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what to do when people put you down

notdoneyetnotdoneyet Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
edited August 2007 in Parent Cafe
I am a short asian girl, and where I live, that means taking crap. However, I refuse to take crap from people. I don't want to ever give them the satisfication of making them feel better.

So here's the senario, I buy stuff from JC Penny online, and I have to return stuff through the home store. I go there, and immediately I see a sick looking lady who asks for the manager. The manager is a 30 year old white lady with too much makeup. She tells me I can't return the items since they have been worn, but I never opened them! So, I tell her what kind of custome service is this. She gives me look of contempt like you ugly minority girl who do you think you are. She didn't say it, but it was written all over her face. Instead she called me a snobby brat and told me that returnng it would mean a loss for the store's revenue! So, she only agreed to return one item, and when she left she said your welcome in a super fake voice. THIS is a store manager who's 30 years old for chrissake! as I was leaving I was thinking about a comeback but it never came to me. I should not have given her the satsfaction of it!

So, it turns out that the store never returned the money onto my card. I have to go there again to resolve it. I called the store and she still remembered me~!

I am sick of fake middle aged white ladies treating me like -. What should I say to her after I go there and they finish processing my money?

something along the lines of "lady, you talk about losing revenue, and in case you haven't figured it out, customers sign YOUR paycheck" or "Lady, you need to get off your high horse/ fake designer heels and stop prejuding people cuz customers sign YOUR paycheck. OR Lady, I was so surprised that you still remembered me--your life must be really boring and pathetic.

sorry, I'm just ranting..... Which should I say? I don't want to give her the satisfaction of using me as an ego booster...

I knew a girl who never let people enjoythe satisfaction of putting her down...she always had the right words to say....

What would you have done? Which phrase should I say?
Post edited by notdoneyet on

Replies to: what to do when people put you down

  • kollegkidkollegkid Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    Maybe the problem is your attitude, not your race or height.

    Try to be a little more tolerant of others (including "fake middle aged white ladies" and white ladies with too much make-up") and they will probably be more willing to help you.

    I went to a store to buy something on Friday. The item was restricted to people who had won a certain certificate. I forgot to bring the certificate with me, and it would mean one hour round trip to go home to get it. A middle-aged white lady manager was really nice and she called the holders of the master list by phone to verify that I was entitled to buy the item. She was transferred twice and on hold a long time. It was really nice of her. I didn't notice how much make-up she was wearing or whether or not her heels were "fake designer" or not.

    Returns are often uncomfortable. I buy shoes from an online store quite often, and I then return them in person to the local store. Occasionally, the clerks act like I am trying to pull some sort of a scam. I am sure they see plenty of people who do try to cheat the system. However, in every case, patience and sincerity win out and the returns are always processed.

    For what it is worth, it can take several days for the returned funds to show up on my parents' credit cards. I always get back my original receipt. Most stores staple the returned funds receipt to the original receipt. I do not think we've ever had a problem with a discrepancy after the fact.
  • college2332college2332 Registered User Posts: 1,214 Senior Member
    I think you should read this book. It will probably change your life:
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    This is where you made your first mistake: " I tell her what kind of custome service is this. "

    You hurt yourself when you responded rudely.

    You wrote, "She gives me look of contempt like you ugly minority girl who do you think you are.' Truth is, you have no idea what she was thinking. For all you know, she may have been thinking, "What a rude person you are."

    You probably would have had more of a chance of getting what you wanted if you had responded calmly and politely to her by pointing out evidence that you had never worn the clothes. IF the woman refused to believe you or replied rudely, you could have asked for the manager, and calmly without making reference to the original clerk's make-up, shoes or thoughts -- explained your predicament and requested the help that you desired.

    Your responding in a rude way only made you look bad and hurt your chances of getting a refund.

    There are lots of people who do return clothes that they've worn. On a thread in, I think, the high school or college forum, a student who is working as a clerk has posted about how they have repeatedly seen this summer a teen return expensive clothes that obviously have been worn.

