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(Bored Panda)   Working retail is a special kind of hell   (boredpanda.com) divider line
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615 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 26 Oct 2020 at 11:54 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-10-26 8:44:27 PM  
Retail work should be an absolute requirement for every single person. At the minimum a 3 month sentence just so you can get a tiny bit of perspective.
 
2020-10-26 8:51:24 PM  
Specifically big box retail is a special level of shiatty. Did my time for about seven years in a high volume store. It always frosted me that the first thing they went to every time was cutting payroll or insisting you had options to make more by pushing farking credit cards.
 
2020-10-26 8:58:45 PM  
Before  changing careers I was in retail management for 15 years. I'm still looking for the rest of my soul.

"What do you mean I can't get a nickel back? The coupon says 50 cents off and it's on sale for 45 cents"
 
2020-10-26 9:40:46 PM  
I have just a  bit of retail experience here and there. That was enough.
 
2020-10-26 9:49:19 PM  
Okay, this made me laugh.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-10-26 9:55:50 PM  
Did 7 years at Radio Shack.

The clusterfark that is 2020 almost has it beaten.

Almost.

People are assholes.
 
2020-10-26 10:25:47 PM  

Calypsocookie: Retail work should be an absolute requirement for every single person. At the minimum a 3 month sentence just so you can get a tiny bit of perspective.


I've often said, if everyone had to work in retail or food service for at least a year, they'd be a hell of a lot nicer to service industry workers.
 
2020-10-26 10:36:01 PM  
I worked retail through college in southern Oregon. My "favorites":

Being asked "how much is this?" on sale items, and I'd take the customer over to the rack and say "well the sign says..."

Working the intimate apparel department at Mervyn's, where women would steal new underwear and leave their nasty-ass old underwear in our changing rooms.

The time I found a loaded diaper on the shelf at Fred Meyer, because some trashy biatch decided to open a new box of diapers to change her kid right there in the aisle. And it wasn't even my assigned department. Ugh.

Getting yelled at by toothless mountain men from Rogue River or Grants Pass because we were sold out of a particular item and, even though I was allowed to substitute a higher priced product at the same price, nope, that wasn't what they wanted.

/outside of Portland, Eugene and Ashland, Oregon gets real hillbilly, real fast
 
2020-10-26 11:49:23 PM  
9 years of my life. Midwestern walmart like store. I still go there and run through the store as fast as possible. It makes me ill just being in there.
 
2020-10-26 11:59:18 PM  
This list is maybe 10-20 different things repeated up to several times.
 
2020-10-27 12:17:50 AM  
Retail didn't used to totally suck. It wasn't paradise by any means, but it wasn't an unending shiatshow of delusional "management" and obnoxious psychotic entitled customers.

An IT career in retail? That sucked. Hard. Never again.
 
2020-10-27 1:12:41 AM  
I stopped at 20 dollars an hour, nurses start just a little bit above that,

Maybe everyone should be making more but if a cashier thinks 20 dollars an hour what do they think other people should make
 
2020-10-27 1:16:08 AM  
I put in my time on the sales floor of an OfficeMax.  The foot pain alone was its own torture..  plus the soft rock radio station they always had on.
 
2020-10-27 1:19:29 AM  
Never worked retail, but I worked at a subway.

One time, we ran out out of mayonnaise. I posted a note on the door, on the wall near the menu board, on the glass over the bain (the big cooler full of vegetables).

Probably 40 people asked me to put mayo on their sandwich.

I'm always nice to service people, until the prove to be incompetent.
 
2020-10-27 1:23:19 AM  
While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.
 
2020-10-27 1:27:34 AM  

Glockenspiel Hero: While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.


One of the things you learn the people that usually end up doing inventory are there kind of in detention, the best people never want to do it, managers don't want to alienate them, end up with the people that screw up counting
 
2020-10-27 1:42:59 AM  

WillofJ2: Glockenspiel Hero: While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.

