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Old 07-01-2012, 07:10 PM
 
Location: NJ
804 posts, read 1,378,479 times
Reputation: 725

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You are probably asking why this thread is not in the psychology section, but this question pertains to checking out at a store. I'm a cashier at k-mart (I'm 18) and I just had an absolutely hellish day dealing with some of the most difficult and rude people ever. I understand waiting in line sucks, but it's not my fault that two people called out, human resources schedules way too little people for the WEEKEND BEFORE 4TH OF JULY, and the computers CONSTANTLY FREEZE. So not to divulge, but let me explain two crazy occurrences that happened today. As someone's receipt was printing out, my computer froze. Someone just came back from break so I thought perfect, I'll send everyone from my line to his in AN ORDERLY fashion. Well, I tell everyone to go to register 2 IN order, but the 3rd person in line didn't hear. They come up to me ready to checkout but I explain to them the situation. Obviously, by now the line on 2 is very long. Trying to help, I promised to let them be 3rd in line. I go over and politely ask the person that was now 3rd in line on register 2 if those people can go in front of them. This lady throws down herself and then screams, "LET THEM GO IN FRONT. FINE, I've only waited in line forever". She then storms out of the store. I completely understand that she was probably waiting a long time. But, shouldn't she also understand THAT everyone else was waiting a really long time as well. If anything, just politely say no thank you, but I didn't think it was right to make everyone upset around you. Now later in the day, another cashier's computer freezes (in the middle of the transaction after the customer swiped their gift card) so I offer to take everyone in that line. The transaction voided out, but the amount on the lady's gift card was not reinstated (I have no clue why not). So, the manager goes back to check the computer, we end up calling the card issuer, but nothing gets solved. The woman starts giving me an attitude, and she grows increasingly frustrated (I understand the latter but in reference to the former, I don't get why they have to direct their anger at me). If anything, call up corporate and ask them to stop being so damn cheap and purchase some MODERN computers.

So I guess this thread includes two main questions of mine; why are people so impatient/ lack understanding and why do people constantly direct their anger at people who have no control over what happened. Uhhhh I was so upset and stressed out. And lets see I worked 7 hours. Therefore 7*7.25= about 50. After taxes I probably made like 40 and then I go buy gas for 40 dollars. Nice I made nothing and most likely worked harder than some CEO's. Sucks to be on the bottom

***Since I've complained so much and no one probably cares, let me just say that I was so happy to come home and find out my AP exam scores. lol... I got a 5 on calc and 4 on english (sorry to brag but I can't resist, one good thing out of today!)
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,370 posts, read 24,120,799 times
Reputation: 8869
First of all don't take it personally. These attitudes change from town to town. I can go to nearly any retailer (no kmarts anymore) on the Northside and the customers in line are the most annoying PITAs I've ever seen. When go I go to a store in the Southside with the same company, the people are pleasant and understanding. So as to your first question, your store may be in a more affluent area where people want to give off the impression that they are better than everyone else and thus are very demanding (in these area the turnover rate for employees are usually high). In your state I've seen it more often in retail stores North of exit 9 on the Thruway. Just give them the empty apology and treat them as background noise. They have never been in your shoes and their kids won't see a job until after college. It is frustrating and really nothing much you can do except to go home and yell into a pillow and have a pint of Ben & Jerrys.

As to your store and scheduling; The company does not want to pay holiday pay. So the FT employees get their schedules cut by 8 hours and the PT employees get their schedules cut by 4 hours. So basically the payroll percentage doesn't go up because of as holiday during the week.

As to registers freezing, just deal with it. Either press the reset, the power switch or call a mgr. Dont send customer to other lines as that is what front end mgrs are there for. As you see you get no points for it and all its going to do is bite you as you already saw. Also keep in mind Kmart/Sears will use a register until it dissolves. They are extremely slow to update any technology plus they will most likely be out of business in the next few years.

So, Have you applied to Rutgers?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:38 AM
 
Location: NJ
804 posts, read 1,378,479 times
Reputation: 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
First of all don't take it personally. These attitudes change from town to town. I can go to nearly any retailer (no kmarts anymore) on the Northside and the customers in line are the most annoying PITAs I've ever seen. When go I go to a store in the Southside with the same company, the people are pleasant and understanding. So as to your first question, your store may be in a more affluent area where people want to give off the impression that they are better than everyone else and thus are very demanding (in these area the turnover rate for employees are usually high). In your state I've seen it more often in retail stores North of exit 9 on the Thruway. Just give them the empty apology and treat them as background noise. They have never been in your shoes and their kids won't see a job until after college. It is frustrating and really nothing much you can do except to go home and yell into a pillow and have a pint of Ben & Jerrys.

