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View Full Version : /sigh (Very long, and VERY ranty)


Morningchaser
10-15-2009, 04:05 AM
AAAAAGH! Why am I still doing this? I, seriously, want to put remote-controlled land mines in the drive thru! As a foreword for those who've forgotten, I work at an evil place that sells over-priced coffee that shall remain nameless, only because I KNOW they check the internet for ANYTHING said about them.. I've also been doing the same job for 3 years, and as my best friend who also works there and has been working just as long said “When you started working here you were really nice and kinda shy and quiet. Now you're...how to say it nicely?..An old salt who can only hold his tongue with an industrial strength clothespin”.

Alright, now, almost anyone who's worked retail/food & drink/sales can attest to the annoying act of suggestive selling. I don't like doing it, you don't like hearing it, but if you feel the need to be rude about it then don't be at all surprised when I feel the need to be rude to you. Answering with a curt, sharp “no” doesn't make me think, 'Oh my! This person must be in a hurry/must have heard my spiel 60 bajillion times, I should move this along', it makes me think: 'Fine you stuck up beyotch, you wanna' play? Let's play!' Ignoring me all together just ticks me off even more, and the worst offenders to date are the ones who just sit there in silence.....And more silence....finally I assume that you had your window rolled up or were on your phone talking to whoever the hell you think is so #@$# important at the time (note: I don't care if you have Oprah, Obama, and Tyra Banks on conference call, HANG UP THE @$# PHONE WHEN YOU'RE IN A DRIVE-THRU!!!!), so I repeat what I have to say and the...delightful bundles of joy from Heaven reply, 'Just a minute!'. Extra points if you act like I've been tapping you on the shoulder for 12 hours and then turn to your equally beeyotchy friends to complain about how annoying I am. Trust me, if you can be charged for something on the stupid little drink you're about to order, you WILL be charged for it.

/sigh...okay...on to the actual stories:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MC: Me
SC: Stupid c...ustomer...

MC: -Opening spiel-

SC: Yeah, we got these coupons for a free small coffee, can we upgrade it to a large and pay the difference?

Now, this “lady” has been coming into our stores for 3 years now. Nobody likes her because she always finds SOME way to behave like an EW and can't comprehend why we will almost fight to not have to ring her up. She also knows from several similar promos that there's no way our computer will let us charge someone for the difference. I look at my manager since sometimes if he's in the right mood he'll actually let us say 'no'. Deep down he knew that going this route would probably lead to a bigger fight than it was worth, so he told me to 'just say yes'...ugh. I hate that phrase.

MC: We can just give it to you. So, two large coffees then, any cream or sweetener?

SC: Hold on! I'm not done! I also want to know if I can make one of them iced, and in the iced I want blahblahblah

I zoned her out at that point because I immediately looked to my manager again and he said almost loud enough for her to hear over my headset, “No! We're not doing that, the iced costs more than the regular and we're already giving her more than we have to.”

MC: Actually, we can't do it iced. We can fudge the rules and give you large, but we can't make them iced for you.

SC: Oh....well...*confers with whoever's in the passenger seat for 5 mins...during the morning rush...* Fine, we'll just take them both hot.

MC: (resists urge to puncture holes in the bottom of the cups)

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Side note the second: I'm not sure why, but every time I get anyone who works for RTD coming through the drive thru (Regional Transportation District. Bus drivers, Light Rail drivers and the like here in Denver) they are the RUDEST s.o.b's I get all day. Not a generalization of all drivers, of course, merely the ones that come through our store.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

And to end this parade de la suck a story that I thankfully wasn't a part of because I'm not sure if I would've been able to hold my tongue. Now, big green coffee store has the new instant coffee, 3 and 12 packs. If you've heard about this it's because corporate set very, very, VERY aggressive sales goals for every store. Our store didn't meet it's goals a couple of days and our DM was in there for almost a WEEK straight pestering the hell out of us to sell sell sell! I can't wait until it's over, but...you didn't come here for that.

