Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Retail Rant Revisited - Episode Seven - You Want To Do What?...With What?

My days are filled with questions at my day job. This is ok, since the biggest part of my job is customer service, and I actually enjoy helping people for the most part.

But sometimes, customers are extremely vague about what they are looking for, yet expect me to know EXACTLY what they need. As if I can use my super powers to see inside their brains. If I had these super powers, I really don't think I'd be working a retail job.

So on occasion, I get to spend time with a customer, playing twenty questions and wandering around the store in order to figure out that "that stuff that looks like felt, but isn't felt" IS indeed felt.


Other times, customers are so confused, they don't even know where they are. I get asked where the shower curtains are, or the bedspreads. I find myself having to explain that we do not carry these items in an arts and crafts store, and that maybe they should try Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Usually, they nod, their eyes glazing over as they try to recall where they are shopping at the moment. I've even had them laugh and ask me where they are.

And since I am at an arts and crafts store, I get alot of questions from people who are trying to figure out how to something themselves, even if that isn't the best way. This can be fun, since I get to rack my brain with ideas to help others be creative. But sometimes, the questions can be a little, well...disturbing.

For example, a few years ago, I was asked by a man for something clear that you could preserve something in. Of course, I asked what, exactly, he was wanting to preserve. He then proceeded to explain to me how he wanted to preserve his recently amputated leg, because he didn't want the hospital to dispose of it, and he didn't want to bury it. Instead, he wanted to be able to look at it whenever he wanted, because it was a good leg, and deserved the best.

I swallowed hard and convinced him we did not have anything that would be sufficient for that. And then I ran to the break room, too weirded out for words.

Sometimes, I really just want to show someone where the ribbon is, and leave it at that.

*A new one for the list - A customer asked a coworker of mine for a glue that would be sufficient for holding on a toupe. Not at an arts and crafts store, people!

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