Ishtar L-Amarain (sharz) wrote in bad_service,
Ishtar L-Amarain
sharz
bad_service

Someone over the phone takes precedence? Also a PSA for receptionists/people who answer phones etc

I was in a particular pharmacy today because they stock a particular make up range that I really like. Unfortunately it's indie and only available at about 10 pharmacies around my state (I live in Australia, our states are big) so it's not easy to get there. I could buy online but the shipping is expensive just for 1-2 products as I never seem to run out at the same time.

When I walked in the store wasn't busy but the 2 staff there were serving customers. That didn't bother me, I know where the makeup section is, I stop by when I run out of something so I just headed straight there.

The display for this makeup range was looking quite empty and they only had two of the items I wanted in stock and the particular blush I was after was the last one that was left.

I picked it up and I was just examining the packaging, making sure it hadn't been opened and it also said new formulation so I turned the package around to read the ingredients when a pharmacy assistant rushes up to me and says "A customer has reserved that".

I was a bit in disbelief so I asked her "If a customer has reserved it, why is it still on the shelf?" and the pharmacy assistant told me that they'd asked her to put it aside over the phone and she hadn't gotten to it.

So I told her, "Well it's on the shelf and I'm not seeing anyone's name on it, not to mention it's the last one. I've run out and I'd like to purchase it." and she goes "But a customer wants it" so I asked her "So what am I then? A pork chop?" I was sort of being flippant because this has never happened to me before, but she just glared at me so I just walked past her to the register to the other staff member. It was a bit awkward as she was watching this whole thing but when I put my stuff down on the counter, I got a pleasant enough "Hi, how are you?" and she started to ring up my stuff.

I hear a sigh behind me and whilst I was just digging through my bag for my wallet when the one that forgot to put the product aside for the customer comes up to us, goes behind the counter and remarks that "I'm going to get into so much trouble today".

I'm a bit over it by this point, so I got a bit condescending and told her to in future manage her stock levels more efficiently because that display is all but empty and call the customer, who isn't in the store, and tell them that you made a mistake and it's out of stock instead of harassing someone who is in the store. She rolls her eyes and goes off somewhere behind me.

I'm thinking of making a complaint at that point but I figure she's going to have an unhappy customer to deal with one way or another when the pharmacist comes out of the back and is very friendly and asks how things are going. I think he was out the back or something because he'd missed what had happened. I gave him the Cliffnotes version and he apologized a lot and said it was a stock issue with this brand (given that it's indie, that's very likely), went out the back and gave me some unopened testers of some new products they'd been sent from this particular company so at least that was something.

Now I can sympathize with that pharmacy assistant a bit, but if she had the customer on the phone then she should have put it aside when the customer was still talking to them. It could have been bad timing, like the customer had JUST hung up but that isn't my problem. It kind of irks me given that I came into the store to pick up these products and someone over the phone gets precedence. Having worked in a pharmacy we used to always put in certain products for customers we delivered to and I understand there are very valid reasons why people can't get into a store but it's makeup.

I've often phoned up and asked people if things were in stock and to put it aside but usually someone goes out to the shelf, checks the stock level and then puts it aside and confirms for me over the phone that it's been set aside. I understand that when this customer goes to pick it up, they are going to be pissed off, but that's also not my problem. I guess I could have been nice and let her have it but I'd driven out of my way to get there specifically for this product and her attitude like I wasn't a customer either pissed me off.



I get this way too often to post about it invidually.

Receptionists/ customer service reps and people behind counters:

I have a long surname and first name. Myself, my siblings and cousins range between 20-45 characters. We all have ridiculous, unrelated nicknames for each other but when I'm filling stuff out stuff at the doctors, or bank or etc, of course I need to use my full name.

The pain in ass here isn't spelling it, it's the people I have to deal with. I'd rather, at this stage just type it out on a keypad than deal with people about it.

People always have to have some crack about how long my name is, "Oh that's so pretty but I'm not even going to pronounce that!", Or they'll try to pronounce it but not try very hard and the crack themselves up when they mangle it. (Just ask how it's pronounced for Christ's sake), "That must take so long to spell", "Wow, it has nearly every letter in the alphabet! (Not even close), "I guess many of you wouldn't be dyslexic" (Whaaaaaaat?), "You should get an English name like the Chinese" and the infamous "Why don't you shorten it?" Why? Oh because it's convenient for me? Yeah right, I can rattle it off faster than you can blink. Oh it's more convenient for paperwork? Oh I'm sorry, should I shorten my name which has cultural and family ties for me because you can't be bothered copying down or writing down letters from the alphabet? Even when I provide you a drivers license so all you have to do is copy? Is that SO hard? And then because I'm a woman, "You'd better marry someone with a short surname!". I once jokingly told my case worker that I was going to marry someone with a longer surname and change my surname just so that I could hyphenate it and then make her update all the papers pertaining to my foster kids.

Usually I have a sense of humor about these things, I'll often say before spelling it "Brace yourselves, it's a long one!" but if I'm running errands and I'm getting this a few times a day, it gets old, really, really fast. Especially the dumber responses. Seriously people, we live in a multicultural society, not everyone's name is going to Bob and Jane Smith. Besides it's not as if the Gaelic based Irish names are easy to pronounce either, it's not "ethnic" folks that hard names. In a society were I've been told by recruiters to shorten my name and state my Citizenship on my CV because of the assumptions people make, I'm sick of it in my day to day life too.
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