The sales clerk was young and attractive, unless you count the purple hair. "Do you sell hand
cream?" I asked. She rolled her eyes and replied, "I haven't a clue." No kidding, I thought. But
wait -- aren't sales people supposed to know what they sell?
Most clerks I encounter know their products intimately. In fact they're eager to impart that
wisdom if it means a sizable commission. And some are so convincing, they could sell me a
freckle off my arm. They're also willing to go the extra mile, unlike a take-out-food clerk I
encountered a few weeks
After handing me my order, she sorted my hard-earned moolah, slammed the cash register
drawer and walked away without so much as a thank you. "Could I have a bag for this?" I asked
politely. I could tell from her expression my request bordered on outrageous.
With a deep intake of breath, she tossed a sack on the counter. She made no move to bag my order so I performed
the menial task myself.
We've all had run-ins like that from time to time, and they certainly get the adrenaline flowing.
So much so that a young woman in Troy, Michigan attacked a clerk at Hudson's department
A video surveillance camera recorded her stepping behind the counter, throwing the clerk
to the ground and swinging at her head.
That, of course, was no way to handle the matter. Instead she should have sought out the store
manager, thrown HIM to the ground and swung at HIS head. Er -- I mean, registered a
On second thought, I take it back. Not EVERYONE has encountered rude sales people. Ann
Landers received a noteworthy letter from a Mystery Shopper awhile back. That's someone paid
to evaluate sales clerks while pretending to be a customer.
M-S claimed she's demanded services she wasn't entitled to, returned items she bought at other stores, and generally been "downright nasty." But after harassing employees at over four hundred stores, she never found one who was "crude, rude or unpleasant."
Well, no wonder! She intimidated the beans out of them! The poor workers were whipped into
submission. After reading that, I plan to hire a detective to uncover this woman's identity. And
next time I go shopping, I'm taking her with me.
Corky is Lois Corcoran. Her column appears in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram Online and on a free parenting e-zine, The "M" Word.
"Jest Between You and Me," is now available at Hard Shell Word Factory. For a short reading, visit the Free Gallery of Authors' Voices.
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