Yes, we will give you a sample, but eventually we expect you to buy. One of our semi new girls gives another pesky customer (annoying drink that's very specific, always short with us, and naturally never tips) a sample. She looks at it and goes, “Can I get a handful of them? Like 5 or 10?”

...wait....what? You mean you want 5-10 of the product that I tried to sell you at the speaker box? Oh, that's right, you interrupted me, so I guess you didn't know. Then I guess you also didn't see the million signs that look like people around the store and drive thru? You want 5-10 of the little things that we sell in 3 packs? How do I say this without being too offensive?....uhhhhhhhh

HELL TO THE NO!!!!

Oh, you don't even want the one then? Big surprise. Please die in a fire.

Love,
Morningchaser.

RecoveringKinkoid
10-15-2009, 04:31 AM
Since the average speaker box sounds, at least to me, like someone trying to scrape cats out of a tin trap with a metal rake, I'm willing to bet many of your customers have no idea what you are saying through it.

Maybe yours is different, but at every one I've been to, they could have been trying to tell me my hair was on fire for all I know.

Having someone try to send a sales pitch through one would be a train wreck. I just wait until something that sounds vaguely like garbled numbers comes through, then I figure I can probably drive around.

Munkie
10-15-2009, 04:43 AM
ah yes those things... we have them in our warehouse. pesky items. one of the "managers" for that store I deliver to once took ALL the promo ones - without telling us - and gave them to the store. Two days later we were "uhhh, wait a sec, we had a dozen of them and now we dont, WTF"

We don't like it when the "managers" come downstairs and raid our storerooms without telling us. We DO keep an inventory, and as soon as I've been in that room once, I have a running inventory in my head. I'll know whats missing as soon as I walk in and take a good look.

Mongo Skruddgemire
10-15-2009, 05:01 AM
Alright, now, almost anyone who's worked retail/food & drink/sales can attest to the annoying act of suggestive selling. I don't like doing it, you don't like hearing it, but if you feel the need to be rude about it then don't be at all surprised when I feel the need to be rude to you. Answering with a curt, sharp “no” doesn't make me think, 'Oh my! This person must be in a hurry/must have heard my spiel 60 bajillion times, I should move this along', it makes me think: 'Fine you stuck up beyotch, you wanna' play? Let's play!' Ignoring me all together just ticks me off even more,

I must apologize, but I take umbrage at this.

I have been to places where I hear the up-sell or the "suggestive sell" spiel all the time. If I say "no" I get treated rudely. If I ignore them and just give them my order, I get treated rudely. If I say "No thank you," and then give them my order, I still get treated rudely.

The implication from my personal experience at "certain coffee stores" and other drive-through retail food chains, is that the only way I'll not be treated rudely is to accept the up-sell or suggested item regardless of the fact that I either do not want, do not like, or am allergic to said item.

I go to a store (food or otherwise) with an item or items in mind that I want to buy. I should be permitted to get said item or items without someone trying to guilt me into buying something I do not want, or getting annoyed at me for not wanting to buy the three-handled, moss covered, family credenza that management is desperate to unload on anyone, when all I came in for was a sparkplug socket that fits the plugs in my new car.

Morningchaser
10-15-2009, 05:30 AM
I must apologize, but I take umbrage at this.

I have been to places where I hear the up-sell or the "suggestive sell" spiel all the time. If I say "no" I get treated rudely. If I ignore them and just give them my order, I get treated rudely. If I say "No thank you," and then give them my order, I still get treated rudely.

The implication from my personal experience at "certain coffee stores" and other drive-through retail food chains, is that the only way I'll not be treated rudely is to accept the up-sell or suggested item regardless of the fact that I either do not want, do not like, or am allergic to said item.

I go to a store (food or otherwise) with an item or items in mind that I want to buy. I should be permitted to get said item or items without someone trying to guilt me into buying something I do not want, or getting annoyed at me for not wanting to buy the three-handled, moss covered, family credenza that management is desperate to unload on anyone, when all I came in for was a sparkplug socket that fits the plugs in my new car.


