Tales From Behind The Counter

By @Jdsamuels25
Tales From Behind The Counter

If you think the customer is always right, you've never worked at a place like Kyle's before. Angeline has seen it all--crazy, stupid, and even mean. For the last five years, customers have tormented her daily in over five departments.

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: The Beginning of my Fun Journey into Hell!

I never planned on working retail at all. I wanted to continue at the job I was at since I was making 8.75 an hour in the two years I worked there. I was an assistant to a successful company, and helped them with research. The same research that gave me empathic abilities, and made me able to read their emotions. Of course, I’ll go into detail about it during AngelWitch, my book coming out. They informed me of what I was more than anything. Then, the company was bought out by another and I was laid off. I live in the Crystal Crest realm. After I graduated SouthBend High school I went to a community college. The whole time I was working retail on the weekends, and an extra day during the week. Thirty-two hours, and forget having weekends off since retail has weekends mandatory at times. Those are the busiest times anyway. During the week it’s slow as ****, and Sunday nights suck too. It’s the busiest Friday nights, Saturday around noon and 6. Sunday it picks up around 1pm after the church crowd hits. Holidays suck since it means crowds the day before and on the actual holiday. It means there will be constant register calls, and stupid people with stupid questions. I must have a drink sometimes after work to dull their energy signals/emotions I felt from them. Their emotions can leak into you like a virus corrupting everything.     Feeling their anger, disgust, and rage can have you feeling drained after eight hours of torment. 

I was unemployed for six months after I got laid off, and then I got a job at Kyle’s General Store working retail after I applied to several places. I graduated community college, and then transferred to South Bend University to major in English and minor in History. I live at my apartment off campus and take college classes online. It’s been a wild ride in retail 5 years of it. 5 years of being normal and acting like a normal college student.

My name is Angeline and you will see me in my new book AngelWitch where I finally find my escape from retail, and move on to bigger and better things. This book will have me telling you stories of my time working at Kyle’s in various departments. Retail is not for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. I have long black hair and smoky grey eyes. I’m pale since I don’t get out in the sun much, and to the world I look like a kid since I have a youthful appearance. I have a slim body, and it fits with the Kyle’s General Store outfit. Black shirts with the words Kyle’s General store, and it has to be collared. Black pants even black jeans are allowed. They have added a black vest to the mix so people can identify who works there, but it doesn’t matter. I still have people ask if I work there. There is a name tag on the left side, and it has my nickname Angel for short on it. I love the fact that it’s all black since black is my color. I even wear black eyeshadow and nail polish to match looking like a goth girl. 

It’s easy to get a job when you know someone. I got the job thanks to my guardian Kalisa to get away from it all, but that is a story for another time. After completing the personality test thing, which was easy since you pick stuff to indicated you are a people person. Then there are interviews and the drug test afterward. Then you are put in orientation to get to know the company, and then the two days of mind-numbing modules that don’t give you real world experience. Of course, when you get on the floor they don’t have time to properly train you so then you have to stumble around like an idiot. Then have customers get mad that you don’t know everything in the store even though you just started.

I work weekends and working 5 years in retail is slowly killing me. Yes, I make $11.50 an hour since they changed minimum wage in Crystal Crest. The government decided people need more money, and changed it to make lives better. Retail is not for me though. I can’t stand being around managers that run you to the ground. I can’t stand the customers who want you to break rules just for them, and these are the same people who expect to get a gift card just for them waiting around, “wasting their time and expect you to pay them for it.” when you are running other departments as well as yours. Or, they expect to get special service because they spend a ton of money there. I spend money there too, and some people don’t even need the money who work retail do it to have something to do. Even people with one full time job use retail as a part time one to help with expenses.

One guy wanted a discount for checking out at a different register, and when self-checkouts were installed they wanted a discount for that. As if they are more special than everyone else just because they are the customer. Some customers who don’t like self-check complain about not wanting to pay to bag and scan their own groceries as if this job is beneath them. Or if they go to a cashier they complain over their attitude and the way they bag. No winning there. 

