Saturday, October 17, 2009

People are irritating aka Why I didn't get my free underwear

I think I need to start tagging my rants about people. I know I can be irritating; it's a different sort of irritating.

At Costco the person in front of me was writing a check. If you must write a check in this day and age, can you please 1) carry a pen with you so that you don't have to borrow the checker's pen and 2) start filling out the check before you get the total due (at least the store name and date - and don't ask the checker the date) and 3) have your ID ready.

I've never worked in retail due to my inability to tolerate people and my patience level of an unmedicated person with ADD. Slow Check Lady would have set me off into a fit of sighs and eyerolling, and my butt would have been fired about 10 minutes into my stint at retail. Even though I haven't worked in retail, I know how a business *should* be run.

After Costco, I went to Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret to get my free stuff. The Limited owns both of these stores, and I presume I'm on some sort of mailing list because I got coupons for free stuff in the mail. Did you? I'm also a stockholder, but if the coupons had been in connection with that, it would have come to both S & I, and it only came addressed to me. So anyway, I get a free travel size item at B&BW and a free pair of underwear from Victoria's Secret. I got my free travel size item just fine. Then I go to VS. Select my free pair of underwear and get in line.

There is a young lady at the counter who is texting (dang, she can text fast. I can type fast on an actual computer, but my texting speed is about 2 words a minute. I do admire fast texters.) while the employee is ringing up her stuff. There is another person in line who has 2 little kids. There is another employee who is "helping" a guy who is ambling about the store.

The kiss of death in a line at the library is someone who wants to open a new library card. Particularly if there's only one librarian, you're so screwed. You're automatically standing there another 15 minutes. Well, the retail equivalent kiss of death is someone who wants the store credit card. Every time this comes up in front of me, I silently plead the person to decline. Screw the 15% off, decline decline decline.

What does Miss Texter say? Of course she says yes, yet she adds she's late for work already. (If you're late for work, doesn't it make sense to be on your way to work and not at Victoria's Secret to buy extremely expensive lingerie to impress your sorta boyfriend who's sorta seeing your best friend?) And the cashier is tickled pink because of course she gets a commission on every credit card opening. I may not have ever worked in retail, but I do know that.

At this point, the cashier looks around and contemplates asking the other employee who's "helping" the man to come ring up the rest of us. But she sees that the other employee is "busy" (it's debatable, as the guy is just ambling around...versus the two of us who are actually in line). Yes, I know I'm just getting my free pair of underwear, so I'm not technically "buying" anything. But I'm still a customer who is in check-out mode.

But no Miss Commission Seeking Employee is gathering Miss Texter's driver's license as Miss Texter continues texting away while snapping her gum. The employee gets her SSN.

Now I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover and all that, but 1) Miss Texter is already late for work, 2) Miss Texter looks very, very young 3) Miss Texter doesn't live at the address that's listed on her driver's license because she said it wasn't valid anymore. I could tell that Miss Texter's creditworthiness in the current day and age wasn't going to be very high.

Miss Commission Seeking Employee then has to call it in to her credit department. If I had eavesdropped, I probably would know. I had instead taken the opportunity to watch the guy ambling around staring at garter belts. I also was trying to do ESP with the other employee to get her to come help the other person waiting in line and me. Of course, the other commission-seeking employee was trying to sell Ambling Guy lingerie and couldn't be bothered to look at the line in front of the cash register.

While Miss Texter continues texting, Miss Commission Seeking Employee is on the phone with the credit department. She says Miss Texter's social security number VERY loudly, her address, all her other information. She's put on hold. I sigh. A lot. Seriously, this is not a way to run a business. Employees should keep tabs on that line, they have those stupid walkie talkie things, and Miss Commission Seeking Employee should have walkie talkied or merely called to the other employee to ring us up. As an employer, you should not want people to abandon their stuff because it takes forever and a year to get through the line.

As a stockholder in this company, I was completely disappointed in how the operations of this store was handled.

Credit decision! I could tell in Miss Commission Seeking Employee's expression. She got off the phone and told Miss Texter, "They couldn't make a decision right now. You'll get a letter in the mail in 7-10 days."

Oh yeah, I was right. DE-NIED! And so Miss Texter started rooting around in her wallet. She didn't have her money ready? It had only been 15 minutes she'd been standing there. If it was me, I would have kept looking back at the line and apologizing. But, no, she was completely unaffected by the world around her and her cell phone. When Miss Texter started pulling out dollar bills and coins, it hit my last nerve, and I dumped the free underwear and left the store.

So no new free Victoria's Secret underwear, to hubby's dismay.


Ryan, Corrie, and Max said...

Ahhhh poor Beth. And poor hubby. =) Ugh, I hate shopping trips like that. Oddly enough, the VS stores in NC (at least) have a little walkie-talkie system that uses fancy earpieces and stuff. And they usually whisper into it that they need help or whatever.
My bad experience at VS was a couple of years ago when I went to redeem one of those freebie coupons, and the lady that "helped" me find them in the store was SO rude. Like, insinuating that I needed to NOT be making a mess out of the perfectly folded underwear (which I WASN'T) and that I was a horrible person for JUST redeeming that one thing. I felt like saying "I'm sorry. You have NO idea how much money I spend here regularly." I did decide that next time I would be asking to speak to a manager or calling it in or something.
And yeah, checks?? At a store?? Seriously?!? GET. A. DEBIT. CARD.

Ann said...

I hate when people write checks in stores! As for the credit app, I have never heard of a store that gives a commission to their employees for getting credit apps. Rather, it is part of their job, and if they don't get a certain amount, their job is on the line. And, it doesn't matter if the person is approved or not. I would so start a retail blog, but I am not ready to burn that bridge..

Miss J's Mom said...

Corrie, that sounds like a scene out of Pretty Woman with the way the employee was mean to you. Bad employee, don't you know Corrie spends half her paycheck on sexy underwear? :)

Ann, I thought there were a number of stores who offered an extra incentive to employees who opened store credit accounts. Maybe a few dollars per account or a bigger prize to the person that opens the most accounts in a month. I remember Mervyn's had that when they were still here. And I thought Target did something like that too. Ooooooh, but I've never worked in retail.

Ann said...

Yes, if we made our goal, we had a drawing for prizes. The more apps,the more times their name went in. But like I said, they got in a lot of trouble if they weren't asking every customer. As far as waiting behind those guys, we always got additional cashiers to help. You would have thought the cashier would call for help. I hate bad service!