Friday, December 7, 2012

Mmm... crunchy

We're now in "the Christmas crunch" at work. People are coming in wanting their Christmas cards printed, ornaments ready to be hung, blankets made for relatives up north.

In case I haven't stated lately, I work for a photo store. I'm the film & video production specialist, as well as a technical engineer. The latter is just a fancy term of me changing light bulbs and road signs.

What stresses everyone out, is the customers want their Christmas stuff three days ago, and yet they bring everything in tomorrow. The smart people brought in designs last month. The procrastinators are waiting until the last minute. I must say, if you do wait, expect not to get it in time. I found out yesterday that if the orders aren't put in today, the tumbler for Uncle Jack won't be ready until after the 18th. And at that point, the place is going to be more of a mad house than it currently is.

But that's like all retail shops this month. Crews are stumbling and bumbling to make clients happy. Customers want things the way they see fit, and if the store can't offer anything of substance or "for cheap", the customer goes somewhere else.

Proof in point: Last week a customer came in to get his Hanuka greeting card made. He is a very well known doctor down here, and likes having things his way (like they all do, it seems). If he can't get what's rightfully his, screw you, he wants a fight. He had a problem with our photo kiosk, so I went over to help. I politely explained to him why he was having an issue moving his picture in the template. He didn't want to hear it. Instead, he felt it was necessary to start yelling at me, and throwing a 4 year old's hissy fit. Yet this guy is renown? So at one point he said to me that since I don't know what I'm doing and refuse to help him, there must be someone else in the store that knows what the hell they're doing. If not, he's taking his services else where. I went and got some help, and the person who helped this gentleman, explained the same thing I had told him five minutes prior. He ended up getting a custom card, after embarrassing himself and his wife, and having his wife actually try to talk some sense into him. There were no apologies, no real sense of calm. He was still madder than a hatter, but at least he got the design he wanted.

I guess that the whole point on of this post is the fact that you really can't let holidays in retail get you down. I've been on both sides of the fence and know that the workers are only trying to help, yet the customers who start making rude demands really need to plan their days better.

To throw a little hippy dippy mantra out there: Don't over kill things. Give peace a chance during the holidays. You never know where (and when) life will throw you that dirty curveball. Use your wisdom to your advantage and come in early for that "deal" that you so expectantly want.

Don't forget to tip the person helping you. Karma works.