posted Sat, 09 Dec 2006
The power of “Yes ma’am” becomes clearer and clearer. Last night at The Store, while I was checking out a customer, the phone rang. They make us answer the phone, even if we are waiting on someone. I hate that, because I think it is rude to the customers who are actually in the store. It’s like letting someone cut in line, but it’s their store, their rules. So when I got to a point in the transaction where I could talk on the phone and continue the transaction, I asked the customer to excuse me and took the call.
It was a clerk from The Store in another mall, asking if the clerk at the other register had found those black pants with the pink stripe yet. I looked over at Cindy, who, like me, had been busy with customers for the past ten minutes. Unlike me, Cindy has a broken hand, so it takes her a little longer to do things right now.
I asked Cindy if she’d had a chance to look for the pants yet.
“No,” she said. “I’ve been busy. I told her I was busy and I would do it as soon as I had the chance.”
I relayed the information to Other Clerk. “Well, I sat on hold for the longest time. She could at least have told me. Isn’t there an ASM there? Why didn’t she tell me? Why didn’t she call someone else? Why did she make me wait?”
I started to get tense. “Yes ma’am. One moment, please, ma’am,” I said politely. “I’m with a customer and I need to finish this transaction.” I put the phone down, took a deep breath, and wrapped my customer’s purchases. Then I picked the phone back up. I was loaded for bear. I was ready to argue with Other Clerk. She was attacking me and I hate to be attacked and as y’all know, I love to be right. Love it. It’s like my favorite thing in the whole world. I like it almost more than chocolate, maybe more because there are no calories in it.
And then I thought – wait! I don’t even have a dog in this fight! It’s not even about me!
“Ma’am,” I said politely, “I’ve been here eight days. What’s an ASM?”
“It’s a manager,” she seethed. “Just connect me to one.”
“OK,” I said. “How do I transfer on this phone?”
She told me and I did and it was over.
The end of the line
1 year ago