Steamers are less important than customers.

Admission here. One thing that I truly disliked working in retail was steaming clothing. I understand the importance of making clothing look nice and I would do it but I did not like it. I would look for anything to do other than steam clothes, particularly helping customers.

With that being said, I was a bit dumbfounded when I visited a local retailer this past weekend in the middle of the afternoon.  I walked in and there were only three other customers so the ratio between customer and employees was 1:1.  I was not greeted when I entered as I started to circle the floor.  I looked at a book. I tried on a mid layer.  I was touching and looking at lots of items.  Yet I was never approached nor greeted by an employee.

As I circled through the back of the store, I saw three employees involved in steaming clothes.  Three employees with only one steamer.  I was not sure what they were busy doing.  What ever it was it was more important than helping customers. I am not sure what they were working on but they spent a lot of time talking about what bars they wanted to hit that night.  Bar talk also seemed more important than helping customers.  I left soon after and while I was inclined to make a purchase when I came in, I found no reason once there to spend money.

Hey folks, customers are more important than:

  1. Steaming clothes
  2. Talking about bars
  3.  Invisible tasks that take a team of three