Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's a while since I mentioned poor customer service... there's a retailer called M&S ...

Why has a major retailer, (let's call them Manky Spinster to preserve anonymity) seen their public credibility tumble in the last year or so?
Based on recent experience I have a theory. I suspect that, in common with many employers, they are so terrified of litigation relating to diversity, discrimination or bias that they're offering customer service roles to any drooling bottom feeder who turns up for interview and proves capable of opening the door and finding the chair.
What's apparent is that there is no level of testing or training applied to ensure that staff have the ability to string together a big complicated word like customer let alone get their tiny jobsworth brains around the complex idea "that might be good for the customer".

A case in point...

I popped into a local M&S to purchase a little fruit around 2:00pm on a weekday, I'd not lunched and I had developed a hunger for a banana. I picked up said yellow curvy fruit and walked towards the express tills, where three (count them) assorted M&S folk were serving two (count them) customers.

I was however prevented from reaching the available teller by the sudden (substantial) physical barrier of a large dandruff ridden specimen of femininity of indeterminate age sporting a grubby M&S uniform and an expression of hostility. "I'm closing these tills" she announced.
"But" quoth your gentle correspondent " I just want to purchase this delicious fairtrade banana"
The witty riposte of the malodorous harridan was unarguable, " I'm closing these tills"
"Yes", I observed, "I believe that you mentioned that intention earlier in our delightful chat, however I can't help noticing that yonder young fellow is presently unoccupied, I am hungry, I am here now and I'm hoping to become a customer, I do assure you that I'm good for the price of a banana".
She trashed my carefully thought-through chain of logic with an incisive, derisive and decisive "I'm closing these tills".

Defeated by this powerful combination of repetition and halitosis I retreated, trudged, a broken man, to the alternate, and very busy bank of tills where I tagged onto the line of three elderly ladies buying all the catfood and biscuits in the world.

Imagine, dear reader, if you can, the joy I felt as I arrived at the front of the queue and observed Hagrid's little sister, replacing the lass on the till with the same vacuous young fellow to whom I'd been denied access only 12 minutes earlier. I was so overcome with the delightful, delicious, painful and bizarre symmetry of the situation I was almost tempted to demand assistance with my packing.

So, dear recruitment staff at Monks and Spankers, here's a clue, if someone is too stupid to wash and brush their hair, eat a sensible diet, clean their teeth or accurately find their mouth with a handful of food it's unlikely they'll have the appropriate attitude or skills to be the ideal ambassador for goodwill and customer satisfaction that your once-excellent organisation presumably still aspires to.
Take note, Sir Stuart Rose, I remain unimpressed by your self-imposed crusade to save our flaming planet from your flaming carrier bags, I just want you to sell me a banana, nicely.



At 6:18 am, Blogger IzinSing said...

It is well known that bananas are only sold clothed in pyjamas, and in pairs. You cannot expect a premier retailer like Moles and Sphincters to acquiesce in your egocentric, voyeuristic and culturally insensitive preferences for solo, naked bananas. You should be ashamed of yourself!


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