"I'm sorry, I'm off the clock"

Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
60
#1
Normally when someone bothers you in your red shirt and khaki's, the Best Practice script to respond with "I am sorry, but I am currently not working (on break, off the clock, etc)" and proceed to do one of the following: Direct them to an area with an available TM, or point them in the direction (but nothing else) of their goal. There are some murky attachments to this, and it gets a bit sticky, but generally this is how my store ends up handling it.

My issue is that, recently, an ever increasing number of customers have been reacting with extreme vocal hostility when I simply state "I cannot help you do X as I am not on the clock". They are, quite literally and earnestly, expecting me to use my free time to help them "because I work here". Due to the fact I could get fired if I started yelling and screaming at this Guest for his/her stupidity, I end up walking away. However, if ONE MORE person snaps at me for the very simple fact I don't want to deal with idiots while not getting paid, I may decide to risk an exception to this policy.

How does it make you feel when customers expect you to serve them as an unpaid slave? I sure as hell find it offensive. Also, thus far, all customers that have done this have been black female immigrants from what sound like western parts of Africa (I believe I can determine this due to the high amount of immigrants from that region in my area). Is there some cultural reason they're this way?
 
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#2
Sometimes when im going to deli to get some food for break, a guest will stop me. If im on my paid break I'll usually just help them if I can, and take an extra minute on break. If its my Meal though, I usually just say that I am currently punched out on lunch, and direct them to someone else (hopefully).

I think if you are just polite with them the first time they ask, its not a big deal if they snap on you :) Just walk away. If you get called out on it, tell your TL that you politely said that you were on break, and that they rudely persisted so you walked away.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
2,714
#3
I find that it's sometimes just quicker to show them where the item is than to find an "available team member". Like Imerzan said, if I'm on break, I usually just add a minute or two to my break and if I'm on lunch, I'll punch back in and THEN go to the bathroom/put my purse away/refill my drink/whatever instead of doing it before.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
18,104
#5
It's not a cultural thing as many white, older women will get indignant when I smile & tell them I'm "off the clock" while directing them to another TM.
One lady was really rude, saying "Oh, well I wouldn't want to BOTHER you when you're not WORKING." I said, "Yeh, I could get FIRED & it's just not worth it."
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
10,151
#6
If I'm on my lunch and I'm getting food from market, guests sometimes stop me to ask me a question. I try to explain that I'm off the clock, but I offer to point them in the right direction as best as I can (I'm only a cashier, so I may not always know the answer anyways).

The three things guests ignore the most are: 1. whether or not a TM is wearing a nametag (no nametag = on break/lunch/not even working), 2. whether or not a lane light is on (come on people - my lane is obviously closed if my light is off), and 3. price tags/signs.
 
OP
OP
D
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
60
#7
See, I usually am very helpful. I try to fulfill the "fast fun and friendly" philosophy, as part of Best Practice and keeping my scores up. Twice thus far it has happened while i was shopping after work, and it's like a wonderful below the belt punch after a long day. I routinely work 8 to 10 hour shifts due to various issues at my store, and when I get off I get a marvelous attitude from said Guests that remind me how thankless the job is.

Honestly, is there any way TO deal with it other than just walking away? Because I am finding walking away to be horribly unsatisfying.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
128
#8
Normally when someone bothers you in your red shirt and khaki's, the Best Practice script to respond with "I am sorry, but I am currently not working (on break, off the clock, etc)" and proceed to do one of the following: Direct them to an area with an available TM, or point them in the direction (but nothing else) of their goal. There are some murky attachments to this, and it gets a bit sticky, but generally this is how my store ends up handling it.

My issue is that, recently, an ever increasing number of customers have been reacting with extreme vocal hostility when I simply state "I cannot help you do X as I am not on the clock". They are, quite literally and earnestly, expecting me to use my free time to help them "because I work here". Due to the fact I could get fired if I started yelling and screaming at this Guest for his/her stupidity, I end up walking away. However, if ONE MORE person snaps at me for the very simple fact I don't want to deal with idiots while not getting paid, I may decide to risk an exception to this policy.

