The preceding poignantly pithy phrase points profoundly at the (ok alliteration over) subject material for this particular post (sorry, I'm done I swear).
Now, I have worked in retail. I remember the experience. There are a few elements that make retail hell on earth:
Stupid Questions -
Customer - "Do you work here?"
Employee - "No, I just wear the company shirts to throw you off, SUCKAH!"
Unfounded Anger -
Customer - "Where are your veggie burgers!?"
Employee - "Sir, we don't serve food."
Customer - "Why NOT!? AREN'T YOU SUPPOSED TO PROVDE VEGETARIAN OPTIONS!!!???"
Employee - "We're a record store…"
Price Hagglers -
Customer - "How much for this shirt?"
Employee - "Seventeen dollars."
Customer - "I'll give you sixteen…"
Employee - "Tell you what! You give me eighteen and I'll give you a dollar in change! It will be like you made money."
OR, the ever popular.
Customer - "This doesn't have a price tag on it… I guess it's free"
Employee - "HA-HAAAAAAA… You didn't tell me you were the reincarnation of Andy Kaufmann you sly devil! That was so original, I'll even throw in a shirt for sixteen dollars!"
Customer - "Do you sell snow globes? I need one for my wizard's staff."
Employee - "We do sell snow globes. Why don't you wander in 30 seconds before closing, mill about the store, pick up merchandise and put it down in the wrong place, receive an emergency phone call from your cat, spend five minutes crying in the bathroom, and then explain how the Mormans are actually made of old VCR parts!"
|Miracles of 1980s video technology!|
(I know, that last one kinda applies to ALL customers... oh well.)
The reason I brought up retail is because, I get it, I really do. Working in retail can suck, does suck and will suck. In fact, I'm fairly certain that was the 11th commandment, but God was a bad tipper so Moses "lost" that stone.
But just because the customer can be a dick… for some reason that doesn't make it ok for the salesman to be a dick.
My car recently surprised me by lighting up the magic "Holy FUCK! Something, somewhere, sometime, somehow is WRONG" light (ie: check engine). I found out that my temperature sensor was messed up.
What does that mean? Does that mean that the temperature is wrong, the engine is screwed? No, the engine is fine. The sensor that tells me if the engine is NOT fine is itself not fine. Wooooo!
I was advised to buy some coolant, just in case. So I went to the local gas station for the purchase. Why the local gas station, why not Pep Boys or the like? Well, I buy local eggs, why not local coolant?
Allow me to set the scene. This is one of those gas stations where there is a man inside a bullet-proof cage and all communication with him is tendered through a little air lock. He puts an item in the lock, closes his door, then you can open your door and remove the item. It's like a giant vending machine, only requiring more communication and if your Snickers gets stuck and you kick it, somebody shoots you.
|I don't know where this sign is... all I know is, I want to be there.|
I bought the coolant, he got down a bottle and got it through to me. But on the way to my car I noticed that it was leaking. I turned around and looked at him.
"It's leaking.," I said, and began walking back towards the window.
"No," his voice crackled through the trans-bombproofglass microphone.
"Yes, it is very clearly leaking." I replied, tipping the bottle upside down and letting about a quarter cup of coolant drip down the side.
"It's not leaking very badly," he replied, slowly reaching over and locking the air lock on his side.
When did retail degrade into this level of quality, or lack-thereof? Where do we go from here?
"My steak is burnt"
"Not very badly."
"It's on FIRE!"
"Blow on it…"
Just because working-in-retail's closest living cousin is being-punched-in-balls doesn't make being a bad salesman acceptable. Bad salesmen make customers mad, mad customers make good salesmen mad, etc, etc, into a never ending loop of anger.
This guy looked back at me with the same expression as an enemy jouster just before lowering his helmet. He was daring me to try to return or exchange that coolant, daring me to assault his glass fortress.
"Fine," I sighed. I could have stood there arguing with him… I probably should have… but I just had a feeling I wasn't going to win that one. His resolve was too strong. When a man is determined to be a douche, a douche he shall be.
As for my car? Sure my check engine light is still on, but not very brightly… so it is ok.