Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Crazy #5 and how it feels to be treated like an idiot

Shortly after I created a post about Christmas Crazy Customers I worked at my holiday store and encountered Christmas Crazy #5. If you've worked in retail before then you may have encountered #5 previously. In my 4 seasons of working in retail for the holidays with a previous employer I have never encountered #5. So, it rattled my insides when it happened to me at my new retail job...

The morning started out well. I was in such good spirits that I opened the store 10 minutes early for my customers who were waiting outside the doors. Since snow was predicted in my area there was a rush of customers before midday. Now, keep in mind that I live in the South right now. We cancel school before the first snowflakes appear and people purchase enough bread, milk, and beer to feed several armies. Evidently, they also feel the need to purchase cookies...quickly.

The phone started ringing. I was the only employee in the store. I had to answer the phone because it is on the same line as the credit card machine. You cannot run the customer's credit card and talk on the phone at the same time. It just doesn't work.

And the phone rang again. The line of customers got longer. I asked my first customer in line to please hold on for one second while I answered the phone. Then, all of a sudden a lady customer got out of line, stepped up to the register and SHOUTED, "WHY DON'T YOU WAIT ON THE CUSTOMERS WHO ARE HERE?" Right after that a man in line YELLED at me, "YOU NEED TO WAIT ON THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY HERE. I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU PEOPLE DO THIS. I NEVER UNDERSTAND THIS!"

I have never in all of my holiday retail experience had customers yell at me. I've had grumpy ones and crazy ones and even plenty of nice ones. But, I've
never had customers yell at me. It must have been the snow or the recession, or both.

I had nothing to say to the man and woman who yelled at me. My face probably turned red. My hands started shaking. It wasn't just the shouting incident though that hurt me. It was the fact that I never intended to work in retail again. I went to get my Master's degree so I wouldn't have to. Yet, it really doesn't matter. Through the eyes of those customers I was an idiot. I suppose some people just feel they can treat others like dirt. It's funny how those customers both purchased CHRISTmas gifts. Let us not forget the reason for the season. Being kind to the people behind all those holiday registers counts too.

No comments:

Post a Comment