Monday, November 29, 2010
The Holidays are HERE
Black Friday was BUSY. The whole week-end was busy, and yes, I worked the whole week-end. It was busy in that onslaught kind of way, where the customers kept coming and coming and coming.
"Festive" is the euphemism for crazy busy at our store, as in, when a staff person comes off the floor for a break and has that glazed look in their eyes and the manager says "It sure is festive out there."
Some of the customers are pleasant, if not always aware that other people are also waiting to be helped...
A woman comes up to the register to purchase a fancy computer lap desk, the most expensive one we have in the store. She has long blond hair, is about 5'9", and is wearing a tan wool coat. A line is forming behind her. We finish the transaction for the lap desk, and out of the corner of her eye, she sees our display of holiday CDs.
"Oh, just a sec, I need one of these," she says. She leaves her (large) bag holding the lap desk and comes back with two CDs, Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas, and a Frank Sinatra Christmas album. "Hmm," she says, "I don't know which to pick." She looks at the play list on each. "Which would you pick?", she asks.
Trying to keep things moving I say, "I'd go with Frank Sinatra. I love his voice."
"I don't know," she says, musing. She pulls out her phone. And makes a call. As it's ringing, she says in a whisper, "I just need to find out what he wants. It'll just take a second."
Normally I'd ask her to step to the side so I could help other customers, but with her large purchase, and cashiers ringing at the next registers, there wasn't anywhere for her to go.
"Okay, he wants Frank Sinatra. I shouldn't have even called." She paused. I rang up the CD and she ran her credit card. I handed her the receipt and put the CD in the bag with the lap desk. Her phone rang. She answered. "He changed his mind. It's my stepson. He wants the Elvis one. Can we just trade it?"
"I have to do it as an exchange, but I can do it quickly." I rang the exchange through and handed her the Elvis CD and her receipt. Her phone rang again.
"I'm not even going to answer that," she said. "Thank you so much, you've been very nice."
"You're welcome," I said. "Have a good day." The next person in line steps up to the counter.
Others are not as pleasant...
A man wearing a blue shirt in maybe his mid-30's approached the counter with two books and a receipt from our online store. The receipt was a gift receipt, which showed the amounts paid for the books in code so the recipient doesn't know how much was spent.
"I want to return this one (Ramona the Pest) and get this one (Ramona and Her Mother). I have this receipt."
"Great. I can take care of that." I look up the amount paid for the book he wanted to return and rang it into the register as an exchange. "That'll be $.60 please," I say.
"What? Why? You mean to tell me that that one is 60 cents less than this one? Even though they're both marked the same? What is that about? That doesn't make any sense."
"I can't tell why it cost less, but yes, according to the receipt that you brought in, whoever got it for you paid $5.39 and the one you want here is $5.99," I said. I'd been ringing the transaction into the register. "So there is a 60 cent difference."
"That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard," he said, infuriated. "Unbelievable," he spat. He swiped his card. I handed him his receipt. "Here you go," I said.
"Go to hell," he said in a mean, low voice as he snatched the book and walked away.
Taken aback, I could barely greet the next customer, a young woman with long hair and a black coat. "Retail sure is something, isn't it?" she said, having overheard the interaction. She was smiling.
"It sure is," I said, smiling back at her.
I think that that would be festive. Yep, festive for sure.
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