I MUST start this post by stating clearly:
The posts on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of JoAnn Stores, LLC.
I literally wrote that down when I had to do an online in-service, because I knew it would come in to play at some point in time.
I will say I debated for a few weeks about stating what craft store I work at, because I know voicing my opinion about anything is going to create a backlash, and throwing the employer under the proverbial bus won’t likely win me any points.
My life so far: when it got to be the holiday buying season, I realized that I needed to increase my revenue if I was going to have any sort of life outside of living paycheck to paycheck. I have too many bills to cover and not enough dollar wise smarts to do it with. I thought about jobs I could do part time around my full time job, and since I spent regular time and money at JoAnn Fabrics, I applied there. Minimum wage later, I started the day before Halloween 2014.
I will also freely say that without knowing it, I have been the customer which gets commented about after they leave the store. I didn’t know any different, not having been told. So, in a way, I see this as a sort of P.S.A. about the environment which does not prompt genuine customer appreciation. Think what you will; I know I will think all sorts of things, good and bad, when this post is done.
The store closes at 9 p.m., but we are scheduled until 10 p.m. Why is that, do you ask? Being the customer checking out at 8:59 p.m. and thinking I get to go home the minute you leave? The employees have to be there before and after closing to pick up the store-also known as recovery (put back purchased/returned/found items), set sales and put up/take down signage, reset the floor plan, and stock inventory which comes in. Some days there is so much stuff out of place that after 90 minutes of multiple employees doing the bare minimum, the store still looks like someone set loose a fleet of toddlers without supervision.
You found a sale sign from a month ago, and can you still have the sale price? In the interest of good customer service the answer is yes, but if you see the paragraph above, you may appreciate why things like that get overlooked.
The store I work for allows multiple coupons and accepts competitor coupons. That doesn’t mean the store is open to give away inventory. That wouldn’t make good business sense. You will not get in line and get money back by simply making a purchase with coupons. You can’t bring in a receipt for something you bought two months ago which now happens to be on sale, and expect to get a refund. You won’t be handed coupons at the register. The whole point of coupons are for advertising. They are meant to bring you into the store, not to give you the deed.
Speaking of coupons, in the digital age, for the love of EVERYTHING which is good on this earth, have your coupons ready before you get to the register! Often there’s only one cashier. If it didn’t occur to you to look for a coupon or an app (I’ve had countless people ask me during a transaction if there’s an app for that) which may save you money, let someone else go ahead of you. I’m not the Geek squad, and I can’t help you figure out your phone. At best, I know how to use MY phone. There was no course on how to teach someone how to download browsers or coupons or apps or search engines to their phone so I can type in a 32 digit long code because the scanner can’t read the coupon’s bar code on the customer’s phone.
I am not a seamstress, despite the fact that I can cut and sell you material. It wouldn’t occur me to walk into Home Depot with a screen shot from Pinterest and expect someone to tell me how to make a grandfather clock, so please don’t come up to an employee and expect we will be able to tell you how to make whatever-it-is that you’ve found on the internet. We sell the materials, not the product. We can probably help interpret a pattern, but that’s not in the job description; it’s likely because the people working the store also craft.
If you don’t know what something is called, I can’t tell you if we carry it or if it’s orderable, unless perchance I have a co-worker who can figure out what you’re talking about and can give me specific information to research. If you’ve bought it at at a JoAnn store before, save your receipt; it has an item number on it which I CAN look up to see if we have it in stock, will be getting more, or can special order it for you. Again, vagueness is not our friend in this scenario.
The customer survey at the end of your undecipherable receipt? Yes, we actually want you to go online and complete it. If you name a particular person for doing their job over and above what’s expected, we do get recognized. It’s with a scissor pin, but for those of us who don’t have a pin, we envy those who have one (or five) and we do strive to give you a great experience, even if you leave us scratching our collective heads. If you don’t like something, there’s a good chance we don’t like it, either. The tall signs which hide the registers? We think they suck but we don’t have the power to take them down. The price scanners which don’t work? Yep, they piss us off but again, we don’t have the power to get them fixed. The leaky roof which leads to garbage cans all over the store—ditto. Same thing with the red paint footprint which has been on the floor since before I’ve worked at the store, because corporate won’t pay for it to be removed.
We know our paycheck is ultimately signed by the customer. For those who don’t, they should. That doesn’t mean we can meet unrealistic expectations. At the end of the work day, we are much happier when a customer is appreciative of our efforts even if we weren’t able to help them than we would be for a begrudgingly satisfied customer. Many of us work minimum wage to pay the minimum bills or (in my case) to cover expenses we can’t meet with our full time job (i.e. student loans). We all love our job, but that doesn’t mean being human doesn’t frustrate us, as it often frustrates you as the customer. I work with nurses, teachers, students, EMTs, moms and dads, parents working to pay for a child’s wedding, career people who have made this their life’s work. We want you to be happy, but you would help us by being realistic and meeting us somewhere in the middle.