You Can’t Believe Everything You Hear

, , , , , | Working | October 7, 2020

I work for a well-known supermarket delivering groceries to customers at home. I should note that it is company policy that delivery drivers do not accept tips, but often customers more or less force it into your hand. In this instance, I have been given a re-drop — essentially a delivery that was unsuccessful the previous day usually because the driver couldn’t be bothered. I have been warned that the customer is very rude.

It has been scheduled for three pm this day and, after noting the address, which is one I am familiar with, I decide to call the customer to confirm which floor of the building he is on.

Me: “Hi, is that [Customer].”

Customer: “Yes, it certainly is.”

Me: “Hi, it’s [My Name] calling from [Supermarket] Home Delivery. I’ve got your delivery here and I’m just about to leave…”

Customer: “Ah, yes, are you aiming to deliver for about three pm?”

Me: “Yes, I am. Is that okay?”

Customer: “I’m sorry to ask this, but is there any chance I could get it a little later? I’m trying to get home but I’m stuck in traffic at the minute.”

Me: “No problem at all. I’m working until six today so I can get it out to you anytime really up until five pm; just let me know what works for you.”

Customer: “If you could do it at around 4:30, that would be great.”

Me: “No problem, mate. Now, while I have you, you live at [Address]; is that correct?”

Customer: “It is.”

Me: “If I remember correctly, that’s the one where I need to enter via the underground car park. I just wanted to confirm which floor your flat is on.”

Customer: “That’s exactly right. I’m on the sixth floor. Just give me a ring before you leave and I’ll let you know if I’m in or not.”

I’m a little surprised that this customer is apparently “so rude” when he seemed very friendly on the phone. I get his delivery to his building almost dead on at 4:30 pm and buzz his flat. He comes down and leads me up in the lift. We confirm that all the shopping was delivered. He is even very understanding about substitutes and items unavailable. He is incredibly friendly. I get his signature for delivery and he hands me £5.

Customer: “Thank you so much for getting this to me. Please have a nice day. Could you let me know how I can avoid problems like this next time?”

So, we talked for a few minutes about what went wrong with his last delivery, and it appears the original driver ignored his directions on how to reach the underground car park, got angry, and drove off, even though the customer was outside waving at him and trying to direct him. I apologized for this. He asked that no one lose their job, just that he could get a different driver next time.

I would later speak to the original driver, who insisted the customer was “very rude.” Well, his loss and my gain of £5!

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