How Much Is It Worth

Posted: December 11, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Folks, I have a question for you….how much is a good deed worth?


Let me back track and tell you where this is all coming from. The store i work is trying to change their way of running the store which includes workers and their attitude and treatment towards customers. “Friendly” is posted in big bold letters all over the break room and HR offices.

I remember when I was in the training room for the first time and looking at those words in big bedazzled letters I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes. I thought it would be understood, if you are working a job such as retail you are interacting with people every moment of the day. If you hate interacting with people than why work there? I can’t understand people that just go to their job and just secrete the essence of  ” I’m miserable, i hate my job” making everything and everyone around them miserable and uncomfortable as well. For that, just find another job. Why live in misery?

Back to the point, the first time  i received recognition at my job, I was a little perplexed. You see, It was just an ordinary work day except they moved me from my section which is the back of the store to work the front of the store… directly by the mall entrance. So i doubled as greeter as well. I was standing by my register having just cashed a customer out when I look up and see a little old lady standing there with a cane staring straight to the back of the store. There were no more customers waiting to cash out so I said “Hello ma’am welcome to _____. ” She looks at me with sad eyes and I instantly stood up straight and asked her is she was alright.

She asked me where the pajamas were. I walked around the counter and towards her and tell her it is on this floor, but towards the back of the store. She pauses , looks down the aisle and then looks back at me and said
“I don’t think I can make it.”

My heart crumbled. I asked if she would like to take a seat and I can run back there and bring her selections. She declined saying she wants to SEE herself. I told her I can accompany her is she was able. She snapped her fragile little head to me  so fast i was nervous she could of snapped her neck  and she asked
” You would walk with me?”
“Of  course ma’am”

So she took a little step forward with her cane and i didn’t even physically assist her although I offered to. It was comfort, a sense of security she needed.
This is the part of my job I love. We are allowed to do things like this, walk with a customer, assist them. The overall goal is to eventually be similar to that of a personal shopper.

So, this little old lady would point to something and I would fetch it in her size and bring it to her. I carried her selections and when she was ready I cashed her out at the register. She was so rejuvenated from shopping and in her words ” making it back there” she wanted to visit a different section of the store.

Typically, we have to stay on our floor/department because we do have a responsibility to the cash registers and other customers in our department. So, I asked her if she would like me take her to the second floor and she said no she thinks she can manage. I walked her to the elevator, still holding her bags.  I pushed the button and felt terrible of her carrying the bags and walking alone but she insisted she can manage after i asked her several times. Out of no where, my manager walks onto the elevator and i hand the little old lady her bag and step off the elevator and my manager began asking her how she was doing as the elevator doors closed.

I went back to my work area and was in the middle of ringing up a customer when all of sudden right next to me an HR lady was RIGHT next to me. She asked me if I walked a lady to an elevator  and i  said yes. Now, I thought I was in trouble. And in my head I was like I don’t care if I am.

She told me good job and went about her merry way. While it felt good to be acknowledged by superiors, in my head I was questioning how that is a “good job”.  Isn’t it common decency to assist those in need? It’s not a job, a ploy for attention. Lady needed assistance and I hope when I’m elderly there would be a young lass or lad there ready to assist me.  It shouldn’t be a good job.. it should just…be.

So few weeks later  on my way out for the day HR stopped me and told me to speak with them in the morning when I come in. I was there almost two hours early for my shift cause I thought I did something wrong, thought I was in trouble.

Turns out a customer wrote me a customer satisfaction review!  It read

An associate named Tasha checked me out at the register. She was very friendly and efficient. I hope more stores have employees like her. Thanks Tasha!

I felt so accomplished! I had some amazing customers and I felt so much joy that one of them out in the world felt the same too. With a printed copy of the review they gave me a pin also. The pin is displayed on a wall in HR . They have these little square boards with your name on top and they put the pin there. Whatever awards we received like these pins for customer satisfaction compliments will be displayed there. I felt proud of this pin because a customer took the time to pay it forward. Yes, it is our job to be “friendly” but there is a difference from being professional and being honestly and truly friendly and CARING about the customers. I don’t try hard to push the credit cards, i ask of course but I’m not aggressive. I offer suggestions on sale items or cheaper in price items. Whatever the customers wants i honest and truly hope they get it and find it. So a customer sending me a thank you, i really appreciated that.

I worked my shift with a little extra happiness. In the middle of my shift I was on the register in my regular section and i noticed a man in a wheel chair…kind of just sitting in the isle and straining his head to look down the displays. So i worked my way over to him and asked him if he was alright. He asked me where the tee shirts were and I told him on the other side of the store. He slumped his shoulders and he told me someone told him it was back here and he is tired to wheel himself back to the other side of the store. I offered( like with the little old lady) to bring him selections and he said he didn’t know his size.  He asked if it was possible to give him a push. I said “of course”.

