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October 03, 2008
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I hear lots of complaints about the service people get at retail outlets, and I have also had some pretty foul dealings at restaurants and even at stores where I have been forced to advocate for service or have simply walked out, but generally speaking there are a lot of "squeaky wheels" who bring trouble onto themselves and others where there need not be.
The easiest was to get what you want from a store is to 1) Have some concept of what it is you are actually there to buy so that sales people don't have to guess and to 2) Go to a store which actually SELLS what you are seeking. These two things tend to go hand in hand. I work in a store that sells office supplies OFFICE SUPPLIES, not cleaning supplies, not art supplies, not hardware, but things that an office would require along with accessories for those items such as faxes, printers, paper, pens, staplers and the like. I don't have a set of soft 3B pencils because that is an art supply item. Don't try for ten minutes to describe what a 3B pencil is, because I know what a fucking 3B pencil is and I already told you that I don't carry it and also advised you of an art supply store near by that does carry the item. Getting upset because I have a four foot section full of pencils, none of which are 3B and waiting for me to "go to the back" to find the item I've explained three different ways from Friday that we don't carry will not make the item instantly appear. The purpose of the store is to sell things and to make money, why would I hide all of the 3B pencils "in the back" so that nobody could buy them? It doesn't make sense. It doesn't suddenly make sense because you're frustrated by the fact that there is no parking at the art supply store.
Knowing what you want is essential (and you'd be surprised, if you don't work in retail, how many people a day wander in to spend all kinds of money on ??? They don't even know!), but knowing a little too much is annoying. Don't grill a service associate on a product you've already thoroughly researched and try to find any and every way to correct a sales associate. It's pointless, time consuming and it's rude. There are often 2 associates trying to cover an entire department rife with people who haven't the slightest idea what they are buying, since you know so much, could you just ask for what you want, buy it, take it home and enjoy it without subjecting your brand of genius onto the overworked, underpaid associate who most likely has a least one cup of coffee sitting in the break room that's been stone cold for about 2 hours because they haven't been able to get to the back to drink it? You're already a genius, what else do you need? The last few rules are sort of basic. Don't be a douche. Pretty self explanatory. Stick to the Golden Rule of treating others the way you would want to be treated. And, lastly, please take a bath occassioanlly. Thanks :)

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