    I also agree with college2332 about the book suggestion. I read it at your age, and found it very valuable.
  • geomomgeomom Registered User Posts: 742 Member
    Here's another good book, about getting what you need without feeling
    trammeled. (It doesn't include any tips on delivering zingers, though. Maybe
    there's a reason for that?)

  • corrangedcorranged Registered User Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I agree with Kollegkid and NSM, who both said it better than I would have. (I haven't read either book, so no advice on that front.)
  • atomomatomom Registered User Posts: 4,379 Senior Member
    That one person was rude to you. Don't judge all white people by how she acted. It seems a big company like JCP would want to do better on customer service.

    Go higher up. Talk to the district manager. Or since you ordered on-line, maybe you could email or call a central customer service number about your problem. I've usually been able to resolve things like this on the phone--sometimes you just have to get to the right person to get the right service.
    Always be very calm and polite and thank the person for helping you resolve the issue.

    IMO there should be no problem returning items that are unworn, (if you are following their return policy regarding time limit, receipts, etc.) and getting the credit that you deserve.

    The manager may be having problems with many young women returning worn items and assumed that you were doing what many others have done, and that's why she treated you that way. That is no excuse for rudeness to customers or assuming you are a liar, but that may be an explanation.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,638 Senior Member
    It's not your race or your height, in my opinion.

    It's your age.

    My daughter (age 18, white, slightly taller than average) says that she gets treated like dirt by store personnel when she shops alone or with her friends but that she gets helpful and polite service from store personnel when she's with me (middle-aged white lady).

    So one approach to your problem is to bring an older relative or friend with you when you need to do something non-routine at a store (like returning something or making a purchase that requires you to ask endless questions). Your companion doesn't have to actually do anything (which is handy if your companion doesn't speak English). Just the presence of an older person will lead to a change in the attitude of some retail employees.

    It also helps to not be rude. In fact, make a deliberate effort to be polite, but be persistent.

    Another point: my daughter (the same one who gets treated rudely when she shops alone) also happens to work in a retail store. She has a part-time, temporary position, and as a result, she has very little authority. Sometimes, customers get angry at her when she can't do something for them, but the reason isn't that she doesn't want to; it's that she can't authorize the thing that they want. She has to tell the customer to go speak to another person who does have the authority to do whatever it is (which often involves standing in a second line). She usually remembers to tell customers that there is someone else available who might be able to deal with their problem, but some clerks don't. So if the clerk says that she can't do something, you might want to ask who does have the authority to make the decision. Often, that person is right on the other side of the store.

    And remember that sometimes there are simply rules that cannot be broken. Yesterday, my daughter ran into trouble opening a student checking account because the bank requires two forms of ID, and she had only her driver's license. The bank would not accept her student ID because it had expired at the end of the last school year, and she didn't have her new student ID yet. I was with her at the time, and I brought up the fact that students tend not to have other ID, such as credit cards, but it turned out that the rule was one that could not be broken, even for students. My daughter had to go home, get her passport, and bring it back to the bank just to be able to open a checking account. The bank employee simply wasn't going to budge on this point, probably because her job could be on the line if she allowed a checking account to be opened without sufficient ID.
  • tom1944tom1944 Registered User Posts: 6,018 Senior Member
    Do not discount what she says- my Mom gave a friend (Asian) a gift card the store refused to honor it- my mom went back to the store with her friend and fixed the problem. In another instance my dad was behind an Asian/Indian couple in line when the cashier refused to accept a return of a product, my dad with the same product was given complete satisfaction. My dad and mom refuse to ever go near the store. Discrimination happens and unless you are subject to it I wonder if you can ever understand its impact. It is not easy to brush off and I understand how it could impact your world view.
  • doubleplaydoubleplay Registered User Posts: 3,550 Senior Member
    No matter who you are talking to, in person or over the phone, you get much farther by being respectful.

