Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 2

| Working | July 11, 2014

(I enter a store in my lunch break that’s popular here for selling all sorts of things: from headphones to art and photo prints, from coffee thermos to wooden keyboards. I saw headphones on display earlier that week, but they changed the display and I couldn’t find them again. The store is so jam-packed with all sorts of things and it’s hard to find anything. I go to ask for help from the young woman working. She is just leaning at the register looking bored and is the only one working that day.)

Me: “Hi. I saw you had some headphones out the front a couple of days ago, but I can’t find them now. Can you please help me? I’d like to buy a pair.”

Saleswoman: “Nah, sorry. I can’t.”

Me: “Oh, have you sold out?”

Saleswoman: “Nah, they’re here somewhere.”

Me: “Um… okay. I can try finding them myself, but I really just want to double check the price. How much are they?”

Saleswoman: “I dunno.”

Me: *quite annoyed at this point but trying to stay polite* “Well, can’t you find it in the computer? Is this your first day? I don’t understand.”

Saleswoman: “Listen, I don’t normally work here. I started a while ago but, like, I only work weekends. I’m only here today, on my day off, because my coworker called in sick, and I have no choice but to work. I usually work at [Different Store] and I enjoy that more. That’s my focus, so I can’t really help you. Okay?”

Me: “Uhm. You technically work here as a part-timer and if you were called in to work today, shouldn’t you be working? Shouldn’t you know your products? You haven’t tried to help me at all.”

Saleswoman: “To be honest, I don’t even want to be here. It’s my day off. I don’t even want to work here. It’s so not my style. I don’t really think that I have to find anything or get to know how this store works because it’s just not in my interest to. If you can’t find it yourself, come back some other day when someone else is working so they can help you instead.”

Me: “…”

(I leave the store after trying to find the headphones one more time and overhear her saying this to other customers who ask for help. I give up and am furious. I go back to work, just a few doors down, so I put on my smile and try and get on with my day.)

Me: “Hi! How can I help you today?”

(My customer is quite rude to me until I help her find what she needs and give her the customer service I give everyone. We come to the register when she is suddenly very nice to me.)

Customer: “Thank goodness! I am so sorry for the way I acted before. I just had the worst customer service of my life a few doors down and I just assumed everyone who worked in this complex were like that! I’m so sorry. You worked so hard to help me and I really appreciate that.”

Me: “You were just in [Other Store], weren’t you…”

Customer: “How did you know? I was trying to buy things from there, but I couldn’t find what I needed and the woman just blew me off like I was nothing!”

Me: “I just wasted my lunch break there. Only just came back. Trust me, she is the only one here like that. Most of the rest of us in these shops are the complete opposite. We love to help!”

(If that lazy saleswoman at Other Store was trying to get fired, she was doing a good job of it! I didn’t see her in Other Store again after that day.)

 

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