Are fans actually usually right?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by suarezguy, Jan 2, 2022.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Nice rabbit hole you got here, doc.
     
  2. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    You keep referring to him as a comedian. He wasn't even a sliver of slightly funny.

    Uh-huh. Like the clerks who insisted the store didn't sell certain items, because they just didn't want to be bothered to help the customer (me) and I found them myself.

    So no, I don't blindly accept the word of a clerk when they're giving off "GTFO" attitude at me or blatantly lying in order to steer me to more expensive merchandise. The difference between the phone I wanted to buy and the phone the clerk was insisting was the cheapest was in the neighborhood of $100. Considering that I was down to my last $20 and change until payday and my previous phone had just died and I couldn't do without a phone, it was critical that I get one. And that clerk was deliberately being unhelpful.

    I repeat: Do not presume to explain my experiences to me. I was there. You were not.
     
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  3. TimeIsAPredator

    TimeIsAPredator Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly this nothing else matters in the argument. Too many customers assume they have more knowledge of a place they never worked than the person working there.
    Ide have no problem helping someone out here. I was talking about people who want service after the place has closed as in making the bar staff serve illegally and have to stay longer just for you. Or reopen a closed shop because you think you are special and above the rules.

    I don't like the term "Karen" as it unfairly labels it as a female thing but that type of person very much exists in every sex and in all it's arrogance, entitlement and aggression
     
  4. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No-one should assume that just because someone works in a store, it automatically means that they're A) 100% knowledgeable about what products their store sells and/or B) making an actual effort to be helpful.

    Especially if, like @Timewalker, they've had bad experiences with employees saying that a product wasn't available even though it was.
     
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  5. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I've been working retail for close to twenty years, and I've seen both rude customers and incompetent employees, so yeah, I get both sides of the argument. Hell, I was once known as a cranky asshole at my workplace since I made my opinion known to each and all employees who I thought were stupid what I thought of them. And while I try not to be a difficult customer when I am out shopping, I have had my share of truly idiotic and useless employees as well as people I know who knowingly and intentionally give store staffs a hard time.

    Retail is not a black and white business, there are shades of gray. As a customer, you may find it frustrating the store employees don't seem to know anything, but keep in mind, 90% of the time the employees you talk to are at the lower end of the food chain and probably really haven't been told enough shit by their superiors to give you satisfactory answers, and are probably too afraid to turn to their managers or supervisors for assistance on the grounds that said superior probably has a piss-poor attitude, or are themselves stupid. Even if you do speak with the manager, contrary to popular belief the store's management doesn't actually have very much authority over what goes on in the store and has to enact head office's policies or else end up fired or demoted.

    But of course, every customer doesn't understand this, and after spending an eight hour day dealing with self-appointed experts dictating how the store should be run to people who have no choice but to follow the policies enacted by executives making six figure salaries who have no idea what working store-level is like, of course employees are going to be frustrated and apathetic and not particularly enthused about dealing with people. And they will likely develop the belief that nearly every customer is out just to make their day difficult, which to be fair, there are an alarming amount of customers who are exactly like that.

    And that's before you get into the whole "Customer is Always Right" thing. Customers believe they can walk all over staff and that the staff have to stand there and take it. Likewise staff often have to run the risk of doing something which could technically get them fired just because they're worried more about how much trouble they can get into if a pissed off customer mentions their name. Retail is a churning pot where often, a day of misery is the most optimistic thing you can hope for and developing an attitude of apathy is the only way you can get through the day without suffering a meltdown. And I have seen a number of meltdowns in my day.
     
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  6. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My mom and I were told by an employee that a manufacturer had gone out of business because their store did not carry the manufacturer's product line. He didn't believe they had gone out of business, he wanted us to buy their version of the product. We went to a competitor and got what we needed there.
     
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  7. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And yes, sometimes there is stuff in the back, but not always, and after a while it gets kind of annoying have to constantly drop the thing that you are doing, that the manage expects done ASAP, to spend 20 minutes searching through the hundreds or thousands of items in the back for one.
    To be clear, I never said any of these things out lout, but after a while you can't help but a little annoyed inside when you are constantly bombarded with the kind of questions in the video.
    If I didn't know the answer to a question, I would always go and find someone who did.
    But if I know for an absolute fact that we don't have something, I'm going to tell the costumer that we don't carry that item. I worked in the same departments for years, so I after a while I pretty much knew what we did and didn't carry after a while. One of my biggest pet peeves was when I would tell someone we didn't carry something, that I knew with 100% certainty we had never had, and they would start arguing with me, insisting they had just got one in the store last week.
    I've struggled with medical issue my whole life, so I sympathize with people with disabilities, and always tried to be especially nice, and helpful to them, but not in a condescending way. I know know it can be hard to get people to help you when you're disabled, so I wanted to make sure they knew there was at least one person in the store who was always willing to help them.