One of the things you learn the people that usually end up doing inventory are there kind of in detention, the best people never want to do it, managers don't want to alienate them, end up with the people that screw up counting


My experiences in inventory management are all from the military side, where you do serious investigations if stuff turns up missing and I once got my ass chewed when I missed a single item in a 30-truck LOGPAC.  The guy who does inventory for my group now used to be in logistics in the Marines, so I'm used to knowing what we have.  (Or at least, just asking him- he'll let me know when we need more)

/Yeah, S4 was an ass.
//Dude, it's a stretcher, I've got my Hummer and the medics are all of two klicks away.  It's handled.
 
2020-10-27 1:54:00 AM  
I worked at a comic book store for awhile back in the early 90s. The back room absolutely looked like the pic on the right.
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-10-27 2:14:03 AM  

Glockenspiel Hero: WillofJ2: Glockenspiel Hero: While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.

One of the things you learn the people that usually end up doing inventory are there kind of in detention, the best people never want to do it, managers don't want to alienate them, end up with the people that screw up counting

My experiences in inventory management are all from the military side, where you do serious investigations if stuff turns up missing and I once got my ass chewed when I missed a single item in a 30-truck LOGPAC.  The guy who does inventory for my group now used to be in logistics in the Marines, so I'm used to knowing what we have.  (Or at least, just asking him- he'll let me know when we need more)

/Yeah, S4 was an ass.
//Dude, it's a stretcher, I've got my Hummer and the medics are all of two klicks away.  It's handled.


My experience is in a couple summers of part time retail, "shouldn't there be 5 of these? Check the inventory. I am. Who did inventory? tim.  The guy that doesn't know how many numbers are in his social? Yup. Why was he doing it? No one else would."

That conversation in many forms the days after inventory, definitely not military, I always wondered how much just was written of, they apparently has an allocation for damaged or missing, and it was finger pointing till no one cared.
 
2020-10-27 5:04:55 AM  
I'm sure employees hate this too - opened Hot Wheels packages, random corn dogs.  Some people suck.

OTOH, someone around my town goes through all the Hot Wheels and leaves them neatly sorted - probably after taking all the best ones, but whatever.  I lack the patience for that.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-10-27 5:12:38 AM  

I should be in the kitchen: I worked retail through college in southern Oregon. My "favorites":

Being asked "how much is this?" on sale items, and I'd take the customer over to the rack and say "well the sign says..."

Working the intimate apparel department at Mervyn's, where women would steal new underwear and leave their nasty-ass old underwear in our changing rooms.

The time I found a loaded diaper on the shelf at Fred Meyer, because some trashy biatch decided to open a new box of diapers to change her kid right there in the aisle. And it wasn't even my assigned department. Ugh.

Getting yelled at by toothless mountain men from Rogue River or Grants Pass because we were sold out of a particular item and, even though I was allowed to substitute a higher priced product at the same price, nope, that wasn't what they wanted.

/outside of Portland, Eugene and Ashland, Oregon gets real hillbilly, real fast


I had a table once change a dirty diaper on their table, then flag me down to take it away.
 
2020-10-27 5:15:19 AM  
I hate the in stock thing online. It isn't always the customer's fault.

I get that 2 could be left and they get sold, but I've been told websites often only update a couple times a week.

Sometimes if you call to check they lie, then you get there and hear "oh, we ran out of those days ago". Well, fark you too then.
 
2020-10-27 5:15:52 AM  

Smackledorfer: I hate the in stock thing online. It isn't always the customer's fault.

I get that 2 could be left and they get sold, but I've been told websites often only update a couple times a week.

Sometimes if you call to check they lie, then you get there and hear "oh, we ran out of those days ago". Well, fark you too then.


I mean, fark the person on the phone and the store, not the guy I run into telling me they are out.
 
2020-10-27 5:55:25 AM  
I worked retail when I was working my way through college.  In a gas station.  Before pay at the pump, when every single person had to come into the station.

