Sunday, August 8, 2010

After Hours in The Zone

Aug 8, 2010
Current mood:productive
(for further MS Imprimatur)
{And, the fine print read:

'Every once in a while, or once in a blue moon ... or purple, or green moon (I can hear those little Keebler/Doritos elves chip-chip-chipping away to fulfill our cheese needs - haha), or what have you, one comes across a nearly meticulous 'handbook' of relevant do's and dont's as they relate to those fields under the scrutiny of my chosen profession: Mystery Shopper.
The object of my scrutiny here is a classic tale from The Twilight Zone, episode entitled: The After Hours. At any rate, the particulars are as follows: the mannequins of a certain department store come to life, each singly and for one month, or week, a year (cannot now recall the duration, but no matter), at which time they set out into the human world to interact, to experience - heh, just to live! 
Now, this particular case involves the 'what happens' when one of the mannequins forgets they are a manny (my shorthand for their kind, and more on this in a bit), and re-enters her forgotten abode of aforementioned dept. store and the misplaced identity mayhem, even terror, that ensues.
To wit, and I will tick off for you here some of the more egregious departures from form which the management and employees of this store commit. Departures, I might add, which are wholly unacceptable to the maintenance of proper retail order and customer experience. I will call attention to but a few, as this case is absolutely riddled with institutional sloppiness.

'Firstly: I am always one to appreciate the character type of this store's sales supervisor, here named Armbruster, a typical type of the supervisory class. A fussy/prissy fellow of perhaps more energy than brains. Far more, in fact, as it tends to leave his kind charging about with a head full of steam locking horns with any and all who crosses his path.
And the store's manager, named Mr. Sloan, serves as an UNable foil for the feisty Armbruster - which is absolutely disastrous ... for the failure to adequately rein in one such as Armbruster. This leads to, and I've encountered this time and again, run-amok supervision where more often than not it isn't just the employees who suffer chaotic wrath, but inevitably this spills over to scorch the customers as well.
If t'were my call, I'd demote one such as Armbruster down to a mere department or station head (busted down in rank, as it were), in order to send a necessary message, acceptance of which could eventually lead back up promotionally should this dose of 'people skills' ritalin take effective hold. Sloan, however, should be sacked!

'Secondly: Now we get to a specific instance where flighty hyper-activity (Armbruster) and stolid detachment (Sloan), produce one of the most egregious, and dangerous, lapses in not only customer service, but customer safety, which I have ever witnessed.
Marsha, seemingly a customer, but in reality a manny, is (having suffered a nervous breakdown and allowed to lay down on a sofa in the back offices) locked IN the store having fallen asleep and been utterly forgotten by  the staff and management.
To make matters worse, if memory serves, she is locked in the 3rd floor complaints department where she had earlier confronted the aforementioned Armbruster and Sloan over the previous purchase of a damaged thimble.
There are a number of things about this situation which raises red flags galore.
#1. Inability to settle the complaint and/or have a distraught shopper surreptitiously and adequately pacified and removed (preferably by her own will) from the premises falls squarely on the head of management.
#2. Allowing, in this case, a young woman to sleep in the offices of, well, anywhere in the store, as this would easily lend itself to a possible future sexual exploitation lawsuit. 'nuff said.
#3. How on earth does one lose track of such a customer and lock them up for the night on the company's property? I can scarcely imagine a worse set of scenarios the head honchos will have to confront - tho unemployment looms.

'Thirdly: And the last point I would like to address is quality control. However, at this point, my concerns delve away from the employee quality control realm and into the mannequin quality control sector.
Indeed, it occurred to me when Marsha the manny suggested the store needed an "efficiency expert" (forerunners of my profession and a point which I wholeheartedly agree with), but having covered a few areas of 'human' incompetence, if not malfeasance, how about rules and regs governing the behavior of mannequins?
As a matter of fact, it was Marsha's dereliction of manny protocol , when she overstayed her sojourn out into the real folks world, which led to subsequent uproar around which this case revolves.
Should there not be some form of censure passed down onto the recalcitrant mannys? And, if so, who is to adjudicate these measures? Should it be left entirely in the sculpted hands of the mannys themselves? Or, should biological humans, specifically the stores in which they are employed (well, not really employed, erm, rather stationed) have a say in such matters?
These are vitally important questions which I will leave you with to ponder deeply, and hopefully, productively.'

The Twilight Zone: The  After Hours
courtesy: *fanpop*

5:34 PM
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