    No, I didn't act like that towards the customers. No matter how annoyed I was internally, I always at least started out as nice as I could possibly be. The one thing I would do is if I was really busy and I knew where an item a costumer wanted was, I would just give them directions, rather than taking them myself. But if they couldn't find it, and came back, I would take them to it then.



    My issue isn't that the manager would treat them different than I would, it's that they would go completely against what they told us was store policy. They would spend 20 minutes lecturing about how this thing is completely against store policy, and no should never, ever do it, and if a customer wants you to do it, to just apologize and explain that we can't do that, hen half an hour later a costumer would ask me to do the thing, and I would spend five minutes explaining why I can't, and then they'd make me call over a manager, who would just go and instantly do it for them. This just makes me look like a jerk who just didn't want to do it.



    Oh I completely agree, like I said before, no matter how annoyed I was, I always tried my best to be nice to the customers. But, it did get to be a challenge at time when the customers were being rude, and there were a few times I barely held it together.

    And that is exactly what I would do.

    I would only customers we didn't have something, when I was 100% certain we didn't.

    Yes, I actually agree with you here.
    But to defend retail workers, you have to remember most of them are overworked, underpaid, and treated like shit by asshole bosses, and after a while that does start to get to you and makes it a bit more challenging to always be nice.

    If you really don't want to shop somewhere where the associates don't think the kinds of things the guy in the video is saying, you're going to be in for a challenge, because pretty much every person I've ever spoken to who has worked retail has had these kinds of thoughts.

    And the worst part of all of this is.... I'm starting to consider going back there. Pretty much all of the jobs around me are retail or restaurant, and I can't handle restuarants. And I tried one other grocery job, but only lasted a couple months, and I figure if I'm going to run into the same stuff any where I go, at least at my old store, I know the store and system, and there are people I know and like there. The only difference this time is, it's going to be temporary while I work on going to school to get a better job outside of retail, or at least outside of the store floor level retail.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
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  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    @JD Your quotes are messed up at some places.
     
  9. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OK, fixed it.
     
  10. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Depends. What is being argued and why? Is what's being argued matching up to the very premise of the show to a sufficient degree or otherwise? That is one of the times that fans are not "gatekeepers", a term accorded as derision toward people who say they are fans but disagree with a decision made for the product they are watching. It's like taking a show that normally takes place in a hospital and now operated a golf course across town in another state for some contrived reason that doesn't fully mesh. Or, and even more fascinating or at least harder to continually write into the show's core world building before it all becomes pointless, taking "Jerry Springer" and turning it into food preparation show where only the most exotic cuisine is prepared. Why not just watch, say, "The Chef Show" instead?
     
  11. ichab

    ichab Commodore Commodore

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    I wasn't in retail, but a customer service related job where a very similar thing happened. Next time a similar problem came up, I just gave the customer what they wanted. When I got a call asking why, I said "I figured what would be the point of wasting ALL THAT TIME going back and forth with the customer if you're just going to give them what they want anyway? So I explained to them that even though it isn't our normal policy, I simply gave them what they wanted and documented it in my notes. Customer's happy and I've saved myself a lot of time and stress."

    We had a saying in that business "Buyers Are Liars" They can also be some of the most high strung people on the face of the planet. I've seen people working at fast food joints get cussed out because their order wasn't right. I'm talking loud shouting from the rooftops because a pickle was on their burger. There was a video on social media some time back of a girl being attacked from a customer across the counter. Anytime my order is wrong, which is rare, I simply go to the front counter and ask them to correct it. Within less than a minute I get a replacement and I'm on my way. No matter how hard life can be, I never take it out on an employee or customer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
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  12. theenglish

    theenglish Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This is an area where I have a problem. Most modern productions do a good job of keeping to the premise of a pre-established property. But in the past, studios played loosely with an established premise. Catwoman from the 00's for example. There is one thing that truly bothers me and that is when a character is introduced in name only, which doesn't resemble their personality, name or other characteristics from the source material. It doesn't ruin that movie or show, but I'm always wondering why didn't the writers create an entirely new character?
     
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  13. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This was the hardest truth I had to learn in business. People rarely mean what they say.
     
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  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Customers lying to me to get free passes was a regular occurrence when I was a manager. I even had a guy who falsely accused one of my employees of shoving him before he admitted it hadn't happened.
     
