Didn’t Land With Their Feet On The Ground

, , , , , | Working | January 29, 2018

(An employee is moving from another state and looking to transfer to my store. I am supposed to do an interview even though she is already employed by the company. Usually it’s just a formality, but this time is different! The employee is so late to the interview that I have figured her as a no show and started a different task. When I am paged she has arrived, I make my way over to the office, where our customer service head informs me the employee has been complaining loudly about having to do the interview. I approach, smiling, with my hand out to shake hers.)

Employee: “Oh, I don’t touch people’s hands.”

(I quickly review her employee file with her, where it says she has been working in the shoe department of the other store for four years. We head to our shoe department, and on the way down the escalator, she pulls her cell phone out and starts texting. At the shoe department, I tell her we are going to do a quick customer and employee role play to show she has finished training.)

Me: “Okay, so, I’m the customer and I want my shoe size confirmed, so I need you to measure my feet.”

Employee: “I don’t touch feet.”

Me: “That’s a major part of your job here, and you’ll be assisting people all the time.”

Employee: “It’s the customer’s fault if they can’t put shoes on.”

Me: “Okay… Well, for the next scenario, pretend you are helping a customer. I come up and need assistance right away. Show me how you would respond.”

Employee: “I’d say, ‘Listen. Learn some patience; you aren’t three years old! Sit down and I’ll get to you when I get to you.’”

(She smiled like she did well. At the conclusion of the interview, I contacted corporate and said I would only take her on if she went through full customer service training again. She quit three days into training and submitted a report that my store was too harsh on its employees. I noted that her old store had the lowest customer service rating in the country; it’s no wonder why!)

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