Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Training

Well, I thought I saw it all, but obviously I hadn't. Poor, unfortunate people who have the bad luck of being trained during the Christmas rush FOR the Christmas rush (which, by the way, is now in full gear).

A little background.

According to my Christmas ticker, there are roughly 19 days left to drive ourselves crazy insane until Christmas finally arrives (and then, with the blink of an eye, the day will evaporate, leaving us sitting amongst torn tissue paper and kitty chewed ribbons). With this magic number in mind, I decided to do some night shopping, actually, shopping during the evening, since the malls are cuckoo crazy on the weekends.

At the first store, all was good. The service was good, the help was good, everything was good. Happy happy joy joy! I was hopeful that the level of goodness would exist for the other stores that I had planned on visiting.

Hope fizzled away with the next stop. All because of a pair of child's boots (about size 2). It seems there was some system error, whereby a tax was applied to the boots, and the tax should not have been there. The system didn't pick it up. Neither did the checkout gal. Now, it wouldn't have been so bad if she had acknowledged the booboo and then voided the bill, and re-entered the transaction. That would have been okay.

But she didn't do that. Her mouthed gaped open, her eyes popped out, and she just stood there. She didn't call anyone for help. She kept staring at the customer like she had caused the problem by buying said boots. Stare. Mouth open. Stare. Mouth open.

I couldn't take it. The line at the only other cash was finally approachable, and so I moved there, only to find another checkout gal with mouth open. Ready to catch flies. I am now starting to think that in order to work here, you must always look clued out AND must always keep your mouth open in shock. This time the shocked look came from the fact that the item didn't have a tag with a bar code on it. A question was asked of the customer if she knew how much the item was. Customer did not know. She just had to have THAT ONE, and no other one would do. Again the 'I don't know what I am supposed to do' look.

By now I am starting to fall asleep on my feet (and no one is noticing). I want to leave. Now. The price on my little giftie says $6.99. Is it really worth it for me to remain here like this for that? No one is noticing that I am now snoring? So, luckily, I detected a few loose threads in the item, enough to make me not want to buy the thing. So I thought about this for 2 seconds, then left the item at the cash, and left.

I felt pretty good about what I had done. Now, I still had to replace that gift idea (groan), but I was willing to accept the challenge. So I made my way to my car and proceeded to the next place. Again, hopeful that there would be good staff to handle things.

Everything was good (getting scary....). I got the things that I needed to get, and was pretty happy about things. *insert happy dance here*

Until I got to the cash. There were only two cashes open. One was for returns (how can they be returning if they haven't even received their gift yet!!!!!!), and the other was for sales. The cash for the cash had a trainee. Cute kid but fresh in training. So much so that in the middle of my transaction, she was preparing to handle the next custromer who had a return! First, ths wasn't the return spot, and secondly, she hadn't finished with me!

*deep and heavy sigh*...I hope you all heard that.

In the end, I was able to get a few things that I needed to get, and I was free to go home and sigh in the privacy of my home, and think. Think of the poor unfortunate people who get to be trained during the Christmas rush, because the retail establishments didn't have the foresight to figure out that they might need more people.

But of course, they probably couldn't get anyone with the qualifications that I mentioned above, and so we now have the creme de la creme.

Oh well, enough happy rant. Must go and get cup of tea. And check what I bought....just in case.


Mike said...

Tis the season for stupid things to happen that make us irritable. It happens all the time to me. I hate long lines too. I think online shopping is more and more appealing now. Although, I do enjoy some people watching from time to time. This mad dash at Christmas is just too annoying at time for me.

masgblog said...

I know what you mean. The lines were not long, but the idiocy was rampant.

Jeni said...

FOrtunately (I think) I don't have that much shopping to do, plus don't have the means to get out that much, so what little I have to do, I hope won't subject me to this type of service.

However, I know too from many years of working in food service and trying to train new workers - sometimes with a limited amount of time in which to do this -that there are many people who just don't EVER grasp the concept of customer service, nor do they seem to understand the employer's views and needs either.

Barb said...

This is why I shop online.. well.. one of the reasons :)

Yes, I heard the deep and heavy sigh.. and would have loved to see the happy dance!

masgblog said...

I am happy dancing because I need to do it again tonight....and it is snowing like a fiend here right now!

terry said...

i worked in retail one holiday season (i wasn't new tho -- i'd been there for months), and the worst of it was AFTER christmas. and some genius had left my department (one of the largest in the store where i worked) without a manager who could approve returns.

so i spent much of the day running -- in a dress, heels and hose, which were required -- from my department to the nearest person who could approve returns....while the lines at my register grew longer and longer and people's patience grew shorter.

i then started forging my manager's signature on all the returns, because i knew she wouldn't mind.

she didn't. but i hope i never have to work in a department store the day after christmas ever again!