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 Holiday Season Shopping: Why shop seasonal employees who don't have the commitment or training?
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SoCalShirley
Member

Ventura, CA
USA
14 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2004 :  4:55:51 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'd love to get more shops in December (having checks after Christmas is a good thing) but battling the holiday shopping traffic, especially at the malls, is insane! Also, is it fair to shop seasonal employees who don't seem to have the same commitment or training as "regular" employees? Does a company gain anything from the knowledge that their part-timers are often hassled, stressed and less well trained?

Shirley
MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping Ventura County

Leigh Ann P
Trainee

Phoenix, AZ
USA
9 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2004 :  10:17:12 AM  Send Leigh Ann P an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Shirley -

Actually, these seasonal employees do have a certain amount of training. When I was in college, I worked retail and I started as a seasonal employee. The seasonal employees were held to the same standards that the full time employees were held to. If a seasonal employee didn't know an answer to something, there was always the opportunity for that employee to get someone else who can help

Also, if there is an issue with employees -- whether seasonal or full time, the issue can usually be traced back to the management. For instance, if a clothing store is a mess, chances are it's because not enough employees were scheduled or the employees need guidance from the management. If an employee answers your question with, "I don't know. It's somewhere over there. Go find it yourself.", the management training may not have been as effective as they thought.

Silverly Shopping the Metro Phoenix Area
8cgzpr
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Peter T. Sanderson
Valued Contributor

Pawley's Island, SC
USA
150 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2004 :  10:26:11 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You are not evaluating the seasonal employees, but the whole store and the store's manager. The store manager is there all the time and is responsible for the seasonal people. The managers of the store and the full time staff are the ones who are training these seasonal people and it is up to them to make sure that the store is at the same level of customer service as they expect all year long.
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NancyInKY
Valued Contributor

Louisville, KY
USA
177 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2004 :  10:43:24 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
A lot of times they do ask a good seasonal employee to remain on staff after the holidays.

Nancy
Louisville, KY and the surrounding areas.
Silver s6ayvx
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Cchrissyy
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
170 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2004 :  3:57:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Also, even if the employee is about to be gone, the service they give leaves an impression on the custoemrs, perhaps losing future business for the store. The ownership and management needs acurate reports of the customer experience no matter what external circumstances may have effected it.

Chrissy
Northern CA full-time shopper
Proudly MSPA gold certified!
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Andrea_McOmber
Contributor

Provo, UT
USA
54 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2004 :  7:04:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
You figure that the customers don't care whether or not they are a seasonal employee. If they are given bad customer service, it will have the same impact. Also, I'm sure the managers and owners care even more how employees are performing as many companies receive most of their business in the christmas season.

Silver Certified, Headed to Las Vegas in Feb for Gold!
Shopping Utah County and Salt Lake County
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KFoy
Contributor

Vancouver, WA
USA
97 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2004 :  01:27:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Years ago I worked for a major national toy store, yea the one you don't want to go to during the Christmas season. Anyway, believe me the seasonal employees were given as much if not more training than the regular employees. I know, I was the trainer. I even taught these "kids" how to count back change because they never learned how to in school. I didn't ask them to do any more or less than I did myself. We all did the "dirty" work of cleaning up and putting away. Yes, some companies don't care what their seasonals do but most do care as the seasonal employees can loose them alot of money in just a short time. Hope everyone stays sane this Christmas and has lots of work.

Katherine
Shopping SE Washington and Portland, OR, Gold Certified, SQM level 9 shopper
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ChristianaA
Member

Des Moines, IA
USA
10 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2004 :  03:10:01 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I completed a seasonal shop yesterday. I receieved some of the best customer service of any recent shop from the employees. This particular location is only around during the holidays yet the employees were very knowledgeable and friendly. They clearly receieved training in order to be able to tell me the in depth information that they did about thier products. I think that it is wonderful that the company cares about customer service enough to have us shop thier locations even when they are open only during the holidays.

Silver Certified: luxfx4 - Shopping Des Moines, IA and surrounding areas
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LindaCulp
Star Contributor

Portland, Oregon
USA
2339 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2004 :  04:17:54 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
It's always possible that a seasonal employee is hoping to become a full-time, regular employee, and their job performance during that season can very likely determine whether they get hired on or not. Some seasonal employees could be VERY motivated to prove themselves, before their time runs out.

Sometimes getting hired at Christmas time gives a person the only 'break' into a store that they might not otherwise get hired into, without more experience elsewhere.

Happily shopping the Portland, Oregon metro area!
~MSPA *Gold* Certified, 2003~
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MarcyJ
Contributor

USA
65 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2004 :  4:45:06 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have received some of the worst customer service ever in a few stores and resturants this month! Here are some examples: This week, I was placed on hold for 1/2 hour when calling a restaurant's catering department! Yesterday, at a bookstore when I asked about a gift receipt, I was told to just use the regular receipt if I want to return the item! Believe me, these stores and restaurants really need good shoppers to provide feedback during the holiday season because of the potential for the temporary employees to alienate some of their best customers!
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LAlao
Star Contributor

LA
USA
317 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2005 :  7:10:44 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just did a "seasonal" shop. Not only was the associate outgoing and personable, but she was very knowledgeable of the inventory. Either she must do the same each year or the training was intensive.
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AntonioUTShopper
Contributor

UT
USA
62 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2005 :  03:50:44 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I too think that it is super important to shop seasonal employees. I am a retail manager and I REALLY need to know what is going on in my store. Truthfully, I worry the most about those employees because my trained, year-round staff are trained and there year-round...I basically know that I can trust them.

Another reason it seems to make sense is because anytime I can avoid making the same mistake in the future; I'll take it! In other words, I might not be able to do much for that seasonal employee this year but the training next year or throughout the year that I can do because of the information is invaluable!

MSPA GOLD Certified
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.FredSmith
Inactive

USA
14 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2006 :  11:09:00 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
When I was in college I worked retail for a few terrible Holiday weeks. One of my full time regular hire coworkers was so afraid that she could be replaced by one of us that she would make sure that she gave us bad directions on what to do, or where to restock things. She wanted it to look like we were idiots everytime a store manager came in. Trust me we did, the manager would ask her why the temp. hires were doing this or that. She would say she didn't know, that is not what she told us to do. I remember her name was JOAN and she worked in the towel department. I would fold the towels and she would instruct me to put the Field Crests where the Cannons went - a day with Joan was like a day with the devil!
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Madge Shawver
Star Contributor

PA
USA
299 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  08:26:16 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
even though not ALL stores are like this, many around here are! if you are seasonal...you are the grunt and get all the crap. You are expendable and will be done dec 27th! I can't imagine even expecting a seasonal employee to have much knowledge.

Madge
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PamBam
Star Contributor

Schaumburg, IL
USA
317 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2008 :  7:56:25 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm glad Antonio's had such good luck with his regular employees. I worked as seasonal help at a department store two Christmases ago. I was shocked by the behavior of the regular staff who seemed to try to do as little as possible if they could get away with it. I worked hard and my manager said she was glad I was leaving because it was making everyone else look bad.

Don't know if I ever got shopped but it would not have been reflective of that department normally!

MSPA Gold Certified
Shopping domestic and international locations since 2003
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Dar-L
Star Contributor

USA
1031 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2013 :  7:04:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Shop today in BestBuy. More of a verification visit, but client still wanted some interaction details.
No WAY!
45 minutes waiting for someone, even after asking 3 associates for help. Later on talking with one who told me that during Christmas season they just help customers find things, fetch product from storage, and close sales. Not supposed to actually assist customers in selections, demos, or information.
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