Overhelp Overkill

| KS, USA | Working | March 25, 2017

(Our store has a team of about 20 people who come in early in the morning to unload the day’s shipment and restock. They work their way around the store like a wave, always within a few aisles of each other. Right before the store opens, we have a meeting.)

Store Manager: “We’ve been getting low survey scores lately, and we think that part of the problem is that the unload team isn’t customer focused. From now on, our policy is that you offer to help every customer you see. I’ll be working with you this morning so I can watch how well you do.”

Unload Team Member #1: “What if someone else has already asked?”

Store Manager: “Unless you were standing right next to them, go ahead and ask again, just in case.”

Unload Team Member #2: “Won’t people get sick of being asked over and over whether they need help?”

Store Manager: “The surveys say this is the kind of service people are looking for when they shop here. You’re just being helpful! What could be wrong with that?”

(About 15 minutes later, a customer wanders into the aisle where Store Manager] is working.)

Store Manager: *loudly, obviously trying to set an example* “Can I help you find something?”

Customer: “Are you f****** kidding me? You are the sixth person to ask me that already, and I haven’t even been in the store ten minutes yet. In the last aisle, I got asked by three different people! Why can’t you people just leave me the f*** alone and let me do my shopping on my own like an adult? If I hear one more employee asking me if they can help me find something, I’m gonna drop my basket right there in the middle of the aisle and leave. No! No, I do not need help!”

(Oddly, the new policy was never spoken of again.)

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