I'm not sure where you go then, but at our store a "no thank you" or even a "no" without it being snotty isn't going to make us treat you rudely. It's the people who snap at us or ignore us that get me upset. I honestly don't want to be trying to sell that crap, but if I don't say "Would you like to buy XXX" then it eventually puts my job in jeapordy since we have to do it. I completely agree that we shouldn't have to try to do it, but there's nothing that we can do about it without getting severe pressure put on us from management including having our jobs threatened. All I ask is that I get treated respectfully as a person if they expect the same respect in kind.

Mongo Skruddgemire
10-15-2009, 09:57 AM
I understand the "upsell" and the managerial mentality of "you must do this or die!" when it comes to selling something. I used to work at Advance Autoparts. If some poor soul comes in looking for a windshield wiper, I was required to try and push...

Glass Cleaner
Anti-Fogging compound
Rain-X
Wiper Blade Cleaner and Conditioner
Terrycloth rags to use the products
Wiper Fluid
Squeegee
Ice Scraper (if customer came in the winter)

So I know how annoyed a customer can get. Been there, done that, burned (no hyperbole) the polo shirt.

What I object to is...

Answering with a curt, sharp “no” doesn't make me think, 'Oh my! This person must be in a hurry/must have heard my spiel 60 bajillion times, I should move this along', it makes me think: 'Fine you stuck up beyotch, you wanna' play? Let's play!'

The implication here being that if I were to run into you at your store and I simply say "no" (and how does one say "no", a one syllable word of two letters, in any fashion other than curtly? It's not like you can see my face at the drive-up intercom.) that by doing so would incur your wrath, make you think of me as a beyotch (or more likely in your mind "bitch", and cause you want to "play" (or retaliate as is in the context of the statement).

Another thing concerning the upsell is the wheedling some sales people will do to get you to buy something. I go into a store wanting to get an iPod nano, and they try to shove an iPod touch in my face which at the cost I could either afford the touch or two nano 16gb which is what I came in for in the first place...a pair of his and hers Nano's.

Or my local Starbucks which had the barista plead, cajole, persuade and all but offer to perform fellatio in order to buy the Spiced Chai Latte that was on special instead of the coffee I wanted.

In total disregard for the fact that I am lactose intolerant, was out of Lact-Aid, and that Chai spice causes anaphylaxis in me.

The fact that I wouldn't order their "drink of (to me) death" really offended them and the service I got from the point of my holding out my Medical Alert Bracelet and stating my allergies, could only be considered "poor" if I was feeling charitable at the time.

RecoveringKinkoid
10-15-2009, 01:24 PM
Thank God the Kinko's upsell was not required, nor was it pushed hard. Simply put, if we judged that an upsell might improve a customers finished product or make his life easier, we were encouraged to do so. Not required to do so.

But then, for a long time, Kinko's had a profit sharing policy that was very good, and nobody needed to threaten anyone with a write up to make them increase profits. We all did it of our own accord for the obvious reasons.

Gosh, what a concept. Incentive instead of punishment. I know, unheard of.

And amazingly, none of us customers got mad about it because we were not required to be pains in the ass about it it.

EvilEmpryss
10-15-2009, 03:45 PM
I'm not sure where you go then, but at our store a "no thank you" or even a "no" without it being snotty isn't going to make us treat you rudely. It's the people who snap at us or ignore us that get me upset. I honestly don't want to be trying to sell that crap, but if I don't say "Would you like to buy XXX" then it eventually puts my job in jeapordy since we have to do it. I completely agree that we shouldn't have to try to do it, but there's nothing that we can do about it without getting severe pressure put on us from management including having our jobs threatened. All I ask is that I get treated respectfully as a person if they expect the same respect in kind.

I feel for the position you're put in, but ever since certain golden arch drive thrus started putting recorded spiels on, I have trouble telling the difference between the recording and the real person. Recordings can be ignored with impunity, but then there's no clue for the customer as to when someone on the other end of that speaker is ready to take the order. *sigh* Management shlubs should be forced to go through this process themselves -- from both ends! -- before they insist on making it a policy.

