Monday, December 13, 2004

Retail Woes Part II

So, after the big 5:55 am store meeting, the doors are opened and the crowds flock in. I give my associates their till bags and then get whisked off to the executive office because I had two associates call in "sick" that morning and I must find replacements. I call people at home and after ten tries of getting no answer, I finally resort to rearranging people from different departments, begging them to work from opening to closing because we need the coverage.
Then I get my first page of the day. It's in the Trim-a-tree department. It's a very angry lady who bought ten boxes of ornaments and she is livid because she's now trying to return them and they are ringing up for three cents each, and she doesn't understand why that is.
"I paid twelve dollars for each one of these boxes! They're right over there!" She points to a stack of boxed ornaments under one of the trees. I look closely at the ornaments that she's returning and scan them, and I see that the barcode is from LAST YEAR and to us, they are only worth three cents.
"M'am" I explain. "These ornaments were purchased last year."
Her eyes get really wide and she says "No. Really?" I swear that I purchased them this year!"
But there's a tone to her voice, and she's got the look, and I know she's lying.
It's the "I-bought-these-last-year-and-shoved-them-in-my-closet-and-forgot-about-them-until-I-saw-them-here-so-I-thought-I'd-try-and-pull-a-fast-one-on-you" look.
I explain to her that the barcodes on the ornaments she's returning are from last year, and they are old merchandise. The wind goes out of her sales quickly, and she packs up her ornaments and leaves, and I breathe a sigh of relief because if she had remained adamant, I would have had to refund them, because after all, they really ARE the exact same ornaments we're selling this year. But that doesn't matter because I get paged again.
It's an angry customer over in Dresses who put a dress on hold the day before, and didn't return to buy it, so we sold the dress to another customer and now she's back and Out For Blood.
Ah, my day is starting out well.

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