That was in the 80s, and I still hate people on general principle.
 
2020-10-27 6:58:13 AM  

Glockenspiel Hero: While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.


I don't even depend on that anymore. If you buy it from their online store and do the in store pick-up, they are forced to go find it.
I do this with Home Depot.
 
2020-10-27 6:58:25 AM  
Add pharmacy into the mix.

"It wasn't that expensive last time!"

A) yes it was
B) you have a deductible, complain to your insurance
3) you have a new insurance plan
Threeve) that was at another pharmacy
¥) the prior authorization expired
§) the manufacturer's coupon expired

/usually option A
 
2020-10-27 7:59:58 AM  

Smackledorfer: I hate the in stock thing online. It isn't always the customer's fault.

I get that 2 could be left and they get sold, but I've been told websites often only update a couple times a week.

Sometimes if you call to check they lie, then you get there and hear "oh, we ran out of those days ago". Well, fark you too then.


Wait... people build an inventory tracking system that synchronises with the website, but only once every few days? I swear that sounds harder to build than a live update for each sale.
 
2020-10-27 8:12:50 AM  

Glockenspiel Hero: While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.


The database likely doesn't update as fast as transactions happen.  Maybe it updates once an hour or so-  probably less frequently. So yeah if you're seeing only a couple of items?  There's a distinct possibility they're gone when you get there.
 
2020-10-27 8:20:25 AM  

DerAppie: Smackledorfer: I hate the in stock thing online. It isn't always the customer's fault.

I get that 2 could be left and they get sold, but I've been told websites often only update a couple times a week.

Sometimes if you call to check they lie, then you get there and hear "oh, we ran out of those days ago". Well, fark you too then.

Wait... people build an inventory tracking system that synchronises with the website, but only once every few days? I swear that sounds harder to build than a live update for each sale.


Let's use my employer as an example.

Every day, we have ten items to spot check for inventory, out of several thousand (the cosmetics wall is insane). If a cashier misses scanning an item, the count is off. If they scan three of the same thing rather than each item individually (three coke instead of one regular and two diet) the count is off. Theft is rampant in retail, leading to the counts being wrong. Sometimes we'll get a case of Zyrtec 30s from the warehouse, but it's labeled as a case of Hot Wheels. There's a bin of items in the stock room that were damaged/returned, but not yet scanned out. Even in our internal system, if I check another pharmacy's stock for a prescription, it's a day behind.

But yeah, a couple updates a week seems goofy vs. having it update nightly.
 
2020-10-27 8:40:26 AM  

kittyhas1000legs: DerAppie: Smackledorfer: I hate the in stock thing online. It isn't always the customer's fault.

I get that 2 could be left and they get sold, but I've been told websites often only update a couple times a week.

Sometimes if you call to check they lie, then you get there and hear "oh, we ran out of those days ago". Well, fark you too then.

Wait... people build an inventory tracking system that synchronises with the website, but only once every few days? I swear that sounds harder to build than a live update for each sale.

Let's use my employer as an example.

Every day, we have ten items to spot check for inventory, out of several thousand (the cosmetics wall is insane). If a cashier misses scanning an item, the count is off. If they scan three of the same thing rather than each item individually (three coke instead of one regular and two diet) the count is off. Theft is rampant in retail, leading to the counts being wrong. Sometimes we'll get a case of Zyrtec 30s from the warehouse, but it's labeled as a case of Hot Wheels. There's a bin of items in the stock room that were damaged/returned, but not yet scanned out. Even in our internal system, if I check another pharmacy's stock for a prescription, it's a day behind.

But yeah, a couple updates a week seems goofy vs. having it update nightly.


Ah, but those are manual corrections. That is a different story. I expect stock continuously updates with every sale.

I worked retail for 6 years, and we had to do corrections every once in a while (mostly at the end of the day when people would pass by the shelves to see if stuff was running out and what the automated order system said about it), but it updated with every sale/return.
 