Now, it’s been awhile since i pushed someone in a wheel chair so i was terrified I was going to wheel him straight into a mannequin or a wall. But, most of the time I maintained a conversation with him, kind of giving him a tour and telling  him what each section holds as we’re passing by and stopping whenever something sparked his interest. When we finally got to the other side of the side, i fared in pushing him without incident but  they also  didn’t have his size. He was so relieved and told me ” Thank you for taking me over here I would of been so upset if I wheeled myself all the way over here and they didnt even have my size”. I pushed him back to the other side of the store and helped him pick out a shirt.  All the registers were taken so I was ready to pass him off to another associate but a co-worker signed off the register and told me he’s my customer to go ahead and use the register.

Then the customer asked me to page a co-worker. Turned out he was friends with an employee there. We were having a family and friends promotion that day  so family and friends had a coupon they can use. So he wanted to collect the coupon from his friend. But, a co-worker had one at the register so i was able to ring him up without having to wait for his friend. I hung his purchases on the back of his wheel chair and pushed him over to the elevator and he got on and went in search of his friend.

The rest of my shift was a blur, we were busy. But one of my last customers was actually a co-worker. We have an associate discount and I’m noticing alot of employees shop there often. I  shopped there twice but not for myself. And i dont believe in shopping where you work just because you have a discount. Shop for what you need , not cause its accessible. Anyway, He was paying with a gift card and so joking i asked who gave YOU a gift card. To my surprise he said the store manager’s name. I stopped mid scanning and said oh so cleverly :

WHAT. For what?!

He told me for dancing. I don’t know, i wasn’t working that day. But, my store does silly things like that to spark customer positivity… so i assume while the store manager was making her rounds of the store there was some sort of dance off to spark morale.  I was genuinely happy for him and we spoke about how awesome our store manager is. I told him how i get so star struck when i see her… never happened to me with anyone before. But when i see her I’m like a deer and headlights.

So after i rang him up i went upstairs for my 15 minute break and i ran into one of my managers and she told me when i finish working to come see her at her desk. After my break i only had an hour left of work and i spent that doing returns( put backs of stuff people dump at the register or all over the store) but i couldn’t stop thinking what she wanted to see me about. The hour took forever to pass but it finally did. SO nerves a wreck i go to see her.

And she is no where to be found.

Not to sound all hypocritical but I actually was shopping there after my shift. But it was for a pair of pj pants for my brother(christmas present) and finacee. They were on sale for 6 bucks! And with my discount it was 4.50. Let me just say i couldn’t resist. Mircro fleece material. Softest thing I ever touched.  Then i seen my other manager so i asked him what it was about.

He was thinking for a couple of seconds and i started to panic and i was like OMG am I in trouble. He was like noo wait i remember and he asked me if I helped a guy today. I bit back my smartass remark of I helped MANY people today both male and female. But then the guy in the wheel chair popped into my head.

So i asked “You mean the guy in the wheel chair?” He said YES and told me he has a card for me to wait there.

SO i waited for my manager to get my card and I thought it was going to be a gift card so i waited at the register without paying cause hey free money why would i spend my money. When he came back he gave me the card and when my face remained confused for several moments he laughed.

It wasn’t a gift card.

It was a redemption card. Apparently I would have to go home and type the code in reveal what i have won.

Now, I never expected ANYTHING, verbal or monitory, from helping a customer…disabled or not… I’m happy to to do. It’s instinct.  I would do it even if it wasnt my work place. I actually do  to be honest…especially in my neighborhood there is alot of elderly. I don’t walk past one without asking if they need assistance.
But, having spoke to the co-worker who got a 50 dollar gift for dancing… well my mind kind of jumped there.

When i got home i entered the code and apparently I have the option of choosing one movie ticket valued at 12 dollars, a large papa john’s pizza, 8 itunes singles, or  select tittles for a magazine subscriptions.  I didn’t redeem anything. I closed my laptop and went to sleep.

I went to sleep that night thinking is that how much helping a handicapped person is worth? Compared to someone dancing? Now, again i don’t want anything. I never expected anyone to notice me. I was just helping a customer. Everyone is different and has different needs. Some are disabled. Some are handicapped. They need assisting too. Just because it may not be convenient or a little bit hard, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get it. And i shouldn’t have to be rewarded for something like that. It shouldn’t even be an act so rare that the managers stop to say oh wow good job. But alas, it is rare and my managers do notice …in their own way.

I don’t like to assume and compare but yet I couldn’t stop comparing the gift card to my redemption card. Again i don’t want anything, it was more of trying to understand the perspective. Is that how they value a good deed? Is that how they prioritize?

So i asked you my readers, how much is a good deed worth?

* All images plucked from google images.

  1. Ashley says:

    I work in retail too. I actually work in the cash office at my store. I used to work at the service desk and would go out of my way to help people all the time. I’m glad you one of those good people. There definitely needs to be more people like that in that kind of business.


    • Thank you Ashley for the feedback and taking the time to read! I’m glad to read you put the extra effort to help others… not alot of people do. I just think with any business, or with anything, if your going to part- take you should be fully invested. Do it right. If i’m customer assisting, I’m going the extra yard. Otherwise, whats the point?


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