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Don’t whine to sales associates; try walking a mile in their shoes



Published: Wed, January 15, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Don’t whine to sales associates; try walking a mile in their shoes

This is a reminder for shop- pers to please be kind and considerate to those who wait on you all year.

Some are college students, teachers, and others who work two and three jobs. They work long hours (standing for eight hours a day) and usually are underpaid, underappreciated, and often the target of customers’ rudeness and anger at store policies.

Did you know that in many stores sales associates do not just ring up customers? They are now often required to meet unrealistic daily sales goals, straighten the store, open new accounts, place orders, do returns, and promote store programs that are endless.

A few reminders for shoppers:

Do not trash dressing rooms. Sales associates are not your slaves or “beneath you.” Throwing clothing on the floor and leaving trash and human excrement in dressing rooms (yes, it happens) is abusing property that is not yours.

Do not get angry at associates because you can’t figure out the store’s crazy sales or coupon exemptions. These are indeed maddening, but sales people have nothing to do with them. Contact the store’s main offices and write to company CEOs with your complaints. Stores do not listen to employee complaints. Customers carry more weight.

Never throw away sales receipts or tags. Doesn’t everyone know this by now? In this day of technology, bar codes are king. If you do not have a proof of purchase, you will have a tough time returning items, and rightly so.

If you forget your coupons, do not whine to the sales associates. It is your responsibility to clip and bring them.

Stores understaff on purpose to save money — complain to the company.

All stores have policies. If a sales associate tells you he or she is not permitted to do something — accept it. Sometimes even managers cannot make exceptions.

“Yes, but” some of you will say, “I have run across crabby sales people.” All I can say is “walk a mile in their shoes.” Stand on your feet all day, and take all manner of complaints and abuse and bizarre behavior from the public and then see if you smile. American shoppers are spoiled.

Companies are greedy, so the level of customer service provided back in the days of the great department stores is gone. Don’t blame the sales associates.

Elizabeth Nagy, Poland


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