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Zombie Customer

13 Aug


We have all seen the movies of the great shuffling horde that pushes against the gates of the survivor’s stronghold, clawing and trying to force their way in.  They moan and push and pull causing tension on those inside while you wonder how long it can last.  Apparently this whole design template for several movies was inspired by this customer type.  That and Black Friday.

We can give the Zombies a pass in the movies.  They are hungry mindless automatons who are actually just trying to eat you.  The Customer Zombie is much more annoying.  This customer will come up and pull on the door then stare at it confused.  They think, “Why won’t this open.”  They might even take a second to look at the hours that are posted next to the door before they try again.  But even that won’t send them on their way.  Now they will just sit and wait.  Surely you’ll have to break.  They can outlast your meager supplies.

The Customer Zombie gets even more interesting though.  They will arrive as much as an hour before the store opens.  This isn’t the five minutes before hand.  This person knows they will need to wait a good while before the doors part.  Depending on the weather they will either sit in their car or pace in front of the door.  In cases of Mall locations, they’ll put their hands on the gate and stare at you while you try to get things ready.  Occasionally they will yell questions through the gate assuming that you must be free to answer their inquisitive nature.  After all, there isn’t a reason in their minds why the gate is still down.  If you are in a location with an actual door, expect them to try to peer in through the window to see you every five minutes.

At some point, you have to allow them in.  Now the second part of the zombie reference.  They won’t need your help and are just looking.  That is right.  The person who has been hanging outside your store eager to get in, pestering you by tugging on the doors or shaking the gate, really just wanted to peruse your shelves to decide if there was anything they like.  This is of course if they actually say anything to you at all and don’t just go as far from you as possible.

A game release Tuesday seems to encourage their presence.  Keep in mind that they aren’t there for the game.  Sometimes, they will be shocked to realize that a game even released that day.  “There is a new game out?” They’ll ask in complete and legitimate shock.  They assume that the twenty people who showed up 5 minutes after open all to buy the same game are mere coincidence.  Most times they’ll just walk around for ten to fifteen minutes than leave without much more than a few words.

So now that you know how to identify the Customer Zombie what should you do?  As Zombie bashing legality is still debated you can’t remove them.  Pretty much keep doing your job.  Keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t trying to steal and do whatever other task requires your attention.  They are pretty self-sufficient and apparently don’t actually want your help.  But at least you now understand that they are not a unique phenomenon.


I want to get rid of my change(with actual bills present) Consumer:

9 Aug

We have all been there.  Maybe it is the kid in front of you in line.  Maybe you’re the cashier.   Maybe you’re the parent with the child.  But we have all seen it: the mass of change sitting on the counter.  The piles of discard coins spill like a volcanic eruption, often with the beleaguered cashier desperately trying to keep them from sliding off into oblivion.

Why is this bad? Because our generation has so many ways to take care of loose change.  You can go to the bank and actually ask for coin sleeves to roll and deposit the change yourself.  Or even convert it to bills.  Banks will more than often provide you with the rolls to make life easier.  If you find yourself will less time, try the Coinstar.  They will convert you change for a percentage cost.

But people still feel the need to pass this effort onto the cashier. Surely we have nothing better to do than slowly count out your coins while a line forms behind.  And be sure, oh dear customer, to start trying to count with us.  Nothing is more frustrating than having someone inform you that they have already counted out several dollars’ worth of change.  After all, a minute ago you just informed me that the bag of assorted coins was five dollars and I didn’t take your word for that surely I will believe the smaller quantities.

Some might question the lack of trust.  After all, the customer is always right?  Well no.  If a customer dumps a shoe full of change on the cashier and their drawer comes up short, the immediate answer is that the customer stiffed them and they are held accountable for not checking.  Welcome to the world we live in.

Sadly they never seem to notice others in the store.  This is the week of Christmas and they decide they will pay with twenty dollars in change.  They might actually apologize to others in line but feel that they are right in this move.  They have just asked you twenty questions when you’re alone and a line has formed and then decided to dump the change from the purse.  Sometimes with bills more than evident to everyone else in line.  Sometimes they will go so far as to pull out the bills to get at the loose change before putting the bills away.

On one occasion I had a customer dump about twenty five dollars in various coinages down on the counter.  When I asked her how much, she shrugged then informed me she would pay the difference.  I worked quickly, her sighing not helping, to have her decide that she would pay the remaining dollar and ten cents on her credit card.  This way she didn’t have to deal with the coins.

To the reader who is wondering what they should do when this happens:  Nothing.  If you are the cashier get counting.  At home try with your own change to see what fast counting methods you can come up with.  Remember they won’t help and the longer you take, the more they hinder.  If you are another customer in line, be patient.  We do understand that you also have things you would rather be doing, but sighing loudly or tapping your foot does not help.  It only slows us down.


Thanks Amanda for summing it up.