Monday, June 7, 2010

I Need Therapy After the Retail

Since Zoe's birthday was on Wednesday and Father's Day is the day after we get back from vacation, I've had to endure more shopping than usual. As a result, this post is directed toward all facets of the retail industry that are bitching because consumers are preferring to shop online rather than wander into their stores. If you really want us, the consumer, to shop at your store and make impulse purchases from your strategically arranged end caps, here's a tip: STOP SUCKING!

Target: I understand that you aim to please in every aspect, you are obviously making a huge emphasis toward improving customer service, and you want all of your team members to appear educated and knowledgeable. In order to achieve this goal, though, you might want to teach some of your team members to use a little thing called common sense. For example, if a customer is walking quickly and doesn't make eye contact, that's usually a pretty good sign that she knows what she's looking for (birthday gift card, box of Nerds, toothpaste and sandwich bags), where to find it and is probably in a hurry, so requiring a team member to shout "Can I help you find something?" as she's sprinting by is less than pointless, because she obviously knows what aisle the sandwich bags are in. I have had the pleasure of having five, yes five different team members ask me this question within a two minute time frame. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I can occasionally look dazed and confused while standing in the home of the bullseye, but FIVE? That meant that I had to say "No, thank you" five different times, each time with a little more annoyance than the time before. I'm sure the last guy thought I was PMSing or something because the no thank you sounded a lot like "What the fuck, NO! Get off my case!" but honestly, FIVE TIMES? And even if you do say why yes, yes I do need help, I'm looking for crew socks and a new garden hose, Joe Team Member usually just jumps on his walkie talkie and ends up having to ask someone else which, in my opinion, doesn't exactly scream "knowledgeable team member."

Grocery Stores: It's 4:00, so you might want to open up a few more lanes, create self-check out lanes that actually work, quit rearranging the aisles every three months and stop cluttering up the aisles with patio furniture. Also, if you can sell fresh bananas in the cereal aisle you should certainly be able to put a basket of fresh lemons and limes in the aisle next to the tonic. And after the chaos that I witnessed during one recent trip, it might be best to schedule pre-school field trips on the days that don't coincide with free donuts and coffee for the senior citizens. Those two events are bad enough on their own without having to be intertwined into a perfect storm.

Best Buy: Holy crap do I hate this store right now. There is nothing in there that I can't find on, so I rarely even subject myself to the insanity. But occasionally I need something sooner than now and don't have time to wait for even two-day shipping so I head to what I envision hell would be like if the devil wore a blue shirt and sat around in air conditioning. It used to be that trying to find something on the always-changing shelves was the biggest pain in the ass, but I've recently discovered that now the worst part of the Best Buy experience is paying for your crap. During one recent trip (when, shockingly enough, I was in a hurry) I was asked the following questions, and I mostly answered them by just moving my head around since answering with actual words would have resulted in not-very-friendly responses:
  1. Are you ready to check-out? (No, I've been standing here next to the "Please wait here for the next available cashier" sign holding these items because I like to waste my time.)
  2. Are you paying with cash? (This is a weird question. Does anyone use cash anymore? No one pays for even a cookie with cash.)
  3. Do you want to purchase the replacement plan for this video game? (That's the dumbest question ever, and no.)
  4. Do you want to purchase the replacement plan for this DVD? (Okay, I stand corrected. This is the dumbest question ever, and still no.)
  5. Is this a good show? (Yes, since I typically don't pay money to own full seasons of shitty shows.)
  6. Oh, an iPad case. Do you have an iPad? (Oh, that case is for an iPad? I thought it was just for a really big iPod!)
  7. Oh, that's kind of odd. I don't think they make an iPod that big. (Moron, yes, I have an iPad.)
  8. Oooooh, iPad's are neat. (Yes, they are.)
  9. Do you want to have your receipts emailed to you? (No)
  10. You have been selected to receive a discount magazine subscription if you choose to do so. Are you interested? (You have been selected to get smacked in the head if you don't quit asking me all of these questions. And no.)
  11. Are you a Reward Zone member? (Yes, I already gave you my card.)
  12. Oh, yes you did. I'm not usually up here working as a cashier. I'm more of a department manager. (Wow, so I guess they'll give that job to just about anyone then?)
  13. Okay, so please scan your card. Oh wait, did I offer you the replacement plan on the video game? (Yes, you did. And the answer is still no.)
  14. Do you want the receipt with you or in the bag, or would you prefer to have it emailed to you? (Just. Give. Me. The. Receipt. I'm. In. A. Hurry.)
  15. Is there anything else you need? (Yes, but they don't sell beer at Best Buy.)

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