Thursday, January 24, 2008

laughing and cringing...

The other day, I went through the drive-through at Taco Bell. After a long wait, I make it to the menu board to order. A young man's voice drifts over the intercom and welcomes me, then he says, "Will that be for here or to go today?". I could hear the laughter in his voice so I knew he was messing with me. I replied with, "To go would be helpful, don't you think?". He laughed and agreed with me. It was a nice little exchange. Then I waited to make it to the first window.

When I got there, another young man opens the window and starts to hand me my drink. Only problem is, he is almost palming the top of the cup where he has laid the straw across it. I can't grab the cup and the straw because his hand is in the way. He starts to let go of the cup before I've taken it. I hurry to keep the cup from falling, but I can't get the straw, which falls to the ground. So I politely ask for another straw. He grumbles something, snatches my money from my hand and slams the window closed. He takes his own sweet time to get my change, fills a water cup, grabs another straw which he lays across the cup in the same manner as before then opens the window and shoves the cup of water at me. I shake my head and say, "I only need a straw," and try to take the straw. He gets mad at me. "What?" is his gruff reply. "A straw," I said, again reaching for the straw. Finally, I grasp it and pull it out. He then proceeds to crumple my receipt before dropping my change (thankfully I got my hand up there in time to catch that) and then throws, yes, throws a bag of sauce and napkins at me before barking, "next window." I pulled forward quickly, ready to be away.

At the next window, the nice young man who took my order was waiting with my food. I was so mad I could hardly keep from crying (I cry when I'm mad...). I asked him to please tell his manager that the worker at the first window was being excessively rude and had thrown stuff at me. He was very apologetic and told me he would take care of it.

So I drove away thinking if the first young man had handled everything it would have been a very positive experience- but that the rude worker had totally ruined my lunch. And yes, it gave me indigestion...

All that to say I try to give the first sort of customer service, not the second. But there are times... I had a lady complain this week because I rung her item at the wrong price. She said it was on the 50% off table and it rang at $4. I explained that the item was on sale for $4, it wasn't on the 50% off table and that since the original price was $10.50, she had already gotten a better deal than 50% off. She kept arguing that I charged her wrong and then walked out in a huff. I was going to tell her I would be happy to re-ring it at 50% off and she could pay the additional $1.25, but she left too quickly. Some people!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

pants on fire...

I had two customers lie to me today. Right to my face. Then, they got made when the lie did not produce the expected reply (translate- I didn't give them the product for the "reduced" price). I've seen a lot of that going on during our big sale and I find it sad and rather pathetic. Honestly, half the store is being given away as it is, let's not haggle over pennies.

What is it about human nature that makes us so greedy and rude? A friend of mine is writing a computer program that has the computer ask questions of the user and then processes that info to ask more questions. He was trying to classify human behavior like greed and rudeness and decided the best way to classify those people would be in a category of jerks. I agree. And I'm okay with his program taking over the world and outlawing all jerks. (Actually, the program is going to take over the world and I get to be Princess of the Alps, the Andes, part of the Rockies, Antarctica and some tropical island, and I'm okay with that).

It is too late to think hard about this, but I am glad I can laugh about those customers (I did so with my boss, after I checked the shelves and verified the customers were lying, after they had gone of course). And I suppose they will someday get what is coming to them... or at least I hope, maybe.