Out-Of-Work Borders Employees Deliver an Honest Farewell

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Susurrus:
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?

it also smacks of abusing the system.

working in retail can be enjoyable, its the customers who make it awful.

my favorite question i was asked

Customer "I'm looking for a game"
Me "What Sort of game?"
Customer "i don't know"

this went on for a bit, i couldn't help i didn't have alot of info.

CosmicCommander:
because I know that shop assistants are just a bunch of condescending, judgmental pricks who have a nice facade on.

rembrandtqeinstein:
What matters is that you do the best you can to make the lives of your customers better.

People who want to work in retail. These will be your first 2 customers of the day.

They will then be followed by 300 or more equally judgemental people, with maybe 1 or 2 nice ones.

For this, you will probably get basic wages and be worked hard to get them, with every effort you make being taken as the new minimum.

You will want to find new jobs almost instantly, but you will find that every job you go for will have at least 200 other people going for it.

They literally can fire you and hire you at a whim.

And if one of the two above people come into your shop, you are going to be fired unless you can beg with them for your job.

Welcome to adult life. 40-60% of you will be in this until you die.

As a former Border's employee in both the Cafe and as a book seller MY GOD ALL OF THAT. Except for the left learning bit. But jesus I wish I'd said crap like that my last day. Quitting that shit job was goddamn magical.

Formica Archonis:

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 dunno most of my regulars were great actually, alot of people came to me specifically for book recommendations and even sent their friends to me in a couple cases, if all or even a 1/4 of my customer interactions were like that I could happily stay in retail forever.... with higher pay.

Remembering my time in customer service... Why are people such assholes about stuff? I mean if it's not something I can fix why bother screaming at me about it? Hope I can stay away from retail/customer service jobs for awhile... way too stressful, I far preferred my last kitchen job, sure kitchens have a "stressful" environment, but it's more of a performance stress than a being shouted at and verbally assaulted for no good reason stress, feels nice not having stress heaped on you for things you can't do anything about...

The_root_of_all_evil:

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.

Yes, fine. But it's still a funny thing to bother you, isn't it? I mean, ok, the customer is ripping off borders, and borders will fire you if you moan, so just... let them??

I worked in retail for 3 weeks as part of a work experience program every german kid has to go through.

It was terrible. The one positive thing was that I am know certain of what I DONT want to do. I had some bitch come in and ask me if I knew where some outdated fucking cable for some fucking age old radio is. I replied, politely, that she would have to ask someone who worked in the cable department bit whatever. Suddenly she was screaming at me. I would have loved to punch her in the face. Luckily the manager came along, cleared things up and laughed at her loudly while telling her the cable she was looking for hadnt been in production since the 60s. I thoroughly enjoyed smirking in her stupid face afterward.

This was just the tip of the iceberg. I dont think I have smoked as many cigarettes in 5 years as I did in those 3 weeks, because the store was empty the whole damn time and there was nothing else to do. Except when everyone else was on lunch break. Jesus. Suddenly every old fart in the entire country wanted a laptop. "Can it internet? What does display mean? What is this for? *points at touchpad*

Still, im proud to say I never once lost my nerve and said something rude, although I did sneak after the occasional customer and slit their throat when they were on the way out.

Wow those guys were really kind about their list. I was a much bigger asshole then that when I quit my last retail job.

"It never bothered us when you threatened to shop at Barnes & Noble. We'd rather you do if you're putting up a stink."

...and apparently that is exactly what they did and why you are now unemployed and the company you worked for is out of business.

This is the result of viewing customers as the enemy. Customers pay the bills of your employer and are the reason you get a paycheck.

I worked in retail and in fast food, customers can be demanding but in the end, they are the only reason the store opens every day. It isn't to give the employees a place to hang out.

Ever wonder why customer service sucks these days? It's this anti-customer attitude that shows through no matter how hard the clerks try to hide it.

