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Monthly Archives: February 2007

Hey, sorry about not updating recently…we got a crapload of snow last week, and I’ve been dealing with digging myself out and a lot of drama. People go cwazies with the wacky wedder. On top of that, we’re getting a store redesign over the next few weeks, and I just know there are going to be a bunch of stupid but hilarious stories that stem from it.

Anyway. The fitting room. Now to talk about it.

There seems to be a delusion of “fitting room etiquette” that I have yet to know about. I guess there was a book published or something that our customers all received, but we didn’t. There are a few things that happen over and over again that I’d like to clarify in here, and perhaps someone can give me a full understanding as to where they come from. Thing is, the standard is REALLY annoying. If all o’ you customers think it’s a corteousy, it’s not. Really. Not joking. Stop.

1. Clothes in the room.

STOP IT. JESUS H. CHRIST WITH COOKIES AND CRACKERS AND GREAT GOBS OF CHOCOLATE SYRUP AND WHIPPED CREAM ON TOP AND ROBERT GOULET DELIVERING IT IN A MINI SKIRT STOP LEAVING THE DAMN CLOTHES IN THE FRIGGIN’ ROOMS!!!

I don’t know WHERE this standard originated, but wherever it came from, the company must’ve closed down and been blown to smithereens. This is not a convenience in any form. In fact, it’s such a damn hinderance it hurts. Several reasons as to why this sucks so much:

A. Many people just up and leave when they do this. They give no acknowledgement that they have vacated the room and left me to pick up after their messes. I’ll take anything so long as it shows me that you are no longer using that room. Sure, it’s rude that you’re making me clean up after you for no particular reason, but I’ll do it. Hell, I’ll take you flipping me off…just give me SOMETHING. This provides a lot of confusion because some people leave their clothes in the room, but come back later. If they tell me, I leave the room alone, and the world goes ’round. If you don’t tell me, and then you come back and yell at me saying “TSK…I WAS JUST RUNNING OUT WITH A FULL OUTFIT OF YOUR MERCHANDISE ON TO GET 30 MORE THINGS! GOD, NOW ALL MY STUFF IS GONE!” I’m not exactly going to be chipper about helping you out. In fact, you’re just an ass, and I’ll probably kick your dog.

B. When you take everything off of the hangers and hang everything on the little hooks when they’re clearly supposed to be hung on hangers (that’s a mouthful o’ sentence right there!), it’s a pain in the ass. Don’t do it. Seriously. Just leave the clothes in a pile like everyone else. I appreciate your attempt to be polite, but it’s just more of a waste of time than anything and lags us all down. Additionally, do NOT just leave the hangers NEXT to the clothes. That’s not exactly how hangers work. This also includes leaving with all of your clothes but leaving 40 hangers strewn about. Just think; does that LOOK presentable for the next person in line?

C. My most hated version of the abandoned clothes is the closed door. Some of the people leave the door open so I can at least look in and see you’re an ass…sorta. But some people just leave the stuff strewn about all over the room and then CLOSE THE DOOR AFTERWARDS.

Explain how in the hell that helps or makes things easy. Please. I beg of you. The only outcome is that I don’t know the clothes are in there, I go to let someone in the room, and I open the door to see what looks like a Chinese sweatshop dumpster. It’s embarassing, first of all…and second, it reflects badly on us. We look like we didn’t do our jobs, but we did. You’re just an ass. Again, don’t do it.

2. The 10 second impatience rule.

There are 17 rooms in the fitting room, and on busy days, we’ll usually have every room full with a line of 3 or 4 people. Simply put, it’s a lot for one person to take care of, even if it’s just putting them in rooms and trying to be nice. Most of the time, on top of just collecting clothing, putting people in rooms and talking, there are sizes to get and opinions to give. I often literally run around the rooms trying to help people. As such, please give me a little time to help you. Don’t expect me to appear at your side, because I CAN’T.

Off the record, I try to treat every customer as best as I can, and make each feel as if I’m focusing on what they need. Many people receive my service as such, and they appreciate it. But don’t jump ahead. I get the jerks that get pissed when someone is asking for 3 different colors of 3 pairs of pants she gave me in 3 different sizes, as if I’m supposed to say “Screw this, it’s taking too long. THEY (points at jerk) look a lot more important.” Again, give me time, and I’ll help you.

3. Refusal of Service.

As I mentioned, I like to try to help every customer. I WANT to. I like seeing people happy because of something I did. Who doesn’t? As such, don’t go behind my back. It agitates the crap out of me. I clearly tell every customer that, if they need anything at all, please don’t be afraid or hesitate to ask. A lot of people take advantage of that. But if you DISTINCTLY need a different size, and I ask if you need help or need a different size and then you tell me NO to my face, then be honest about it. Don’t tell me no, and then whisper to your friend when my back is turned so she can run out and grab the size for you. First, it’s slower. Second, it’s dumber. Third, it really pisses me off. Don’t ask me why; it’s just a pet peeve. If you say you’d rather do it yourself, that’s fine. When it comes to your friends and everything, though, leave them be and let us do our job. Again, it reflects badly, as we look like we’re not doing what we’re supposed to.

