"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by Dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become."
- Steve Jobs

Friday, February 04, 2011

SMILE DAMN YOU, at least you have a job!!!!

So I spent this morning invoicing, packing, franking and processing 3 sacks full of orders, all the while watching "Mary Portas: Secret Shopper" on 4oD (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/mary-portas-secret-shopper/4od#3155506).  it was spectacular viewing because customer service in shops is one of my pet peeves, and to see this lousy service exposed on national TV was most Epic.

I headed off to the local Post Office with my heavy sacks, and - in my efforts to be a more positive and upbeat person (yeah yeah come on, get the laughs over with) - I always try to be smiley and nice to counter staff cos let's face it they don't always have awesome, interesting jobs.  And for the third time in a row at this particular Post Office, the two women behind the glass did NOT crack their faces.  The bespiked hair girl who served me peered at me past her nose pin, and was unresponsive as I said hello and explained about my 3 sacks of pre-franked post, while giving her the recorded delivery ones to scan.  Just to make chitchat I mentioned how I'd nearly tripped over one of the sacks as I got them out the car and they all fell over.  No response.  The other woman came to the parcels door to take the other sacks, all the while looking at me as if I was the most hideous inconvenience.  Through smiling gritted teeth I was most polite, asked for some empty sacks, and said thank you.  No "thank you goodbye" in response.  Had I got thicker skin I'd have said "and thank you for the friendly service, next time I'll try a pack of rabid pitbulls as they'll probably be friendlier".

I'm sure that as I get older and even MORE crotchety, I'll think nothing of bringing these po-faced twats down a few pegs.  In this economic climate they should be damn thankful they have a place to live, a job, and an income.  That they don't live in Haiti amongst rubble with not a stitch to call their own, or Darfur, or the Congo where rape is a daily occurrence.  So they should be fucking thankful and appreciate when other people are using their establishment, giving them money, and being NICE to them to boot.

I rarely go clothes shopping now, eBay is my shop du jour.  Where else can I get a brand new £95 Karen Millen waistcoat for £15?  But also, there are no sullen teenage shop girls to deal with on eBay.  Girls who aren't paid enough to give a shit, girls who - through no fault of their own - are not given any customer service training.  Or if they ARE trained, their attitudes scream of "whatevaaaa, I'm not bovvered about customers I just want to earn some money".  It's as if the employers take them on knowing they are stop-gap cheap labour who aren't worth training because they'll all be going to Uni or getting pregnant within the year.  But Mary Portas' programme shows in cold hard light, just what an AWFUL experience this makes for us, the shopper, the ones with the MONEY that keep these fuckers' businesses alive and pay their wages.

I bought a £70 duffle coat in Top Shop once, and the girl who served me was looking at and talking to her friend on the next till, through the whole transaction.  I wish I could have just stopped her and said "give me my card back, cancel the sale - if you can't even be bothered to interact with me as you take £70 from me then I'm not giving me your money".  Same thing happened in a petrol station.  And when I was shopping for new bathrooms, I was ignored for 20 minutes in a posh bathroom showroom, while sales people sat around and chatted.  Maybe they thought they were being non-invasive and letting me browse, but I just felt as if I wasn't posh enough looking for them to make any effort.  made me never ever want to spend a THING with them, even if I was a squillionaire.  Oh how I long for a "Pretty Woman" scenario when she goes into the posh clothes shop that had previously snubbed her, only to rub it in how much she was spending elsewhere.

Primark is the pinnacle of horrendouc customer service.  Another shop that i rarely go to now.  Clothes on the floor, clothes strewn on shelves, no order to sizing, horrific changing room experience, and not a single member of staff over 30 or with any decent customker facing experience.  They are machines, and we are the cattle.  Process process, pack em in, rack em up, bag em then they can fuck off when you have their money.

Why is it that whenever you try to make chit chat to shop people, you mostly see fear in their eyes and you get a polite smile and a stiff response, and you can almost hear them screaming to themselves "WEIRDO!  ON DRUGS!!  GET ON WITH IT SO YOU CAN GET RID OF HER!!!!"  Or is it simply because the younger people today don't have a clue how to communicate and do small talk with strangers.  Or they just can't be arsed because we're "just another customer".  What they don't understand is that if a few minutes chit-chat makes that customer feel special and valued, then they will be a customer for LIFE, which is a priceless thing.

For those people who DO have the balls to complain, and on occasion I have spoken up when I'm sick of queueing and I ask for a second till to be opened, you are met with a look of such disdain and disgust you'd think I'd have just started to drink blood from the baby in the stroller behind me.  How DARE I criticise this 17 year old's shit attitude!  How DARE I communicate that I'm having a crap time in this shop and can they make things better or they'll lose my custom!  How dare I break through their narcissistic sense of inflated entitlement and self opinion, and tell them how fucking rude and disrespectful they are!  Daft old ginger bat, she can fuck off she doesn't know what she's talking about.  Or they will be semi polite to you and apologise but you just KNOW that when you walk off they turn to eachother and pull faces.

How I wish we Brits would quit this age-old politeness when faced with crap shop service.  We need to speak up more, me included, and shame these gits into fixing the problem and winning back our custom and our money, which is THEIR lifeblood.