"Bedding, Borscht and Bitches"
It was a day. Yesterday. KitchenAid came to teach us about all of the cool attachments, and to use their mega-juicer to make juices that I just wouldn't stop drinking. Apple, kale, orange, and a little water. Health in the middle of a stressed-out day. Priceless.
I was happy to take a break from those phones. From the man who called, looking for a $99 suit that he needed right then, because he waited until 3 days before his trip to shop. Okay. It happens. Not a problem. But...no...not that blue...not quite that blue either. And....wait...drive 15 miles to one store to get the pants, and 7 to get the jacket? Ooh...too far...don't have the time...
Then go without the suit. I honestly don't care. 1% commission on a $150 suit is $1.50. I'll still sleep at night.
So, yeah, taking a 2+ hour training break: needed. But it sure did louse up my money for today...and yesterday at the Adrianna Papell training did the same. Not the best two days I've ever had at the store.
But the "best" was yet to come...
Click "Read More" below.
After the training, back on the phones for the final hour of the day.
Y'know, you get to the point where you recognize a voice. You don't know the person, but you sure as shit know the emotional makeup, and you know you're in for a time of it.
A woman in her 60's or 70's. Strident voice. Absolutely did not draw breath the entire 20 minutes she held me hostage. Self-righteous. Self-congratulatory. Mistress Of The Universe. Know-It-All. Condescending. And LOUD.
"I. WANT. TO GET. SOME SHOES."
Jeez! Fine! I'll get you some shoes! What kind of shoes are they?
"THEY'RE WHITE! " Because, clearly, I should already know.
"THEY'RE SKECHERS." Okay. There are only three thousand kinds of skechers. I want to ask if they're for a man or woman or child, but she is talking. Talking. Talking. Talking. Talking. Talking.
"MA'AM!" I yell, "ARE. THEY. FOR. A WOMAN. OR. A MAN?"
The only way to get through is to yell. And even with raising my voice it takes her 8-10 words to SHUT. UP. AND. LISTEN.
"For a CHILD!" Again, stupid, stupid me. "For my GRANDSON!"
Dear Jesus you're high maintenance already, and I'm tired. And please stop talking. Please.
I look for the shoes. She has no identifying number for the shoes and doesn't know what they're called. They're just...white. And for her grandson. I'm looking through all of the Skechers, and trying to cut through the absolute wall of sound - so many words with no actual use nor meaning - so that I can confer with her on which shoes we are looking for.
I manage - somehow, because there are miracles - to ask her one or two questions about what I am seeing, but soon enough she is off again, telling me crossly, "NO NO, THAT'S NOT IT. IT'S WHITE. WITH A CRISS-CROSS PATTERN."
There are no grandson Skechers that we have that are white with a criss-cross pattern.
And this woman simply. will not. listen. It's not that we don't have them, you see, it's that I'm too stupid to see them or to understand the words that are comin' out of her mouth.
"YOU KNOW, IF I WERE TO OPEN ANOTHER CUSTOMER SERVICE BUSINESS' - oh Lord Jesus, another one? How did anyone survive the first one? - "I WOULD HIRE HER. SHE WAS SO HELPFUL AND SHE WENT OUT OF HER WAY TO BE OF ASSISTANCE AND SHE FOUND ME EVERYTHING I WAS LOOKING FOR AND WENT THE EXTRA MILE. SHE WAS JUST AWESOME. "
Wait for it.
"AND NOW I'M DISAPPOINTED."
Did I hear you right?
She went on carping about something or other for about three years off of my life and I wondered, really, did I hear that right? Is that what she meant?
I did, and it was. Unfair is a mild word for this kind of phonal abuse.
Before she hung up on me, she bleated, "YOU HAVE BEEN VERY UNHELPFUL."
Jesus. In order to be helpful, YOU HAVE TO SHUT THE FUCK UP, BITCH, AND LET ME BE HELPFUL!
The line clicked off and I said to the dead phone, "Yes. And so have you." And I wondered if the call auditors would hear that too. But since that was mild in comparison to what I was really feeling like saying, I didn't care.
Now, anyone who really knows me knows that patience is my cross to bear. I can be very patient with others when I'm teaching, but with myself the cross is heavier.
This job is God's helpful little way of beating me into patient submission. You're being cruel and unusual, God, I'm just sayin'.
Another talker. This one does not want to let me guide her through the process. I'm looking up what she wants, and she says breathlessly, "Do you want my credit card?'
"No, Miss Dorothy, I'm just looking up that bedding for you." We are, in fact, so freaking far from my needing your credit card, I'm already shaking my head.
"Well, do you want my address?"i Kill me now.
