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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Greetings and Salutations

So I'm not too far removed from a trip with Mrs. B to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I've never figured out what the "Beyond" is all about. Maybe the kitchen utensils and other random crap, like oven gloves, and sea salt grinders. Or maybe if you stand in just the right spot in the store you'll be taken to a parallel universe.

Anyway, the store manager freaked me out. He said "hi" too much. I'm not kidding. It was bizarre. I worked in a couple of department stores back in the day, so I know that this time of year the pre-game cheer goes something like "The doors are about to open, people. The first customer will be walking through them any time. Look alive! And be sure to say 'hello' to every single customer you encounter!"

I also know that sometimes, when the store is busy, employees hurrying to and fro' can forget that they've already said "hi" to you, so they say it again.

But this store wasn't busy. There was hardly anyone there. Five seconds after we walked in the store manager walked up, smiled wide and said "Hi!" Then we walked about 15 feet and stopped to shop, and about 45 seconds later he passed us by and slowed briefly and smiled wide and said "Hi!" Then we walked about 30 feet more and stopped and he approached again and said "Hi!" He did this about six more times at less than one minute intervals.

There was hardly anyone in the store. He couldn't have forgotten he'd already spoken to us. Weirdo. I know I'm right, 'cause when we finally managed to escape him another employee said "hi" and smiled as we walked by. And when we passed her by again five minutes or so later, she started to say "hi" again, but caught herself, blushed and instead said "sorry" for doubling up.

Yes, I was bored. Otherwise, I'd have no excuse for even noticing the stalker store manager.



  • The dude probably thought you were a secret shopper. ;)

    Hope you all have a
    Merry Christmas!.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 9:12 PM  

  • Has Hi, Hi, Hi replaced Ho, Ho, Ho, this Christmas season?

    Was he using you guys to practice up on his Hi's and salesmanship charm?

    Perhaps he was giving you the "beyond" experience, as in taking you "beyond" your patience.

    Perhaps he was using the opportunity to show a new recruit the proper way to give customers that speciality treatment--to make them feel valued.

    Oh, hell, I've run out of possibilities. The guy is just "weird."

    By Anonymous before the mayflower, at 4:28 AM  

  • BB&B is a testosterone sink, I swear. I've spent fifteen whole minutes in one of those stores and I already want Chintz curtains.

    By Anonymous og, at 8:06 AM  

  • I"m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I don't really like BB&B much.

    Does this mean I'm really a guy?

    Happy Christmas to you and Mrs. B, James! And beyond, too.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, at 12:20 PM  

  • I am sorry you had to be subjected to BB&B - they do have an online store, you know!

    Merry Christmas to you and Mrs. B!

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 1:29 PM  

  • Merry Christmas to you and the wife!

    I am sorry you were beseiged by a store manager who believes that if enough people say hello and imply that they are there to help you, that you'll eventually buy something in the store. His people can be 'written up" for not saying hello to you. They collect that kind of information down in HR, and when the time is right, the information magically appears and the words spreads through the store that you were fired for not following store policy, that you rejected the store manager's policy of greeting customers, and had been warned serveral times.... It'll come out in Court if necessary. You weren't a team player. Sears is famous for this. Retail is unlike anywhere else on the planet.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 6:20 PM  

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