I know it’s been about two years since you made this video about how angry you were that Bath & Body Works did not have the candles you asked for. However, a follow-up video showed up on my Facebook newsfeed this morning, which was linked to your original rant. So I watched it, to see what all the fuss was about.
And I was horrified.
But not for the reason you think.
You see, Angela, I’ve never worked at Bath & Body Works, but I worked in customer service through most of college, and at Yankee Candle during my first semester of grad school. Believe me, I too had my share of irate customers who came in for a specific item and, in your own words, “lost their shit” when we didn’t have it in stock.
You were particularly upset that no employees left to go to another store to pick up your candles, as you asked over the phone. You said “There was NO ONE else in the store,” so of course they could have left to get your candles.
But here’s the thing, Angela. You didn’t mention any other employees in your video: just “Manager Jen” and the first employee you spoke to at the register. The manager is usually not allowed to leave an employee by herself, should a customer like you come in with a complaint (at least that’s how it was at my store).
Could the employee herself have gone to get your candles, leaving the manager to run the store alone? Yes, but I’ll bet the behind-the-counter girl wasn’t lying about “being really busy,” because stores like B&BW are CONSTANTLY receiving new shipments. Those shipments must be logged with the inventory numbers, and then inspected to make sure nothing was damaged during shipping. Then the boxes need to be put away in the stock room.
Angela, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you’ve never worked a retail job before: you may not have ANY IDEA of how long and tedious a process it is to log serial numbers and unpack new shipments. I’ve spent entire shifts doing just that.
So yes, Angela. That girl probably wasn’t lying about “being really busy.”
Back to what I suggested about you never working in retail before. You know why I think this? Because people in retail and customer service have to deal with customers like you ALL THE TIME – uppity, self-important, lose-my-shit-if-I-don’t-get-what-I-want-when-I-want-it types of people.
I won’t bore you with my horror stories of customers who tried to get me fired because I had to tell them we didn’t have the item they wanted, because I couldn’t take back a candle that was burned practically to the bottom (and that customer told me she “didn’t like it,” and wanted to be compensated. Umm sure). I’ve seen my manager, and others before her, handle things exactly as it seems Jen did: with an apology and a smile.
Even if what you really deserve is a punch in the face.
When you work in retail, you know not to treat people as you did poor Jen. Because you know better. Because you know that, hey, there are actually more important things in life than candles.
Now I’ll let you in on a little secret.
It’ll rock your world:
I know at Yankee Candle, many of the “new scents” are very similar to previous ones, or – this is it! this is it! – they are the SAME EXACT SCENT as a previous candle, but with different-colored wax and a new label. I wouldn’t be surprised if B&BW did the same thing.
I know. Crazy, right?
If you had looked around a little longer, you may have found something very similar to what you were originally looking for. Or maybe something you might like even better.
You also could have ordered them online. Or accepted the coupons, because Jen probably didn’t have corporate approval to give you something free.
Or, you simply could have said “Oh well, thank you for trying. I really appreciate it,” and then left to go on with your life, and focus on things that actually matter.
Because of people like you, I hope I never have to work in customer service again.
A former retail employee with zero faith in humanity