Thursday, November 26, 2009

About This New Job...

I really do like my job. It's fun and typically, I work with some fun customers. I have awesome coworkers and a cool boss and it's a fun work environment.

I worked a split shift yesterday, of which the first part started at 9 and ended at 1. This shift was awesome. I didn't get stuck at a computer doing training and got to do some work with the cash  register. Because it was a much more complicated interface and system than the simple cash register at Java Hut, I was a little slower and didn't do extremely well with everything and was kind of slow with getting change, because I didn't know where the drawer was or how to open it. The people were really understanding and seemed to get that I was new and were extremely patient. I did some tech support over the phone (for example, a lady called and asked what the difference between an HP and a PC was. When I explained that HP was a brand and PC was a computer, she explained that she had a Dell, and was that an HP? Um, no, that would be a Dell.) I made some comission, which was awesome, and I really enjoyed myself and couldn't wait to get back to work after my first shift ended.

The second shift was a nightmare. I walked in and there were three disgruntled customers already. One man was upset because he wanted a refund on a check. It's basic policy that once a check has gone into the bank, such as this one had, you have to wait fourteen days for it to process and then can receive a refund. There isn't much a store can do about this. This guy could not accept the fact, and after causing a scene and yelling about how we apparently needed to bend over backwards and make the check appear out of thin air, he stormed out of the store after giving us his address, swearing that he would never go to a Radio Shack again, and that he would tell others about our poor service. While this was going on, and getting me extremely flustered, there was another man who needed to speak to our manager about a return. I hadn't been trained in returns yet, and so I, observing that Stephen was busy with a customer and that Cayla was dealing with Mr.Give-Me-My-Check-Now, told him that I would speak to our manager, that he would be out as soon as possible, and apologized for the delay and my lack of knowledge on how to fix the situation. He was very gracious, and seemed happy just to have a straight answer from someone.

Unfortunately, another customer seemed to have heard me tell this gentleman that I was training, and decided that it was time to put me through my own personal h-e-doublehockeysticks. We have Sirius and XM radios playing in the store, and she asked me what genre was playing, because I was standing behind the counter, admittedly not doing much, because I came in in the middle of a crisis and wasn't sure what to do. Thinking that this was a valid customer concern, I proceeded to walk over to the Sirius radio to check what station it was on and give her an answer. Apparently, I wasn't supposed to do this.

"No," she said, "You should know this without looking."

Excuse me? My job isn't to know your music on demand. I'm supposed to sell you robotics parts, GPS, and perhaps set you up with a new cell phone. But alas, this was not enough for this lady. So, I attempted to guess.


At this point she threw her hands in the air and goes, "No! It's Big Band! I swear, under the age of 40, they don't know anything!"

Thinking that maybe this was an attempt at some humor, I told her, "Well, you see, I'm more of a classical music and art person, so I'll admit that my knowledge of specific genres is rusty." She rolled her eyes at me and walked away. She then asked one of the guys I work with about a foldable computer fan that had been advertised. He directed her, and rather that asking him about a second product, she turns to me and says, "I need a USB plug in that connects me to the internet."

"Could you give me some more details about what you need? Is it an aircard?"

"No, it's not an aircard, because it doesn't come with its own phone line. Probably more of a WiFi card?"

I knew exactly what she was talking about, but I told her that I wasn't exactly sure where to find something and that maybe one of the other associates could help me help her when they were done. "Like I said, Ma'am, it's my second day, and I don't want to get you the wrong thing."

Apparently, my attempt at a good gesture was for naught. Exasperated, the woman once again snaps at me, "Well, okay then, don't just stand there! Go ask your manager!"

So, I went to the back to talk to my manager about this disasterous situation. "Ed, we have a guy out there who needs to do returns and a woman who needs a product that I can't locate." At this point, Cayla came in to tell him that Check-Man was starting to get escalatingly angry and that she needed someone in charge to explain the 14-day policy. So, I had to wait in line, as this guy took precedence due to his stinky, nasty attitude, and there wasn't much I could do. Cayla and my boss were working on Check-Man, Stephen was attempting to help the guy with his return, and this woman looked at me as if she were going to bore holes into my soul and send me straight to the bad place. I wait patiently for the guy with the check to storm out, and then Ed had to help the guy with the return, because he was in line first, that big jerk. At this point, because I'm still not "doing anything", the lady slams her prior selection on the counter, throws her hands in the air, and angrily says, "I guess I'll have to come back another time!"

I was about ready to scream and cry because of this woman and her apparent need for a WiFi connector NOW, and so later I had a discussion with my boss about what had happened. Apparently, this woman had come in early in the week, asked about a discount, and when he had refused to give it to her, she hit him upside the head with a box. Seems like a real treat, doesn't she?

The rest of the shift went on without incident until we closed at 9. I was on the schedule until 9:30 so that we could switch signs over and put Black Friday price tags on stuff. This was a pain, because it involved new displays and everything. Instead of the estimated 9:30-10:00 clock out, we got out of there at 11:45. Awesome.

Despite all of this, I refuse to complain about my job. It's still something I like to do and, hey, it's a job. I'm thankful I have it. I just hope that tomorrow doesn't kill me.

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