Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pandora's Boxes

One of my many compounding jobs is to put back on the shelves all the items that customers like to take what I cal “walks around the store”. For whatever reason they choose not to buy the item and instead of putting it back like a normal person, they just leave it where ever they are. OK, I can accept that. I’ve done it in stores myself when the flash of how much money I actually have in my bank account crosses my mind and maybe the DVD collection of Thunder cats can be put off for another paycheck.

Now where my peeve comes in is when I look at the item and what condition the person has through some unknown means turned it from perfectly useful and pristine condition to a figurative condition equally only to a child survivor from a free weekend at Michael Jackson’s Wonderland. The most glaring omission from the box is any shape resembling…a box. Are these people punching their way to look at a coffee maker? Should I be tracking down a hook handed customer for reparations? Is the concept of packing tape so foregone to some people?

In my store we specifically put up signs telling people “DO NOT OPEN BOXES” and we even put out nice pretty displays so customers can finger fuck every orifice of a toaster oven before taking it home. But no. People have some brain deficiency that convinces them that they must check inside the box or when they get home they’ll open it only to find birdseed or wood chips in place of dishes. The unspoken assumption that really irks me is that any department store would ever survive with a business model that involved ripping off customers by selling them empty boxes. Again, people are so self-involved that they are convinced that we’re out to rob them in our stupid gaudy coloured uniforms.

The majority of people who do this ARE immigrants; yes in my experience this is true. Why? Because yes, in dirty poor India or back country Haiti this switcheroo probably goes on a lot where everyone is trying to make a quick buck. But spare me your paranoia when you walk into our publicly traded, ISO 9001 accredited, and multi-division franchised store and think we are selling you a box of snake oil.

The greatest piss off as the guy who has to help these idiots is when they either asks me to go out back when I know for damn sure the item they have is in perfect order but they want one with a sealed package. So smiling I pull a trick I used to do when I was a waiter and people complained about ‘dirty’ glasses set out. I take it out back away from prying eyes. Make sure there is no identifying traits, tape it/clean it up, and bring it back as if it were a new item. And they go along happy thinking they have something brand new when in actually it’s the same thing. I think they get off on the sense of control personally.

New flash, most manufacturers use the same cheapy packing tape you can buy in the stores. The most obscene waste of time is when I get someone who doesn’t want to touch the box that has been open, requests a new one, and once they decide to buy it TAKE ANOTHER NEW BOX. Assholes.
For only .99 cents, you too can transform items from used trash to brand-new!

So I’ve entered recently into my bad employee matrix a series of straight out lies to avoid the inconvenience of people. The standard ”There’s no more, that’s all we have”, “It’s store policy you have to buy the item you opened”, and just plain “No”. It’s so powerful how that last one can turn normal human beings into lunatics because they don’t get their way.  Whatever, fuck ‘em.

13 comments:

  1. Haha what a great article, I myself never talk stuff off a shelf without full intention of buying it.

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  2. I never thought about this as your average, unassuming shopper, but now that I think about it, I'm surprised by the number of people who I see opening things in the middle of the aisle. 'There, I opened this toaster box, and the toaster is inside, unscathed. Now that I have proof that the store has not put a scratched, fucked up toaster in here, I'm going to toss this box aside and grab a sealed one. That was all I needed as proof.' Makes no sense.

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  3. Guess I'll be more careful with the items when I go shopping :)

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  4. "The box says toaster, and there's a picture of one on the side... but I better be sure."

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  5. I`ve opened boxes to see what I`m getting before. Cant say ive finger fucked anything but I admit. Im one of those assholes :)

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  6. I feel your pain. I don't think I'd survive long in retail.

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  7. I can kind of understand about unsealed boxes, as people do tend to open packages and take what they need out of it. Like if someone lost the screws for table, just go to the store, open another box, and jack the screws.

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  8. Do you know if it's possible to get items with damaged or open boxes for cheaper? Sometimes I see open boxes of Lego and wonder about that.

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  9. Haha you really are a bad employee! Fight the power, man.

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