Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Folding tables, go-backs galore

I was sad and disgusted when I walked into the Gap at the Flood building. It was a little after noon, the place was mobbed and I was taken a-back at the mess, everywhere.
I'm not used to the mess. I mean, yes, I was at one point part of the flock who made the mess. I forgot what made us do this, but for a few years, Eric & I would unfold things just to screw with the store. They did something bad and we took it out on them at every store we could.

I was on a mission to find short sleeved heather gray t-shirts in large for Eric. Easy peasy right? It's the GAP. Their empire is built on jeans and t-shirts. I figured that was upstairs and I thought to mill around downstairs first, to see if there was anything that caught my fancy. Unfortunately, the mess caught my eye. Three older women commented they couldn't be 'productive' in there, as they too scanned the room at the clothing carnage that lay all over the place - sweaters in mounds on the tops of the tables, folding tables overflowing with things that haven't been folded, too many fixtures too close together, people were bumping into each other just to get around the store.

I understand the want, the need to put out as much stuff as you can out onto the selling floor but if the presentation isn't there, it's actually counterproductive. I haven't worked in retail in over 10 years, but I remember the days of endless folding and straightening, restocking and cleaning out dressing rooms. Mindless & Sisyphian it was, but it helps customers find what they need and may even attract them to what they want.

I was so grossed out, I quickly made my way upstairs, hoping to find better conditions on the men's floor. I was wrong. I seriously considered getting a job there just to help out, that day. Three folding tables around the jeans, t-shirts and the kids area filled with clothes and most employees either at the cash wrap or manning the fitting rooms. After about 10 minutes of rooting around the t-shirts, I found the style and color but not the size I needed. I had to tippy-toe to reach a stack of t-shirts (no one around to see me put that stack back all messed up) to see if what I needed was there. Nope.

Still sad and disgusted, I walked to the Post/Kearny store. Clean, orderly, calm. Found the t-shirts and I even found a couple of things for myself. While the mess was virtually non-existent and there was a greater worker:customer ratio, it seems like the sales associates aren't as friendly as I remember them. They used to work like they were on commission. Now they work like they can't be bothered.

No comments: