I was at Fry’s Electronics the other day, had to pick up some stuff for work, toner, paper, a few network cards and just odds and ends. Total bill: $200, $150 for toner alone. Not a huge purchase, just stuff we needed.
I was walking around the store, it was 9AM and I’m sure the store had just opened, employees were still milling about with their morning tasks. People really weren’t talking to me, mostly they were just walking past, some gave a nod.
No problem, I found what I needed, the toner was easy enough and the rest was just walking around to pick it up. I of course took a few minutes to browse a few aisles that piqued my interest, all alone basically.
As I was walking out, browsing the bluetooth headsets, a man, we’ll call him Tim, stopped me and asked how I was, if I’d found everything and then asked to “write that up” for me. Not knowing better I said, “Sure.”
“Wait here,” he said “I’ll be right back.”
Shortly, he returned, paper in hand. I took the piece of paper, said thanks and went on my way. As I ventured closer to the register stands I thought, “Hey, that guy didn’t put everything I purchased on the sheet, only the toner, he must make a commission.”
When I arrived at the checkout, I placed my things on the counter and as I laid the sheet down, the cashier grabbed for it, I lunged out to stop her.
“Does he get a commission for this?” I asked.
“Umm, yes, he does.” The cashier said, nervously, as if I wasn’t supposed to know that people there worked on commission.
“You never saw this, he didn’t help me find it or anything else, and I don’t think he deserves any payment for simply writing up my purchases and causing me to wait.” I said as I crumpled the paper into my jacket pocket.
She snickered a bit, rang me up and I went on my way out of the store and to my car. Several other cashiers and customer service managers stopped in their tracks as I said this, none made any effort to dig any deeper though.
Seriously? This guy thought he was going to get paid for “writing me up” and nothing more, he took the one thing I had the probably paid him anything, nothing else in my basket. It’s called “clerking” in the biz, selling things on commission that you had no involvement in selling. I wouldn’t allow my co-workers to do it when I was in sales and I won’t knowingly allow someone to do it to me.
I understand that working on commission or tips can be a bit hard sometimes, slow weeks or months can nearly bankrupt a person, but picking up the low hanging fruit as your method is not going to work on me. Perhaps if you’d have greeted me 45 minutes earlier when I arrived or even 30 minutes later when I arrived in your department and covered every aisle, some several times, I wouldn’t have made a big deal of it. But swooping in to catch me before I went out the door so you could make a few bucks? Nope, not going to happen.
I’ll be more carefully now at Fry’s, they already irk me by checking my bag every time I walk out, but never really check anything. I’ll gladly let someone help me and be rewarded for it, but no reward for someone who doesn’t at least try to work for it.