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Retail rage

Get mad, then get over it. ~Colin Powell

Why is it that retail stores rarely get it right when it comes to the appropriate level of attention to give customers? These days I find most stores are understaffed. When you need assistance, it seems like nobody works there. When it’s time to check out, there’s a huge row of check-out lines, but only three of them are open, and there are 14 customers in each line.

But today I had the opposite problem – overly attentive salespeople. I was at Cole’s Book Store on Sparks Street, and this irksome little man kept appearing at my side and asking in a high-pitched mosquito voice “Can I help you Ma’am?” and “Are you looking for something in particular Ma’am?” and even “Are you sure I can’t help you Ma’am?”

And it wasn’t just me…he was flitting from customer to customer, pestering all of us constantly and loudly. This is a small store, so everybody had to listen to the same questions over and over and over again, even when they weren’t directed at us. There were two female clerks there too, doing the same thing but less obtrusively. After 10 minutes I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to leave because I felt like swatting him. Or throttling him. Or ripping his voice box out of his throat with my bare hands.

I took off empty-handed, while his infuriating falsetto voice followed me out the door: “Did you find everything you were looking for Ma’am?”


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