Most shops require that you get the names of the employees you observed or with whom you interacted. That can be easy if they are wearing name tags.
Of course, you should be subtle about reading name tags. Don’t stare or make a big deal about it. Just look at the name tag, then make eye contact with the employee.
So what can you do when the employee is not wearing a name tag? You may be able to get his or her name in another way. The best method to use depends on the circumstances, and it is important that you do nothing that would seem suspicious or draw attention to you.
Here are some ideas that can help you get the names you need.
The receipt often gives the name of the cashier or server, so that can be one source of the name.
Listen to employee conversations. You may hear the employee addressed by name by a customer or another employee.
It may be appropriate to ask the employee his or her name. For example, ask your server his name so you can ask for him next time you’re in. Or ask the sales person her name in case you have questions later.
Be creative and you can often come up with a way to ask. Saying that you think you know them from somewhere, or that they may have gone to school with your son, or some other pretense, may give you a reason to ask for a name.
Or ask someone else for the name. “Our server was so helpful tonight, and we didn’t get her name…” Or, “I think I know the manager from somewhere, and I’m embarrassed that I don’t remember her name…”
You may even be able to do a little acting to get them to give a name. Act as though you have forgotten their name: “You have been so helpful! Thank you…uh, I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.”
It is best not to leave the location without getting the name, but if you must, try calling back and trying to get the name. For example, you might say that you were in earlier and may have left something behind. “I need to ask the saleswoman who helped me, but I didn’t get her name. She was tall and blond.” Or, if you get really lucky, the person who helped you may answer the phone and use her name. That one can work in a small location where there is only one employee on site.
When you can’t get a name, be sure to get a good description. Some reports will ask for description even if you have the name. Gender, race, height, weight, hair color and style, and distinguishing characteristics such as glasses or a beard may all be used to identify someone.
Even if you do get a name, it can be a good idea to note a description of the employee. Names on receipts may be incorrect, and even name tags are not reliable. Employees sometimes wear a name tag belonging to someone else, either because they lost theirs or they just do not want to wear their own name.