there any better time to have a sale?  Are you kidding me?  Especially the Memorial Day weekend, which makes Black Friday look rather limpid.  This is the beginning of "cook out" season, and you can't have an old grill if you're going to have guests over for burgers and dogs, and you can't have them sitting on last year's faded patio furniture, and if everything isn't in bloom it needs to have been freshly planted.  Those shutters hanging around your windows?  They're looking a bit drab, aren't they, why not spruce them up with a fresh coat of paint, something to give your curb appeal a little extra pop.  And don't forget the deck, if you have one, won't your friends think it looks resplendent in a new coat of stain?  Last year the popular shade was Padre Brown, this year it seems to be Russet, yeah, like in the potato.

As always happens, sales bring in lots of customers hunting for that great deal.  There's usually a rebate on paints and stains, so many wait until this holiday to buy.  This means the paint desk gets very, very busy.  It was over the Memorial Day weekend last year a customer told me I ought be fired because I wasn't fast enough.  You see I was back in the primer aisle answering another customer's questions about primer, which meant I couldn't be out front helping the other associates tint stains, and there was a line.  Every customer gets treated the same, no preferential treatment, that's unfair.  Anyway, this customer was upset because she felt she shouldn't have to wait.  The first thing she said to me was "I hope yesterday was your first day on the job," and of course things only got worse.  The inexpensive stain she and her husband had bought two years ago was no longer available, and the inexpensive stain we did carry was not covered by the rebate because it was already cheap.  And, of course, the Padre Brown she wanted tinted lighter then the Padre Brown she wanted, which was when she grabbed a Head Cashier, thinking he was management, and told him "This man needs to be fired.  He's terrible.  You need to fire this man."  So I turned her over to a very capable associate who has a knack for fixing stains.  At that  point the customer said "you have twenty seconds to fix this."  I really wanted to grab a 2 x 4 and wait for her out in the parking lot, but I didn't.  I remained cordial and polite through out the whole episode.  They cut the price of the stain in half to shut her up, or at least get her to tone down her volume, which is the only thing she accomplished.  You know I don't believe she actually understood how embarrassing she was to herself, that people were not behind her but were, instead, walking away.
We get at least one customer like this every Memorial Day.

Ironically, this weekend is a holiday which commemorates the service of our armed forces.  It's supposed to be a time to thank them for their service, and I, who am a war Veteran, am always scheduled to work.  Not only that, now and then I have to deal with customers who just don't care.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like there are people who like to complain in every walk of life. I discovered that when I worked retail and now in education. No matter what you do, they are never happy.

    And it always seems like those people are always the ones who get the discounts or extras --- "squeaky wheel" so to speak.

    The thing I remember is when I would find a way to thank our loyal customers.

    Hope the weekend goes better and thank you for your service!