Out-Of-Work Borders Employees Deliver an Honest Farewell

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Out-Of-Work Borders Employees Deliver an Honest Farewell

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Employees at a Borders bookstore took the company's looming demise as an opportunity to bid farewell to their customers with an outburst of brutal honesty.

The number-one reason why retail jobs suck isn't the lousy hours, the crappy pay or the clueless management. It's the customers. Some of them are warm rays of sunshine, but a great many others are rude, snarky irritants who are completely obvious to anything but their own selfish, superficial needs. Yeah, I spent a lot of years in retail too, so I know what it's like, and I know that sometimes the only thing that holds it all together is the dream of the day - The Last Day - when we can finally let it all hang out.

For most of us, it remains a dream forever, but the employees at one of the many Borders stores that recently shut down decided not to let the opportunity slip away. Politely, but with firm resolve, the staff waved goodbye with a big list of "Things We Never Told You," a blast of cathartic honesty that won't change a thing but probably made a few people feel just a wee bit better about losing their jobs.

Some personal favorites:

  • "We greatly dislike the phrase 'quick question.' It's never true. And everyone seems to have one."
  • "Most of the time when you returned books, you read them already - and we were on to you."
  • "It never bothered us when you threatened to shop at Barnes & Noble. We'd rather you do if you're putting up a stink."
  • "We were never a daycare. Letting your children run free and destroy our kids section destroyed a piece of our souls."
  • "When you walked in and immediately said, 'I'm looking for a book,' what you really meant to say is, 'I would like you to find me a book.' You never looked. It's fine, that's our job, but let's be correct about what's really happening here."

Here's the whole thing:

If it comes across as a little bitter, odds are you've never worked in retail before, because those of you who have are probably admiring the polite restraint it shows. And that's what makes the reactions to this message so interesting: customers see employees exposing their true colors, while employees see it as an opportunity to finally speak the truth about their customers.

The real truth is that the vast majority of retail encounters are smooth, painless and instantly forgotten, but it's the ugly ones that tend to stick with us. So while our perspectives may be skewed, odds are that yours are too; thus, on behalf of low-paid, downtrodden, disrespected retail employees around the world, I'd like to take a moment to say, well played, good sirs and ladies. Well played indeed.

Source: The Consumerist

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Wow,reading that list made me realize how shitty it must be to work in retail.
Well I just hope these guys find new jobs soon,hopefully not in retail.

Sucks that your jobs are being shelved, but hey, we'll always have the Harry Potter midnight releases. Ah the memories!

Damn...We should have done this when my Blockbuster closed! Similar grievances would have been listed sure but, it seems like an awesome farewell. It sucks that Borders is gone though...as I said somewhere else, they always seemed to have what I was looking for when Barnes and Nobel didn't.

They're honest. Its all completely true.

Anyone who has worked customer service can relate.

Oh how I wish I could have done this everyday when i worked in retail, now though I am behind a desk, in an office, and away from any customers. Sometimes life is good like that.

With nearly ten years of retail experience under my belt, I can only read this and nod my head. I always strived to be the opposite of the worst customers I had to put up with.

Thankfully I've moved up in the world, and I can only hope these unfortunate front-line retail warriors can manage to do the same.

Godspeed, you beligerant angels.

This reminds me of notalwaysright.com

When the title of this news story said "Honest Farewell" I was expecting a lot more curses. Having worked retail, I agree, they ARE showing some remarkable restraint here. I am amused, to say the least.

And that's why I get my books online; because I know that shop assistants are just a bunch of condescending, judgmental pricks who have a nice facade on.*

I once went to buy some Mises and Hayek (specifically Socialism, The Road to Serfdom, and The Constitution of Liberty) from Waterstones, and I had a guy who pretty much had a title above his head reading "UNIVERSITY DROPOUT". He rolled his eyes as he glanced over the books, and didn't even pack them in a bag- despite my behaviorr being nothing short of amicable. I'm sure I heard the term "wage slaver" as I walked away.

Prick.

*That statement was dead out of line, and I apologise for any offence I may have given to anyone with the utmost sincerity.

This hits too close to home. I left retail as soon as I could (I might still have to go back), and I try to be the customer I wish I could engage in. I didn't mind helping people, I just didn't want to be used like a ragged doll.

"Retail workers bitter about their jobs" Film at 11. Not that it mattered but if that was their attitude they should get jobs where they don't have to deal with the public.

