Twice in the last week I have had to educate employees about the stock they're selling.
Now, with new employees or new stock, I'll grant that there is a learning curve involved and one must not expect everyone to know everything all of the time. But for old, well-established products and people with anniversary pins on their name badges, well....
The products involved were Ingeo, a corn-based plastic fiber which reached the mass market in 2003, and white-heart glass beads, which are centuries old for pete's sake.
At Joann's, I asked an employee about the clearanced Ingeo quilt batts, and got in reply, "The what quilt batts?" I held the package for her to see, and she read the label and marveled aloud at the concept of a quilt batt made from corn-based plastic. My gripe here is that anyone working for Joann's for over a year might be expected to have run across Ingeo before, since it's made into fabric and yarns as well as batts. Familiarity with your store's products, get you some.
At the bead store, I asked the employee at the service desk if they had any large-holed, whiteheart glass beads...and she assumed I wanted heart-shaped glass beads, white in color. After I explained what whiteheart was, she looked it up in the computer and lo, the inventory listed a couple dozen white-heart varieties. She thanked me for enlightening her as I left.
The employees were faultlessly courteous and helpful, but the stores in question need to train better, as I am not out shopping in order to teach employees about the products they sell.
This morning I experienced a pretty good example of the ... incomparable .. customer service offered by FirstGroup buses (Bristol, UK).
[when trying to pay for a £4.50 fare with a £5 note - note that it is not necessary to have the exact change for a fare, although it is courteous]
Me: I'm really sorry, I don't have the exact change.
Driver: I don't mean to be rude, love, but I'm not a f**king bank.
Me: If you don't mean to be rude you might want to reconsider your use of the work "f**king"...
A couple of other examples:
- when I was travelling by bus last week, the driver randomly stopped halfway between two stops to smoke his pipe. WHAT. [he tripped over a bicycle on his way back to the bus and started yelling at it as if it was its fault, which totally made up for it]
- my friend was on a bus with a new driver. The bus driver stopped the bus in the middle of nowhere, completely off the route.
Driver: I'm lost. You're all going to have to get out
My friend: But I don't know where we -
Driver: GET OUT!
These stories may seem unbelievable to those who have not experienced the joys of Bristol public transport. True as god, every word.
This happened some time ago, but I was reminded of it the other day and it really was ridicilous.
It was really late at night, I think 10 or 11 pm and I had to take a train back home and was in the grab & go supermarket at the trainstation to get a drink before my train left. Because it was so late, there was just this one girl manning the registers and the only one in sight, too. While she was helping customers, there was also this drunk homeless dude bothering her. Nothing against homeless people, but this guy was just harassing her, clearly drunk, asking her for money and miming stealing things or whatever, and she had to leave her register a couple of times to yank items out of his hand. He was just being a pain in the ass for this poor girl who clearly was busy enough as it was.
I bought my drink and left, feeling kind of sorry for her, and after 8 or so there's a general ticket check performed by some security people, so when showing them my public transit card I said 'Oh, yeah, by the way... There's this homeless guy in the supermarket and he's botheri-' I didn't even get to FINISH the sentence I was making to a nice, concerned looking security guy, before one of his colleagues jumped in front of me and immediately interrupted me and spat 'just leave that guy alone, jesus, he's just an old man' in the most hateful tone and rolling his eyes. I was taken aback, of course, because I don't really expect the security people to reprimand me for telling them about stuff, so I try to start explaining that there was just one girl in the store and that the guy was bothering her, but again, before I get to finish what I was saying, the guy interrupts by sighing theatrically, rolling his eyes and looking like I'm personally responsible for everything that's ever gone wrong in his life.
I was just vexed. The guy who I'd originally started talking to apparently also thought his coworker's behaviour wasn't very ok and started saying 'no, no it's very good that you're telling us this!' but before he could even finish his sentence, the colleague starts yelling at him and they basically get into a verbal fight right in front of me, so I just walked off to go catch my train. Seriously, WTF? I remember even feeling threathened by the reaction of the coworker, that's how agressive he acted. I probably should have filed a complaint or something, but I wasn't really sure what their positions were exactly and never got any names.