But those big wigs make too much money to visit drive thrus... they have personal assistants to go for them. In this case it's :deadhorse:

kendiara
10-15-2009, 06:04 PM
I work at a bookstore that includes a non green store cafe, and the upsell is huge with our upper high level management. There's a giant spiel about discount cards, magazines ect. This guy comes in while my mgr is covering a break and does his order. Then he says....

No I don't want a bigger size, flavored syrup, room for cream, a cookie, a cake, a drink holder, a discount card or a magazine. Anything else?

Boss goes, "Want a job?"

cawaker
10-15-2009, 08:33 PM
Like EvilEmpryss said, a lot of the spiels are recorded nowadays and its quite awkward to know what to do.

I mean who wants to talk back to a machine? or do you not say anything and wait for the person to say something thus sometimes taking a decent amount of awkward silence wasting time?

as drive through workers that have recorded spiels, what do you guys prefer people to do?

Pagan
10-15-2009, 09:11 PM
The implication here being that if I were to run into you at your store and I simply say "no" (and how does one say "no", a one syllable word of two letters, in any fashion other than curtly? It's not like you can see my face at the drive-up intercom.) that by doing so would incur your wrath, make you think of me as a beyotch (or more likely in your mind "bitch", and cause you want to "play" (or retaliate as is in the context of the statement).

Oh, believe you me, there are ways to say "no" and have it sound nice and there are ways for it to sound like a curse word. Plus, is it really that hard to follow it with "thank you"? (Although I've hear that phrase come out nasty, too.)

It all has to do with tone of voice.

rerant
10-15-2009, 10:51 PM
and how does one say "no", a one syllable word of two letters, in any fashion other than curtly? It's not like you can see my face at the drive-up intercom.

Simple: tone of voice.
The length of the word is irrelevant when considering someone's attitude.

EvilEmpryss
10-16-2009, 01:04 AM
as drive through workers that have recorded spiels, what do you guys prefer people to do?

I think this is an excellent question, and one that is best answered from the horse's mouth. I usually start with a hesitant "Uhm... hello?" and then follow up with "Is anyone there?" if no one responds.

I don't wait around long, though. I either pull up to the window or leave, depending on how badly I need that sweet tea. :D

Mongo Skruddgemire
10-16-2009, 09:43 AM
Given the quality of the average drive-through intercom system, one couldn't be certain that the person on the other end was an English speaker.

Hell, I couldn't even be sure that the person on the other end was human. Some times I'm fairly certain that the person on the other end was Vogon and I'm dreadfully concerned that one of these times they're going to start reading poetry.

So with the poor quality of the intercom systems, trying to listen to the customer who is running at a yelling pitch to cut through the sounds of the wind and the engines in front and behind, how does one accurately tell the belligerence level of the person trying to order.

Mamadrae
10-16-2009, 03:27 PM
God I was always yelled at for never promoting things when I worked fast food. I was simply concentrating on getting people their orders and out of the way as fast as possible. If they really wanted something they would tell me and then I'd make suggestions of upping the size or whatnot. I was famous for pushing 2 hashbrowns or pies on people when they asked for 1.

Thankfully I never got yelled at for it either. Think the fact that I was one of the fastest drive thru folks helped on that. Plus I by then I had long ago mastered the art of telling managers what they wanted to hear and going forth and ignored their stupidity.

I have yet to run into an automated drive thru there. Then again I do live in a cornfield that only just got a super Target in so it might be a long while for that.

KitterCat
10-16-2009, 04:17 PM
Off topic;
Mongo Skruddgemire
Or my local Starbucks which had the barista plead, cajole, persuade and all but offer to perform fellatio in order to buy the Spiced Chai Latte that was on special instead of the coffee I wanted.

I don’t want to sound sick, but if you could tell me which Starbucks your frequenting, I’ve got a couple of friends who could use such services. They might even buy the coffee.:p

On topic,

Yes I understand a lot of what your dealing with is Tone of voice, we’ve all heard words like “hello” spoken with venom, but lets face it drive through speakers suck. Some of the new ones are ok, but even then the customer has to deal with suckie employees, after all SC’s have to work somewhere to.

