i was thinking the other day about all the craziness i saw, working a retail job for the last eight months. fun stuff like this:
- i can't tell you how many times i had to answer questions like "how many come in a dozen?" or "are these fresh?" seriously, people?
- even when i explained that the mini cupcakes came in all the same flavors as the regular size ones, they'd still point at specific cakes in the case and ask what flavor it was. or, "does [insert random flavor here] come in the mini?" did you not listen to what i told you 3.75 seconds ago?
- folks are amazingly indecisive when they walk into a shop that offers more than two choices. i often had to stand there with a stupid grin on my face for a good long amount of time, waiting for them to decide on something. it killed me when they would debate for fifteen minutes between flavors and either leave with nothing, or just one itty-bitty mini cupcake.
- a few of the boxes come with built-in handles, and customers would still ask for a bag to put it in. so wack.
- i loved the calls that required me to act as a human GPS. i would give north/south/east/west directions, and they had no idea what i was talking about. "i need you to tell me left or right. i don't understand how to go in those directions."
- there was a lady who came in once and made me pull out every single tray of cupcakes, searching for treats with only star-shaped fondant toppers. i wanted to choke her.
- and another woman who came in for the first time, downed three mini chocolate cupcakes and then ordered another full-sized one. she proceeded to hoover that one up too, and then said "ew, that one was gross. only the mini ones were good." huh? i explained to her that both sizes were the same recipe and came from the same batch of batter, and she argued with me. "no, that's impossible. the mini ones were so delicious, but that regular sized one was not good at all. it was gross." um, okay. and then when she came in a month later she was offended when i didn't recognize her. "you don't remember me?" well, i'm sorry - i only saw probably 40 customers a day, five days a week. sheesh.
- the ones who demand freebies or discounts were fun, too. "what do you mean, you don't give free samples?" or "you need to do a frequent buyer's card, i'm in here all the time." and then they'd get all belligerent when we politely declined. ugh.
- and then there's the outrage i often faced when i asked to see someone's ID when they were using a credit card. "what, you don't trust me?" well, as a matter of fact, i don't. why would i? i don't know you. or "if i was using a stolen credit card, i wouldn't be wasting my time here." psh, whatever. and the number of chargebacks the owner got on a monthly basis was solid proof that requesting ID really is necessary.
- i got talked down to a lot, like i was completely insignificant - just barely good enough to box their snacks. there are some seriously condescending people out there, and all i could do was smile and provide excellent customer service. heh. all the while, i would imagine shanking 'em with a broken plastic fork.
- i also learned the hard way that no matter how much you try, you truly can't make everyone happy. i was privy to a whole lotta bellyaching on a regular basis. about cupcakes.
- oh, and i got so skeeved out by the number of people who would glance at my hand and make a stupid comment about my wedding rings. it didn't take long before i simply stopped wearing it. last thing i wanted was for somebody to follow me out back and roll me in the parking lot.
nope, i totally don't regret quitting my dull office job and sacrificing a few bucks per hour to work there. it really was a lot of fun, and at least now i know that if i ever needed to, a retail job isn't as awful as it used to sound.
but i hope that day never comes. or, at least, not for a long, long time. and by that time, i'll be so old and crotchety nobody will want to hire me anyway.