4. Impatience Rule Part Deux.

Alright, so you’re out of the fitting room, and there’s stuff you don’t want. DON’T THROW IT AROUND AND WAIT 5 FREAKING SECONDS. If you see I’m helping a customer wayyyyy down at the other end of the room, don’t get pissed because I didn’t run right to you as soon as you came out. Wait a few seconds; that’s all it takes. I get people all the time that just leave the stuff hanging out in the waiting area in the strangest places. Anywhere that you could think it hangs, I have found it there. There is a simple concept to follow: If it looks like it shouldn’t be there or would be a weird place to hang it, it probably is.

5. Blatant disregard.

This is a sign of assholism, which is a rising disease in America. If you’re like this, act now. If you caught the disease early, you just may avoid being a crippled elderly person that sits and watches Jeopardy every night by themselves. I get the few (very few) people that distinctly see me taking items from other customers. What do these people do? Why, ignore me, of course! They first throw the little door hanger on the bench, and then either leave in a snobby, pissed off sort of way with all their shit, or they throw the items they don’t want anywhere. This generally conincides with cart throwers, who see any cart and, for some reason, think it’s a return cart. I’ve even had people put clothing in a cart WHEN A CHILD WAS STANDING UP IN IT. If you are that inattentive or that STUPID, please, go home, and don’t purchase anything. Seriously, we don’t want you representing our brand, and we don’t need more stupid people coming back with you.

So there you have it, there are 5 major chapters in this supposed handbook that all customers receive without us knowing. At the moment, those are the ones that stick out like sore thumbs, but I assure you, there are many more, and they WILL be posted. No one is safe, because I contracted assholism a long time ago. I just hide it well.

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An interesting story for today…

Twas a slow day…a Sunday, actually, and there was hardly anyone in the store…employee or otherwise. I was by my lonesome in the ol’ FR, and I had a portly woman come in with her son to try on some sweatpants. She was wearing an essential sweatsuit herself, so I figured hey, why not match? She was only the third customer I had in the store actually pass by me, so I still had my game face on. I cheerfully informed her that she should tell me if she needs help, an opinion or a lobotomy…the former two being the most likely success rate…she should let me know. She chuckled at this, smiled and thanked me.

After a short while, she popped out and told me she was going to grab him some khakis we had on sale because he needed dress pants. This was nothing out of the ordinary, so I smiled and said I’d be there when she got back. She returned a short while later, tossed the pants over the door to her begrudging son, and said she’ll be out in a minute and for him to leave his pants on so she could see them. She waltzed into the bathroom.

Again, shortly thereafter, she came out looking worried. Her hands were over her mouth, and she looked preoccupied. I came up to her and asked her if everything was alright. The following conversation ensued:

Woman: What do you think the likelihood of me flushing my cell phone down the toilet is?
Me: …excuse me?
Woman: I think I dropped my cell phone in the toilet and flushed it. I don’t know what to do.
Me: Ma’am, I’m sure you just misplaced it someplace. Retrace your steps really quickly around the store. I’ll make sure someone keeps calling so you can hear it ring.
Woman: Okay, but I really don’t think it’ll be there. I’m gonna check my car, too.

And she left. She wandered around a bit, and the conversation started to break out over the walkie about it. I’m a bit of a jokester (you’d NEVER be able to tell from this blog, eh?), so at first, no one believed me. Then, I heard a coworker (we’ll call her Pat) ask over the walkie if I found a cell phone in the toilet back in the FR. I explained quickly what was going on, and my story then became legitimate. The woman ran out to her car, and Pat came back to the fitting room.

Pat: So what’s going on here?
Me: Well, not much that I can see. I think she misplaced her phone in the store somewhere, but she’s pretty insistent that she flushed it.
Pat: How can you do that? The hole’s not big enough.
Me: Yeah, it is. The customer checked it out. It could fit a pretty sizable object.
Pat: Wouldn’t it be too heavy to flush?
Me: You would think that, but apparently our industrial toilets are accustomed to flushing something the size and weight of a baby elephant.
Pat: …alright, I’ll be right back.

She went into the room. Meanwhile, the woman returned, looking more panicked than ever.

Woman: I can’t find it anywhere! I must’ve flushed it!
Me: What makes you think that, ma’am?
Woman: Well, I know I came in with it because I was talking on it. I didn’t hear it in the store anywhere, and I think I heard a clunk just before I flushed. These pockets are really loose.
Me: You’re sure?
Woman: Yes…oh god, my husband’s gonna kill me! I lost some money this week…a sizable amount, and now I just flushed my brand new $350 cell phone!

Okay, so yeah, that’s pretty bad. I didn’t want to do upset her further, though, so I did my best to reassure her and calm her down. Pat came out of the women’s bathroom.

Pat: Yeah, I didn’t see any cell phone in there. I even stuck my hand in to see…nothing. The pipe actually goes up, so it must’ve really had a tough time going down.
Woman: Oh god…do you know where the sewer system goes?
Me: I doubt the phone would actually work after being submerged for so long.
Pat: Yeah, and I think it’s stuck in the bowl at the back of the toilet; you’d have to take the whole thing out in order to get at the tank.

The woman, more distressed than ever, leaves, head in her hands. She asked us both very kindly to call her at her home if a cell phone “with a little kitty on the cover” turned up. Her son, fed up, ran out of the room back in his own clothes, and chasing after his mother with pants in hand.

His last words were tragically appropriate: “Mom! These pants fit! Are we gonna buy ’em?!”

See you next week.