June 18th, 2006 | 1 Comment »

If I’ve learned one thing recently, it’s that I am not cut out for a full-time career in retail.

I am exhausted, which explains why I haven’t been in touch, or replied to emails (I read them and think, I’ll reply to this later.) Well, I’ve been working day shifts lately, and since my dad’s got these few weeks off work, we’ve been going out for dinner and the night market. I liked the Mandarin restaurant, because I didn’t have to say a thing at all! The night market is also much more amusing when you can eat, as opposed to wandering around because your mother is stuffing her face with food that you can’t eat.

See, the thing that really sucks about my job is that I never get to sit down, which means I’m standing (and running, and clambering up ladders) for eight hours. I reviewed the dress code for no particular reason today, which says I’m not allowed to wear ‘overly casual shoes’ since that ‘does not promote merchandise authority.’ I’m not good with flats for two reasons: a) lack of arch support; b) lack of height–heels are the way to go. (Besides which, our flats are ugly. But that’s another story.)

I worked 38.5 hours last week. It’s going to be something like that for this week, too, and I’m working the full 40 the week before I leave. On one hand, I was not expecting to work this much, and this will pad my budget for my trip nicely; on the other hand–grrrsummertourists!nohabloespanol!toomuchtodo!nofoodtoeat!.

Someone actually asked me for winter boots today. What was slightly more disturbing was that she started off the conversation with ¿Hablas español? I need to take a Spanish course at some point in the near future so that I can stay sane. And Korean. I need to learn some kind of basic Korean. “I don’t speak Korean” would be a good start.

Oh, and German, since I told Mrs. French that I’d be fluent by 2010. XP

My days off are jam-packed as well; I still have to buy:

  • luggage
  • summer clothes; I can survive the summers here, but I think it’s a lot warmer in Québec
  • material to make that darn sheer summer poncho
  • something I can wear to a ‘formal’ event in the summer

Not to mention that installing a simple game on the Linux box is taking the better part of my patience. I’ve spent about three hours on that, now, and it’s still not working. I’m going to cry.

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Posted in quotidian
June 12th, 2006 | 2 Comments »

Here are ten guaranteed ways to make a sales associate like me ticked off:

  1. Try to scam me at the register. Let’s get something straight. Buy one, get one half price means that you get another item of equal or lesser value for half price. You do not buy something for 5 dollars, and something for 60 dollars, and expect to pay 35 for both. That’s just stupid. Also, I will give you the best deal that I can without getting fired. I’m trying to be on your side, people, but you’re not making it easy.
  2. Point out that, “In the States, this is a lot cheaper.” And your point is…? I can’t do anything about it; I don’t set the prices.
  3. Ignore a greeting. Look, a simple “Hi” will suffice, or if you’re not feeling very verbal, even a smile is better than nothing.
  4. Be needy. We are understaffed as it is, and I simply do not have the time to be your personal shopper. Especially if the store is full of other customers wondering why there’s no one coming to help them.
  5. Interrupt me when I’m in the middle of dealing with another customer. It’s selfish and I end up losing when I have to deal with one angry customer and one selfish one. Wait your turn, or try and catch me as I finish with someone else.
  6. Steal merchandise. Personally, I don’t really care, but it makes my manager crack down even more, which is annoying. (Some store loyalty, eh?)
  7. Make a mess. Or, worse, try to fix your mess and wind up making an even bigger mess for me to clean up. It’s just not cool, people.
  8. Whine about how we don’t carry out-of-season merchandise that you like. I’m sorry, it’s summer now, and we don’t have any winter boots left. I don’t care if you’re climbing Mount Everest.
  9. Whine that we don’t have enough selection. You’re in the middle of a huge tourist trap shopping area. Go to another store if you don’t like us.
  10. Start a sentence with “Why don’t you just…”
    First: I think I know how to do my job better than you do. Unless you work in retail, you have no right to say this. Second: Chances are I’ve already thought of that and rejected it. Third: I will admit that 10% of the time, customers have some worthwhile points after the ellipsis. That doesn’t change the fact that it comes off as presumptuous and rude. Finally, if I tell you my register can’t do something, guess what: You and I are both stuck with it. Wait the extra minute.

People are idiots. Luckily, 90% of customers are decent enough people to deal with that don’t increase my stress-o-meter. Here are a few things that make me happy:

  1. Saying “thank you” sincerely, especially if we’ve really done a lot for you. Yeah, it’s my job to help you look for stuff, but it’s still nice to hear a “thanks for trying anyway” or something.
  2. Making small talk at the register. It’s a nice break from what can be monotonous work sometimes, and it’s just nice to be able to talk to people without trying to sell them anything.
  3. Acknowledging how busy we are, in general. Thank you for understanding. :cheerful:
  4. Being happy, and cheerful. As a professional, I’m not supposed to let customers’ moods rub off on me, but I’m a thin-skinned person as it is, so it really does help if you’re nice. Besides that, it’s always a pleasure to serve a pleasant person.
  5. Buying lots of stuff. :tongue: Just kidding.

Sometimes I feel I just work at my store, and not for my store, if that makes any sense. Another day like today and I’ll be ready to quit. Seriously. I’m not working past this December for sure, since I got in co-op (:star:) and I’ll have my first work term in January, but I’m questioning if I really need this job after all.

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Posted in ramblings