Oh and about the kids running around, yeah it's annoying and yeah kids are a bit out of control these days (that another topic) but that huge kids section is there because kids make alot of money for the store. You think Wal Mart has a huge toy section to brighten up the store? You think McDonalds has the Happy Meal for diversity? No, it's because kids products bring in alot of money. It sucks to have to pick the books up and rearrange them again no doubt but then again, would you be at work at all if you could just wish away all that sucks in life?

that picture came out over a week ago.

Susurrus:
I mean, ok, the customer is ripping off borders, and borders will fire you if you moan, so just... let them??

Part of it is jealousy, I'll admit that. But a lot of us work in book stores because we like books, we like people who read books, we like recommending and reading books.

When you work in a book store, you are given books to like weekly, you are told to be nice to the people who buy books that you wouldn't use for toilet paper, you are told to be pleasant and polite to the crabby old shites that casually knock books off shelves and walk over them, and only to recommend the ones that are on offer that week, that you know wouldn't sell otherwise.

You have to nail that smile to your face as you rack up another of Katie Price's ghostwritten piles of shite while you have to explain that we can't magic more out of thin air, you have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a book you're reading is not one of the companies for fear of loss, but minimise all returns and maximise all sales on a rainy day where there is no-one to be seen.

You have to pick the remnants of chewing gum out from inside the books, the half-eaten sausage rolls from the floor, the bogies wiped under the shelves and the occasional pool of piss from the floor because "You don't have toilets".

You get to see some of the great works of the Twentieth Century hidden behind "What your breakfast cereal says about you?" and you have to engage each and every customer about their choice of books, without ever mentioning that you don't find that sort of book even remotely tolerable.

But you do it. Why? Because you need money, you have pride in your job, and, occasionally, just occasionally, you'll pass someone a book that you once loved and they'll come to love it as well.

That's why we do it.

That and the fact that as soon as the doors are closed, we can swear a blue streak at you.

Next time you're in a bookshop: Smile at the person serving you. You've no idea what they've already been through.

And before you ask - I have 100% in my customer service every time I've been secretly checked. I just store it away as material for later.

AK47Marine:
I dunno most of my regulars were great actually,

I'm not talking about regulars. I'm talking about the ones who SAID they were regulars. The two groups I find have absolutely no overlap.

I worked at a grocery store for a couple years - absolutely refused to work in anything like that again after that - nothing makes me hate life and the world more than retail work.

It wouldn't be so bad if people didn't think that they were entitled to the fucking world just because they happened to have chosen to shop at your store. Really, whoever thought up the whole "The Customer is always right" thing should be beaten.

So honest and so true. Working retail sucks.

I've seen that list before. But yeah, shame Borders went out of business, I used to go there ever since I was a kid.

Aku_San:
*Reads the list*

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

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

i don't work in retail and don't work at all (still in high school) but i would love read you list.

HA, this definitly applies to all retail work, not just book shops. I'm sure people I work with could have added a few more.

cynicalsaint1:
I worked at a grocery store for a couple years - absolutely refused to work in anything like that again after that - nothing makes me hate life and the world more than retail work.

It wouldn't be so bad if people didn't think that they were entitled to the fucking world just because they happened to have chosen to shop at your store. Really, whoever thought up the whole "The Customer is always right" thing should be beaten.

When you are the customer, just think about what those "friendly" clerks have to say about you once you've left the store. You know who is entitled? Clerks who want to get paid but can't stand being friendly to customers who provide that money in the first place.

Everyone who has worked in retail or fast food knows that there are bad customers but it's foolish to label all customers as bad.

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.

Something tells me you've never worked in any sort of customer-support job. People are stupid. Don't debate it, don't call it into question. It's a verifiable fact that the vast majority of humanity is stupid, ignorant, arrogant and self-absorbed. The only difference is the degree to which each individual reaches.

Almost anyone who works with these people on a daily basis despises these people. It's not a matter of attitude. When you're regularly given unreasonable demands, with no respect and expected to fulfill them, you tend to dislike customers on principle.

