|A Clockwork Shoebox
||[Oct. 13th, 2006|10:49 am]
I Am Not Al Bundy
What is it about a shoe store that makes people abandon every shred of decency and common sense? We understand it's a large mall, and that often times it's quite hot outside to walk from store to store, but please, check your bitchy attitudes at the door, and your rotten children, too, if at all possible.
I feel it might be my duty to start a little guide for all sales associates at shoe stores (and in any retail store, I guess) to better serve employees, employers, and customers out of my experiences. Remember, in no way am I using this as a means to rant about my job. It just comes out like a rant because there are so many assholes who visit the store.
MoosimusMaximus' Guide To Shoe Sales And How Not To Kill Obnoxious Jerks
Part the First: Nuisances to Standard Operating Procedures
Lesson 1: Recognizing the Difference Between Stealing Scams and Stupid Foreigners
Master Sun wrote in Art of War that to be fully advantageous in the battle over distance during armed struggle that one ought to "make [an opponent's otherwise small route] a long one, luring them on in hopes of gain." By using wild goose chases to mislead an adversary, you gain ground, strategy, and strength against your opponent. It is common practice for amateur and seasoned theives to use distractions caused by seemingly unrelated parties to escape being noticed by store employees. It is doubtful that many, if any, of them are familiar with the military history behind the tactics they employ, but they can be effective, nevertheless. The job of an observant sales associate is to discern the difference between a group of people attempting to steal and a group of people who are so stupid their presence is like a thorn in your side.
Situation: An 8-year-old girl runs into the store, grabs a women's pump, and runs out of the store.
Immediate Reaction: Some bastards somewhere are trying to distract the sales associates as they pilfer merchandise.
Realization: The little girl is saying "Ama! Ama! Mira! Que linda!" (Mom! Mom! Look! I'm a spoiled brat! Also, this shoe is pretty!)
Solution: After the family comes into the store, calmly explain to them why their crotch-dropling ought not to run back and forth by our security sensors with a tagged shoe (while she continues to do it for the next couple of minutes). Be glad when they go back to Mexico.
Lesson 2: Unnecessary Returns
Many stores have strict guidelines for employees to follow when an item return has been made. Many procedures are often put in place to ensure that a loss prevention check (i.e. has anyone stolen anything) occurs at such a time. This can be annoying, however, when multiple returns come in on the same day or even at the same time. As such, it is the job of the sales associate to ensure that the sale of any item in the store has as remote chance of being returned as possible.
Situation: A man walks into the store carrying 8 boxes of shoes.
Immediate Reaction: Oh please, Lord, let him want to exchange them.
Realization: This man walked into our store at some point, purchased a number of shoes without trying them on, and is now dissatisfied with the fit. He also would just like his money back.
Solution: After dealing with the annoying return protocol just to return the gentleman's funds to him, ask if he doesn't mind waiting when he's done with the mile of paper receipts he needs to sign while you finish doing box counts on every single shoe he's returned. Explain to him that in the future he may want to try the shoes or have his foot sized before making a purchase. Consider stabbing him in his throat.
Lesson 3: Respect for the Employees Only Zone
Many times the vision and common sense of a customer will fail them, causing them to enter into areas not designated for use by non-employees. These areas generally include loading zones, stock rooms, offices, and behind the counter by the register and vault. It is the duty of the sales associate to remind customers that they ought not enter areas where calling security might be warranted.
Situation: Customers feel that the most common way to enter or exit the main area of the store is to go behind the registers flanking the door and shuffle between the space created by the employee side of the register counter and the security scanners.
Immediate Reaction: Are you fucking insane? Get the hell away from here!
Realization: This person is fucking insane! Get the hell away from here!
Solution: In a clear, bold tone state "Can I Help You??" in such a manner that other customers notice the literal faux pas and won't becom subject to the same humiliation of dozens of glaring eyes on the offending party distracting the other shoppers from their precious shopping.
This concludes the first chapter, Nuisances to Standard Operating Procedures.