Saturday, October 07, 2006

Life Story

Here's the situation: it was a busy day. No kidding. It's Saturday. Every Saturday is insanely busy with every type of customer imaginable, plus all the crazies who are kept locked up during the week. There were customers everywhere buying lots of stuff so there were lots of empty shelves to fill, things to clean up, etc. in between helping customers.

I was helping a woman, her problem was solved, and it was at the point in the sale where she should proceed to the registers and pay. However, she felt the need to tell me her life story.

Three times.

Every attempt by me to get her to the registers and out the door failed. Her story was so important that she must tell it to me.

Three times.

By the middle of the third time, I stopped responding and just stood there, waiting for her to finish and hoping she wouldn't start on a fourth time. When she finally noticed that I wasn't listening in rapt attention and instead was slouched over, yawning, and dying of boredom, she became angry and accused me of poor customer service. Yeah. Sure. The ten customers waiting for my assistance would probably love to receive ANY customer service if you'd stop WASTING MY TIME!

1 comment:

George said...

I fully appreciate that there are people who like to talk, and sometimes it can be hard to end a conversation. But there are ways to deal with this.

One way would have been to talk back to her. Yes, actually talk to her. I don't mean sit down for half an hour. Just a few responses to show you're interested would establish a basic rapport, and she'd appreciate that. The poor woman probably has nobody to talk to, but you're too wound up in yourself to show anyone else some compassion.

Another way is to have the guts to just interrupt with an apology and move on to other customers. It's what you really wanted, after all, that's what all the slouched over, yawning and "dying of boredom" act was about.

See the capitols you've used there? "stop WASTING MY TIME!". You're very angry about all this. And you know what? You're really angry at yourself, which you'll realise if you stopped playing the victim for one minute. It's because you ended up a) wasting alot of time, b) getting accused of poor customer service and c) depriving other customers of service, and most importantly d) it's all your fault for not handling the situation properly.