Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Protocol (poem)


Protocol for Standard Return Options: Please follow the below instructions when handling returns. Do not deviate from the listed instructions as such deviations may result in unnecessary complications including, but not limited to, an increase in potential for further breakage and/or damage to return merchandise, heightened customer dissatisfaction, emotional outbursts, etc.

Common Reasons and/or Complaints Associated with Returns:
• too encrypted/too complicated
• misunderstandings/miscommunications
• contradictions
• lack of logic
• conflicting instructions
• discrepancies in initial expectations and subsequent results
• requirement of consistent maintenance and repair
• psychotic and/or neurotic displays
• incompatibility
• detection of inherent defects
• a bit more than what the customer bargained for/a little less than what the customer hoped for

Return Procedures
• Check merchandise for any bruises, cuts, scars and/or other wounds (Note: check not only the outside of the package but be sure to also examine the inside of the package, considering that often the outside of the package can be deceiving and appear initially unmarred. However, upon further examination, one may often find discreet but deep damage to the merchandise).

• In the case of extensive damage and/or breakage to merchandise, the store will accept the return, but be sure to thoroughly and accurately complete all paperwork, and inform the customer that future purchases and/or exchanges may be more complex and involved and may require more time and work. Repetitive and/or excessive returns and/or exchanges of damaged and/or broken merchandise may ultimately result in deactivation of account barring any future purchases for a minimum of 1 to 2 years. (You may find that certain customers will not care. He may mutter that he will just solicit the services of a different store and that all the merchandise is basically of the same quality no matter where you go and that one of these days he is going to find what he's looking for and that he doesn't care how many pieces of merchandise he has to go through before he finds what he is looking for).

WARNING: Do not inform customer that he will never find what he is looking for. Such dispense of unsolicited information may compromise your safety. If by accident you do inform the customer of this merchandise fact, you may have entered into imminent danger. Immediately remove yourself from the situation and call security.

• Otherwise, proceed with the return. If the customer expresses a desire to transfer the return into an exchange, refer to "Protocol for Exchange Options." (Usually, the customer will choose whatever looks best to him. Attempt, to the best of your ability, to encourage the customer to read thoroughly the product/merchandise information. Normally, however, the majority of customers prefer to stare at and handle the merchandise and exhibit a strong tendency to base their purchase decision on the handling and appearance of the merchandise. Most customers avoid even opening the product information. Store statistics indicate a minor reduction in the percentage of returns and exchanges among those customers who refer to the product information prior to making their purchase. However, if customer will not listen to you, simply move on).

• Once you have processed the return, make sure the customer has in his possession copies of all paperwork and all receipts.

• After you have finalized the transaction and have completed assisting the customer, place the merchandise back on display.

NOTE: If you detect any signs of excessive sobbing and/or wailing, you are advised to attach a muffler of the correct size (Sizes AAA through DDD are available) depending on the type of merchandise. (See size charts if you are not certain as to what size applies to the merchandise). Do not proceed to worry or fret, the merchandise will be fine. Do not attempt to comfort, appease or placate the merchandise. The merchandise will recover. Will learn to move on. Just give the merchandise time. Space. The merchandise will become silent. Again. We repeat, leave the merchandise alone. To the best of your ability, simulate ignorance, i.e, feign as though you do not hear or see or feel the merchandise. And the merchandise will get it. The merchandise will learn.

to never. hurt. again.


Jae Ran said...

omg. wow. You are right, this is so on target.

Liv said...

"To the best of your ability, simulate ignorance, i.e, feign as though you do not hear or see or feel the merchandise."

This poem really hit me hard. And the part above really made me think of what I felt as a child.

I've been struggling lately with those feelings that never went away, the feeling of being "merchandise." It's not easy to say to one's self, much less out loud. I think we need to talk about this more in the adoption world, so thank you for writing this poem and for sharing it.

Melissa said...

Jae Ran...I knew you'd get it.

Melissa said...

Liv, thank you for taking the time to read the poem and for sharing your feelings on the matter. I agree with you that it is something that needs ongoing discussion...