This does involve work, but only by association.
First, the scenario that got me thinking on it:
At Future Shop, when people are at customer service to return something, or whatever, customer service will often call over someone from the department that the item belongs in, to check it out and see what the problem may be, if everything is in the box as it should be, etc. So I was at customer service for something along those lines, and witnessed a transaction taking place beside me. Someone had a movie that had a defective disc. Obviously it was opened, and anyone should know you can't return open movies. It says so right on the back of the receipt. He's told this, and then he's like oh well I thought you could if it was defective. No, we can exchange it, but not return it. Then he asks, well can I speak to the manager? Grace then informs him, "Actually, I'm the supervisor here." So he's shot down and I thought it was really funny and giggled to myself.
It's made me think though, look how fast and sure he asked for the manager. He had had about two lines of dialogue with her before he jumps to that. I bet he's done it before other places and had it worked for him so he thinks he can just beat the system.
The thing is, I can totally see it working. I had something get returned on me at least 3 months after I sold it. One guy had something returned on him a year after he sold it. That's so ridiculous and it's infuriating to associates because it gets put under our number still so we still take the hit for the return even though it was done out of policy. These things require manager approval, but managers are willing to approve a lot just to not have to deal with customers. The general theory being, it's better to lose some money on that transaction than never have the customer shop there again. And a lot of customers out there know that.
So I reflect on some of my customer-manager experiences.
Anyone that's worked retail should be used to customers trying to get a deal. Future Shop definitely gets a lot of them. Generally, we don't make deals, however it can happen. The customers that ask for them, and the ones who go that step to "Well could you ask the manager?", they are so arrogant. Very sure of themselves, and they try to place themselves above you. When I was newer, I didn't have complete confidence in everything, so if a customer started asking me things like that, I'd say "well, I can ask the manager". I distinctly remember one customer replying with the most arrogant "Yeah, you do that" you can possibly imagine. So damn sure of themselves. And where does that put me? About completely insignificant. Especially if I said no at first, then let the manager get involved, who says yes just to avoid dealing with it. I look retarded, unimportant, and just a tool. Future Shop often talks about the difficulties in distinguishing itself from Best Buy. Honestly, everyone reading this, how many of you can easily differentiate the two? Thought so. Anyone that's worked for the company should know one of its "values" is "empowering associates". I'm not just a clerk, I'm not just someone who can answer basic questions that really dumb people have, I'm not just someone who tells you what the price of such and such an item is. However, it is up to me to create the proper impression of what I am, and why I'm there. By allowing people to go above my head, by not standing my ground and saying, "No, this is my call to make", what do I look like? Not professional, not knowledgable, not someone who knows what they're doing.
I need to be the one in control of my life, the one making decisions. I have to show people that I'm the boss.
Or something, I've lost my story/point/reason for living at this point.
My poor heart
It's been so dark
Since you've been gone
After all you're the one who turns me off
You're the only one who can turn me back on