Now, most retail employees are smart enough to act pleasant with their customers. The ones that don't generally don't keep their jobs for very long. That doesn't make it any less of a nightmare or pain to have to deal with these people though.

I personally have never worked in a retail job, but I am a trainer for a relatively technical field, and about 60% of my job is acting as tech support. Approximately 1/3 of that time is spent repeating instructions and finding ways to dumb down "click on this particular button and tell me what it says" so that people can actually understand it. It's maddening. Simple, basic principles are just beyond some people's grasp, and having to teach these people is roughly akin to teaching an angry bear to do the can-can. I can fully understand the... frustration... these people were going through.

Crono1973:
Ever wonder why customer service sucks these days? It's this anti-customer attitude that shows through no matter how hard the clerks try to hide it.

And it usually shows through after someone yells at me until I do them a favour by returning something for a full refund against the company's policy, only to have them queue up for 20 minutes purely to tell me that I must've processed their refund incorrectly because the money wasn't straight into the bank at 5pm on a Saturday. We're not robots; abusive customers get to us.

I used to love my job. I loved waking up knowing I was going to work alongside some of the best people I've met. Helping customers out gave me a buzz, and if I knew they went away happy with the service I gave them, I was genuinely happy too. Unfortunately the bad ones have worn me down, though, and lately I've been wondering why I bother trying to help out someone who comes back in the next day and throws it all back in my face. I like most customers, and I'm glad they don't brush my advice and opinions away. But there's only so much crap from nasty ones I can take before I snap.

I have to say, it looks like they're holding back quite a lot. Having worked in retail for quite some time, I can say with absolute certainty I wouldn't be nearly that polite.

The_root_of_all_evil:

But you do it. Why? Because you need money, you have pride in your job, and, occasionally, just occasionally, you'll pass someone a book that you once loved and they'll come to love it as well.

That's why we do it.

And that's one of the reasons I always go to a bookshop, and never online.
Waterstone's Employees got me into The Magician's Guild a long time ago. The KingKiller trilogy more recently and the bartimaeus trilogy god knows how long ago - All three of which are now my favourite series ^-^

That and I just like interacting with people.

(More)OT: As a bit of a note, I've always said the "I'd like you to find a book for me", even though I always look first. I get mixed reactions. Some find it funny, and others stare at me as if I've walked in with my shirt off. (You know, drooling and the like. :3 )

Tank207:
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.

agreed.

jesus some of the comments on here are the customers that i fucking HATED dealing with. I have no problem doing my job, but when you have to be a total asshat and treat me like a piece of shti, it makes life much more hellish.

these people had some pretty good restraint and did it in a fashionable way.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Susurrus:
I mean, ok, the customer is ripping off borders, and borders will fire you if you moan, so just... let them??

Part of it is jealousy, I'll admit that. But a lot of us work in book stores because we like books, we like people who read books, we like recommending and reading books.

When you work in a book store, you are given books to like weekly, you are told to be nice to the people who buy books that you wouldn't use for toilet paper, you are told to be pleasant and polite to the crabby old shites that casually knock books off shelves and walk over them, and only to recommend the ones that are on offer that week, that you know wouldn't sell otherwise.

You have to nail that smile to your face as you rack up another of Katie Price's ghostwritten piles of shite while you have to explain that we can't magic more out of thin air, you have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a book you're reading is not one of the companies for fear of loss, but minimise all returns and maximise all sales on a rainy day where there is no-one to be seen.

You have to pick the remnants of chewing gum out from inside the books, the half-eaten sausage rolls from the floor, the bogies wiped under the shelves and the occasional pool of piss from the floor because "You don't have toilets".

You get to see some of the great works of the Twentieth Century hidden behind "What your breakfast cereal says about you?" and you have to engage each and every customer about their choice of books, without ever mentioning that you don't find that sort of book even remotely tolerable.

