Monday, 24 October 2011

"Just Looking" Does Not Mean "Shoplifting"

Let's be clear here.
As I have previously mentioned I have worked in the retail business. 
For some time I worked on commission and made quite a bit of money while doing it.
That's because I learned the best way to approach customers to make them feel welcome:

Leave them alone.

Despite the opinion of many dip-wad managers and people who think they know everything about sales, most people are legitimately 'just looking' through what is in the store. Most managers are ignoramuses and don't understand the simple concept of creating a welcoming store, but rather breed their staff to be like predatory vultures circling around rotting meat.

But think about it, most people who shop are not dead meat. (Unless they suffer from Shopping Cart Depression.....see my earlier blog). They have many reasons for shopping.
Perhaps it is a store that carries things that they like and they are curious what's new, or maybe they are just killing time before their planned takeover of the world, or maybe they're just trying to keep their child asleep to avoid them screaming bloody murder in the middle of the mall.

The majority of people are not looking for something specific (unless you work in a hardware store, but those people don't make commission and deal with vague comments surrounding "the thingy that flips over and attaches to that thing that's round"....I truly feel for them.)

Anyways, nothing irritates me more then walking into a store such as Sport Chek and being harassed every single step of the way. Harassed doesn't even begin to describe it actually.....the employees might as well be hanging onto my arms and legs and yelling in my ear the entire time.

It starts off innocently enough with a simple hello.
Then about 2 minutes later, you are approached by a sycophantic 12 year old employee who is working on commission who asks if you are looking for anything or need help finding something.

The response is always: 
"No thanks, I'm just looking".

Immediately the 12 year old retreats back into the shadows where he quickly shoots a glance at a few other employees (including the manager) and nods towards you.

Within the next 10 minutes, you are asked by 7 more employees whether you need help finding anything. After which you are again approached by the original employee asking if "You're doing alright"

My answer is always: "I was fine until you asked me 20 questions. Now I'm angry."

Then their little ant antennaes all begin to twitch and the employees all get extremely agitated. You can sense them just writhing inside with inner turmoil.
This is because their 'danger flags' have been raised. 
They assume that you MUST be looking for something otherwise you wouldn't be in their store.
Therefore if you're NOT looking for anything in particular you are a shoplifter.

Then they swarm you with multiple more smiling, question-asking, ant-like zombie employees who all seem to be under the legal working age. They figure that constant vigilance over you means that you know you are being watched closely and will not shoplift.

But the management is a bunch of idiots because being monitored by a bunch of stupid young employees who constantly ask you questions only serves the obvious purpose:

You will become so annoyed you will leave and never want to come back. Or you might just yell at an employee or push them into the nearest clothes display (laughing manically while they fall helplessly into an abyss of baby clothes and women's underwear). Or you might file a human rights complaint over how you are being stalked by employees of an institution.

Because that's pretty much what it is: stalking.

It's creepy. 
It's annoying.
It's bad business.

Seriously, I am "Just looking" for something. If I was looking for something in particular, I have something called a mouth that I can open (usually) and use to speak words to you to find this "thing" that I might be looking for. 
Otherwise these overzealous commissioned employees need to keep their yaps shut.

Let's be real, we all know you work on commission and we all know that you are eager to make more money then the other 1 billion employees hired by your sweatshop of a store. 
I personally will seek out the employee who has not asked me a single question or followed me around the store sniffing my shoulders and credit them with the sale.

I am not shoplifting.

Leave me alone.

Good Grief.

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