When I graduated from High School (about 5 or so years ago) I was voted one of the "Most Friendliest" in the school. This was LONG before Prozac, Celexia, Xanax or any other mood altering drug was available at your local pharmacy. Today, however, I think I'd be voted "Most Likely to Climb Over The Counter and Punch Your Stupid Face In Because You Didn't Say Thank You For Spending Your Hard Earned Money, Thus Giving Me A Reason To Have A Job As A Cashier Here." Do you think I should talk with someone about my feelings towards the incompetent cashiers/flight attendants/wait staff/any retail clerk out there that just wants to irritate me? Or is it just me? Maybe I'm getting old and becoming one of those "old folks" who say things like "when I was a kid, you'd never speak to a customer/adult/man/woman like that. Oh shit. I've become my dad. Seriously though, I think my FABULOUS job that takes me from one coast to the next, on a pretty frequent flyer basis, has jaded me for life.
My job, as a recruiter, is to travel this DIVERSE country and help recruit "top talent" for our new stores that we open every year. (I don't get paid NEARLY enough to endure the "top talent" out there.) On any given Monday through Wednesday I am usually in one mall or Lifestyle Center looking for this "top talent" in hopes to; 1. see this talented individual actually provide superior customer service and 2. actually sell something to ANY customer that walks into their store. This sounded REALLY glamorous when I signed up for this gig, especially since I was a bonafide shopaholic and I figured I'd get my fix so many times a month it would surely keep that monkey off my back.
In actuality it is usually an 8-10 hour day that literally sucks the life right out of me. I don't even know where to begin explaining to anyone the amount of retardation we have in our society. Like yesterday for example, I went to the Barnes and Noble bookstore to find a book that was recommended on one of the blogs I follow. I got to the store, looked it up on their computer (all by myself I might add, since NOBODY was anywhere to be found to help me), and discovered that it was indeed in-stock and in the store and located in a section marked "BRG -BKS." Since I'm not fluent in Barnesandnoble-ese, I headed to the "Customer Service Desk" to ask for help. First off, lets just call this desk what it really is. It's the "I care more about what my co-workers think of the V-cast features on my brand new cell phone that my over indulging mommy and daddy bought me last week, than I do about helping a customer find a book - desk."
After hearing all the latest ringtones on Johnny's new phone, I asked him what BRG-BKS meant and he said (while pointing )that the book was located in the bargain section in the middle of the store. I then, GASP, asked him if he could actually help me find it and of course I got a "look" and it took every ounce of energy I had left NOT to fucking tackle him right there. So, Johnny leads me over to where this book is supposed to be and of course it's not there. But do you know what IS there? A Calvin and Hobbes book that Johnny picks up and starts to thumb through. Impatiently I ask Johnny if perhaps I looked it up in the computer wrong and if there was a way we could look it up again. Translation "hey fucknub do you think you could tear yourself away from the comic book long enough to actually provide me ANY customer service?" Johnny's response? "Oh yeah, there are computers over there (more pointing) and YOU can look it up again." Seriously, had there not been a security person from the shopping center in the store at the time, I honestly don't know what I would have done.
I walk away and thank him for his help (sarcastically) and head back to the computer to start all over. As I'm typing away at the computer on my OWN, Johnny Douche Bag comes up and I swear to you, hovers behind me reading the computer over my shoulder. OK so I lost it. I turned around and held my hand to him and yelled (in my best Dave voice) "No! You are useless and a complete waste of my time. Go away, I will find the book on my own." Or something perhaps a little meaner - I was hungry and honestly just in the bookstore killing time until my dinner was ready for pickup. Not even rattled, he turned and walked away and I never found my book.
OK, Barnes and Noble and every other flat-lining retail corporation out there, listen up. Do you want to turn that P & L statement around? Eliminate your Customer Service department. There were two Customer Service reps working last night and I'm sure that there's more on the payroll. Cut 'em loose. You'll probably see no change in the over all gratification from customers (since we're used to doing all the work ourselves) but your bottom line will improve. Oh, and also at the register, I don't want to buy a $25 SAVINGS CLUB Card to save 10% fucking percent on my $11 sale. I'm no math major (I'm too pretty to do math) but I don't see how spending $25 to save $1.10 is a good thing.
What do you think? Is it me or is there a LOT OF RETARDATION in this world??
Share your thoughts on your recent "customer service" or pleasant sales person.