How does it make you feel when customers expect you to serve them as an unpaid slave? I sure as hell find it offensive. Also, thus far, all customers that have done this have been black female immigrants from what sound like western parts of Africa (I believe I can determine this due to the high amount of immigrants from that region in my area). Is there some cultural reason they're this way?
I don't even work for Target anymore, but when I go in to shop (rarely these days) I have guests being rude and demanding for me to help them. Luckily for me I can handle it the way I've always wanted to and tell them to F off. I'll probably get stabbed or shot someday, but at least I don't put up with ************ from people. Seriously how stupid do you have to be to demand help from someone who doesn't even work for Target anymore just because "you used to work here".
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
15,957
#9
It happens to me all the time. I guess I'm just a sucker because I usually just help them unless it's something that will take very long then I'll find a TM to help them.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2011
Messages
3
#10
What bothers me is when it's very obvious that you're off the clock and they still expect you to help them. My boyfriend and I, who both work at a SuperT, were shopping after work (still in red and khaki) and were constantly bothered by guests. I wouldn't have minded but I was carrying my purse and coat and he was carrying a basket with things we were buying, and neither of us were wearing name tags.

Kinda annoying. :/
 
OP
OP
D
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
60
#12
What are you talking about? We're just simple serviles bred and grown in the lower class for life long servitude in minimum wage hell. We ENJOY getting insulted, we ENJOY cleaning up ************ (literally), we ENJOY your children screaming and running around the store, and most of all we enjoy coming in to work off the clock just to deal with it in our free time.

************ing 10% isn't worth half the abuse you get when you come in to work in plain clothes. From people you don't even remember. But, oh, they know YOU alright! Just....today was harder than it had to be.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
18
#13
It's not a cultural thing as many white, older women will get indignant when I smile & tell them I'm "off the clock" while directing them to another TM.
One lady was really rude, saying "Oh, well I wouldn't want to BOTHER you when you're not WORKING." I said, "Yeh, I could get FIRED & it's just not worth it."
YES.

Just old women in general. Enogh with the attitude and sense of entitlement, Im trying to help you as best I can and you still treat me like i'm some former prison inmate on a work release program
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
151
#19
I have to say, I do not, at least as of yet, work for Target, but I've worked in retail for years and what is being discussed here is really simple common courtesy.

Say, I'm doing my own personal shopping, at the end of an 8, 10, 12 hour shift.

Do I WANT to deal with customers when I'm on my own time AND have been doing it all day?

Of course not.

At the same time, if you are on the sales floor, in store uniform, then it's a given that customers will ask you for help.

IF they want you to do something that you could get in trouble for doing because you aren't on the clock then I can understand explaining to them, I'm not on the clock, let me find you someone who is.

If they want something simple like, can you tell me where the batteries are?

That just goes with the territory and comes back to common courtesy.
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
3,064
#20
I found wearing a jacket or another shirt helped keep the guests away from me during my off hours.

But if I am still in my red and khakis, and its quick I will help. I have told the guests I am off the clock but I will find another TM to help real quick or I will use the phones to page a TM to the guest.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
18,104
#21
IF they want you to do something that you could get in trouble for doing because you aren't on the clock then I can understand explaining to them, I'm not on the clock, let me find you someone who is.

If they want something simple like, can you tell me where the batteries are?
That just goes with the territory and comes back to common courtesy.
Which is what I've always done but, after being cut off by impatient/rude guests while attempting to locate an on-duty TM, it tends to grate on you. I never fail to direct someone to what they're looking for, tho.
And I HAVE been warned about working OFF the clock so no, my job isn't worth it.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2011
Messages
151
#22
Customers can grate on you in general, but...

My point, if you are on the sales floor, in store uniform, then customers are going to ask you for help.

If they do, you help them.

It's both common courtesy and common sense.

I understand the company's view of, they don't want you working when you're off the clock.

At the same time...

I'm on the sales floor.

In store uniform.

A customer wants something that would take me say, two minutes to do.

No, I shouldn't do that.

I should instead piss off a customer over two minutes of my time.

For the record, I don't at all doubt what you're saying you've been told, but it is an utterly moronic approach to customer service.

And yes, I know customers can be, fill in the blank, but at the same time, without them, none of us would have a job.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2011
Messages
495
#23
I enjoy watching guests who happen to wear red and khaki while shopping get harassed as they walk about. I deal with it this way. If I am off the clock and the guest is nice and polite I will help them out. If they are rude I do not.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2011
Messages
2,714
#24
Kinda' OT, but I get a kick out of walking through my store OUT of uniform and having TMs ask me CIHYFS? It's so funny when they say "Oh, I didn't recognize you without the red & khaki!" Sometimes, just to be obnoxious (with only a select few), I'll ask for something really obscure, just to see how they react~LOL! Sometimes, if I can tell they're having a bad day, I'll ask them to show me where X is, just to give them a break from whatever they're doing ;)

Back OT, I honestly hate being asked where something is if it's not a "health-related" item because chances are, I haven't a clue. I can usually "guess", but I'm really just grabbing at straws unless it's something I've actually purchased myself :search:
 
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