Things I Learned Working Retail This Holiday Season
This year I picked up a part time job working retail for some extra scratch. Honestly, it was more for the discount than anything else but I like to tell people I am working to pay off credit card debt. It sounds more responsible than I want a 20% price cut on my Bobbi Brown make up. As a result of working at the mall said credit card debt didn’t exactly diminish, yet it didn’t increase either. So perhaps it is more of a wash? Maybe? Either way. I have some cool new stuff. FINAL ANSWER.. I did manage to pay down my debt in the loooooong run so the retail job did more good than harm.
I study people. Truly I do. Sometimes I feel like a scientist and people are my living experiments. I scrutinize their behavior and then make hypothesis on behavioral patterns and outcomes. Not to brag but I am rather proficient in predicting how people are going to act. This skill really comes in handy at the Nut Hut. Hence I have a Nut Hut record for not getting assaulted, spit on, or cursed out. I am running a year strong too. But I digress. People. Are. Crazy. Working retail reminded me that people who are considered “normal” or “regular” are.. CRAZY AS HELL.
I am rarely stunned by what people do. This year.. I was rendered speechless.
Exhibit A- I was walking to the restroom, which is located in the Junior’s department when a woman accosted me and asked me to see what size jeans she was wearing and the style number. Before I could inform her I work in the jewelry department, she turned around and pulled her pants down so low I could see the better part of her ass. Then she looked over her shoulder expectantly at me and reinterated that she needed to know the information on the inside of her jeans. Luckily I recovered quickly and provided her with the information she requested. Then I made a beeline for the ladies room before another crazed customer bothered me with bra size or something worse.
Exhibit B- Why do people come to the FINE JEWLERY department looking for something under $100? It is impossible. ALSO if you are purchasing diamonds and the cost is under $500 chances are the quality is NOT GOOD. So do not inform me the diamonds are cloudy. OF COURSE they are cloudy. They are cheap diamonds. Now, if you are in AFRICA and pay $500 for a diamond I am sure the quality would be better as it hasn’t been marked up oh say… 300% before it hits your hot little hands. So to recap. There is nothing in the fine jewelry department for about $100 no matter how you hunt in the case trying to locate a deal. I work there and basically know how much everything costs. There is no way you can outsmart me on the price.
Exhibit C- There is a difference between a department store and a bazaar in Asia or the Middle East. We DO NOT haggle on the price. The price is just that.. The price. Finding a flaw or trying to be charming will not lower the price. It will just get on my nerves and cause me to yank the item out of your hand, slam the case shut, and walk away mumbling about swap meets and pawn shops. Do not waste my time. Also there is no layway. Do not mention layway to me. It drives me nuts.
Exhibit D-If you are purchasing a piece of jewelry and the stones are small don’t you dare ask for a certificate of authenticity. Are you kidding? Why authenticate diamond sparkles? When the stone is so small you need the Hubble Telescope to indentify it is even a gemstone, there is no need to have a piece of paper standing behind its quality. It is of little quality hence why it is being utilized in supporting role manner.
Exhibit E- When the store is packed, I am NOT going to call another store looking for something for you. Number one the sales associates I am calling are just as busy as I am and secondly if they are anything like me, they will pretend to look for the item but in reality finish ringing up the customer they are working with then return to the phone after a believable amount of time to inform you they do not have the item in question.
Exhibit F- If you want something, but it THEN.. Chances are when you come back the item will have sold out. If you like it there are lots of other people that like it as well. And they aren’t going to be wishy washy. If you don’t pull the trigger and get the item after you have spent mover 40 minutes of my time, I am going to do my best to sell whatever you wanted to the next person. It may be mean but you need to learn a lesson. Time waits for no man, and neither does Oracle. I am quite proficient at selling things people are “thinking about” and when they return giving them a sarcastic smile and saying “you snooze you loose”.
Exhibit G- The closer to Christmas, the more stuff costs. Retailers know last minute shoppers are desperate so they raise the prices. The better sales happen in November or early December. Then prices steadily climb. It is the same principal of the conscience store. They charge and arm and a leg for things which you can get at the local grocery store for MUCH LESS.. People are paying for a concience. Believe me. They are praying a premium.
Exhibit H- When people work on commission do NOT keep coming back to the department looking at the same piece with different sales associates. It causes friction in the department when you finally buy the item. Each person feels the sale belongs to them and there is no way to split the sale. So basically someone is going to feel slighted as you used up time they could have been spending with another customer. Also, don’t as “Do you work on commission” then ask me to ring up clothes. For that matter, do not bring clothes to the jewelry department anyway. We do not have large bags NOR do we have the means to take off the censor tags. Return merchandise in the SAME department you purchased it. When people bring pots and pans and ask if they can return them with me I look at them like the dumbasses they are. Common sense people. Common sense.
Exhibit I- If it is December 23rd or 24th do not tell me you are “getting ideas”. You jackass. There isn’t any time left and practically no inventory. If you saw something online and we don’t have it in the store we sold out. Don’t get pissy about it. You should have purchased it online. I can’t make it appear. If I had magical powers like that I would make most people DISappear.
Yep.. For a psych working holiday retail is like being in Candyland. I had a great time. Beer is good, God is great, people are crazy.. (I love that song)