I draw breath, open my mouth to speak..."I have a Macy's card, but I haven't used it in a long time do you think it will work or do you think I should use this other card?"
Patience, Lori. And the auditors are always listening. I take another breath.
"Why don't we look for the bedding first so I make sure I'm looking at the one you're talking about... Okay?"
"Oh. Okay." A moment of calm. Thank you, Jesus.
She takes a beat, but she can't keep herself from taking the reins. "Are you looking at the right one? Is it the Full/Queen Hotel Collection Connection European Down? The one that cost $500 but now it's $350 but it used to cost $500 are you seeing that one is that the one you've got in your store? It's 500 count and 700 fill? Is that the one? 500 count and 700 fill? Can you see that? Is it in your store? I can tell you what's on the back of the package, which number do you need? 72266039?"
Overload. My brain is on overload. And I need a drink. Instead of a drink, all I have is you.
I tell her the price is actually less than $350. It's $239.99. She is now even less trusting of this being the correct bedding. As for me, I have lost all interest in this conversation, plus I'm considering running screaming from the desk.
I confer with my boss. It's the right freaking blanket. Girded with his authority I return to the phone. I assure her that it is the right bedding and to head off any further questions, I repeat all of the stats. Surely this will close this thing out.
No. Of course it doesn't.
She is just not satisfied with paying less. Now she wants to use a 25% off coupon, because 63% off is just. not. enough.
And she has a $20 gift card, so we throw that in.
And now she has a $10 off card of some other special or other - who cares, lady? YOU CAN'T USE COUPONS WITH A SALE PRICE. I wonder to myself if I have started speaking Penguin, that's how much she is not understanding me.
To get her off of my phone I give her the $10 off.
No. She wants to know if she can use the 25% off coupon IN THE STORE if she orders the bedding there.
First of all, I'm not losing this sale after all of this effort, lady. Second of all, YOU CAN'T USE A FUCKING COUPON WITH A FUCKING SALE PRICE.
I think I'm gonna need smelling salts. Or brandy. Lots of brandy.
Again, Miss Dorothy wants to try this and do that with her credit card, her information, her coupons, until finally I break. Through gritted teeth I interrupt her to say, "Let me guide you this process, okay?" Slightly cowed, she says, "Okay."
She waffles back and forth - to buy here or in the store - and finally tells me to purchase it. I've never hit a Place Order button so fast.
I'm ready to get the hell off the phones when my boss comes over with an apologetic look on his face. He's remarkable, really. He actually pays attention to people, to what they're putting out there, and my God he knows my moods already. So, apologetically he says, "Um...there's been a scheduling snafu and all of the night people are down in the training and there's only three people here taking these calls, so ..."
"So you want me to stay?"
"Just one more call. That's all I'm askin'."
"Anything for you, boss." Because he's got my back. Always.
One. more. call. God help me.
"Hi!" says the upbeat woman on the other end. Oh thank God! A friendly voice! "I am looking for an Apple 4 watch!"
Holy Grail time. Apple watches cost hundreds of dollars. Worth the effort of selling, for sure. Plus did I mention this was a nice person? Yeah.
She wants the gold stainless steel watch with a 44mm band. We've got the gold trim. We've got the Apple 4's. We've got the 44mm band Apple watches. But we do not have stainless steel. We have the aluminum. What. the fuck. What. a day.
Boss man talks to me about positioning - maybe we can talk her into buying another watch that is, frankly, identical, except for the band, and which saves her $200! I'm scrambling through the website, asking her to look up a different Apple 4. "Oh no," she happily chirps, with a little gurgle of laughter in her throat, "that's the one I already have."
You already have?
I had forgotten what it was like to have money. (Would like to rectify that, like, last week..)
"Oh!" I said, "You already have one!"
"Oh yes," she gurgles, "I want to give this one to my daughter, and get the other, newer one that everyone has, for me. But I'm having trouble finding it."
By now I'm too tired to even offer to call her back when we get them in. I'm done. I'm fried. I'm fricasseed. And now my boss is standing there going, "Come on." I look at him uncomprehendingly. "Get up," he says. "Go home. Or am I going to have to throw you out of here? Go home."
I finish up with my financially unsuccessful day, my boss keeping me from committing hara kiri a bright spot in an otherwise bitchy day. And tomorrow is not just another day, it's the start of a working weekend.
But call me Scarlett O'Hara, because tomorrow is another day, and I'm going to somehow sell a $600 fucking watch, Apple or otherwise.
©2019 Lori Kirstein
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Lori Kirstein, Founder
The Goodbye Good Girl™ Project LLC
The Feminine Face of Business
Cincinnati, OH 45205