Friday, 22 April 2011

Gossip, Coming in Late, Leaving Early, and Underwear

Author Victoria Roder joins us today. She touches on a subject dear to our hearts--customer service, or lack thereof--with a sarcasm to rival us. Please give her a warm welcome.

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Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how the work ethics have changed? Do you remember a few years ago when customers where cordially greeted by the cashiers, baggers, stockers, and anyone else working in a store? Now, if you work in a store don't come unglued, there are still very efficient and helpful workers, but instead of the norm it is the exception. When I shop with my sister Tammy, if the cashier or waitress doesn't greet us, she'll say, "Hello, my name is Tammy and I'll be your customer today."

When I stand at the register, it drives me crazy when two employees working together, continue to gossip about their boss or other employees that they work with. Helloooo, I speak English and I can hear you. I want to jump on the conveyor belt and yell, "quit talking and move your lily white a..!" How can a young, exuberant person move slower than a convicted killer on their dead-man's walk to the lethal injection? Come on already, the ninety-year-old greeter at the door moved faster.

I spent many years as a waitress and I have been a manager at several different types of businesses and service industries. I am here to tell you that good help is hard to find. I've heard every excuse you can imagine for coming in late, leaving early, or missing work. One employee I supervised called in and said she'd be late because she was a little dizzy. I bit my tongue and thought, how was that different than any other day she came to work?

The most memorable excuse I ever got for a part-time person to leave work early was that she needed to wash her husband's underwear. What? Thank God I can control my sarcasm once in awhile, because, many questions raced through my head. The woman only worked three hours a day. Couldn't she get his underwear washed sometime in the other 21 hours? Does the poor man only have one pair of underwear? Does she have the time consuming task of taking his underwear to the river to beat them clean on a rock? I thought about buying her husband a few extra pair of undies, but then she'd never be at work. She'd be too busy following her husband around to find out who the hell sent him underwear.

Do you have something that drives you crazy about workers or fellow employees? Feel free to share, just don't share their name!

Victoria Roder is the author of paranormal romance The Dream House Visions and Nightmares rated BEST BOOK by The Long and Short of It Reviews. The truth can be more frightening than a nightmare. Murder, mystery and age-old revenge. Available at Amazon.

The cover for her action thriller, Bolt Action was just featured on in an article about book covers changing from bodice-rippers to butt-kicking babes. If you have time, check it out. The paperback is available at Guns, Harleys, attitude, a serial killer, and sexual tension Bolt Action offers it all. Check out the butt-kicking video on YouTube.

Coming soon to Wild Child Publishing, children's chapter book The Curse of King Ramesses II and from Vinspire Publishing a picture book entitled What if a Zebra had Triangles? Please feel to drop by her website.


Faith said...

HAHAHAHAHA @ "One employee I supervised called in and said she'd be late because she was a little dizzy. I bit my tongue and thought, how was that different than any other day she came to work?"

Thank you for the burst-out-laughing belly roll today!

I do know what you mean, tho. I was a manager for one of those Dollar Tree type stores. It was called Everything's a Dollar. The turnover of employees was mind-boggling. I've waited tables too. I've always said that if you can wait tables or work in retail, you're cable of handling anything, LMAO!

Victoria Roder said...

I think everyone should have to wait tables or work in a store at sometime in my life, because it also pisses me off when people are unjustly rude to staff also.

Shana said...

Ah, yes, the multitasking cashier who continues to talk to a co-worker while ringing up your purchases! PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

Love your Bolt Action cover!

Anthology Authors said...

Have you ever seen that SNL Target skit? That one is so incredibly right on it's mind boggling.

When I was the head librarian at a small university, I had a few student assistants. It was a pretty cushy job for them as they could study if we'd taken care of everything else. Well, once, I "asked" an assistant to shelve some books. He had the balls to say, "When I'm done here." (I don't remember what he was doing, but it certainly wasn't for the library.) You can imagine my reaction to that. (g) The next time I asked him to do something, he did it right then. (g)

Have you seen the way some customer service people treat the elderly? That pisses me off, too.

Of course, I'm with you on being rude to staff. I'm teaching my daughter to say "please" and "thank you" when ordering just like my parents taught me. To some, that seems unnecessary, but common courtesy goes a long way.

Faith said...

Victoria, I've often said the same thing about waitressing or working retail.

I have to say that waitressing, imho, is the worst of the two. The rudeness of some people is frightening. In my experience it seemed like it was always the women who were the worst, especially elderly women.