To me sometimes retail customers are not always right, and sometimes they are ******** that love to pick on the sales person and make their lives hell. So if you thought the customer is always right then this is not the book for you. These stories are a collection of mean customers, stupid customers, and proof why signs have to be put in bold lettering in order for some ******* to see. I hope you will laugh with me as I go down memory lane to remember the funniest and stupidest people I’ve ever encountered, and I hope my tips at the end will teach you how not to be an ******* to the person behind the counter.

I work in the jewelry area, and everywhere the managers put me since I’m expected to be cross trained in different departments when the stupid computers don’t know how to schedule people. Sometimes I think it’s because managers don’t look behind the computer too, and if they had then maybe the schedule will be different. My job is mainly the jewelry area, and I show people jewelry. I put batteries in watches only the ones we carry in the store, and the same goes for watch bands. That policy is not mine it’s the companies, but it doesn’t stop customers from trying to get us to do it.

I fulfill personal orders like class rings, name plates and personalized jewelry. They are pretty easy to do and the book tells you how to do it. Of course, the customers there treat the employees like they are stupid and dropped out of school. Some of us go to college, have second jobs, or the older crowd enjoys people and wanted to use this job to get out of the house.

Kyle’s General Store is located off Surrey road, and it offers discount products for a good price. Or so they think. The store was built in a really rich neighborhood, and that means the customers have a lot of money to spend. Customers like them expect to be waited on hand and foot like the store is a high end retail store when it’s not. Not even close, and some of them even expect you to be their personal shopper. That’s what I hate the most since they act like they can’t read the price, and they want you to even help them pick out their own shoes.

They ask questions and don’t even bother looking for themselves. They also have to be led to items in front of them, and they can’t bother to look up and see the department has a sign above it stating where they are when it’s right there. They treat the worker like they are unintelligent people, and the customers are the ones that need help using their own card.

 Customers expect you to be able to read their mind when they tell you about an item they found at another store. Like one lady asked me if we had a particular item, and I could not find it. When she told me her relative got it at another Kyle’s then I knew we didn’t have it. Or they expect you to walk them to the area if they can’t find an item when it’s right in front of them. Some of the customers are okay with me pointing, and it’s hard to know when it’s okay to point or walk them to the area. If we are out then they expect you to go to the back and get it for them. We are out of some items, and we have no way of ordering more since it’s something out of our control. Then the customer gets mad at us as if it’s our fault.

I try to be nice and smile at the customers since there is a ten foot rule only to be ignored sometimes or even mocked by them. It would be a different story if people were nicer, but some of them are not. They don’t even treat workers like people, and especially some managers for example ones like Alex who called us bodies not people or even workers.

Alex Jones is the manager below the store manager Kyle who has been a pain in my side ever since he started working there. Tall, dark haired, and glacier blue eyes. Always had a scowl on his face, and he was an ******* to people telling them about the ruthless point system when they were genuinely sick. He told me that I should be able to hold it in when I told him I wanted to go home after I caught food poisoning. A ruthless *******. 

What they don’t tell you once you sign up for said job is they will put you wherever they need you. Hell, those idiots move you to where they want you to go, and even if you haven’t been assigned there. Managers will be petty, and assign you to places where they know you don’t like it. Kyle put me on the register so many times that I want to bash his ******* brains in. He is an *******. He is tan with blonde hair and blue eyes. He looks like he should be out in the sun surfing instead he is making people miserable at Kyle’s. He doesn’t know how to run a store, and he treats those under him like ****. He expects people to kiss his ass just because he oversees the store. He doesn’t schedule enough people, and makes them work multiple departments without help. Kyle’s is a wasteland full of ******** and misery.

I hate it here since it’s the same old **** day after day, and over the years every day is an ordeal for Kyle and some of the things he does is ******* ridiculous. Kyle gets on the Co-managers, who get on the assistants, and they take it out on the supervisor and then the associates. It’s a vicious cycle, and everyone is stressed out. When corporate comes I know the day is going to be incredibly long since that is when they are the most stressed and horrible to their employees. They complain about stuff not being done when it should have been done weeks ago, and do **** only when the bigwigs are there. It’s ********. Like I got in trouble thanks to Ms.Sniffles thinking I need to be more productive with my time, and I work my ass off for the company. It’s not enough for them sometimes they expect us to have super powers when we don’t.

