The Service Industry

I went out with the wife to do some Black Friday shopping, expecting it to be a dumpster fire. I really don’t like shopping much, and I can’t stand crowds. Sort of stands to reason that standing in the cold during the wee hours, waiting with a crowd of people to go shopping would be sort of a worst case scenario, right?

Now, don’t get me wrong here, it wasn’t like heaven on earth or anything, but realistically, it wasn’t hell either. 
We hit the Disney store first, they opened at midnight, which wasn’t too bad. We got there fairly early, did a quick once-around the store. Once we got about 2/3s of the way through the place, the line for the cash registers had actually grown to about 40 people long, and happened to end right about where I was standing. I stood there, while my wife finished the circuit. 
We got some good deals and left. Our next stop wasn’t going to be open until 5am, so we had some time to kill. We walked around the mall, just to see what was what. By the time we’d come full circle, the line for the Disney store check out stretch out of the store and into the corridor of the mall. 
We left the mall and went to sit in the car outside of Kmart, which opened at 5. We killed time watching a Netflix movie on my phone. A line began to form outside of the doors at around 4am, so we joined them in standing in the icy New England air. 
The temperature aside, it wasn’t unpleasant. There were some nice people with whom we talked and shared stories. When the store opened, everyone headed to the electronics area, while my wife and I went to the clothes. We were done there fairly quickly, but the line for layaway took about an hour to get through. 
This is where I get to the mail point of this post. I don’t recall who exactly, but someone who was working there was complaining to someone else who was also working there, about people calling to find out if there was a particular item. “‘Nope, we’re out, I told them.’ If you’re too lazy to get out here and get in line like everyone else, then I’m just going to tell you we don’t have it.” 
I have posted about it before here, if you’re too miserable to do your job, get a new bloody job! This is your JOB. You are PAID to do this. It’s CUSTOMER SERVICE. Service the damned customers! You’re a representative of the place you work for! Not only do you not just tell someone you don’t have what they’re looking for without looking, you don’t freaking brag about it in front of three dozen customers!!

Ok, I just went looking for the old post about this sort of thing, so that I could hyper-link it in the paragraph above, and can’t find it… I dunno what happened, I probably deleted it by accident or something brilliant like that. So here’s the deal…

I was shopping with my wife some years ago, and as we were leaving we decided we’d hit the “Subway” on the way out and have something to eat. I ordered my sub, and asked for a “small soda”. “We don’t have small, only medium and large” the girl said.

In my original post, I went into some detail about the smug satisfaction the little High School cheerleader tart wore on her face when she said it, and how I told her that if there was no small, then the one that wasn’t large WAS the small, and all that. It was very entertaining.

Anyway, I hope everyone is having better luck than the poor folks being told they couldn’t have a small or that their items were sold out are!

Have you had run ins with poor customer service folks like that?

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4 thoughts on “The Service Industry

  1. I had walked around HomeOutfitters about three times looking for something and finally saw someone who worked there and asked them. “Nope, we don’t carry that kind of thing.” I was told. So I stood there for a bit having a rest and by chance another clerk came by. I asked her and “bloody heck” I was standing right in front of what I had been looking for. Either the first girl wasn’t trained properly or she was just nasty. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

  2. I do think people who work in stores should do their best to help the customers and have a good attitude. You are right about that. I love the service I get at Future Shop, an electronic store, they are friendly and efficient.

  3. Either I should congratulate you on your fortitude in shopping all night long, or recommend you for certification to a mental facility … but then, you were just doing what your wife wanted, right? Rule number 1.The quality of customer service in retail has really declined in recent years. I think it’s directly attributable to the short-sighted cost-cutting of major retail chains. They pay terrible wages, so the only employees they can attract are entry-level people, which usually means they’re teen-agers, or others with little to no working experience. Then the chains make the situation worse with zero or terrible training. There’s no wonder that these kids don’t know what they carry or where any of it is! They have not been trained properly.The North American economy has been in trouble for decades because of poor attention to quality of product and service. Your experience, unfortunately, is just one example among millions.

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