  15. Steve Roby

    Steve Roby Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    If we're still talking about customer service, this is at least science fiction-related by virtue of being about a science fiction bookstore. This was in the pre-Amazon days. The store owner would do things like get in an expensive UK edition of a book and tell you that there wasn't going to be a North American edition, so you'd spend $40 instead of $20, a month before the North American $20 version popped up. I fell for that once. He also said that if you wanted any novel published by Tor Books you had to buy the hardcover because Tor would routinely cut 40% of the text when they did the paperback reprints. This was not true. He also liked to talk about the episodes of popular science fiction and fantasy TV shows that he was writing and that would be filmed soon. They weren't.

    My sister and my wife both quickly made the decision not to go into the store while he or his main assistant were working, because they found both of them creepy and condescending ("oh, you're a woman, the fantasy novels are over there"). Heck, another bookstore owner told me stories alleging repeated criminal behaviour by this guy. My last memory of him was when he decided to close the store. He said he was letting regular customers know that the following week he'd be selling off stock at 50% off for a few days then closing. I showed up for the sale but the store was already closed. He'd already sold the entire stock of the store to a bookstore in another town, lock, stock, and barrel.
     
  16. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, that guys sounds like a real asshole.
    The ironic part about people nasty with employees when something goes wrong, is that it actually backfires. If you are nice they are going to be a lot more willing to take the time to help you as mush as they can, but when you're rude they're just going to blow you off and do the bare minimum.
    Back when I was a kid my parents ordered a computer from Gateway, but we ended up getting our neighbor's instead. The neighbor called them up and threw a massive fit, and they just gave them one little thing, but one of my parents called up and explained the situation, and was really nice, and they sent us the computer we were supposed to get, and a whole bunch of extra stuff. The funniest part, is that the computer that was supposed to come to us originally was actually better than the one the neighbor was supposed to get, so they were actually made they got a better computer than the one they ordered.
     
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  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    This is so true.

    Prime example: At the movie theater I co-managed, the rule was that if a customer wanted a refund in the first half-hour of the film, they could get it, no questions asked; after that, they weren't supposed to get a refund. My practice was that if a customer was nice, I keep giving them a refund if they asked for one up to 45-50 minutes into a film -- but if the customer was rude, I would refuse to give them a refund at the 31-minute mark. Furthermore, if a customer had a concern that warranted getting a free pass, I would usually give them two or three passes if they were nice and polite, but only give them one pass if they were rude or disrespectful. Good behavior was rewarded.
     
  18. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Getting back to the OT, fans often think that because they love something and have memorized and scrutinized chapter and verse things the creators have probably forgotten, that somehow this makes them Templar Knights, keepers of the flame, and creates the illusion and, frankly, delusion, that they know better than the professionals.

    Generally, though, they don’t. They’re mostly like audiences with no musical ability telling a professional player how to do their job. A very few are occasionally right, but mostly they’ve no idea what they’re talking about.
     
  19. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    I would think that "the back" would be a bit more organized than that. After all, finding a carton of 1% milk shouldn't necessitate searching through everything in the pharmacy stuff or the canned soup or the produce. I don't make this request for trivial reasons, just for things I really need and which can't wait for another time.

    I do my grocery shopping by phone now and asked for certain notes to be put on my file. I'm diabetic, so it's critical that I either get the low-sugar or sugar-free variety of certain things, and if they're sold out of something I have to approve any substitutions. This is noted on every single order form that place does for me, and I do get annoyed when the note gets ignored and the regular variety turns up instead. I phone the store, speak to the grocery manager, and explain that I really need the kind specified in my order (I always mention the exact variety anyway, in case it's a new person doing the picking) because I can't use the others. We agree on a way for them to fix the problem - which is sometimes that someone will turn up later that day with a replacement and I just give them back the wrong item, or they'll refund my credit card and fix the problem with my next order. Since I place weekly orders, this means problems get fixed in a timely way.

    As for "constantly"... how am I supposed to know what requests or demands other customers make and be treated like shit because other customers annoyed the staff first?

    Granted, I do pick up on it sometimes, especially over the phone with a customer service person. They seem defensive, and I tell them (provided they've been reasonably courteous up to that point) that I realize they must get yelled at a lot by other people, but I am not angry with them (the agent) personally, just the situation, and I hope they can help. That usually calms things down a bit and we go from there. Sometimes things get resolved, and sometimes not. The moment they trot out "the pandemic" as an excuse for bullshit that was bullshit well before the pandemic is when I start to get irate.

