I’ve been working in a department store for a while now, in the Domestics section. Which means cookware and bedding, mostly. Oh, and towels. Anway, the point is, we have about a dozen display beds, made up to show how a complete set with matching sheets, bedsheets, blanket, quilt or comforter and pillows should look. Very pretty, all of them…but I cannot understand the magnetism they exert on almost every passerby.
I’m posting this in MPSIMS instead of the Pit because I have finally come to grips with the fact that there is no one thing I can do to stop people from messing with the beds. I did warn this one kid off of putting his feet on a white bedspread, but I’m allowed to speak up in a case that extreme. Otherwise, I just grit my teeth, say nothing, and continue the endless round of smoothing and straightening.
Now, I can understand wanting to check the texture of the fabric, or squeeze the pillows, or even pull down the sheets to see if they’re printed on both sides. I mean, if they’re really interested in buying this stuff, they should be allowed to handle the merchandise a bit.
But I don’t think “handling the merchandise” should extend to kid after kid doing a face-plant into featherbedding*, or people of all ages plunking themselves down, presumably to wait for their companion(s)**, or people flipping the quilt up and leaving it like that, or people tossing pillows at each other. It just happens over and over and over. I circle the floor, and by the time I get back to point A, that bed already has fresh butt-prints on it. Why do people think they have free rein to mess around with store displays?
*And the question of “Why don’t their parents stop them?” has had numerous threads devoted to it already, and been hashed into a pulp. Still, there’s little that makes me want to tear my hair out as much as seeing a kid go “whump”, face down on a bed that I JUST finished smoothing out.
**I suppose I could tell person A that if they want to wait for person B to finish choosing their toaster, there’s a spot by gift-wrap where they could sit on a nice padded bench and listen to CD samples…but that’s almost certain to be taken the wrong way.
Hah, sorry Rilchiam I am one of those asses.
My brother, mom and myself were at IKEA doing some Futon shopping when we saw the lady place all the cushions back after we left. Mind you, we were not rough housing, just feeling up the coushins. (if you will)
Does it justify it, since we ended up buying it? And spent an extra 100$ for the spring mattress?
Yes, it’s okay if you touch something with the interest of buying it, even though you’re still not going to be buying that specific setup. But I’m talking about the people who act like they’re at the Exploratorium or something. “Ooh, look at the fluffy bed! Let’s see how high we can bounce!”
When I was a kid <cue geezer flashback> the displays in the stores where my mom shopped weren’t real beds at all. They were abbreviated bed-shaped boxes. The bedspreads, comforters, shams, bedskirts, and such were put out as if on a real bed, with the excess tucked magically away. Anyone who tried a face-down bounce would walk away with a major headache. And my mom would yell at us for touching - sometimes for even thinking about touching. Kids these days… <end geezer mode>
What it is to me is that these are big “poufy” feather quilts. If someone sits down on one of them, even for a minute, they will leave a huge wrinkled dent. And then they will walk away and leave it looking like crap, when it’s supposed to look appealing to potential customers.
This is why you should lodge bamboo spikes daubed in excrement under the down comforters.
Since it appears that (part of) your job description is to do exactly what you’re complaining about, I don’t really sympathize. What other responsibilities do you have besides making the goods look presentable again after the customers have screwed with them?
So you sell a “poufy” feather quilt that “looks like crap” after someone sits on it. Maybe the sitters are doing other customers a service, in showing how bad the quilt looks if it is ever actually used?
I was thinking the same thing and I’m only 27! Does that make me a geezer? EEP! But yeah, the display beds were always hard boxes that just LOOKED like beds. What’s this newfangled featherbed display craziness you speak of?!?
—Ringing up customers’ purchases, from a line that often grows and grows, with two people joining for every one that gets cashed out.
—Trying to get them to sign up for store credit, which, if they accept the offer, takes a few minutes to process all their info.
—Answering the phone, which leads to requests to find this or that, which leads to me having to leave the register to make sure we really do have 12 strawberry-patterned dinner plates, and bringing them to the register, and writing out a hold ticket.
