Bad Hair Week

I thought things were going to calm down after *christmas* and things would get back to normal. I thought I was going to have an opportunity to breathe and get my head around things after the C word. I thought by the middle of January, I was going to have re-charged my batteries, I would be working as many hours as I could scrounge and things would have eased.

I was wrong.

We've gone from *christmas* to Sale to annual stock take. The nightmare continues. I'm up to my eyeballs in paperwork, that I am constantly missing important bits of information for, my reps aren't returning my calls; and then customers want serving.

Except, that the few customers we've got, are rude, obnoxious or just plain stupid.

Let me tell you a little bit about our stock situation at the moment, as in, we have very little of anything. The shoppers during the festive season have pretty much wiped us out of all the popular fragrance lines (though you can still get Gwen Steffani's LAMB and Sarah Jessica Parker's Covet, oh and Britney, we have lots of her fragrances still in stock). No Marc Jacobs Daisy, no Lanvin's Arpege or Eclat d'Arpege, no Paul Smith Rose, no D&G Light Blue. Not for you my dear. There are two reasons why we won't be immediately stocking up. One, it's our stock take in a few days time, the Powers that Be want as little stock in store, so no orders to be placed/delivered before February and two, we aren't the only people who've had time off, which means the manufacturers and distributors are running behind.

Unfortunately, our customers seem to take this as a personal affront. The way they act, it's as if I am withholding said fragrance from them, because I am a complete bitch. How very dare I? Don't I know they're my best customer?

Then we have the Sale Confusion. Our department store does not do store wide 10% off, like other department stores (like Debenhams, for example); the fragrance section only discounts unsold gift sets and discontinued lines. One particularly vile woman, dressed in fake fur, with make-up done by Circus Clown Inc, pounced on me. She demanded to know why was there a fragrance tester for a line, of which there was only a solitary box of shower gel left. My explanation that the tester was out so that a buyer might see what the shower gel might smell like, fell on stony ground. As did my explanation that the other items in the fragrance line had been sold. And no, discontinued meant we weren't going to get any more of that fragrance in again.

My colleagues let me go to lunch 10 minutes early because my temper was beginning to show through. A couple of women staggered in.

"I'm looking for my favourite perfume. Can't remember what it's called. Think it begins with 'G'. It's in a round bottle."

The fumes from their lunch-time drinkies nearly blinded me, but I did manage to find her most favouritest perfume in the world. Omnia Crystalline, by Bulgari.

Well, she was close; there was a 'g' in the name.


  1. It's good to see that work is so straight forward in their approach to "sale".

    What you have to realise is that while you have the gift of common sense, alot of people, especially those who are willing to trawl the sales 3 weeks after Christmas, do not. In alot of cases the fact that they can breathe and ask a question is impressive.

  2. People are so sad sometimes,dont they realise that you are doing your job and not hiding fragrances up under the counters, im surprised they are trawling sales looking or it (i bet its because they are so bad mannered noone got them any for xmas ) they probably all got
    I hope these sales amd stocktakes all end soon and you can get back to being more relaxed and get some happier customers..
    Roll on spring Roses ...

  3. Your blog is really good for reminding me never to ask mindless questions in shops, so you're quite educational, you know.

  4. hottie ~ I don't think I'm particularly prone to common sense at all. Far from it.

    B*E*G ~ The sad fact of the matter is that as soon as the sales and stock takes end. It's time for Valentines Day.

    claire ~ I honestly don't mind random questions. You couldn't work in retail if you did. It's the lack of good manners, respect of my personal space and short temper which is the problem.

  5. As soon as the christmas goodies are reduced the next 'essential' marketting extravaganza installed to make our lives just a little bit better approaches on the horizon that is the future.

    Easter eggs.............another essential thing that we need to make our pathetic little lives fulfilled and another chocolate related marketting mission.

    The selection boxes are barely forgotton and the chocolate hearts are in a photo finish with the chocolate ova and bunnyrabbits in their shiny gold coats and red ribbons.

    I suppose the chocky hearts will be the first on the shelves to be reduced.

  6. I quite like the thought of you hiding perfumes from the masses and making judgments on who is a worthy customer.

  7. Quite so...

    Here we are, second week in January and my local Tesco has half an aisle of Easter Eggs already... quite ridiculous...there ought to be a law...

    But going back to perfumes, notwithstanding stocktaking, (which any half-competent organisation ought to be able to handle without inconveniencing the customers who are it's life-blood), then surely the purpose of a perfume counter is to sell perfume (which like the Monty Python cheese shop, it cannot do if it hasn't any)...

    So whilst I condemn to a painful death (oh well, mild novovirus anyway!) any customer who blames the assistant for this, I can understand why they're miffed they can't get what they want...

    Strikes me it is the management, together with the inadequate organisational structure they've created, who are really to blame...go in and kick the manager Roses, (then you can have plenty of time to relax!).

  8. You poor thing - all that to put up with and the dreaded paper work as well.
    Are all shoppers so rude or is it just the perfume?

    Er - I don't do perfume.

  9. It's funny, but reading about your trials and tribulations with (rude)customers, whilst listening to my LP of The Batchelors, seems to make the problems minimal. So that's it. Play The Batchelors instore!

  10. W*E*B ~ yep the bright red chocolate hearts are about to creep in, closely followed by chocolate eggs and bunnies. Joy.

    sanddancer ~ I think it would be more likely that I 'lose' all of the celebrity fragrances and only have lovely smells in.

    cogidubnus ~ the management are still getting to grips with the department after a recent take over.

    kaz ~ yeah, I know, I'm whinging. It will be better after my couple days off. Why don't you 'do' perfume? Can I lead you astray?

    dickiebo ~ I know in the greater scheme of things: world peace, end to child poverty and police pay being back dated, it isn't terribly important. But it does get me when people have a go at me, just because they can.


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