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it seems that I run around more on 4.5 hour shifts than I do in 8 hour shifts. Last night was one of my very rare short shifts, of which I am not a fan. It’s not the running, that keeps me busy. It’s the fact that, despite keeping busy, not much in the way of work gets done. And today, the running, and the customers contributed. 

First off, I’ll start by saying, there are bad customers, and then there are awesome ones! Those are the ones that make retail worth it! 

I won’t go into much detail, but there’s one customer who has given me a run for my sanity recently. In the few months since I’ve been back at work, I’ve encountered her three times. Each time in person, she’s made me feel like I didn’t know anything about Hardware (not my department), even though I do in fact have a decent amount if knowledge of the department. And she’s made me feel that way because she acts like a woman SHOULDN’T know. Now, I will be the first to admit that, no, I don’t know everything. But I do know some things. 

My encounter with her today was by phone. Please note: if you are calling a store to enquire about an item, give as much detail to help us help you as you can… THE FIRST TIME AROUND. Also, it’s not necessary to give life stories. I was once told of a customer’s incontenece and the fact that certain despots able undergarments give said customer frequent UTIs, and that’s why the needed the other ones. Giving me your backstory and hopes and dreams means less time I have to help others. 

Then there are the awesome customers. The ones that make it seem like your simple act. If pointing out an item is the best thing anyone could have done for them. Or the ones who think you’ve gone out of your way to help them, saying, “Well, you didn’t have to do all that,” or making it seem like you’ve performed a miracle. I’m usually thinking, “Well, gosh, you’ve made my day, thanking me like that,” when outside I say, “Just doing my job!”

I can usually spot the really great ones right away. For example, if I’m standing on a step ladder, and I drop something, and they stoop to pick it up and hand it to me, the I know they’ll be respectful and appreciate. I never ask a customer for help. It’s my job to ask if they need it. 

The ones who will reach over you without warning, or who watch you drop something, right next to them and don’t budge, those are the ones who usually think your their servant. Those are the ones who’d knock vinegar off a shelf, and not tell anyone it leaked. 

FYI: YOU DONT HAVE TO ADMIT YOU MADE THE MESS, JUST TELL SOMEONE ITS THERE! Safety is a priority, right up there with, help the customer and intercept theft. The last thing I want is someone hurt (or covered in vinegar, grody). I could care less about the no accident bonus. I just know what pain feels like, and would like to help others avoid it. 

-c

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