Friday, December 07, 2012

Customer service

Yep, I’m a grumpy old woman.

I had a full on day yesterday (starting at 5.45 a.m) which included work on the book, a visit to the homeopath, a welcome cuppa with the family member who declines to be named, and long hours of Christmas shopping, in which I went in Waterstones looking for Julia Donaldson books. Neither of the young assistants in there knew who Julia Donaldson was, or what she writes (she is the Children’s Laureate! the prolific genius who wrote The Gruffalo and Stickman, and Tiddler and so many more!) and then when we had finally tracked them down, I asked for the Deadly Sixty Annual and it took a customer to find it for me. If they are going to have extra assistants in there for Christmas, why don’t they have ones who know their onions?

Then I went in John Lewis, oh shop of shops, not just my favourite shop, but Sally Howe’s too. (Sally Howe is the heroine of PLOTTING FOR BEGINNERS.) There, it was a different story: two young Christmas women on separate floors were helpful and efficient, listened to my needs and solved my problems.

The last stop before home was Chatsworth Farm Shop (another of Sally Howe’s favourite shops, but no longer mine)

Where Sally buys her free range meat

to buy something for tea, where at the checkout, the young man – who I have never met before - said “Hello, how are you?” and I bridled. Why is it the current custom for people in one stroke interactions to ask you how you are? Aaargghh! One does not expect this in Chatsworth Farm Shop: he must have missed his induction day.

I mumbled “OK,” without looking at him (not wanting to encourage his dastardly behaviour) and then he said “Do you have any plans for the evening?” and I wanted to say “Yes, but they are none of your business. It is 4.15, I have had a hectic, tiring day, and all I want is my sausages and my rare breed pork chop. I do not want to answer personal questions or engage in meaningless banter with someone I have never met before. If I wanted that I would go to a new hairdresser.” He needed to be told that God invented the weather so it could be a topic for small talk,

But I didn’t say owt. I am writing this blog post instead. This is Grumpy Old Woman signing off.

p.s. I have just ordered some books online from The Book Depository, and there was a link to click, if I wanted to “watch people shop.” Are they crazy? Don’t they know that shopping is bad enough without watching other people do it as well?

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