Monday, July 17, 2006

Bad Customers

Yesterday I went to a bagel place for a sandwich. I used to work in a bagel place - back before bagel places were the trendy in every town center thing they are today. I say this not to indicate some sort of pre-trend prescience on my part, but to say that I have an understanding of the challenges of working in such a place. (Although since I was there pre-trend and we were in a mall, I had to explain to people daily that yes - everything was on a bagel, and no, those were not donuts. Which I imagine happens less these days.)
As I arrived there were three people in various stages of being helped, and one guy on the phone and in line. The phone thing bugs me - having worked in a call center (yes this is really all about me), it is really annoying to deal with people who think so much of their time, and yet, so little of yours. To add to the annoyance, he was unable to stand still while talking, which I sympathize with, but again, another reason to make this call later. This perpetual motion made getting to the end of the line a challenge, since the store was narrow, and made finding a safe place to stand an issue. When it looked like he was close to receiving attention from a person, he ended his call (thank goodness for all involved). However, it appeared he had his heart set on something involving a wheat bagel. Which they did not have yesterday. Apparently, this escaped his notice while waiting in line on the phone, in full view of the bagel selection. And apparently the idea that they would not have his wheat bagel was so unbelievable to him that he asked three different employees before finally taking himself out of line to regroup.
Meanwhile, a male-female couple (I presume) had moved behind me in the line. Now interestingly, the employee who had stepped up to take dancing phone man's order, was apparently not able to move to then take my order. (Which, despite my sarcasm, I am actually okay with). But, because of the open prep space leading to the cashier space, it had the appearance that I and the two people behind me were being ignored, as we watched three employees do various things that did not involve assisting a customer. The female half of the duo behind me started to ask, loudly, why no one was able to help us. She then stated that someone should stop cleaning the prep space and start helping. Perhaps the visible prep space gave her immunity from payback, except of the delaying kind. Fairly shortly, I was assisted - and then she was also.
So really, I have no point here, except to share.

Well, I thought I had no real point. But then I saw this on Wasted Blog: Shop staff to 'red card' rude customers . Hmmm.

2 comments:

Rachel said...

I worked in a bagel shop pre-trend too! Actually, it was probably just on the leading edge of the trend. But boy did that job give me an appreciation for the hard work of people in the food-prep industry that still serves me well today. (It may be that the employees behind the counter were cleaning the prep space instead of helping other customers because they thought if they had to deal with one more annoying customer that day they were going to lose it. :)

RandomRanter said...

Well, and I aways like having my food made on a freshly clean space! But yes, it is a productive but customer-less activity and certainly we all need those moments.