Should Just Bench That Strategy

, , , | Right | May 23, 2020

I’ve just walked in for my shift and I stand at the customer service desk waiting for my supervisor to finish up with a customer so I can take over from her. Whilst she does this, I notice our “Community Colleague” — a colleague who deals with the charitable side of the business, e.g. allowing charities to come and do bag packs — is stood at a table with one of the benches beside it.

The bench is from behind the checkouts. It’s World Book Day, and she’s invited some local school children to the store to purchase their books and take part in activities. I don’t know any of this until later on, however.

An older woman comes up to the customer service desk.

Me: “Hi. Can I help?”

Customer: “There’s only one bench down there!”

Me: “Oh, okay. Well, I can see the other bench usually down by the checkouts is behind you. Our community colleague appears to be running something for the kids.”

Customer: “Well, there’s three of us squeezed onto the bench, and it’s not nice! As the youngest person out of the three, I had to be the one to get up and complain!”

Me: “I do apologise for the inconvenience. I’ve literally just walked in so I have no idea why the bench is not in its usual place, but I’ll make sure to sort it.”

Customer: “This isn’t on! There needs to be a second bench!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am.”

She stalked off. I told my supervisor and we both laughed about the fact that the woman was complaining about a seating area that we only provide as a courtesy, anyway. Plus, the benches easily fit four people on them. Our Community Colleague ended up dragging the bench back down and then being told off by a different customer for “putting a bench in the way”!

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