Friday, November 28, 2008

Nothing like customer service

Most Black Fridays I have a small plan of attack on the sales. I have never stood in line waiting for a store to open. Although, I have been known to stand in line at the register while the stores are closing.

I am not a morning person. I'm more of a midnight person.

The only time I've been at the stores at the opening hours was when I was forced to work retail in my twenties. Even then, when the stores opened at the late, later hour of 7:00 AM, I thought it was pure torture.

I worked in the children's department of a major department store. Every grandmother and mother in town shopped the day after Thanksgiving, looking for Christmas dresses, warm flannel pj's and socks (the grandmothers bought those.) One year I remember standing at the register for at least a solid hour ringing customer after customer.

It was insane.

And that was when Black Friday was normal. I can't imagine what it's like now for cashiers to be at work at 3:30 AM, waiting for all those grandmothers to buy socks.

Oh, the humanity.

So, since I no longer work retail, I have made a promise with my eyelids to sleep in for as long as I want the day after Thanksgiving. Or until the cat or my child need something.

I head out to the stores in the afternoon; I like to wait until all the crazies are gone home to nap or headed to Chick-Fil-A for lunch. .

Plus, I live in SmallTown now. We don't have much to choose from. No Target. No Old Navy. No Toys R Us. Really, there's no reason to get up in the morning. Today or any other day.

Daughter and I went to the mini-mall this afternoon where I planned to hit Bath and Body Works for their wonderful hand sanitizers (in Christmas Scents!) and foam soaps. We filled our mesh bag with luxurious cleanliness.

(This is where I must insert that this was only our second stop of the afternoon.)

Just as I punched in my pin number to complete the transaction, a cashier looked at me and said,"Oh. You looked tired. Have you been doing this all day?"

"No, I'm just sick," I explained.

If I had, you know, not been tired and, you know, completely insulted, I may have told her that I appreciate her concern for the puffy, dark circles under my eyes but she must be a rooky, one of those "work until the January inventory temps" because it is usually any company's policy not to insult the customer. Right up there with "the customer is always right."

Then again, I was tired, as she said. Sick and tired. And very thankful that I didn't get up at 5:00 AM to shop this morning. No telling what I would have looked like at that hour. Some new cashier may have called 911.

But hey, the publicity of the tired, half-dead lady just might have encouraged this town to build a Starbucks.

And that would have been worth more than any buy one, get one free sale.


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I have never, ever, ev-er gone out on Black Friday. Never.

Roxanne said...

I try to avoid the Black Friday craziness as well. I DID succumb last year for a GREAT deal on a VHS/DVD combo for my father-in-law, but as a general rule, the day after Thanksgiving I try to avoid all manner of retailishness.