February 25, 2009

the customer is always right on my last nerve.

Firstly: I do not mean to bite the hand that feeds me. I'm grateful to have a job at this particular moment in history.

But sometimes I wonder if my job is a secret reality tv show.

This is why: the distance between the quality of work we're expected to accomplish and the tools, directions, and information we're supplied with is laughably gaping. I'm probably the only one who notices when 'red currant' is spelled 'red current' on everything from jam to scented candles, but EVERYONE suffers when dutch ovens are featured on the front of the ad, we get sent FOUR OF THEM, and we run out by 2pm on Sunday.

This is where the reality tv challenges kick in: how many irrationally angry customers (who each will DIE WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN) can you pacify before you lose your mind? Who will get that final phone call for Christmas ginger snaps on January 26 (ginger snaps that were gone by Dec. 18), or a martyr-of-frustration response when yes, it is December 12, and the Advent calendars are OUT. All your kids want is the chocolate anyway, which we have pleeeenty of. Who can tally the most "will you be getting any more?" questions regarding a weekend ad full of "Limited quantities, no rain checks" stuff?

No shift is safe; no day is clear, weekend or weekday. Every hour is a test of patience, humility, and just how flexible your sense of humor can be. I am of the opionion that every human being should, at some point in his or her life, work in retail and in the food service industry. You will never treat people the same way again.

And sorry, we are out of the free bags advertised three weeks ago. No, we do not have one hidden in The Back for you, just for you. I'm sorry you were out of town when the ad was in the paper, I really am. We just didn't get your memo in time to save you a two-dollar run-of-the-mill canvas bag that looks just like the other seven bags you have at home. Please stop crying- I already feel guilty enough.


  1. lol, dear.
    I feel your pain. Try providing customer service to an angry parent who demands that you do something for their daughter which the DAUGHTER should be calling about and which you can't do anything about anyway.
    And you're right, no day is safe.

  2. haha, yeah. I worked at macys for a year, and I can never forget this adult 40 something woman, screaming and yes, literally CRYING, waving a coupon around b/c the men's shirt in blue she wanted was sold out. Seriously. Not to mention, try working at Allstate during Katrina...i totally agree, you will never treat people the same way again...