—Finally getting out on the floor and helping people find whatever it is they’re looking for*, which often means searching fruitlessly for a California King sized sheet set in royal blue, which we don’t have because for some odd reason we never have enough of everything. Store manager is more afraid of having surplus than disappointing customers, I guess.
—Finding out if another store has the California King sheet set in royal blue, and calling them to make the same kind of request I have to honor in point 3, above.
—Sorting through the items that are heaped over and around the knife display, separating the “hold” items from the ones that a customer just didn’t want or couldn’t afford, and returning them to the selling floor so customers can a) see the knife display and b) find the items where they expect them to be in the first place.
—And various other things, like telling people where the bathroom/food court/gift wrap/elevator is, cushioning breakables in bubblewrap (you’d better believe that takes time), and damaging out items that can’t be sold as they currently are.
Now, I don’t resent any of this. But, there is an expectation that all sales representatives will contribute to keeping the sales floor from looking like Wal-Mart. This necessitates refolding towels (which is another rant; if you want to inspect a towel, you don’t have to take apart the whole stack. Just shake out the one that’s already unfolded.) and returning items to their proper place**, and making sure the sales and pricing signs are where they’re supposed to be***. Straightening the beds is another part of that, and as I already said, I don’t mind doing small adjustments. Although as I also already said, sometimes I can’t leave the register for an hour or more at a time. So when I get out on the floor and find that customers’ antics have left the beds in a shambles, I start wondering if maybe they’d be better off going to Wal-Mart.
*I do love bridal registries, though! People just hand me these slips of paper, so I know exactly what they’re looking for, and I even have the…the…what do you call that lookup number? I keep saying “the URL…oh, you know what I mean!”. Anyway, with that, I can check the computer and know right off if we have the electric Sicilian nutmeg soother or not. I tell you what, I’m gonna hate it when the wedding season ends.
**The reason that deep-fryer that you found on the discount table rang up at full price is very probably that some other customer picked it up, thought about it a while, then put it down on the discount table instead of the shelf they originally got it off of. And yes, we have a lot more cookie cutters than that. They just have this wandering spirit, y’know?
***Customer brought a cappucino maker to the counter yesterday. Couldn’t believe it was $170. “But the sign said $29.99!” Turns out the same manufacturer made a coffee grinder that was priced at $29.99, and someone had put the sign on top of the cappucino makers. And the day before that, another customer couldn’t believe the Vail pillows were $30, because they’d been underneath a sign that said “Columbus pillows, $9.99”. In neither case did I have to honor those prices, because the signs were accurate. But since people tend to see what they want to see—"$9.99" + pillow = all pillows for $9.99—I’d prefer to avoid situations like that by making sure the signs are placed in such a way that they can’t be misinterpreted.
HA!!! Rilchiam , housewares has spoiled you. You don’t know how good you really have it. Try CLOTHING retail, and you will run screaming back to your beds, your “rotato” potato peeler, your pillows, and all the little signs that keep you sane. I remember those days. The clarity I could cause with a carefully worded sign and a highlight marker…sigh…
Rilchiam, the chain I used to be with went bankrupt in 2000. That’s another story…the joys of working through a bankruptcy liquidation, in probably a store similar to yours…
We would run an ad in the Sunday paper that was always plagued with poorly worded/vauge discriptions of items. The signs also had the “good thru” date at the bottom. We also had “unadvertised specials” that lasted a month, two months, or until we ran out, etc. It was fun to highlight the date of the sale, or the model number. That way, you had an “out” if an old sign was left up or if they wanted the $59 toaster and not the $29 one on sale for $24.
If you have things like decorative accessories, lamps and the like, you can take a good old sharpie and write the SKU number on the bottom or in an inconspicious place (the tag of a pillow or comforter is good) to deter shoplifters or ticket changers. Assholes. I’ll never forget a cashier who knew that we did this argue with a customertrying to get an expensive picture frame for $9…“well, I can see those numbers and I’M notcrazy”…