It doesn't matter what your job is, it doesn't matter if you like it. What matters is that you do the best you can to make the lives of your customers better.

I've never worked retail, but I did work at an amusement park. And this list made me laugh my ass off, because it reminded me of that experience. I understand how hellish jobs that require you to deal with people can be. It's a shame most people either don't understand, or don't care.

This thing made my day. When I go to a bookstore with a really vague book description like "It's this punk girl who meets the fairies or something," at least I always make sure to add ""and I know thatI'm not giving you much to go on." (The book was The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint, in case you were wondering.)

Props to the Borders people. I would not have had as much restraint as them.

Ha. I have not worked in retail, but my partner does and some of the stories she comes home with, every day, make me just shake my head.

That list seems mostly like petty grievances, a bit of a joke really.

I get daily tales of verbal and threatened physical abuse, of customers putting their grubby mitts on unsold product, of customers asking her for advice on their religious sensitivities ("Is this halal?"), of people fleeing after stealing the products and barging staff out of the way, of people making absolutely ridiculous demands on staff members for customised goods and shouting when they don't get it, of kids stealing things only for their parents to say "just boys being boys" or some such. And of course squealing about human rights when the manager stops them from leaving until they have paid for it.

She works in a bakery, hardly the first place to come to mind as a hotbed of human abuse.

So people, next time you are in a shop, give the assistant a smile and try to be as helpful as you can to them and they will reciprocate.

Glad they finally got to say all that. Especially that part about the kids running wild, parents who let their kids do that need to be sent to a work camp.

that reminds me of this guy

Youtube is screwed up right now

I would love to be able to do this, but I feel like I wouldn't have the restraint that these people had.

Good on them though. Hopefully their customers think twice next time they enter a store.

Bravo!

Yes, I currently work in retail. I won't say who for but the job I have now is as a sales associate of a major office supply retail in the United States.

The number of ways people try to shortchange, lie, cheat, steal, and otherwise take advantage of us is staggering. They are probably motivated by our assortment of technologies we sell (computers & tablets, as well as printers & ink, projectors, etc etc.) It would be great to be able to come out and shove their lies back in their faces.

YES. They have my complete and utter respect. I'm considering something in the same vein when I finally get out of my retail job. Four years there and I am absolutely DONE with customers, I really wonder why I bother wasting the energy drawing in breath to speak to some of the utter twats we get in. Low pay is not a helping factor, but he's right: customers are the worst part of my job. It's a shame for the occasional nice ones we get in, but we only tend to remember the bad ones. Especially the ones that try to cheat us out of stock, like one horrible bloke I had in today.

I liked Borders. Now I love them.

rembrandtqeinstein:
"Retail workers bitter about their jobs" Film at 11. Not that it mattered but if that was their attitude they should get jobs where they don't have to deal with the public.

It doesn't matter what your job is, it doesn't matter if you like it. What matters is that you do the best you can to make the lives of your customers better.

And that's exactly the sort of high-horse bullshit we have to deal with every day. Believe me, if there were jobs available that meant I didn't have to deal with the public, I'd jump at them. Ever considered we're not there by choice, but 'cause it's literally the only thing available right now and we need the money?

So as some of you guys probably know, I used to work at Barnes & Noble, first at a brick-and-mortar store, then loading eBooks for the website. My very best customer question:

"Is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter fiction or nonfiction?"

Props to my bookselling brothers and sisters at Borders for finally saying what was bottled up inside them for years. To be clear, most customers at bookstores are perfectly nice - the small percentage who aren't, though, are the reason behind this list.

That was remarkably calm. I'm in retail (repairs and not sales, but that's no better) at a computer store and I empathize with most of that list not specifically related to books.

Nothing develops a dislike for kids quite like finding one wedging items from off the shelves under the doors so people try to go through them and slam into them instead. And nothing develops a dislike for parents like looking around for the kid's parents and realizing that it's the mid-afternoon lull and there's no one in the store. We're a stand alone store, not connected to anything and not sharing a parking lot. The guy came in, let the kid loose, AND DROVE AWAY. Came back an hour later like nothing was wrong. Shoulda called the police on the prick.

As someone who works in retail I can agree with the damn thing.

First, stop fucking abusing coupons. "Cannot be duplicated" does not mean you can print multiple copies then bitch when you can't get your way.

Second, don't bring in your little bastard and let it loose then complain when they get hurt. Its not our fault you couldn't keep your legs closed.

Third, don't speak fucking english on the phone while waiting in line then act like you dont speak a word of english at all when your crap isn't free for you.