As to companies requiring employees to up sell products or have really cute names for sizes. I hate it. I’ve actually stopped going to Starbucks because of it. I don’t need the drink of the month/week/day. I just want a medium coffee with sugar and cream. No not tall, venit or what ever other term your calling your sizes. Medium. Its in the middle of small and large.

CiggyStoreClerk
10-16-2009, 05:26 PM
I have one thing to say, and it's about your display picture.

Eeeee! Repo!

Just saw the movie about a month ago, totally awesome.

RecoveringKinkoid
10-16-2009, 06:34 PM
As to companies requiring employees to up sell products or have really cute names for sizes. I hate it. I’ve actually stopped going to Starbucks because of it. I don’t need the drink of the month/week/day. I just want a medium coffee with sugar and cream. No not tall, venit or what ever other term your calling your sizes. Medium. Its in the middle of small and large.


Me, too. That's really the main reason I don't got to Starbucks. I'm not learning a new language to order a damn cuppa joe. I have no idea what the cutesy names mean and I have no clue how to even order.

If a place's menu is so confusing that ordering a cup of coffee seems to be a herculean task, something is wrong. Bad wrong.

Andara Bledin
10-16-2009, 08:31 PM
The implication here being that if I were to run into you at your store and I simply say "no" (and how does one say "no", a one syllable word of two letters, in any fashion other than curtly?
Oh, there are lots and lots of ways you can say "no" and some of them are rude and some of them aren't.

There are worlds of inflection that can be infused into even a single syllable.

Even a short, I-don't-have-time-to-deal-with-anything-but-getting-my-coffee "no" can be polite.

I'll usually stretch my own response to a whopping two or three syllables and say "no thanks" or "not today" when I have people try to upsell me. I've never actually had anyone get rude or snotty with me for it.

Also, all these comments about drive through intercoms confuses me, too. Around here, I've only encountered one crappy drive through speaker in the last 5 years. The only other place where it's an issue actually turned theirs off and has you drive up, or comes out to take orders. *shrug*

^-.-^

mandaliz8704
10-16-2009, 08:42 PM
I usually just say "No, thanks though.." but the No gets kind of stretched out into more of a "Naaawwww." :lol:

Broomjockey
10-16-2009, 09:24 PM
So with the poor quality of the intercom systems, trying to listen to the customer who is running at a yelling pitch to cut through the sounds of the wind and the engines in front and behind, how does one accurately tell the belligerence level of the person trying to order.

I think you're not giving enough credit where it's due. When you're constantly at that speaker box, you CAN tell what's going on. You CAN tell tone. And then there's the whole "interrupting" or "saying thank you" stuff. I get that this annoys you, but you're trying to find persecution where none exists.

mikoyan29
10-17-2009, 04:44 AM
I feel for the position you're put in, but ever since certain golden arch drive thrus started putting recorded spiels on, I have trouble telling the difference between the recording and the real person. Recordings can be ignored with impunity, but then there's no clue for the customer as to when someone on the other end of that speaker is ready to take the order. *sigh* Management shlubs should be forced to go through this process themselves -- from both ends! -- before they insist on making it a policy.

But those big wigs make too much money to visit drive thrus... they have personal assistants to go for them. In this case it's :deadhorse:
I hate those pre-recorded spiels because it sounds like someone is ready to take my order. And then I hear, "Can you repeat that please?". I would like to know what ****ing rocket scientist thought that would be a good idea? I would like to know so that I can put him in a chair and play that for him for about 3 hours. (Apologies to Edward Beach and his rage towards the Submarine designer).

rerant
10-18-2009, 12:10 AM
Me, too. That's really the main reason I don't got to Starbucks. I'm not learning a new language to order a damn cuppa joe. I have no idea what the cutesy names mean and I have no clue how to even order.

If a place's menu is so confusing that ordering a cup of coffee seems to be a herculean task, something is wrong. Bad wrong.

