As some of you know (and those of you don’t, you will now) I spent most of my adult life in Emergency Medical Services. As a people person who wanted to make a difference, it was a perfect fit for me. Eventually the time came to pass that responsibility to the next generation. I’m still a people person and decided I wanted a job where I would interact with people, but without the high stress of life and death situations. I found just the right job. I’m a Guest Services Representative in a shopping mall.
A typical shift has, but is not limited to, things like the following. Please note that I’m FAIRLY ….well, kind of sure any flippancy in my responses are kept within the confines of my head, although that might explain why I was called in to see my supervisor the other day, but can’t remember the jist of the conversation because I’d just switched to the I’m Not Listening Mode after dealing with a customer who talked non stop and said absolutely nothing.
> Starting my shift at 9:00am and answering the phone in a pleasant manner even after repeating the mall hours to 367 people before 9:05 and I haven’t even put my jacket/purse away or … sip … finished my first coffee, while trying to prepare the desk for the day because people keep calling wanting to know the mall hours.
“Good morning, Come Spend Your Money Mall, this is Simone Speaking, how can I help you?”
“Ya, what time is the mall open ’til today?”
“9:00am until 9:00pm”
“Like, the stores are all open until 9?”
“Well if it works better for you, we’ll have it close at 7:00”
> Giving direction when customers are lost or when, after I’ve spent 45 minutes listening to them babble on about how they can’t find the food court and they’re hungry as they haven’t had anything today because she/he got up late and didn’t get to the Tim Hortons on 5 Avenue by 8:30 to meet his/her friend who was going to give them a ride, so missed grabbing something there (and by the way the cranberry blueberry bran muffins are a must) but still managed to get a ride from another friend of a friend who was going to be passing by the mall and so blah blahblah blah blah………. until I’ve got the glazed over eyes look, I’m craving a muffin, and I’d LIKE them to be lost.
> Listening to shoppers disgruntled and unpleasant comments after I turn them down for a promotion item because THEY simply didn’t check into the promotion rules and restrictions, but simply took what their friends pet gold fish told them as gospel.
“I was told if I collected 20 store business cards, you’d give me a _____”
“Sorry, it was not ____. It was ____, but the restrictions state that was while supplies last, and our supplies have run out. I can’t help it if you’re too stupid to have NOT read the rules that are posted at the entrances and online, or to have asked for clarification before starting out”
“ But I was too lazy to check it out and just took their word for it, and I just walked the whole mall to get these business cards! Surely you can just FIND one somewhere for me. I’m really full of myself and deserve the ____ because I’m upset that no one explained it all to me ahead of time and I was stupid and didn’t check first (Be sure to note the whine in my voice and the stomp of my feet)
> Direct shoppers to the appropriate stroller/cart rental locations and then listen to them B&#@! when they find out there aren’t any left.
“I’m appalled that there aren’t enough strollers. The fact that I wasn’t bright enough to BRING a stroller, considering I have a child, or take into account that thousands of other families would also be at the mall and want a stroller is of no importance because I’m full of myself and deserve to have a stroller at my disposal and I’m pissed off that you didn’t make sure that one would be available on my arrival. Now what am I supposed to do?(Be sure to note my look of entitlement and shock as I cock my head to the side and glare)”
> Help shoppers find the location of the nearest Trendy store that they were sure was in THIS mall because their friend/sister/other told them it was here and so it MUST be…
“I’m looking for Trends4You and I don’t see it on your map”
“I’m sorry, but we don’t have that store here”
“YES you DO. My friend says she just bought something from it the other day”
“NO we DON’T…I’m sorry, but she must be mistaken about which mall she was in. I’ve worked here for a while now and there’s definitely no Trendy4You in this mall. Can I help you find another store so you’ll go away?”
“NO, she was adamant it was here. Why would she tell me it was here if it wasn’t? I came here just for Trendy4You. Really, NOW what am I going to do. There isn’t another store like it…Danm! Can’t you see I’m full of myself and deserve to have that store available for my shopping whims? (Be sure to pay attention to my rolling eyes and flippant bob of my head). I need you to find out where there IS one”
“And I need you to take these Yellow Pages and … Sure, no problem” “Oh, hi Mr. Supervisor. Everything is just fine here”
> Assist shoppers (when possible) to locate lost items such as their minds, purses, cell phones, sippy cups, vehicle or their Aunt Deirdre who’s hard of hearing and isn’t “from around here”…
“Excuse me, but I’ve misplace my car, and I think you must have seen it”
“My memory might be a tad off today, so perhaps if you give me a description, I’ll also call Security and see if they can help”
“It’s a silver minivan”
“Well that REALLY narrows it down considerably. However, they might be able to help even more if you could tell me the year, make or model, and what area of the mall parking lot you parked in”
“It’s a 2000 something, I’m not sure what make, and I don’t remember where I parked it, but it’s a SILVER MINIVAN. Can’t you see that I’m full of myself that it’s NOT MY responsibility to pay attention to where I parked it and I fully expect you to go out there and look for it while I stand here and text my friend on my cell phone and update my Facebook profile (Be sure to note my arrogant stance/look and then brush off) Oh ya, there’s a car seat in the back and it has 4 sippy cup holders”
I could go on .. and on .. but I’ve probably lost most of you by now as it is. I I’d like to say that the majority of people ARE polite and easy to deal with and I’m glad I can help them out. However, I really MUST admit that I enjoy dealing with those who might be considered a bit of a challenge, simply because of the humor it brings to the day.
Laughter is indeed good medicine. That and a cranberry blueberry bran muffin ..