As to your store and scheduling; The company does not want to pay holiday pay. So the FT employees get their schedules cut by 8 hours and the PT employees get their schedules cut by 4 hours. So basically the payroll percentage doesn't go up because of as holiday during the week.

As to registers freezing, just deal with it. Either press the reset, the power switch or call a mgr. Dont send customer to other lines as that is what front end mgrs are there for. As you see you get no points for it and all its going to do is bite you as you already saw. Also keep in mind Kmart/Sears will use a register until it dissolves. They are extremely slow to update any technology plus they will most likely be out of business in the next few years.

So, Have you applied to Rutgers?
Well, all of the supervisors were busy at customer service so the cashiers were literally left with no one to turn to. When we called for a price check, no one came, when we needed change, no one was there. I ran out of quarters and dimes and basically had to rely on the kindness of people to dig into their change (some people are truly nice and they can tell that I care). Also, when the registers freeze, it takes 5 to 10 minutes for them to reboot. For people that is basically an eternity so I thought the better alternative would be to send them over to another line.

And yeah I'm attending Rutgers starting in the fall. I'm going to the business school.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,562 posts, read 52,699,775 times
Reputation: 70850
Customer service is a tough job.

While I have never really seen this behavior in stores here, we do get yelled at by people who have a cut on their finger who are mad that we took a heart attack patient back before them.

First come, first served does not work in the ED...but aholes are aholes regardless of their locations.

Good luck in business school. It was good you worked in retail first. It will teach you a TON about customer service, staffing, flow, etc.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,370 posts, read 24,120,799 times
Reputation: 8869
Quote:
And yeah I'm attending Rutgers starting in the fall. I'm going to the business school.
Its an excellent school. I used to do Statistcal (in relation to economics) seminars there a few decaded ago and really felt like the students cared about the subject I was covering. So here is my advice: Learn as much as you can and put Wharton down as your goal for education after Rutgers.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,618 posts, read 9,689,321 times
Reputation: 10980
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees1212 View Post
You are probably asking why this thread is not in the psychology section, but this question pertains to checking out at a store. I'm a cashier at k-mart (I'm 18) and I just had an absolutely hellish day dealing with some of the most difficult and rude people ever. I understand waiting in line sucks, but it's not my fault that two people called out, human resources schedules way too little people for the WEEKEND BEFORE 4TH OF JULY, and the computers CONSTANTLY FREEZE. So not to divulge, but let me explain two crazy occurrences that happened today. As someone's receipt was printing out, my computer froze. Someone just came back from break so I thought perfect, I'll send everyone from my line to his in AN ORDERLY fashion. Well, I tell everyone to go to register 2 IN order, but the 3rd person in line didn't hear. They come up to me ready to checkout but I explain to them the situation. Obviously, by now the line on 2 is very long. Trying to help, I promised to let them be 3rd in line. I go over and politely ask the person that was now 3rd in line on register 2 if those people can go in front of them. This lady throws down herself and then screams, "LET THEM GO IN FRONT. FINE, I've only waited in line forever". She then storms out of the store. I completely understand that she was probably waiting a long time. But, shouldn't she also understand THAT everyone else was waiting a really long time as well. If anything, just politely say no thank you, but I didn't think it was right to make everyone upset around you. Now later in the day, another cashier's computer freezes (in the middle of the transaction after the customer swiped their gift card) so I offer to take everyone in that line. The transaction voided out, but the amount on the lady's gift card was not reinstated (I have no clue why not). So, the manager goes back to check the computer, we end up calling the card issuer, but nothing gets solved. The woman starts giving me an attitude, and she grows increasingly frustrated (I understand the latter but in reference to the former, I don't get why they have to direct their anger at me). If anything, call up corporate and ask them to stop being so damn cheap and purchase some MODERN computers.

So I guess this thread includes two main questions of mine; why are people so impatient/ lack understanding and why do people constantly direct their anger at people who have no control over what happened. Uhhhh I was so upset and stressed out. And lets see I worked 7 hours. Therefore 7*7.25= about 50. After taxes I probably made like 40 and then I go buy gas for 40 dollars. Nice I made nothing and most likely worked harder than some CEO's. Sucks to be on the bottom

***Since I've complained so much and no one probably cares, let me just say that I was so happy to come home and find out my AP exam scores. lol... I got a 5 on calc and 4 on english (sorry to brag but I can't resist, one good thing out of today!)
As a cashier at a Walmart super store I can sympathize with you. We don't seem to have many problems with our computers/cash registers but once in a while one will freeze up and it's happened to me too. Don't take ANY of this personally and don't let the customers get to you or frustrate you. When they go iinto a store they take their chances that everything will/will not go off without a hitch. I hate having a long line so it's a good thing I'm a fast cashier/bagger but you can't be "perfect" ever. Yes, people DO get impatient about things but it's not YOUR fault so don't take it as such.