I never order with the silly names. It's pointless and I know the barista knows what I'm asking for.
Even when I myself was a barista I would know that venti=large (where I worked we only went by small, medium, large).
Although i've had a couple starbucks baristas stand there and look at me with this expectant gaze just waiting for me to say "venti".
I just repeat "large".
Although I'm a very infrequent starbucks patron - their coffee tastes burnt all the time but I do like the occassional pumkin spice latte. And the travel mugs are great. The lids make it possible to actually drink my hot coffee/tea without burning myself like a lot of other travel mugs.

RecoveringKinkoid
10-28-2009, 12:32 AM
Yeah, you know, you're right. It does taste a little burnt. I thought it was just me...I make french press at home, with heavy cream, and I thought I was just ruined for anything else. It's not as good as what I make at home, at least to my taste.

jackfaire
10-28-2009, 04:14 AM
were on your phone talking to whoever the hell you think is so #@$# important at the time (note: I don't care if you have Oprah, Obama, and Tyra Banks on conference call, HANG UP THE @$# PHONE WHEN YOU'RE IN A DRIVE-THRU!!!!),

Oh god yes please for the love of god either order your food or do business with me. Customers will call in to discuss their bill then while I am trying to explain something to them I hear, "Just a second" and they start ordering a bloody hamburger! This is annoying and wasting time I could be using to talk to customers who were ready when they called in.


The implication here being that if I were to run into you at your store and I simply say "no" (and how does one say "no", a one syllable word of two letters, in any fashion other than curtly?

Simple you be polite and say, "No thank you" No thank you is the polite way of declining anything saying No is curt because it is rude.

Like EvilEmpryss said, a lot of the spiels are recorded nowadays and its quite awkward to know what to do.

I mean who wants to talk back to a machine? or do you not say anything and wait for the person to say something thus sometimes taking a decent amount of awkward silence wasting time?

as drive through workers that have recorded spiels, what do you guys prefer people to do?

When I was working drive thru I preferred people to do what I was doing which was ignore it. I pretended it didn't exist and the best customers did the same it was an annoying "time saving device" that would especially confuse people when it was recorded by my female shift manager and I am male.

friendofjimmyk
10-30-2009, 01:33 AM
During my brief return to the restaurant industry over the summer, I encountered upselling nightmares.

Granted, it was a sit-down restaurant, but I am even less inclined to push stuff on people when they come out to dine away from home.

Where I worked, it was "push alcohol!" We were prodded, pushed, conjoled, forced, yelled at, berated, and belittled for low alcohol sales. Somewhere in corporate restuarant headquarters, they determined that in order to make it through this recession, we MUST sell alcohol.

I would offer a beverage from the bar to a table as part of my opening spiel...if they said no...that was the end of it. I was NOT going to offer them a sample of our frozen drinks, I was NOT going to offer alcohol AGAIN when their food hit the table. They said, no!

Well, the district asshat even pulled us aside one day and bragged about how he made servers cry over their low bar sales. Ooooo...I really wanted him to say something to me. I was totally in a place where the job helped me, but was not needed. I had a few things I could say to make him cry. No penis havin...

Anyway, I digress...

The one point the asshat made was that we shouldn't be making moral judgments about people. There is no moral judgment - if they say no, where's the judgment. Okay, so maybe I didn't offer it at lunch time or after church on Sundays, because that's just a no-brainer...if they want alcohol...they know there's a bar...they'll freakin' ask!

rageaholic
10-30-2009, 06:41 PM
Sorry, but suggestive selling is a pet peave of mine. I know management makes you do it, but it doesn't mean I have to buy what you are selling when I already know what I want.

While I will not stoop down to the SC level and give you a hard time, my mind is made up. I don't know what kind of suggestive selling your store employs, but when I am asked again and again if I want a rewards card when I just want to get my stuff and go, I get annoyed. That's when you're giving me a hard time.

I will not say nasty things to the clerk who's doing the suggestive selling, but I will say "no" curtly. And if management wants them to keep bugging when the customer has already said "no", than they need to be hit by a clue by four. Just because management is telling clerks to be persistant, doesn't mean I should not let it bother me just because they are doing their job.

*end rant*

It does sound like you have some real winners though. Customers expect free things, and those who can't part with their cell phones for just one minute to take their order. How do some of these people get by?