But you do it. Why? Because you need money, you have pride in your job, and, occasionally, just occasionally, you'll pass someone a book that you once loved and they'll come to love it as well.

That's why we do it.

That and the fact that as soon as the doors are closed, we can swear a blue streak at you.

Next time you're in a bookshop: Smile at the person serving you. You've no idea what they've already been through.

And before you ask - I have 100% in my customer service every time I've been secretly checked. I just store it away as material for later.

All of which are fantastic reasons to hate the job, of which, customers taking advantage of Borders' policy seems pathetic when compared to..

*slow clap* well played, you crazy kids, well played.

Mad props to ANYONE working in retail, you put up with so much shit it s ridiculous. In fact, one of my friends works in retail, because of him, I am now EXTREMELY polite towards any retail employees. too bad that can't be said of everyone else.

Zay-el:
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.

I thought the hyperbole was obvious, but whatever. I just have this lingering paranoia that the shop assistants will talk behind my back since I had to deal with that one- I have trouble being in public as it is, having an issue that smashes the experience I mostly had (and do have, when I occasionally have to buy something in the wide old world) of shop assistants being cheery helpers.

And let's not bring some condescension into this.

Also, I've never heard a single anyone say wage slaver before, just putting it out there.

"Wage slavery" is a term usually used by Socialists and Marxists to describe the system of employment that we have today- paying a person for working apparently violates their rights. "Wage Slaver", I assume, is a term describing employers or advocates of said system.

You'd rather they frown at you constantly?

No, I wouldn't. I'm not saying I actively assume I despise all shop assistants, contrary to your knee-jerk reaction- I'm saying that the incident involving the vocal Leftist at the till, I've had a paranoia that even the cheery shop assistants are going to be mocking me secretly- along with everyone else.

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.

You've never worked in retail. Have you?

Edit: Apparently everyone had the same idea I did. But it was hard to read your post and not respond in such a manner. It's the same in every store. Unless you're a crummy customer, they aren't going to talk about you.

Crono1973:

"It never bothered us when you threatened to shop at Barnes & Noble. We'd rather you do if you're putting up a stink."

...and apparently that is exactly what they did and why you are now unemployed and the company you worked for is out of business.

This is the result of viewing customers as the enemy. Customers pay the bills of your employer and are the reason you get a paycheck.

I worked in retail and in fast food, customers can be demanding but in the end, they are the only reason the store opens every day. It isn't to give the employees a place to hang out.

Ever wonder why customer service sucks these days? It's this anti-customer attitude that shows through no matter how hard the clerks try to hide it.

Oh and about the kids running around, yeah it's annoying and yeah kids are a bit out of control these days (that another topic) but that huge kids section is there because kids make alot of money for the store. You think Wal Mart has a huge toy section to brighten up the store? You think McDonalds has the Happy Meal for diversity? No, it's because kids products bring in alot of money. It sucks to have to pick the books up and rearrange them again no doubt but then again, would you be at work at all if you could just wish away all that sucks in life?

*grins evilly*

No, but life wouldn't be fun if we couldn't complain, now would it?

You laugh at those workers for their foolish choice of jobs, they laugh at you for your ignorance.

The_root_of_all_evil:
-Snip-

Frostbite3789:
-Snip-

Alright, my statement was hyperbole, just to clarify. Not good to type, in retrospect; I am polite to people in public, and I never cause a fuss at the store- I do know these guys are people, and I do try to be as nice as possible.

I have a pathological fear of open spaces and strangers- and that leads to me exacerbating incidents like the one I mentioned.

I am in no position to pass judgement on the guys, and although that irrational belief does run in me, I do objectively know that they're just normal people who have a shit job.

That was awesome and so damn true!

I briefly worked in retail, it was an extra summer job and I needed the money, and dear God did it suck! I was so glad when I quit that place when school was back in session, so I'm pretty sure they showed restraint when they made that. Props to those people that made that poster, and God speed you saints!

