Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Runaway Mouth

It's not very often that I lose my temper. I mean really lose my temper. You know, where you lose it and your mouth takes over and you have no control over what comes out of it. It takes a lot for me to get to that point. I used to have a really bad temper, but age and wisdom has mellowed me somewhat.

Friday night I worked at my DSJ. (Department Store Job). Friday night I was still feeling pretty miserable, but I went to work anyway. It was a good thing I did because someone else never showed up. I can admit that my tolerance level was pretty low. I went to the cash register to assist a customer with some jeans that were on sale. Or not.

We are running a special on a certain brand of jeans. Buy one pair at regular price and get the second pair for a buck. BUT.....this excludes discontinued styles. I explained to the customer that she had chosen a discontinued style, and that was why the jeans were not ringing up for a buck. This customer felt it necessary to berate ME for this setup.

You see, the discontinued styles are all mixed in with other jeans. This is not MY idea. This is not MY plan. It's just the way it is. As she was standing there reading me the riot act, I lost it. My whole body went numb and then my mouth took over. I looked at her and said, "I don't have any control over how the jeans are set up, I just work here. I'm just doing my job".  My tone of voice was not friendly, I did not smile. I'm sure she could see the hostility on my face. She demanded to see the sign, which I gladly showed her. The poor cashier had this look on her face that said, "OMG! Someone is going to get hurt".

Here's the thing. I have NO desire to cheat someone out of a deal. What purpose does it serve? Did she REALLY think I was arguing with her because I actually don't want her to get a good deal? I know, it's not as if I cursed her out or anything. I know that the customer was not aware of the fact that I felt miserable. I know she was not aware of the fact that I had been working all day. SICK. Unfortunately, my mouth was not aware that she was not aware of my situation.

Luckily we have some really great managers who were very understanding of my plight. I have never spoken rudely to a customer, but I suspected this day would come. I know how I am. I also expected that I would get reprimanded or written up or something. It didn't happen.

Be kind to your department store workers. Remember we don't have any control over the store setup or what's on sale. I was able to clearly point out to her that those particular pair of jeans were not on sale. If you are mistaken or don't read the fine print of sale sign, man up. Take it gracefully. This woman didn't. She insisted on seeing a manager, who gave her the jeans for the sale price. I believe that's bad karma. She pitched a fit to get what she wanted. I wish I could do that.

I told one of the managers about it today. We were talking about karma and the theory that what comes around goes around. She told me a story about a man who stole a GPS system from our store. Directly after that, someone stole his wife's purse. Then he came back into the store and wanted us to call the police.He was told that we would call the police if he returned the GPS that he stole.  That's what I'm talking about. No good can come from ill gotten loot I tell ya.


E said...

This was not so terrible. She was crabby. You were crabby. And no blood was shed.
You guys should get hazard pay for all the mean people you have to meet and greet

Astarte said...

Good for you!!!!!!!

HW said...

Wait...did my mom come shopping for jeans at your store?

I always try to be VERY UNDERSTANDING of store clerks, wait staff, etc. because I grew up watching my mother berate people for things they could not control. It was truly embarrassing and I vowed never to be the one ruining somebody's day like that.

Sounds like you handled it fine. She was out of line.