    Customers pick up on the associated body language. Just because you might not voice your opinions out loud, they can still come across loud and clear through actions, eye movements, tone of voice, and so on.

    That's good, and I wish more people would do that. "I don't know" is a valid answer to a question. It's honest, and I know that it's unreasonable to expect every clerk or salesperson to know every scrap of merchandise their business sells. I've had conversations with the person who takes my grocery order when they say, "Oh, I didn't realize we carry that!" and I tell them that it's a new variety of something that I either really like or I'm buying to try it out and will add it to my regular order if I like it, and so on. Sometimes the conversation ends with the person commenting that they might try it themselves (I assume they probably get an employee discount of some kind).

    It's fine if you really do know your stock, but my experience with that was in a craft store, and they had reorganized the place since my previous visit. All I did was ask where they'd moved a certain kind of crochet thread to (since none of it was in the aisle where it used to be) and the clerk got a blank look on her face and tried to tell me that they didn't sell that - even though I had just bought some recently. I called her on it, and said that if they didn't have any currently, that was one thing. But don't try to tell me they had never sold it, because I knew differently. There used to be a lot of craft stores in my city, but not so many that I didn't know exactly where I bought specific items, because there were many items that were only sold in one particular store. This was simply a case of customer asks for something the clerk was unfamiliar with and the clerk couldn't be bothered finding out the answer and instead chose to be dismissive and rude.

    That's very good to know. I've seen store employees be openly rude to disabled people if we take too long to pay, too long to pack our groceries, too long to move, and holy crap, the public needs to be educated on etiquette when it comes to mobility aids. No, you may not "just move" my walker out of your way without my permission. If it's in your way, tell me and I will move it. This thing is what gives me the ability to leave my home and go to appointments and shopping and even just out for a stroll without being at risk of running out of energy between somewhere and nowhere and risking a fall. You don't just put your hands on someone's walker and push or pull it any more than you'd do with someone's wheelchair or crutches. Deliberately moving it out of my reach if I'm sitting on a chair means I'm trapped on that chair, since I don't know if I'll keep my balance when I get up.

    This is also considerate. I had an issue with cataracts in 2019 and things got to the point where I couldn't even read the signs over the aisles in stores. I'd ask a clerk where something was, and they'd vaguely point or say to follow such-and-such a sign and look at me like I was an idiot when I'd tell them I couldn't read the signs and could they please show me exactly where the thing was? Finally I told them that I had very bad vision and could barely make out any writing, so telling me to read a sign was useless.

    The people in Walmart were usually good about this. The people in a particular electronics store can all go to hell for the way they acted like I was deliberately inconveniencing them by not being able to read signs, and not able to read their minds when they pointed "over there." All I wanted was an extension cord. All they needed to do was show me where they were. I'd have picked one out, bought it, and been on my way. Three minutes, tops. Instead, it was an ordeal that took a hell of a lot longer.

    I remember one young stock clerk in the Walmart pharmacy being very surprised one day when I said to him, "I've come for a particular brand of _____ but can't read the labels. Could you spare a couple of minutes to help find this?" (and handed him the piece of paper someone had written the information on). He was surprised at being asked to be someone else's eyes, but was helpful and polite and found it right away.

    I don't need to ask about this anymore, as fortunately I did have surgery and can now read the signs in stores (though I need reading glasses for up close label-reading). The irony is that now that I can read signs in stores, I have to stay away from stores due to covid. I haven't been to the local Walmart for nearly two years.

    Yikes. I've generally been well-treated in bookstores - new-bookstores, at least - and don't remember any clerk steering me to fantasy because I'm a woman. Granted, some have been surprised that I zoomed immediately to the science fiction section, but if they ever wondered if I was there to pick something up for a friend or if I was shopping for myself, I could soon set them straight.


    There was one woman who clerked at a second-hand bookstore nearly 40 years ago who for some reason didn't like to see me come in, didn't like me browsing the science fiction, and her entire body language had a GTFO vibe to it. I don't know if she was suspicious because I was a teenager at the time, or that she thought it was weird that a 19-year-old female would be into science fiction instead of the romance section. She may have assumed that everyone my age was a shoplifter (the store did have decent security so I don't see how they could miss anyone attempting to shoplift).

    I remember one day, she snarked that "we haven't gotten anything new in since the last time you were here" - in a hostile tone of voice that was clearly meant to get me to leave NOW.

    I just told her that sometimes I saw something that I planned to come back for another time, or I'd just found a new author to check out. I never called her on her nasty attitude, and thankfully she left that place within the next few months.
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Shall we just ask the mods to retitle the thread Are Fans Karens?
     
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