Friday, November 22, 2013

True confessions of the retail world, and please, don't be that guy.

I have a feeling that y'all have already started your holiday shopping, so this is my public service announcement for you.  As a veteran of the retail store battle ground, I am here to share some knowledge for you.  This is not knowledge about where to get a good deal, or how to get what you want this holiday season; there are a million other sources for that.  This is a snapshot from the other side - the retail workers.

While you are out shopping for Christmas gifts this year, might I suggest this year you do your best to take care of the people helping you shop?  Whatever craziness you are feeling for the holiday season, I promise you, yelling at the lady at the service counter won't help, and her day will be worse with the six other people who yelled too.

If I were to give you my best advice on being a shopper that doesn't make it into our dinner conversation, here it is:

Smile, make eye contact, and say, "Thank you."
Yes, this sounds oddly similar to what you might expect from retail employees, but we are people too.  And wouldn't it be nice for you to make someone else's day better too?  Try it, it's fun even when you aren't getting paid for it.  Trust me, you would stand out above the rest.

Don't get mad at me when there aren't any more PS4s on December 23rd.
Often the person trying to assist you in the store is not directly responsible for the outage of a product.  Please don't be mean about it.  Unless you want me to personally knit you a replica, it is out of my hands.

"Since it didn't ring up it must be free."
Oh boy.

[me] "Is there something I can help you find?" [you] "Yeah, my wife!" or "Yeah, a million bucks!"
That's a cute joke and all, but literally you are the 12th person to say that to me today.  I suggest coming up with something much more entertaining for us, like "I'm looking for heavy rope, black garbage bags, and a metal shovel," or "just  your beautiful smile," or start up a Hall & Oates song as a flash mob.  Something, anything.

Black Friday - do you really need that $6 coffee maker?
Whatever you are looking for on Black Friday, please do so with the mentality of fun and not trampling.  We don't want to have to budget for medical triage tents next year.  That $6 coffee maker will probably leak in 3 months anyways.

This is such an exciting time of year, but remember just because you won't see that person again doesn't mean they won't remember you.  I still remember all of the people who crazy yelled at me, so don't be that guy who lives on in our war stories.  If you go in with the mindset of having fun and bringing cheer to the people around you, I promise you will feel better than if you went in with a 'tude.

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