The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A True Tale of Retail Survival!

As much as I post excerpts from my book, "Surviving Retail", it is only fraction of the actual content that it contains. This is one from when I worked at a catalog based gadget store.

When I worked there I learned that the more contentious retail interactions are referred to as, "customer issues." One was set in motion at the gadget store when Will, the store manager got a call from a guy who wanted to return a booklight, he surmised it was the last one that we had sold the last one of four months before and this would be two months after our return policy. He was incoming and Bill wanted me to handle it to hone my "issue" handling skills.

He gave me a couple of quick basics; he was normally huge on sports metaphors and similes, but for this he switched to card ones. "It's like poker, you know what you have, but you don't want anyone else to know. You can take it and give him his money back, but you want to see what he wants, you want to bluff. You want to explain first that it's past our return policy. If he doesn't go for it, give him store credit. and so on."

When he finally arrived in an odd shuffling walk he came straight to me, "I talked to Will on the phone.." I took it from there. I said, "I can help you," full of newly granted authority.
"I bought this light some time ago and I need to return it, I still have the receipt," he said.

Even though Will told me the situation beforehand, I feigned ignorance and looked over the receipt. I said, "Well, this was bought a while ago and we do have a two month return policy."

"I understand," he said pausing slightly to wince, "you see, I've been in the hospital. I got an infection, and one of my balls swelled to the size of a grapefruit..."
"Let me give your money back," I said. That it, no bluffing, I fold.

But he continued with his story, causing my own bout of wincing, following me as I went to ring the return through, "You know, it's now egg sized, so it's better, but..."
Christ on a bike, I'm giving you your money back, ENOUGH!

Luckily for me, Will drew the T.M.I. fire when he popped in to ask what ended up happening and the guy spotted his name tag and aimed towards him instead.
"Will, there you are. I was telling your employee, I was in the hospital, one of my balls..."

Soon he was fleeing from the scene, stopping to whisper to me, "get this weirdo out of the store."

But at least the guy with the egg-sized nuts left happy.

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