Work issues that irk me.

Well, one for sure. But first, let me tell you about the wonderful work day that was yesterday.

These days, with the mall being open longer, I'm usually closing the store, and can afford to show up at 11 am instead of 9 am. So I get to sleep in a bit.

Chris, however, seems to be getting burnt out. I can understand why, since I'm getting there, too. The store is so insane every day, and this is both Chris' and my first Christmas in management positions. So it seems that nothing ever gets done because everybody's helping customers. On the other hand, my sales are doing pretty well.

So Chris' dad came into town for the day, and Chris decided to head out early. It was also Barry's day off, but he had a customer who was getting a stereo sent to her house, so he needed to come in to arrange that.

Unfortunately for me, Barry's idea of "arranging things for this customer" was to drop it in my lap.

"Okay. She'll be home at about 4 pm, so you can send it to her house at that time. Also, let's call a cab company to do it, since our courier service is really sucking."

So, at 3:55, I get a call from this customer, who doesn't speak English all that well. "I'm home now, so you can send me the stereo."

I'm about to call the cab company, when I realize it would help if I had an address to send it to. I look up the receipt, and manage to find it only due to how foreign her name was. Barry, the guy with excellent foresight, didn't leave me a name or address.

Unfortunately, the address on the receipt is #9116 107 106 St. Which, if you live in the area, and are familiar with the efficient Edmonton way of gridding everything, you'd know does NOT exist.

There's no 107 106 St. Unless she lived in the oil refineries. Or the highway.

I call the phone number on the receipt. No answer. I call again. No answer. She must not have given us the right phone number, since she SAYS she's home, but not picking up a ringing phone.

4:30 pm. I get a call for her, asking where this stereo is.

Me: "Okay, I needed you to call back, because I don't have your address."

Her: "Apartment 9116. 107 106 St."

Me: "I'm sorry. That's not an address."

Her: "I live on 106 St. And 90 Ave."

Me: "So do you live at 9116 106 St? Or 90 Ave? (decides to go a different way with this) Tell you what. Can you give me your postal code?"

Her: "It's T6x 0x0. (I'm forgetting this, obviously)"

Me: "Okay. If you'll hold on a second, I'll find out where this postal code leads."

Her: "So I can hang up?"

Me: "NO!Pleasedon'thang(click) FUCK!" (I'm obviously in the back room when this conversation takes place.)

Okay, the woman's obviously an idiot. But I can't call her back, because I DON'T HAVE A PROPER PHONE NUMBER!!! So I look up the postal code. And find out that she WAS wrong, and that it was 9116 106 St. So the apartment MUST be 107.

So I call up the taxi, head outside with this HUGE stereo, waiting for the cab. When it comes, we start loading it in, and I give the guy what meager directions I have for him. Meanwhile, a security guard throws a young woman out of the mall. This leads to a great piece of outdoor performance art. Which the cabbie and I decide to watch, while holding this 50 pound stereo halfway into a cab.

"Fuck YOU, you SHIT! I'm doing my fucking CHRISTMAS shopping! You fuck! You fucking piece of SHIT! Kick ME out of the fucking mall! Fuck!"

Interesting story all by itself. If ONLY that was the hardship of the day. BESIDES getting repairs that have been sitting for a few weeks out. And then THIS phone call:

Me: "RadioShack Downtown. Kyle speaking."

Girl: "Is Chris there?"

Me: "I'm sorry. He's left for the day."

Girl: "Well, isn't that brilliant?"

Me: "Pardon?"

Girl: "I called earlier today because we got a USED iPod. And he was supposed to get me a new one."

Oh. Right. I remember Chris grumbling about this before he left. One of our salesguys sold an iPod that we had to get in from Kingsway. When it comes to stuff from other stores, sometimes people are idiots.

In this case, as well as some others I could share, we asked if they had a new iPod. They confirmed they'd send a new one. It comes in, we give it to the customer. And of course, it turns out not to be new. (Variations on the theme: Selling a "new" computer monitor, bringing it in, only to find out there's a repaired TV in that box. I'll tell you later...) But it's matter of us taking their word for it, and customers yelling at us.

Me: "I'm sorry. I'm not aware of what's been done about this."

Girl: "All I wanted to know is if I could get a new one today. And he was supposed to call me about it."

Me: "Ah. (I check my watch. 4:45.) I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to get one for you today."

Girl: "Well, that's an answer. Not the one I wanted to hear. But it would have been nice to have heard an answer beforehand."

Me: "I'm sorry-?" (asking if an apology was good enough from the guy who has no clue what's going on.)

Girl: "I wasn't really happy with the way he treated me this morning. I'll tell you that I'm going to write a letter to your head office about this."

Me: "Okay. If that's what you feel you should do."

Girl: "What's your manager's name?"

Me: "His name is Chris."

Girl: "That's it?"

Me: "That's the name he goes by, yes."

Girl: "Well, it could be short for Christopher, or Christian."

Me: "(chuckling) Well, it's not like I'm giving you an alias. Chris is his name. Last name McCrea."

Girl: "You don't have to be defensive about it."

Me: (about to say "I'm not being defensive." Which, of course, would be defensive in her eyes.) "Okay."

Girl: "Because if I'm writing a letter to head office, I'm going to need his name. My mother's coming in on Monday to return this iPod. And she's not as nice as I am."

Me: "Okay. Thank you."

I hang up. And immediately think, Man, if her mom's half the bitch that this girl is, I'm staying the hell out of the store on that day.

* * *
So, yeah. Yesterday was not my best day. I decided to unwind with some wrestling and beer with D! and Elimination.

My beef TODAY is about Kenneth, one of our new hires. He's bad. Not just Anthony-autistic bad, but bad.

He doesn't learn, takes half an hour to sell a phone that a customer wanted when they came in, and talks too much for his own good.

Also, he doesn't "trust the products we sell." Which really pisses me off, because if there's a product I hate, I try to recommend one that I like. If a customer asks me which phone is better, Panasonic or Nexxtech (our crappy house brand), I tell them point-blank, the Panasonic. Better phone, higher price. And it's worth the higher price.

But what I DON'T do is badmouth our products, like Kenneth does.

There's now a list of things I forbid Kenneth to talk to customers about. Today, he forced me to add cell phones to the list.

A cute girl came in asking about cell phones, and she got Kenneth. Guess which store she won't be coming back to. (First of all, I'd definitely help cute girls all the time, especially when it gets me the revenue cell phones give me. Second, I was too late to stop Kenneth. So I decided to listen to his spiel.)

Turns out that only way he could have done any worse would be to say, "You know, cell phones give you cancer." Or "Do you know how many children died in a sweatshop to make that phone?"

Granted, it wasn't much better. It was all I could do to not throw the heaviest, most blunt product I could find at him.

Kenneth: "One way where the cell phone carriers get you is in roaming fees. If you're traveling through a place that doesn't gave reception for your cell phone, you can get dinged a LOT of money, even by three or four different carriers."

Me, while pulling my hair out and considering slitting his throat with an ExactoKnife: "Kenneth, that's only in the States! The only time she'll have a problem is if she leaves the country. Here in Canada, Rogers has reception EVERYWHERE!"

Kenneth: "Still, you can lose a LOT of money through roaming fees."

Me: "KENNETH! Rogers doesn't have any roaming fees within Canada!"

Too late. The cute girl has left. And, surprise! She didn't buy a phone from us.

And I really had to control my temper and refrain from giving him an outright beating.

Sigh. Maybe it'll be better tomorrow. At least I got a RadioShack Card sale on an iPod today. Unopened, this time...

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