Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Retail Ranting

Had what I thought was an unusual experience yesterday morning. I stopped into a Big Box Retailer to pick up a few things and went to the check out. That in itself is normal enough. Now as the clerk was checking me though, the first thing the clerk asked was "Are you paying for this with 'Store Branded' MasterCard this morning?" I answered no, mainly because I don't have one and really don't want one, but I settled in for the sales pitch anyway, and waited to hear all about the benefits or points to earn or rewards to work towards. Here's the strange part, it never came. No sales pitch at all. She just scanned my items, asked if I was using cash or debit and completed the transaction.

What happened to the sales pitch? The whole reason the company wants you to ask if I'm using their branded MasterCard is to try and sell me one.  Whether I want the card or not is irrelevant to the company, they want you to make the effort of the pitch. Otherwise what is the point of asking me if I have the card? I've worked retail, I've worked sales and I've worked support, when the company gives you something to try and get a customer to sign up for, you damn well do it.  You might get a thousand no's but at least you're making the effort, especially in a retail environment where they use so called "secret shoppers" to make sure the company's wishes are being met.

If you're only gonna do it half assed then don't bother doing t at all, getting a "you didn't mention the card, you need to start mentioning the card" is better than getting "you mentioned the card but didn't push when the customer said they didn't have one, you need to work on that." Total omission can be coached for improvement, doing a half assed job says your doing a half assed job and are going to continue doing a half assed job. If this was a new clerk I could understand, but one of the badges she wore said she'd been with the company for ten years, she knows that she has to do this, it's not something they just sprung on her.

I know this seems like a pointless rant since I didn't want the card anyway, but the card isn't the point. Taking pride in your job is the point, doing the best job that you can is the point. I may have hated working in a call centre but none of my customers could tell that from interacting with me, I couldn't do a bad job of it, my work ethic wouldn't let me.  Maybe that's the root of what's wrong, no one has a decent work ethic anymore, even those working at the same place for over a decade.

Maybe that much time in retail has left her so bitter and jaded on the inside that she can't help but just to enough to get by to the end of her shift. Maybe one too many people were vulgar in their telling that they didn't want the card.

But see that shouldn't matter, you do the job that's set out with all the hoops that the company wants you to jump through, so that when evaluation time comes along they see that you're following the guidelines. That way they have no reason to complain about performance and you most likely will get a better raise or a bonus of some kind. Good work does get rewarded, as long as it's the work the company wants done.

A half assed job gets some guy ranting at 5:30 in the morning.



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