Friday, July 25, 2008

Not one for finding my way around the computer at the best of times and tending to stick to what I know I'm finding this a great challenge and will certainly need help from time to time. My first hiccup was with my blogger URL but that resolved my next challenge was what to write in my blog. There, done it.
What to write in my blog? This thought has been plaguing me for a week now and yesterday after a shopping “experience” I suddenly thought “This is what I’m going to write in my blog”.
Subject: self service versus customer service. I have always been of the opinion that when self service was instituted customer service went out the window. I suppose self service is supposed to be convenience shopping but there is nothing more inconvenient than trying to find the packaged version of a displayed article or a handy shop assistant to ask.
Yesterday we arranged to meet a long time friend for lunch. We usually meet 2-3 times a year and this was one of those times. As the weather was doubtful we decided to play it safe and lunch in a shopping mall. After eating and chatting we strolled down the long concourse of shops with me periodically abandoning the 2 men to dive into any interesting looking shop which caught my attention. On reaching the end of the concourse we stopped for a cup of coffee before heading back to the other end where we were stopped by an enormous shop easily as long as the concourse itself and many aisles deep. After firmly stating that I had no interest in going in, I sensed the 2 men did, so I relented. This is where my story really starts. We began to wander aimlessly along the aisles with myself lagging behind somewhat as I noticed that the displays looked modern and the product new, quite appealing, and well priced – quality? Well, who knows? - in an attempt to be more upmarket somehow.
Suddenly a display stopped me in my tracks and told me it would look good in my
home and that I should buy it. Couldn’t do that of course without prior approval but the men had vanished. I then found myself ducking and diving around the aisles to find them. After quashing their protestations I dragged them back to the displayed product which was duly approved and we began a hunt for the packaged version.
Bad news – there wasn’t one. Let’s find a shop assistant. The ducking and diving around the aisles again, this time in search of a shop assistant, drew a blank .This required us to look further afield and led us to the checkout where all the assistants were busy – “Oh, just a minute there’s one, quick grab her”. Caught, she accompanied us back to the display where she also looked in vain for the packaged version. All right, could we buy the displayed item and as it was looking somewhat shop soiled and scrumpled would a discount be possible? Oh no they didn’t sell displayed items, they were just for display. Could she find somebody to ask? Off she trotted, disappearing from sight never to be seen again while we waited and waited and waited… Drastic action was needed. As there were three of us we went off in three directions looking for her. I ended up back at the checkout, quickly jumped in between customers and asked for some floor staff explaining that the girl who was serving us had gone to consult someone and not returned. One of the men found an assistant who was going to drag someone out of a meeting to serve us and the other man had found someone else so a consultation ensued and a discounted amount agreed upon. A very pleasant young lady agreed to package the item for us while I waited at the checkout. The men went back to where they were heading when I dragged them away, while I waited and waited and waited… The men returned. “Hasn’t she come back yet?” so off they went again while I waited and waited and waited… The pleasant young lady did return all smiles and the transaction was happily completed and so is my blog.