2020-10-27 8:57:56 AM  

WillofJ2: I stopped at 20 dollars an hour, nurses start just a little bit above that,

Maybe everyone should be making more but if a cashier thinks 20 dollars an hour what do they think other people should make


Don't get mad at paying retail workers more. Ask instead why nurses make so little.
 
2020-10-27 9:04:52 AM  
Csb time about when I worked for a home improvement big box:

The light bulb aisle and the primary lighting and electrical salesfloor at my store were about as far apart as the Sun and Alpha Centauri most days because between my primary zone and light bulbs was home decor, paint and appliances, with the black holes of plumbing and indoor seasonal nearby.  Anyway, two older customers approached me because the two appliance specialists were busy getting overrun with customers and these two customers wanted a filter for their fridge that they couldn't find.

Me: Ok let's take a look...  **Checks the shelf, nothing there.  Checks inventory, none in stock.** "I'm sorry but we are out of stock and we aren't presently scheduled to receive more at the moment.  However if you need the item today, the store three miles from here has ten in stock and I can call t-"

The customers begin throwing a temper tantrum that they're not driving three miles more for a fridge filter and that they don't want to wait long.  I call my boss who tells me to just handle it.  I ask him if that means an interstore transfer and he tells me to do what's necessary.  I call the other store, I speak with someone in the department, I set up the interstore transfer and get a general eta from receiving and have the customers pay for the item.

In the meantime I am called into the office to explain the interstore transfer (my manager didn't have my back on that and the whole sale was a complete wash in terms of money, we'd lose money on the sale so no one wanted to take blame for that one) and one manager even suggested I buy the filter myself and return it at our store (against policy at minimum, and as I explained to my boss: "you don't pay me enough to buy fridge filters").

So the promised day arrives, truck rolls in, no filters.  I call the nearby store, the person working the desk says they don't have any and I got lectured about why I should call first and not trust the computer (and they hung up before I could explain that I had in fact called and had them confirm the count and set aside the filters).  So the customers stroll in and start raising hell over a $50 fridge filter and how I had lied to them and how they now wanted it brought in and their money returned.  Management threw me under the bus to appease the customer, gave some vague promises to the customers and got them out of the door.

Yeah I don't miss home improvement retail, especially working lighting and electrical.
 
2020-10-27 9:11:17 AM  

DerAppie: I expect stock continuously updates with every sale.


We only just recently abandoned the AS/400 for the non-pharmacy part of the store.  Lower your expectations.

/pharmacy is still AS/400 for inventory, and a proprietary 90's system for rx processing
 
2020-10-27 9:58:24 AM  
I worked for Kroger for 3 years.  Produce inventory went something like this:
Manager: How many apples in a pound?
Me: 4-5 depending on size
Manager: Go with 4, then count all the apples.
Me: 872 apples total, x number of x variety
Manager: Count them all as X variety, since it is more expensive

There was the time a lady slit open the bag a frozen turkey was in, slid the turkey into a diaper bag, and stuffed the turkey bag with diapers and put it back in the freezer.

Then there was the time these drunks took antifreeze from the automotive aisle and poured it into the freezers.

Or the time, these 3 drunk girls came in around 11pm and started flashing every employee they could find.

Or the time I was working as assistant floral manager because Valentine's day. I had mono and an insanely high fever, but I couldn't find someone to cover my 14 hour shift.  Happy Valentine's motherfarkers.
 
2020-10-27 10:04:51 AM  
I worked part time at the local department store, starting in high school and continuing through college (mid-to-late 70s).  A lot different than today.  No bar codes, no automated inventory tracking, no registers that would figure out how much change was owed (had to do that in your head).

Most of the customers and co-workers were great, but there were always a couple of assholes.  Small town, so you got to know who these clowns were.

Today, if I'm shopping and the retail clerk is making an effort to be competent, I'm very understanding.  I've been there myself.  If the clerk doesn't give a crap, neither do I.
 
