“‘Do you have any of those 99 cent eggs?” the woman asked me at 8:15 this morning. I knew her. I had seen many like her yesterday in the afternoon when we first ran out of “those 99 cent eggs.” Honestly, I’m embarrassed to tell people that I don’t have what they’re looking for, especially when what they’re looking for is one of the biggest tenets of the holiday that is coming up soon. But it sometimes happens, and I have to do what I can to make their shopping experience as good as it can be regardless of the absence of eggs, or whatever else happens to be missing.
So what did I do today to help those guests who were disappointed over the lack of eggs? I gave them discounts on other products they wanted to purchase. I labeled and brought clearance products out of the back room and re-merchandised them in the egg section. But the first thing I did was to sincerely apologize, and an honest apology can go a long way toward repairing hurt feelings, in retail and in life.
Funny how working in retail gives me more of a perspective on real life. We spend so much time before the store opens making sure everything is ready for a full day of sales. The floors are cleaned, the windows and bathrooms too. The food is put out and faced off so it looks fresh and full to even the casual eye. The endcaps are also faced off and filled with product to influence even more sales. Money is placed into the registers in preparation for making change, smiles plastered on the faces of the employees to make it all seem more hospitable.
Today was one of those days where everything worked like a machine. The truck arrived early and then quickly dashed my hopes when no eggs were on it. I immediately began deciding how I was going to try and make up for that shortcoming. Then there were also no hams in the shipment, prompting even more decisions. So yes, it worked like a machine, not a particularly well-oiled one though. I adjusted, putting oranges and clementines on sale and putting them in the hams’ space. And go figure, we sold a ton of clementines today. Coincidence? I think not.
Then there are the berries. Oh, the berries! We have always sold a lot of berries, but this week blew all of that out of the water. It helped that strawberries were 2 for $3 dollars, and raspberries were $2.99, of course. In fact, we got in 30 cases of strawberries on Tuesday and every single one was gone before we closed on Wednesday night. Another 25 showed up on Thursday and they were gone by mid-day on Friday. Today’s 25 cases will probably already be gone, and it’s only 5 on the day before Easter. It’s crazy the volume of berries we move through the store, but it’s wonderful to watch them move.
But we still don’t have those 99 cent eggs, and next week they’ll be back to $1.69. Of course next week people won’t be clamoring for them anymore, yet I’ll still be smiling because life’s too short to let it get you down. I bet they’ll send me a whole pallet of eggs on Tuesday with the exact same expiration dates.