Sunday, August 31, 2008

Maybe You Should Read the Not-So-Fine Print

Working in retail ensures that you get to slave away for hours at a time on a holiday weekend, while everyone at your corporate office enjoys a three-day weekend.  And as if that weren't enough, sometimes they give you insane discounts and coupons for your customers, ensuring traffic in your store doubles.  Of course, at the same time they cut your payroll, citing the high costs of doing business.

So I'm working Labor Day Weekend, where my company has managed to not only give out one coupon, but THREE different coupons, all in the same flyer.  This is in addition to a bunch of items being 30-50% off.  This would, of course, be the official signal to every cheap bastard and nutjob for 50 miles to come running into the store with visions of cheapness dancing in their heads.

Of course, some people are decent and only looking to use a coupon and get out to get away from the crowds.  Most, however, are looking to use all their coupons at one time, along with the copies they made.  These people also become irate when you won't let them combine their coupon with something already on sale.

Take, for example, the girl who came in today with her boyfriend.  The two of them bring up an item that is already 40%, and the girl hands me a 50% off coupon.

ME:  I'm sorry, but you can't use that.  This item is already 40% off.

Apparently, this is all it takes for someone to become like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.  The girl's head practically starts to spin around, and green pea soup-spewing is about to commence.

GIRL:  What are you talking about? This isn't on sale! It doesn't say it's on sale!
ME:  See that display over there with the same item with the 40% off sign?
GIRL:  Well, I didn't GET it from over there, I GOT it in the section.
ME:  Well, the item is on sale, no matter where in the store it is.
GIRL:  But it doesn't SAY that.

At this point, the boyfriend realizes that all this time he's thought he's been dating Captain Howdy, only now finding out his girlfriend is actually Lucifer.

BF:  What's the big deal? We're talking about 10%.

Oh he did NOT go there, she clearly thinks to herself.
GIRL:  What's the big deal? They purposely put out a 50% off coupon, then put everything on sale so you can't use it.

Oh yes.  That big Piss Off The Customer Conspiracy.  I keep forgetting.

ME:  There are only four items in that section on sale.  You could pick out something else.
GIRL:  There's no sign there that it's on sale.

Mr. Sulu, Snark Factor 5, please.

ME:  Would you like me to walk you over to the section and show you the sign?

She of course decides that isn't necessary.  The boyfriend pays for the item, probably planning on putting the money he's saved towards an exorcism for the girlfriend.  

After they leave, I check the section.  Directly in front of where she pulled the item is a big red sign with the name of the product on it, and stating it's 40% off.  Skip the exorcism, and buy Demon Spawn some glasses, whydonchya.

Holidays. Erk.

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