What is it about this year that has made holiday shoppers so cranky? The warm weather? A soft economy? No stand out books or other items to give? I am not sure but people are downright miserable. It's not just one customer but numerous ones. I had a woman grunt at me today when I thanked her and wished her a happy holiday. Another customer questioned me as to why I didn't wish her a Merry Christmas but instead a Happy Holiday. I had no reason other than I am used to using the PC term.
This evening I was down on my first floor and a grumpy man came in looking for two calendars he had placed on hold. Her gave one of my booksellers his last name and she went into the back to find them. She couldn't find them so she emerged and asked for some additional information, still no luck so I intervene. I ask him if he knew who he spoke with so that I could narrow it down, he said he spoke with some guy. Well great generally we have men and women working for us so that narrows it down. He is now getting frustrated and exclaims "Well, what is the PROBLEM, I mean you do usually hold things for customers for more then a quarter of a day!" I take a deep breath and remember to turn the switch on my "Bitchy customer filter" to on and say, "yes sir and I am trying to figure out what the situation is." I look up 2007 Civil War Calendars because that is what he told me he had put on hold and I haven't carried any of these this year (I am not surprised I am after all located on a college campus and that is not a big item) but because our system is not perfect I bring him back to the calendar section and we painstakingly exam every calendar
2007 Pretty Puppies
2007 Position a Day Calendar
2007 Simpsons Fun
2007 Far Side
Me: Hmmm, I don't see any Civil War Calendars sir are you sure it was this store you called to have them placed on hold
Customer: Yes, I know where I called I wrote it down, see right here
Me: Ok, well it just seems odd that we would have put something on hold that we don't have, and we can't seem to find anywhere in our store. Do you mind if I call the other store in the area just to make sure its not there?
Customer: Fine, but I am not an idiot, apparently one of YOUR employees just doesn't know what they are doing!
Me: Well, let me see what I can find out
Sure enough I call our sister store and the employee on the other side of the phone is familiar with the calendar this customer is looking for and I ask him if he can check to see if he has 2 of them on hold at the front of the store for this particular customer. The employee returns to the line in less than a minute and says that he does in fact have two on hold for this particular customer and they will be on hold for him for 3 days at the front of the store.
I relay this information to the customer and inform him that the store is opened until 11:00pm this evening and he can go there to pick them up they are on hold under his last name. He leaves without apologizing and I make sure I keep my filter switch on just long enough for him to get out of the store and then it clicks off, "Merry F-ing Christmas to you too asshole!"
I resisted the urge to call my sister store and tell them that he decided to no get these calendars so they could put them back on the shelves, but if he pushed me any further tonight that is exactly what I would have done!