2020-10-27 10:12:18 AM  

I should be in the kitchen: Calypsocookie: Retail work should be an absolute requirement for every single person. At the minimum a 3 month sentence just so you can get a tiny bit of perspective.

I've often said, if everyone had to work in retail or food service for at least a year, they'd be a hell of a lot nicer to service industry workers.


You know, you'd think...
 
2020-10-27 10:17:33 AM  

peasandcarrots: I should be in the kitchen: Calypsocookie: Retail work should be an absolute requirement for every single person. At the minimum a 3 month sentence just so you can get a tiny bit of perspective.

I've often said, if everyone had to work in retail or food service for at least a year, they'd be a hell of a lot nicer to service industry workers.

You know, you'd think...


I went from 3 years in retail, to 7 in restaurants. After nearly burning my foot to the bone with boiling water, I noped outta the food service industry. Still in customer service as a Helpdesk Manager in IT, but damn me if I ever go back to retail.
 
2020-10-27 10:36:51 AM  
Only time I ever got "written up" at work, I was working at a grocery store the week before Christmas, I must have had 20 people in my line, so I was trying to go as fast as I could.  An old lady wanted to argue over a 10 cent coupon for something, it wasn't even the brand she had picked out.  She just wouldn't stop. She asked me to call for a manager, but I knew that it would take forever.  So I reached in my pocket and gave her a quarter and told her to keep the change.  She was happy and the people behind her even clapped and the manager was behind me and wrote me up because it was against store policy for me to give people money.  Arsehole!
 
2020-10-27 10:58:49 AM  

DerAppie: Ah, but those are manual corrections. That is a different story. I expect stock continuously updates with every sale.

I worked retail for 6 years, and we had to do corrections every once in a while (mostly at the end of the day when people would pass by the shelves to see if stuff was running out and what the automated order system said about it), but it updated with every sale/return.


I used to work at a Barnes & Noble in the early 2000s. It does update with sales/returns but the problems occur if the item leaves the store without going through that system. And not just theft - there was also the elevator shaft. We had to clean that out once a year or so, either from mischievous customers (i.e. kids) or books falling off the cart as it was dragged over the gap.

You could fix it with an audit, but doing a full inventory was literally an overnight operation - we'd work from 12am to 6am with a company like RGIS to reset stock and it was grueling.
 
2020-10-27 11:01:20 AM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: DerAppie: Ah, but those are manual corrections. That is a different story. I expect stock continuously updates with every sale.

I worked retail for 6 years, and we had to do corrections every once in a while (mostly at the end of the day when people would pass by the shelves to see if stuff was running out and what the automated order system said about it), but it updated with every sale/return.

I used to work at a Barnes & Noble in the early 2000s. It does update with sales/returns but the problems occur if the item leaves the store without going through that system. And not just theft - there was also the elevator shaft. We had to clean that out once a year or so, either from mischievous customers (i.e. kids) or books falling off the cart as it was dragged over the gap.

You could fix it with an audit, but doing a full inventory was literally an overnight operation - we'd work from 12am to 6am with a company like RGIS to reset stock and it was grueling.


Like I said, manual corrections. But you still had continuous updates rather than once every few weeks like the initial sub-thread post said.
 
2020-10-27 11:09:08 AM  
Worked at a Zayres in the mid-80s for my senior year in HS.  I forget what it was called but bottom-rung floor associate stuff.  The store manager was super-chill, which was a huge relief compared to the arseholes who ran the McDonalds I worked at previously.  That Xmas I was assigned to the toy dept -- it was just before the end of the Cabbage Patch Kids craze; we'd gotten a huge truckload of them, and he'd put out maybe a pallet full and get on the speaker "we just got a special shipment" ...and like *everybody* in the store made a beeline to it and they'd be snarfed up instantly.  Rinse/repeat a few times a day.  In-between, I'd get asked "are there any out back" and I had to be all "oh gee, I dunno, it might be a while before the next truck shows up".  And there are freakin' stacks of the things back there.  It was fun, and hilarious.

