As this week in work has been more chaotic than usual due to the 25% off clothing promotion, it makes me realise that anything that’s on offer, or even worse free, actually brings out the worst in people. I’ve worked in retail a long time, usually in ladies fashion and have only worked in a supermarket for the past 5 years but have watched as seemingly level headed people become selfish and demanding once they think they’re having something for nothing. You only have to see how people are when they see a stand set up in a supermarket with little samples on, depending on what’s on offer means that maybe they don’t have to feed the kids that night if they go back enough times for a freebie.
Working in retail over the years I’ve seen some things, not all people react in the same way to freebies, offers and promotions, but quite a few show the same behaviour. For some reason all logic and reason goes out of the window and some people seem to think they have a sense of entitlement, demanding that they have a particular item at a much lower price because there’s a speck of dust on it, a button missing, or even the wrong colour.
I’ve seen people clear a shelf of a sale item and then ask “Is there any more in the back?”
I’ve seen people make an actual complaint because there wasn’t a particular size they wanted on the sale rail and what was my name again?
I’ve had someone who, not being happy with the colour of a free belt, ask would I phone the Trafford centre on a Saturday afternoon where there was another store and ask them to check if they have the colour she wanted.
I’ve had a total stranger ask me if I would use my discount to help them buy their wife a new coat.
I’ve had someone complain that they’re not happy with the quality of a pair of free flip flops.
But it’s not only retail. Years ago I had a part time job in a pub restaurant as well as a full time job (initially to pay for a holiday abroad with the kids) and it would seem that restaurants have the same problem. If you complain enough about the food/service/drinks then you are likely to get some money knocked off your bill with maybe a voucher for a free meal if you really kick off.
Doesn’t matter if you’ve ordered a meal with a different sauce that you’re used to and decide you don’t like it.
Doesn’t matter if a rowdy table are abusive to the waiting staff and decide in their drunken state that actually they’re not paying the bill.
Doesn’t matter if you’ve told the waiter/waitress that you want your steak well done and remembered too late that you like it medium.
Doesn’t matter if your ex is in the same restaurant as you with his/her new partner.
Doesn’t matter that you don’t like the peas with your fish and chips.
It really doesn’t matter because apparently all these (and more) are valid reasons to kick off and dispute the amount you’ve been charged because people know if they complain loud enough, stamp their feet and throw a tantrum they will get what they want which is usually free drinks and a promise for a free meal any time they want. But that says more about that particular customer than the product on offer but it doesn’t change anything because sadly, it’s a sign of the times.
Now please can someone pass me the wine.