It also doesn’t make any sense to put me on the register when I’m in a sale area, and you can thank ******* Kyle and the customer service people for your wait at the counter. It’s their fault anyway. They are the idiots pulling people out of their departments just because even a person is waiting in line, and they freak out about it for no reason. Apparently the front end is a priority, and they want to get the customers out as fast as possible. Also, we have to listen to the customer service people, and if we don’t then they tell an assistant manager about it as if I was being subordinate when I was one of the ones on the floor helping with the phones. I never forgave him to this day. 

The rude and stupid customers make me sick since some of them treat the workers like they are stupid.

One ***** even made fun of my math skills when I have a math disability. I mean come on if you want respect from a sales person how about being nice to the person behind the counter, and if you are then they will treat you with respect. If you treat them like **** then expect to get it in turn. I would never go out of my way for you if you are rude to me. I’ll give you some customer service, but don’t expect me to go above and beyond for a rude person.

Customers mess up everything especially after I just cleaned up the area, and I’ve heard a few mothers say, “It’s their job to pick up after us.” When their kid picks up stuff off the floor. I thought people pick up after themselves at least that is what my parents taught me. But apparently, people think a sales persons job is to clean up after adults who should know better. Like a few of the idiots left one of the numbers on the floor, and didn’t pick it up to be nice. Even the daughter just stared at it and left, and I wanted to hit her since it’s not hard to pick something up off the floor. Hell, maybe my old life is better than picking up after idiots.

 And then after treating me badly you wonder why you get bad service? How about as a customer when you need assistance don’t treat me like I’m stupid, and I get it I work retail but that doesn’t mean I deserve to be treated like an idiot. Don’t stare at me thinking I am going to automatically know you need help. Speak up and stop treating me like I am incompetent just because you are horrible at communicating what you want.

Some customers can’t describe items worth ****, or they use different terms as if they are more educated than the person working there. It doesn’t make a person smarter it makes them look like a *******. They also over explain the item to me when they get think I don’t know what they are talking about, and guess what? I don’t one ******* described it to me silently about undies saying they tuck in like she thought I was a *******…Nope. You just suck at explaining. Grunting and showing me what you mean doesn’t help either. And speak clearly and loud enough for me to hear you, and never explain it to me like you think I’m slow. Don’t treat me like I don’t know what an item is just because we don’t have it. A lady and one in a wheel chair were looking for socks, and they were talking to each other rather loudly enough for me to hear them. Guess what they were right by it. But the lady points to me and said in a dramatic way said, “She can help us.” So like a good retail slave I show the idiots the socks even though they were right near it. I show them the brand they were looking for and the wheel chair, “Do you have socks with the waves?” And she continued to describe it to me like I was stupid and had no idea what she was talking about. I told her multiple times if we had it then it would be in the area. I mean if it’s not there then we don’t have it. I can’t pull an item out of my ass that we don’t have. The lady kept explaining it to me over and over again like she thought I didn’t know what she was talking about. Whatever. I just hope the ******* leave before I lose it and yell at them to stop treating me like I’m stupid. That night dealing with those idiots made me want to grab a bottle.

I’ve written down policy changes in the notebooks I carry (which change so ******* often I have to write it down), notes about the job, and some angry customer stories. I want to remember the funny moments, and even the angry customers so I can laugh about them later especially when I leave retail for good.

Retail is not for everyone, and if you don’t have the ability to let **** roll off you then this is not the job for you. I am a sales associate who works everywhere in the apparel area.

I have worked in the fitting room, phones, jewelry, shoes and accessories. I have been working at times throughout all the clothing departments too like: men’s, boys, infants, girls, women’s and lingerie. I’ve even helped out in other departments when I’ve needed to such as toys, housewares, lawn and garden even in the meat and frozen food departments.