Eventually backfired, because people were starting to get picky shortly after; the plain ones without pacifiers or whatever weren't desirable anymore.  By February, an entire aisle was dedicated to the picked-over leftovers, and they were still there in to the spring if I recall.

Anyway, brand-name retail definitely sucks these days, and I count myself lucky for actually getting to have fun with it "back in the day"
 
2020-10-27 11:14:03 AM  

DerAppie: Like I said, manual corrections. But you still had continuous updates rather than once every few weeks like the initial sub-thread post said.


True.  Tangentially, my old man did a stint for Dress Barn as a developer a few years ago. If his experience there was indicative, the whole company is neurotic management  who won't pay worth a damn, so it wouldn't surprise me that Smackledorfer's store has some f*cked-up web implementation.

At B&N 20 years ago, the inventory system was internal and wasn't web-facing at the time.

It was one of those things we learned the hard way - if a customer calls by phone and asks if you have a specific book and the inventory system says we have one of it, get that book in your hand before telling the customer you have it.

It sucked making someone wait on hold but that was better than having them drive in to find out we were mistaken.

That was one of the better retail gigs and it was still sub-poverty wages.
 
2020-10-27 12:04:17 PM  
I worked at Crappy Tire back in the day. I had a few bad customers but what I really remember were the other morons I had to work with. For example, the guy who went to the back to fetch a customer a new toilet. He promptly forgot about the customer and then took his lunch break. Or the employee who stole food from the checkout lanes and wouldn't lift a finger to do anything. It was fun when they canned his ass. I even remember my coworker who was like Louie Anderson with "...a year or two I make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in." But the best were the auto parts guys that hid from customers all day, to the point that thieves made off with tens of thousands of dollars in stereo equipment without anyone noticing for days.
 
2020-10-27 12:08:41 PM  

DerAppie: kittyhas1000legs: DerAppie: Smackledorfer: I hate the in stock thing online. It isn't always the customer's fault.

I get that 2 could be left and they get sold, but I've been told websites often only update a couple times a week.

Sometimes if you call to check they lie, then you get there and hear "oh, we ran out of those days ago". Well, fark you too then.

Wait... people build an inventory tracking system that synchronises with the website, but only once every few days? I swear that sounds harder to build than a live update for each sale.

Let's use my employer as an example.

Every day, we have ten items to spot check for inventory, out of several thousand (the cosmetics wall is insane). If a cashier misses scanning an item, the count is off. If they scan three of the same thing rather than each item individually (three coke instead of one regular and two diet) the count is off. Theft is rampant in retail, leading to the counts being wrong. Sometimes we'll get a case of Zyrtec 30s from the warehouse, but it's labeled as a case of Hot Wheels. There's a bin of items in the stock room that were damaged/returned, but not yet scanned out. Even in our internal system, if I check another pharmacy's stock for a prescription, it's a day behind.

But yeah, a couple updates a week seems goofy vs. having it update nightly.

Ah, but those are manual corrections. That is a different story. I expect stock continuously updates with every sale.

I worked retail for 6 years, and we had to do corrections every once in a while (mostly at the end of the day when people would pass by the shelves to see if stuff was running out and what the automated order system said about it), but it updated with every sale/return.


Ya, it sounds absurd, and I don't know from anything but secondhand experience. But it's been told to me by multiple employees at this point.

So I no longer trust website stock claims at all.
 
2020-10-27 12:15:16 PM  

WeatherNerd: Csb time about when I worked for a home improvement big box:

The light bulb aisle and the primary lighting and electrical salesfloor at my store were about as far apart as the Sun and Alpha Centauri most days because between my primary zone and light bulbs was home decor, paint and appliances, with the black holes of plumbing and indoor seasonal nearby.  Anyway, two older customers approached me because the two appliance specialists were busy getting overrun with customers and these two customers wanted a filter for their fridge that they couldn't find.

