Thursday, December 17, 2009

Retail Work and The Christmas Crazies

Are you working in retail this holiday season? I know what you're going through. Trust me...

On the way home from my exhausting day of work at the holiday store I pondered for a few minutes on the retail Christmas rush. It is really quite ridiculous how everyone comes out of the woodwork to buy lots of things, particularly a few days before Christmas. Granted, they do spend a lot of money and they do pay my salary. But, I have to tell you that these people are called The Christmas Crazies for a reason and they get worse closer to Christmas.
Now, I've worked in retail for 4 holiday seasons so you would think I'd be used to it. But, they never cease to amaze me. Here are 4 characters you need to know about:

The Christmas Crazies

1. Ridiculous Request Rita: Grin and bear it. Customers will have ridiculous requests. You may complete that request for them and they may still be angry at you. Bite your tongue. You don't have much choice if you want to keep your job.

2. Char the Cheater: This is the customer who tries to tell you that you've rung them up incorrectly and charged them too much. Double check the receipts and the prices. Are they correct? If they are, HOLD YOUR GROUND. Don't let that customer skimp out. How do you think the company pays your salary? Still have problems? Call the manager.

3. Special Susan: There are 40 customers in the store but this customer expects for you to wait on her as if she was the only customer in the store. Kindly steer her towards one particular product. Tell her a few good things about the product and then say, "I'll let you think on this one while I go ring up my customer." There's a good chance she'll come back and find you with more questions. But, that's Special Susan for you.

4. Rushing Ruth: This is your customer in a hurry. She's got a little bit of Special Susan in her too. Rushing Ruth flies in with the wind, her purse is overflowing, she cannot find her pen or her wallet or her glasses but she thinks she needs 10 of this and 15 of that and 25 of those or maybe 20 of those instead of 25 and then she's got this coupon but she can't find it and also she needs 2 of those AND PRONTO. The best thing for you to do is project confidence in getting her things together and grab a co-worker for help. Be direct with her too or she'll get even more confused.

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