Victoria Roder said...

I think you should shop with my sister. She'll get the cashier's attention for you!

Here, here! Let's bring back common courtesy.


tealady said...

Funny! But oh so true. Where are the people who hired some of these people? TRAIN YOUR STAFF.....

Victoria Roder said...

Very true, Tealady. Training is important, but I'm not sure you can train work ethics and values. I think that has to come from a sense of pride in yourself. I've had jobs I didn't like, but I still tried to do a good job while I looked for something different. Any one agree, disagree?

Nan D Arnold said...

You have hit the mark faster than sugar to a decayed tooth nerve. Thanks for expressing so well what we've all gone (and go) through.

Victoria Roder said...

Thanks, Nan. With people out of work, wouldn't you think employees would try harder to do a good job. There could be fifty people waiting to replace them.

Carlene Rae Dater said...

Don't get me started about customer service people on the phones!!! I spent eight years on the telephone as a reservations sales agent for two International Airlines and I have to bite my tongue - REALLY hard most times I try to talk to a CSR.

Thanks for the good laughs.

Victoria Roder said...

Oh now that's a job I would never want! People are rude & spout off because you can't see them. Lethal Weapon..."Telephone Tough Guy!"

Cassie Exline said...

Wonderful, wonderful post. The dizzy excuse was hilarious.

Work ethnics seem to be a thing of the past as well as politeness.

Where I work, we have a three people who only on Tuesday. Hours total maybe eight. One woman wants a raise!! For what? Showing up. It sure isn't because she works hard while there. What a dolt.

Nike Chillemi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nike Chillemi said...

I posted this comment again because I mispelled something in the previous one and it altered the meaning...

I don't get it. Most of the employees who act this way are young. It seems the younger generations (I only admit to 39 like Jack Benny, LOL - saying Jack Benny dates me, LOL). But my point is these young people look like they don't enjoy life at all. They always have perpetual frowns or pouts.

Gosh I hate sounding like my parents. "What's with the youth of today?" LOL

I don't know if it's age discrimination or not, so I won't mention the chain. But there's a medium sized, regional chain in our area I've noticed only hires middle aged women as cashiers lately. Wonder why??? LOL

Victoria Roder said...

It drives me nuts when part-time people complain they can't get stuff done at home. Try working 45 hrs at a day job and writing nights and weekends. I say stock up and buy underwear everytime its on sale!

Victoria Roder said...

Don't you worry how the next generation will be? I guess that would be our grandkids. Maybe we should have them clean our houses when they visit since we're too busy doing everyone else's job.

Ashley Barnard said...

Because the scales are tipping the other way these days, I go out of my way to thank the people who really shine at work. I'm so sick of the rude, incompetent people! That woman washing her husband's underwear -- WOW. Great blog, Vickie.

IM Cupnjava said...

In regards to the underwear situation, was he an abusive control freak? Some abusers will make demands that will jeopardize the other's employment as a means of control.

Customer service has really declined recently. When I go shopping, I find myself falling into my old retail roles by offering honest opinions on clothing choices--cut, color, accessories, and care. I get offered a lot of retail jobs. Haha!

I remember one time a manager pulled me aside and asked for sales tips. I said, "The first rule, the only rule, and the most important rule is to never lie to make a sale. If a customer looks great off the clearance rack, they'll be back and they'll send referrals. If a customer looks awkward, you've lost future sales. The best advertisement is when customers look great."

Victoria Roder said...

I agree we should encourage good work ethics.

I do want to clear up, that the woman's husband isn't an abusive control freak. I am a mandatory reporter of abuse and that isn't the case here. The employee admits she really doesn't want a job, but financially they can't afford for her to stay home when the kids are at school all day.

Janice said...

I worked in the mail room of our local newspaper for five years. Think human inserting (flyers) machines and you know what we did.

When they decided to do an early morning Saturday run, we'd work at one or two in the morning for maybe an hour or two. One gal had just turned 21 and came in drunk. The supervisor made her stand outside in the cold, until she sober up.

Jeff LoSsOfReAliTy Gonsalves said...

My dad used to own a deli-wine shop. One employee called in sick around 5:30 a.m., but then showed up magically cured around 9. "Boy, taking aspirin and having a fruit smoothie really works to get rid of a hangover," she declared, smiling naively at my dad.
Some people operate on a permanent dry-drunk.