Me: Ok let's take a look...  **Checks the shelf, nothing there.  Checks inventory, none in stock.** "I'm sorry but we are out of stock and we aren't presently scheduled to receive more at the moment.  However if you need the item today, the store three miles from here has ten in stock and I can call t-"

The customers begin throwing a temper tantrum that they're not driving three miles more for a fridge filter and that they don't want to wait long.  I call my boss who tells me to just handle it.  I ask him if that means an interstore transfer and he tells me to do what's necessary.  I call the other store, I speak with someone in the department, I set up the interstore transfer and get a general eta from receiving and have the customers pay for the item.

In the meantime I am called into the office to explain the interstore transfer (my manager didn't have my back on that and the whole sale was a complete wash in terms of money, we'd lose money on the sale so no one wanted to take blame for that one) and one manager even suggested I buy the filter myself and return it at our store (against policy at minimum, and as I explained to my boss: "you don't pay me enough to buy fridge filters").

So the promised day arrives, truck rolls in, no filters.  I call the nearby store, the person working the desk says they don't have any and I got lectured about why I should call first and not trust the computer (and they hung up before I could explain that I had in fact called and had them confirm the count and set aside the filters).  So the customers stroll in and start raising hell over a $50 fridge filter and how I had lied to them and how they now wanted it brought in and their money returned.  Management threw me under the bus to appease the customer, gave some vague promises to the customers and got them out of the door.

Yeah I don't miss home improvement retail, especially working lighting and electrical.


Yeesh.

Reminds me of a salad I sold.

Me, to myself, "huh, this salad looks smaller than usual. Oh well"

Customer, "this salad is smaller than usual, can you bring more?"

Me, to manager, "hey we screwed this guy over, let's hook him up with the difference in salad he should have"

Manager, "no, tell him that's the right size; we usually just make em too big"

Me, to customer, "that's the correct size, per my manager. It is smaller than usual because you got used to some heavy handed salad makers"

Customer, now annoyed, "can I speak with him?"
...
Manager to customer, "I have no clue why Smackledorf told you that. Let me bring you another full size salad and comp it"

You farking asshole. I'm the tipped employee and you made me play bad cop, you piece of shiat.
 
2020-10-27 1:19:15 PM  

Glockenspiel Hero: While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.


Never trust the computer when it's down to the last couple items in stock.

In the retail world, shrinkage, or shrink, is the term used to describe a reduction in inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft, administrative errors, and return fraud.

Administrative errors happen frequently, especially at checkout when the cashier is too lazy to scan every carton of soda for example, and rings them all up as 'coke' even though you might have a mix of products in the cart. Now the system thinks there are fewer cartons of one product and more of another left on the shelves. One computer store I worked at theft was a big issue. They were nabbing someone for shoplifting every other week it seemed like(the ones they caught anyways). They had a no chase policy so if they made it out the door they were gone. Same store the loss prevention team itself, the guys tasked with preventing shoplifting and theft, were stealing thousands of dollars worth of stuff out the back door and I can't even begin to count the number of times customers would buy something and return the old, busted thing in the box. Happened a lot with inkjet cartridges but sometimes they'd get away with something really expensivecoontil they changed how returns were handled...honestly management at that place was a little slow on the uptake). The annual inventory was supposed to correct all the discrepancies but there were always miscounts. They were too cheap to hire a professional company so they'd have all the employees come in one night and do it. Everyone dreaded the annual inventory. Buncha tired, grump employees who don't want to be there counting your sh*t? Yeah you get what you pay for.

Other reasons why the computer might say there's a couple left but nobody can find it....a customer is walking around the store with it or put it back in the wrong place. Sometimes they'll hide something planning to come back for it later(almost never do).
 