Yesterday was a KILLER day at work. Not only were we so busy we didn't have time to breathe, hardly, we were also short handed because people don't seem to have a problem calling off work. I worked my day off because of it. Fortunately I didn't have any really impatient people at my register and very few glitches but one thing to remember...these people are only in your life long enough for you to get them through the line. Then they are gone and you go to the next one. Grouchy people are no fun, to be sure, but you can get through it by telling yourself that they'll only be there a few minutes. I learned to do that as a waitress for many years but they were in my life longer back then. lol

Human beings are strange creatures and when you work with the public you meet ALL of them. You have to learn to go with the flow, don't take things personally and apologize for the inconvenience but don't accept responsibility for it...unless it IS your fault.

Congrats on your scores!!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:02 PM
 
Location: NJ
804 posts, read 1,378,479 times
Reputation: 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDesertBrat View Post
As a cashier at a Walmart super store I can sympathize with you. We don't seem to have many problems with our computers/cash registers but once in a while one will freeze up and it's happened to me too. Don't take ANY of this personally and don't let the customers get to you or frustrate you. When they go iinto a store they take their chances that everything will/will not go off without a hitch. I hate having a long line so it's a good thing I'm a fast cashier/bagger but you can't be "perfect" ever. Yes, people DO get impatient about things but it's not YOUR fault so don't take it as such.

Yesterday was a KILLER day at work. Not only were we so busy we didn't have time to breathe, hardly, we were also short handed because people don't seem to have a problem calling off work. I worked my day off because of it. Fortunately I didn't have any really impatient people at my register and very few glitches but one thing to remember...these people are only in your life long enough for you to get them through the line. Then they are gone and you go to the next one. Grouchy people are no fun, to be sure, but you can get through it by telling yourself that they'll only be there a few minutes. I learned to do that as a waitress for many years but they were in my life longer back then. lol

Human beings are strange creatures and when you work with the public you meet ALL of them. You have to learn to go with the flow, don't take things personally and apologize for the inconvenience but don't accept responsibility for it...unless it IS your fault.

Congrats on your scores!!

Nice to hear thoughts from a fellow cashier. You know what also gets me really angry? When I move on to the next person, and the last customer comes up to me and states, "This was $15.99 but you rang it up as $19.99." Sorry sir, but I don't have control over the prices and there is nothing I could do now but send you over to customer service.

At least I can say that today was a lot calmer day at work. Everyone seems more pleasant and relaxed when there are no lines
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:59 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,521,294 times
Reputation: 17765
I know I have mentioned this before, but if you have the chance, please read the book Nickeled & Dimed : On Not Making it in America . A heartbreaking book by an undercover reporter. You will never complain about poor service in Walmart or a restaurant again.
__________________
******************


People may not recall what you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel .
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:21 PM
 
Location: NJ
804 posts, read 1,378,479 times
Reputation: 725
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
I know I have mentioned this before, but if you have the chance, please read the book Nickeled & Dimed : On Not Making it in America . A heartbreaking book by an undercover reporter. You will never complain about poor service in Walmart or a restaurant again.
thanks for the suggestion. I researched the book on amazon and the premise behind the book is very interesting. The amount of money I make with minimum wage is one of the primary reasons I almost snapped on Sunday when the customer was getting nasty with me. I practically felt like it was not even worth it anymore. I was so close to walking out, but realized I'm not going to make a career in retail so why let her get to me.

Anyways, I'll check out the book soon (got lots of time in the summer lol)
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:15 AM
 
10,357 posts, read 9,388,551 times
Reputation: 15973
Your ask why people are so impatient; in today's world everything moves fast...instant this, instant that. Maybe that's one reason some people are not able to be patient.

As a customer, and observer of people; I scratch my head at those who will spend an hour or more browsing around the store, but when they get to the checkout line they expect immediate service. If they were in such a hurry in the first place why not just quickly get the items they need and get out?

And the ones who get upset when they can't find a parking space right next to the store and have to end up walking a distance from the parking lot....yet these same people will boast about spending an hour or more walking or jogging for exercise.

I agree with everyone who says not to take it personal; but I also respect and appreciate you getting burned out on people harping at you because of situations out of your control.

Working in customer service is a tough assignment; you'll never be able to please everyone. From your posting, it appears you've gone above and beyond to help customers and there's not much more you can do.
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