Alphakirby:
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.

I work in retail. I love my job. But everything on this list is true to every retailer, no matter what they sell.

Idiots are a daily occurrence, and what keeps us sane is how much we're laughing about just how fuckin' stupid these people are almost as soon as they leave.

The customer is not always right. The customer is usually wrong and retarded.

Ouch. This makes me glad I've yet to work in retail. But I likely will this comming November.

*Shutter*

The problem is that a shift in attitude while working retail is almost inevitable. Even the laziest people I know went to work on the first day with the goal to do a good job. They made an effort to be friendly, they made an effort to do good work.

The problem comes in that there are very view customers who actively make a good impression...and I wouldn't expect them to. Most of them are doing what I do. Exchange a few pleasantries, ask a question if I need to, buy what I want to buy, and get out.

The problem is, that's a null customer. Neither good or bad, and easily forgettable.

Add in the well meaning ones who are so uninformed about what they want they no one can help them, the customers who deliberately make a stink for no reason because they know they can get special treatment that way, the customers who blame the employees for corporate decisions, the customers who don't abide by the basics of hygiene and make you deal with disgusting things that are certainly not part of your job description, the (surprisingly numerous) ones who think its perfectly alright to cut their kids loose in a store for an hour or two so they can 'get their energy out' (and usually buy nothing, of course, stretching the definition of 'customer'), the customers who are willing to lie to your face in order to save a few bucks, the thieves (whether the sort that walks out with items down their pants or those that just try to claim discounts/returns/rewards they know they're not entitled to), the fact that all these types of people are far more numerous than you would ever have imagined all serve to break down that attitude fairly quickly.

In almost every business, the person who deals with the customer takes the most crap and makes the smallest amount of money.

Of course we don't mean it when we smile, the last guy just punched us in the face.

Formica Archonis:
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.

Nothing is more satisfying (or more infuriating to the customer) than when you can call them on their BS like that.

"I come in here all the time!" "Funny, I WORK here all the time and I'VE never seen you before today."

"I'm friends with the boss, I'll have you fired!" "Great, can you let him know that when we go for drinks later? I've been meaning to ask for some time off..."

"I talked to [Boss], and he said you have to give me a free meal." "Really? (yelling to the back office) Hey [Boss]! Did you talk to some guy about a free meal?" "Nope." "..."

(from fast food service)
"My food was cold!" "You mean the food that sat on the ledge in drive thru during a -40 degree blizzard while you made me count two large handfuls of change for a $20 meal?"

(in drive thru) "I can't accept this credit card." "Why not?" "Without some ID I doubt your name is Debbie, and besides, the signature doesn't match. "That's because I'm drunk!" "Ok, either way I'm calling the police."

Andy Chalk:
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.

A-F***ING-MEN!!!!

Just got out of a 6 year job in my local Co-op (a big chain store in England that, in my case, sells food and other groceries). My gawd, most customers just look down at you like you're lower than dirt! Well done on these people for expressing themselves so greatly! I'd have loved to do something like this. Unfortunately, aside not having the balls to get away with something like that, I live around the same area as the store, so I'm pretty well known. Hell, I still shop there. So I figured I'd just slink away and avoid telling people till the last day I was there (including most of the staff) that I was leaving. Certainly saved me the hassle of it all!

All I can note is that favoured saying of mine:

"The customer is NOT always right, in fact they are most often wrong."

Crono1973:
Ever wonder why customer service sucks these days? It's this anti-customer attitude that shows through no matter how hard the clerks try to hide it.

Bull pucky. It's a reciprocating cycle. The retail staff don't want to be there, but it's the only job they can find. And the customers know this, and treat them like the minimum wage slaves they see them as. Both sides need to grow up and treat each other with respect.

As I was fond of saying to the rudest of the rude customers... "I'm not actually paid enough to put up with the likes of you."

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