2020-10-27 1:33:18 PM  

MechaPyx: Glockenspiel Hero: While I agree about how shiatty most retail is, if I check the internet and it says you have X in stock only to drive over and find out you don't, well, sorry.  That's on your end, not the customer's, and they have reason to be annoyed.

Yeah, things sell out occasionally, but it happens way too often for that to be the only cause.  Guess I'll just buy something off Amazon instead.

Never trust the computer when it's down to the last couple items in stock.

In the retail world, shrinkage, or shrink, is the term used to describe a reduction in inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft, administrative errors, and return fraud.

Administrative errors happen frequently, especially at checkout when the cashier is too lazy to scan every carton of soda for example, and rings them all up as 'coke' even though you might have a mix of products in the cart. Now the system thinks there are fewer cartons of one product and more of another left on the shelves. One computer store I worked at theft was a big issue. They were nabbing someone for shoplifting every other week it seemed like(the ones they caught anyways). They had a no chase policy so if they made it out the door they were gone. Same store the loss prevention team itself, the guys tasked with preventing shoplifting and theft, were stealing thousands of dollars worth of stuff out the back door and I can't even begin to count the number of times customers would buy something and return the old, busted thing in the box. Happened a lot with inkjet cartridges but sometimes they'd get away with something really expensivecoontil they changed how returns were handled...honestly management at that place was a little slow on the uptake). The annual inventory was supposed to correct all the discrepancies but there were always miscounts. They were too cheap to hire a professional company so they'd have all the employees come in one night and do it. Everyone dreaded the annual inventory. Buncha tired, grump em ..



I did ecommerce for a few different retailers, and it was such a common issue that we told them to put an automatic subtraction/round down on all inventory. I think it was 15% on average, with a minimum of two. So, if you have 10 in stock, the site would say you have 9. You have 3 in stock, we would show 2. If you want more than is available, it was "call in to see"

Only one store I can think of that actually chose that. The others preferred to piss off their staff and customers just to avoid the risk of having a couple of unsold items per type. I do seem to remember them having conditional thresholds based on how long since last inventory though
 
2020-10-27 1:43:45 PM  

GregoryD: 9 years of my life. Midwestern walmart like store. I still go there and run through the store as fast as possible. It makes me ill just being in there.


Is that Meijer-brand PTSD I hear?  Summer work during college.  The worst part wasn't the asshole customers, or the perpetually half-broken equipment, or the dishonest customers, or the progressively less supportive management, or the filthy customers, or the hilariously fragile supply chain, or the braindead customers.

It was the Muzak.

Fark that bland, homogenized, sterilized, mechanically separated music paste in every possible way.  I still get an urge to stab anyone within reach if I hear Dancing Queen.
 
2020-10-27 4:58:39 PM  
I worked for and aftermarket auto parts maker for muscle cars in the 1990's.  We'd go to the different drag races for an event, and take a trailer full of parts to sell and catalogs to give away.

Typical NJ gearhead: "How much fuh da 75mm trottlebody?"
Me: $250
Typical NJ gearhead:  "I'll give you 10 bucks."
Me:  Sorry, can't get anywhere close to that.
Typical NJ gearhead:  "You gonna turn down a chance at $100?"
Me:  Yep.
(meanwhile said throttlebody sells to someone else for not-quite asking price, but it was much closer to reality.)
 
2020-10-27 6:21:35 PM  

Calypsocookie: Retail work should be an absolute requirement for every single person. At the minimum a 3 month sentence just so you can get a tiny bit of perspective.


I agree. When my son was in college (12 years ago), he wanted to stay over the Summer and asked us for rent. We had to tell him that he had to get an actual job to help out because we had two kids in school and were tapped out. Of course he waited until the last minute to look, and had to take a job in a liquor store in a not so good area.  He later told me that he learned more from that job, working all the positions, counter, stockroom, cleanup, than any other job he ever had, especially working with all sorts of people, even with his very high profile jobs now.
 
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