Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Day After Black Friday

If you guys don't already know this, I work in retail. Still. It's a job that will either kill me early from stress or cause me to lose my mind because I'm holding back so much pent up rage about stupid customers, coworkers, and managers. BUT, the great thing about working in retail is the stories I can produce by the dozen about real people who do stupid things that I cannot exaggerate because the acts are so dumb and petty.

These are my after Black Friday stories.

I've noticed over the last 2 1/2 years of working in my current job that the people who shop on Black Friday are actually polite, patient, and understanding for the most part. Shocking, yes, but also very true. It's the people that shop the day after that I dread. They are rude, impatient, and like to ask stupid questions or argue about unnecessary things. Mind you, NONE of these people are even mad because we are out of something they're looking for! All of their stupidity is based upon things totally unrelated to our Black Friday madness.


Forgive me. I'm a little SLOW today, ha ha.

My coworker was helping a woman on the phone with an issue about a slow cooker. He doesn't use them often and so wasn't sure how to help her and asked if I could take the call. I should have realized, being after Black Friday, that the proper response to his question should have been "Absolutely not." However, I'm naive and thought it would be a quick phone call.

Me: "Good afternoon! How may I help you?"

Customer: "Hi. I had an issue with my Crockpot. My mother made hot stuffing and put it into the Crockpot and turned it on. A half an hour later it wasn't any hotter. It was actually colder! My question is why was it so cold? And is there a temperature I can set it to that it won't cook it any more? Should I just use a microwave, because I can put stuffing in there and it will cook in 30 seconds and stay nice and warm and moist."

Me: "Ok. Just to give you some information, your mother's Crockpot is what is called a slow cooker. It's not meant to heat things up fast. It is designed to slowly cook food in a safe way over a long period of time. That being said, it doesn't heat up quickly. Did she turn it on before putting the food in?"

Customer: "No. She put hot food in and then turned it on. I figured because it was electric it would heat the food up fast, especially since it was on high. So you're saying it doesn't heat up food?"

Me: "No. What I'm saying is that it's  not like a microwave in that it won't heat food up imme..."

Customer: "But I don't understand how the food was colder after turning it on. It was on high."

Me: "Well, she put hot food into a cold ceramic container. If you put any hot substance into a cold container, it will get cold. It's no diifer..."

Customer: "Maybe I should just use a microwave. It doesn't makes sense why it got colder, even after 1/2 an hour."

Me: "It's the same as if you dump hot water into a cold mug. It will get colder because the mug is colder.

Customer: "But she had it on high."

Me: "It's the same as if you dump hot water into a cold pan and then turn on the stove. The water will get colder until the po....

Customer: "I thought Crockpots were supposed to heat food up fast and keep food warm. They're electric! My microwave works faster."

Me: (trying to not scream because she interrupts me and talks over me every step of the way) "It is called a slow cooker. Crockpot is a brand name. Slow cookers heat up slowly to safely cook food over a long period of time. They do keep food warm, BUT unless you are heating up food in them from the start, or turn them on first and get them warm, they will not work the way you want. If you put boiling water into a cold pot and then turn on the stove the water will get colder until the stove heats up the pan. It's the same concept with a slow cooker. If you dump a hot item into a cold ceramic bowl and then turn it on, the food will actually cool off until the appliance heats up the bowl first. I sugg.."

Customer: "We were very disappointed because we had to wait longer. It even dried out the food and cooked it!"

Me: "That is because she set it to a cooking temperature. Warm keeps things warm. Low, medium, and High are designed to cook. I suggest she turns the slow cooker on FIRST, while cooking, so that the container heats up, and THEN after the food is done to transfer it to the slow cooker. It will stay warm on the Warm setting and not cook further."


Customer: "Oh. Ok. I get it." *CLICK*

Not even a goodbye or thank you for me wasting 15 minutes explaining that hot things get colder when placed in cold things. You'd think older women would understand basic cooking and physics.



You underestimate the level of my crotchetiness.

I feel as though I need to point out none of this is an exaggeration, nor am I conveniently leaving out details to make it seem more ridiculous. This is how it happened.

My coworker was at the service desk ringing out an elderly gentleman's items. Following our procedure, she asks if he would like a gift receipt. Her first mistake was coming to work at all.

Coworker: "Did you find everything OK?"

Customer: "Yes."

Coworker: "Would you like a gift receipt?"

Customer: "What?! NO! I DON'T need a gift receipt! I just want a regular receipt!"

Coworker: "That's fine. We just ask in case you need to give anything as a gift or need to ret..."

Customer: "I SAID I DON'T NEED ONE. I just want a REGULAR RECEIPT!!"

*My manager was behind her and decided to step in to maybe try and calm the old man down. His first mistake was thinking he could make anything better.

Manager: "We simply ask as a courtesy that way if you need to bring an item back, you have an easy way to..."

Customer: *points his finger at my manager* "LOOK. I wasn't talking TO YOU. I was talking TO HER. I don't need you jumping in here and YELLING AT ME."

And then the universe turned in on itself and imploded because we asked a question and then tried to explain why we asked.

Go ahead. Ask me if I'd like my receipt in the bag or with me. I DARE YOU.



Honestly, I understand this woman's plight. It's annoying when you want to try out something and it isn't put together and you can't seem to get it right yourself. The lids for these trash cans are hard to get on. But I offered to help her. This woman decided to try to guilt me and try to play the victim. Too bad for her I spoke to a woman earlier who couldn't work a slow cooker and had used up my store of sympathy.

Me: "Did you find everything OK?"

Customer: "Yes."

Me: "Would you like a gift receipt?"

Customer: "Nope. It's for me." *slams money down on counter.

Me: "Receipt with you or in the bag?"

Customer: "With me. You know, I'm really disappointed. I would have gotten the black one but I was stuck with the grey one."

Me: "I'm sorry. Would you like me to have someone get one down for you?"

Customer: "NO. I could reach it. The lids weren't put on, and I couldn't figure out how to get them on, so I had to just get this grey one!"

Me: "I'm sorry. Would you like me to get one and put the lid on for you? They are tricky."

Customer: "NO. I just think you should not take the lids off because people like me are over there messing with them and can't get them on. You'd sell more if the lids were on."

Me: "We get them in without the lids on so that we can stack them."

Customer: "They WERE NOT STACKED."

Me: "No, I'm sorry, I mean to stack them on the top." *I point to our top stock where ALL THE FUCKING EXTRA TRASH CANS ARE. Stacked.

Customer: "Oh. Well STILL it's a bad idea to not keep the lids on because I'm sure plenty of people like me can't get them on and you lose sales because of it."

Me: "OK. Would you like me to get one and put the lid on? We can do a quick exchange."

Customer: "No."
Rocket science in its most complex form. Don't even bother asking for help.

I hate the day after Black Friday. I hope to soon never work in retail again.

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