Earlier in the season, I received a phone call that must have made sense to the other guy, but left me completely bewildered. The phone rang and I answer with our standard greeting.
The guy asked "Hey, were you that guy who helped me the other day?"
Bewildered, I asked what the call was in reference to.
"You know, the T-shirts that I ordered from you".
Since I hadn't worked the past 3 days, and definitely didn't remember ordering any T-shirts for someone I felt safe in replying "No sir, that must have been someone else".
"Okay", he responded, "Well who was the guy who helped me?".
"I'm not sure, could you describe him for me?" I asked.
"How should I know what he looked like? I ordered them over the phone, but I want to know who the guy was who I talked to".
Now, I'm not a mind reader, but apparently he must have thought I was. When I told him that unless I had some way to identify who it was who helped him then I'd have to put him on hold to find the order in our book, his voice clouded over and he started in on the tirade that anyone who has worked in retail knows -- the one that begins with "I want to speak to your manager!".
I was happy to oblige, but only after asking him if he could remember even a part of the persons name. My luck didn't change, as his response was "No, now tell me who all works for your company!".
At that point I had to give the phone to the manager, because I was bent over laughing at the idea of having to go through our entire company roster for this guy.
-- Steven Sickinger, Massey's Professional Outfitters - Baton Rouge, LA
Through July 1, retail sales staff answered the contest call to submit a story of survival and perseverance in the face of challenging customers. The story titles with summaries that made the first round of qualifications are listed below, and each is now in the hands of our judges to decide on the top 10. You can read each story in its entirety by going to the contest landing page -- click here.
Ten lucky story writers will each win over $1,000 in product prizes based on the contest judges' votes. Here is where you come in! Of those 10, one will be named the grand prizewinner, cashing in on a trip for two to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2007. Three others will be named official "honorable mentions," and in addition to the valuable prizes, each will receive a gift certificate that can be redeemed toward attendance at an Outdoor Industry Association-sponsored event, such as Outdoor University, Mountain Sports Festival or the OIA Rendezvous. The grand prize winner will be announced at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006. We will determine the grand prize winner and the three runner up winners based on popular vote (sorry judges) -- those among the top ten receiving the most votes win, it's that simple. This is for store pride, for knowing you have a winner amongst you, so vote as often as you like. Tell your friends. Tell your friends friends. Tell your dog -- but only if he can work a computer keyboard.
Deadline for voting is August 1, 2006.Click here to register your vote now!
Did you miss out on this year's contest? Bummer, but no worries. If you haven't already done so, outdoor retail staff can get ready for next year by activating a subscription now at www.snewsnet.com/freeretail/snewsarticle-contest.html. Then, watch your SNEWS® for announcements calling for our next contest entries and get ready to be a winner.