    My dad (a 70-something curmugeon) interfaces with personnel by slamming phones down, questioning people's background, insulting their intelligence...needless to say, he rails on and on about the incompetence and rudeness of "today's business world".
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    I might have snapped back to if I was assumed to be a criminal for no reason but the way I looked

    But, by snapping back, you justified, in her mind, the costomer service persons reaction

    So, I would contact JC Penny and tell them exactly what you were told about returnging items and the excuses given to you, and what time this happened and where.

    No big store wants customers treated with bigotry, and will contact that stores management

    I do think you need to stop with the snoty comments about others appreances, and go into the situation with an attitude that you are deserving of respectful treatment and will do the same

    Next time, if you are returing something, print out the rules of the store, etc, so if they give you excuses, you can politely show them what is what
  • 1of421of42 - Posts: 2,443 Senior Member
    I've got to say, you sound like you have some kind of major chip on your shoulder that's giving you this major confrontational attitude, and will cause you problems. The constant comments on people's appearance, constantly projecting motives as if people are out to get you... I don't know what to say.

    My suggestion is go back being really polite - even if the manager was rude, so were you, and you need to change your own behavior before you change hers.

    Finally: you sound like you're asking how to act like the people who always know the right thing to say (to irritate someone, make them look like an idiot, get things that the person wants by being really nice, etc.). If that's what you're asking, the fact that you have to ask on a web forum bodes ill, as does the fact that you're thinking these lines up in advance (and they're not particularly good either, fyi). Maybe you should just stick to being nice.
  • aggiemom39aggiemom39 Registered User Posts: 51 New Member
    Did you have the receipt???Tags attached??? Was it soiled or a special item
    (ie occasion dress or personalized) You cannot expect a store to give you gracious service if you act so belligerent. Something tells me that you aren't telling the whole story. I have worked with the public and it seems to be from my experience that the ones most likely to over-react are those who are trying to pull a fast one...
  • kollegkidkollegkid Registered User Posts: 1,007 Senior Member
    I was at the post office the other day. Someone wanted to pick up the certified letter that was addressed to his aunt. She was no longer living in the area or at his house. The letter was from the DMV (Isn't it sad that I, a person waiting in line, know these details?). He threw a fit, went to two different clerks, demanded to talk to the manager, hollered at the manager, and still did not get the letter. There are reasons for rules. The angry man had brown skin. At some point, he claimed that if he were a white, he would be given the letter. A distinguished white male customer had heard enough. He stepped forward and told this angry man that he, too, had been turned away when he wanted to pick up someone else's certified mail. He repeated what the manager and clerks had told him: to either be home when the letter was redelivered tomorrow, get his aunt's signature on the slip and come back, or tell his aunt to pick it up herself. He said he had to do the same thing for his own wife's certified letter and there was nothing racist about it. The angry man spit on the ground and walked out in a huff, dragging his little boy with him. What an example!

    Of course, the DMV would probably be glad to know where the aunt is living now.

    Sometimes, people we deal with will say no or will tell us that we need to jump through several hoops. A positive attitude and a cooperative spirit help make uncomfortable situations workable. Although the clerks were clearly anxious, I think the angry man was the one who was most injured in this post office confrontation, and the damage was self-inflicted. He was the one at greatest risk for a heart attack or a stroke, all over a letter.
  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    My grandma said it best: You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
    I am not saying that the original poster was not justified in thinking that racism may have been at work. But then again, it might not have. The only person who knows that for sure is the saleswoman. But if the goal here was to get something done, then the best strategy would have been to use good manners and a friendly tone, which may have helped put the salesperson on the original poster's side, rather than turning her into an adversary.
  • originaloogoriginaloog Registered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Since the is usually an element of truth in what they are saying, I try to avoid doing that same thing again in the futrure.

    If they are merely being mean spirited or petty, I ingore them.
This discussion has been closed.