Some of the stupid managers made me work there since they don’t have enough coverage in other areas, and they are so shorthanded in their areas they can use others too. Part of the reason customers can’t find sales associates in our areas is thanks to the managers. The managers have a stupid habit of pulling people out of their departments, and then get mad when the associates they pulled from their departments are not straightened. It’s their fault since they pulled the associate in the first place. I hate it since it means I get blamed for not having work done in my department. Yet the dumb managers can’t see how stupid it is to pull from other departments. Not to mention when someone asks me where something is in another department I don’t know where every single item is since I don’t usually work there. Then the customer treats me like I’m the dumb one when they don’t describe the item well and say, “Never mind I’ll find it myself…I thought you would know.” Treating me like I’m stupid just because they suck at describing the item.

Then customers assume we have all the same things when we don’t and different Kyle’s carry different products. The online website and in store are different and unless online is the salespersons area they aren’t going to know how it works. Also, there are third parties on Kyle’s website, and people complain about that when Kyle’s doesn’t have any control over it.

Don’t ask a sales associate about the website, and stop being lazy and look for yourself in store. Sometimes the website is not accurate since it takes 24 hours to register it. Hell, a customer can even leave it on a shelf and have it in their cart.

People act like they can’t help themselves…they can.

Inventory is also wrong, and people call up the fitting room and other areas thinking they have a catalogue of items in their store when they don’t. I can’t look up anything unless I have the universal product code, and that is the ten digit number that is associated with an item. I can also put in a code, and scan it when it doesn’t have a price on there, and even when it does have one a person will still ask if it’s the price…yes, it is what else will it be? Why does it have 4.00 on it? Come on it’s the price *******. 

It’s a job that requires talking to people and showing them merchandise. A job that requires answering stupid questions like a customer wanting to know the price when it’s right in front of them, and directing them to the items they are in front of. Times like those I want to slap the person for acting like a ******* about it. 

I have stories for every section I’ve worked in, and I’m going to share it with you. Sit back relax, and enjoy the ride since these are stories that will laugh, entertain you, and make you never want to work retail ever. There is also a special section for how not to treat a sales associate and tips. I’ve even got a guide to help you around the store so you won’t look like a *******. I don’t think this way of all customers just the stupid ones, and ones who are lazy and rude.

If you have worked retail you will know my pain, and for those of you that haven’t I hope it will be a real eye-opener on how not to treat someone, and you can see the crazy customers a sales associate will encounter on a day to day basis…I hope you will learn to be nicer to the person behind the counter too, and don’t say I’m being rude in here and I should get another job since I will have another one.

It will also help you see why retail associates can be rude and nasty to you since they get **** on by the general public every time they wear the dreaded uniform.

Also, never say these phrases to a sales associate:

“I’ll give you something easy.” Because you think I’m stupid because I work retail?

“I just have a quick question…” that you could have answered yourself had you looked on the last aisle, and you just had to interrupt me while I was with another customer too. I mean come on.

“Do you happen to know?” No, I don’t know **** now **** off, and never ask me like that again.

“Can I ask you for a favor?” No, we aren’t friends *****. Don’t say that to me.

“Item.” Not even an excuse me? Or hi? Some people ask this while talking to their friends, and not even bother talking to me directly. **** you by the way since if you need my help at least treat me like a person.

“I know you don’t work in the area but…” I don’t care since if I don’t work there then I might not know where the item is.

“Oh, are you waiting for me?” No, ******* I was waiting for my shift to end so I can go home, and not be around stupid ********.

“Are you open?” Why the **** do I have my light on? And why am I behind the register if I’m not open?

“You look like you are bored/need something to do…” No, I’m not bored thanks for being an *******.

“Let me put you to work and make you do your job.” Because I wasn’t doing it before?

One ******* wanted to say I was doing nothing since I told him I could not work on his watch since it wasn’t one we carried. I was putting away a cart of shoes actually.

Please stop thinking your clever saying these phrases, and I get it I look like I’m 12 but you don’t need to treat me like I am.

I see day to day how people behind the counter get treated, and I’m sick of it. I should not be coming home crying or ranting because of a rude customer who could not get their way. I should not have to deal with being run around ragged because the managers expect us to have super powers. I shouldn’t be treated like I’m not a human being because I work retail. I’m human too, and I make mistakes too like everyone else. My head should not be bitten off because another person put the item in the wrong spot, or stole something and it’s my fault the other shoe is missing.

The people who say the customer is always right clearly haven’t worked with the general public before.

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