Fourth, being an accountant dosen't make you a messiah. So stop calling me a retard when the item is off one cent.

Fifth, don't act like I just killed your whole family because I asked if you had the stores credit card or if you want magazines, its my fucking job to ask.

Sixth, quit throwing a tantrum and threaten to have me killed because I can't speak spanish, jamaican or hindi. It just gives me an excuse to call immigration.

Yeah those are my complaints about retail. I know it can be offensive and I apologize in advance if I offended you.

CosmicCommander:
And that's why I get my books online; because I know that shop assistants are just a bunch of condescending, judgmental pricks who have a nice facade on.

I once went to buy some Mises and Hayek (specifically Socialism, The Road to Serfdom, and The Constitution of Liberty) from Waterstones, and I had a guy who pretty much had a title above his head reading "UNIVERSITY DROPOUT". He rolled his eyes as he glanced over the books, and didn't even pack them in a bag- despite my behaviorr being nothing short of amicable. I'm sure I heard the term "wage slaver" as I walked away.

Prick.

So...you base your assumptions about retail workers in general on a single experience you've had? You must have quit a lot of things, if you're deterred so easily by a single semi-bad experience. Also, I've never heard a single anyone say wage slaver before, just putting it out there.

Not to mention that if you have such an opinion of shop assistants in general, guess how many other idiots this world has to bear upon itself. And guess what, a lot of these are served by these very shopkeepers so I can pretty much accept that only put on a nice smile and go with it. You'd rather they frown at you constantly?

Kudos to these guys. If you reach the end anyway, might as well go out like a boss.

Actually, if the coupon says one per customer and the family is willing to have each member ring up a separate transaction then there's no problem with that. Each person is a customer. So that one just isn't valid.

"I'm looking for a book" is correct. They walked into your store looking for a book. They didn't say they looked for a book when they hadn't. If they did you'd have a point, but if not then shut up and do your job.

Meh... I worked in retail. Sure the biggest problem is the customer but that list was disappointing.

you know a lot of these can be put to working in an amusement park as well because damn it! We are not your child's babysitter!

Some of the stuff really puzzles me:

- If they knew that customers were bringing books back after reading them, why let them change? If it was store policy to let them... Well that's Borders problem, surely?

Faith in Humanity +1

But they're still being so restrained. Trust me. Retail customers are vile at times.

Omnicide:
The number of ways people try to shortchange, lie, cheat, steal, and otherwise take advantage of us is staggering.

Got any corporate accounts? It's amazing how thieving a corporation can be. In some ways they're worse than the individuals.

Omnicide:
They are probably motivated by our assortment of technologies we sell (computers & tablets, as well as printers & ink, projectors, etc etc.) It would be great to be able to come out and shove their lies back in their faces.

My favorite is "I spend so much money here!" or "I'm a regular!" as if the amount of money you spend makes you inherently superior. As soon as they say that, you know they're lying. Last one who tried it on us then demanded to speak to a specific salesman because "He'll fix this up right away and show you!"

The salesman he named left the company two years ago.

I am one of those let go Borders Employees and everything mentioned is true and a couple of more need to be added to. In retail we're taught to treat customers like Royalty no matter how awful they really are.

But Borders was special in that they just took everything and didn't really do a damn thing about it. Damage merchandise? Fine we'll eat the costs, something stolen, oh well we can't catch them all. It was really sad watching the company fall apart.

Susurrus:

- If they knew that customers were bringing books back after reading them, why let them change?

You have to, because you can't prove it. If the customer complains - for whatever reason - it is safer and cheaper to fire you no matter who is in the right.

And as retail workers don't have a decent union, it's automatically successful. You have no appeal.

If it was store policy to let them... Well that's Borders problem, surely?

Borders, like most book stores policy, is that the Customer is always right. Regardless of the truth. Your job literally depends on them not complaining.

RiffRaff:
Actually, if the coupon says one per customer and the family is willing to have each member ring up a separate transaction then there's no problem with that. Each person is a customer. So that one just isn't valid.

"I'm looking for a book" is correct. They walked into your store looking for a book. They didn't say they looked for a book when they hadn't. If they did you'd have a point, but if not then shut up and do your job.

Meh... I worked in retail. Sure the biggest problem is the customer but that list was disappointing.

with borders each coupon given to a customer is individually numbered

*Reads the list*

Yup. This shows quite a lot of restraint on their part.

Now, for me to do one about McDonald's...

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