Almost everyday I encounter random acts of indifference from employees at various establishments. Last night we watched an old favourite movie “Meet the Parents” with Ben Stiller. The airline loses his luggage when they insist he check his carry on bag. They find it as he’s ending his visit. On the flight home he’s the only passenger in the lounge and the attendant calls out the rows for boarding. She asks him to wait until his row is called when he approaches the podium. There’s not another sole around yet she asks him to wait until his row is called. On board the plane the same employee sees him struggle to put his lost/found bag overhead and says, in her smiling, passive aggressive way, “you’ll have to check that”. And he loses it. He’s tossed off the plane.
That’s not too exaggerated if you ask me. These types of employees are everywhere just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting customers. Here’s a few beauties from the last couple of days:
Rudy goes to the Rogers store to arrange new services for our new house. He walks into the store and sees the kiosk (self serve) to check in to the queue for service assistance; there’s a woman who walks in before him and heads directly to the counter. She is redirected to the kiosk while Rudy is called up. What? When she questions the pecking order she told that Rudy had an appointment. The eager clerk greets Rudy and goes over the packages and options. Turns out we can get a upgraded bundle for less than we are paying now. New customers, it seems, get the hook by attractive pricing but current paying longer term clients are excluded from the best pricing. Hmmm. But here’s the rub. After a good amount of time spent doing the paperwork for the new services the clerk nonetheless forgets something after Rudy has left. So he phones and leaves a message asking Rudy to come back in. Rudy goes back in a few days later. There’s a different clerk there who says he knows nothing about why Rudy was called. The original clerk is on the late shift and won’t be in for a few hours. Rudy plays the voicemail for the clerk. Still nothing. Rudy will have to come back when the original clerk is there. Rydy leaves. As Frank would say: Gong!!!!
I’ve picked out some new ceiling fans at Canadian Tire on line. Their website shows availability at the Collingwood store. Rudy and I head over. We find a helpful clerk on the floor who finds us the fans. Amazing. Friendly and helpful. We head to the checkout with four large boxes in our cart. As we roll up to the checkout the young cashier says: “I have to scan those”. Duh. Then more agitatedly: “I need them out of the cart to scan them”. Oh. Ok. (All the while a more mature clerk stands at the customer service desk watching and smacking her gum. We pull the fans out. They get scanned. The last is in the cart but the bar code is visible on both lid flaps. She scans them both creating two sales. I let her know it’s only one fan with two codes. She glares and looks in the cart again as though I’ve lied. “Right. My bad” and she takes off one sale. She asks if we collect points. Rudy says yes and shows his Canadian Tire MasterCard. That’s met with another grunt of disapproval. Rudy pays using his stash of gift cards. Now he’s handed the receipt and a stack of Canadian Tire money. We’d like our points on the card. She looks up stunned. What?? You paid by gift card and your points is on your MC! You will have to go to customer service. Ok. I turn around with receipt and bills and MC in hand to face the gum smacking troll at customer service. She’s heard the entire exchange and still says ” can I help you “. Of course she’s not planning to help at all. She says there’s no way to put the points on the account without the actual points card (not the MC) or unless we paid with the MC. Really!?! Rudy says let’s go. We leave: Gong!!!
We meet friends for dinner. The place we wanted to meet is sold out so we head to a nearby (across the road) chain/franchise wing place. We are the first to arrive and ask for a table for six. The hostess/waitress looks concerned; she has to check. We look at each other as there seems to be a few tables available. She comes back and says we can have a booth that was reserved for someone else. Like we’re vip and take priority. Whatever. We sit and our friends arrive. No one has offered us drinks. We look around and there’s only two servers for the entire place including the patio. Oh boy. Luckily we are deep in conversation catching up so we don’t mind the sluggish service. We are there for a couple of hours. No appetizers just drinks and fast food. The wait for the bill and interac machine is painful.
But the table conversation throughout the meal is lively and very interesting. My friend has a relatively new job and I ask her how things are. She tells me they were good until last week. Oh? What happened last week? They changed the toilet paper. Right. Apparently employees noticed the new brand and complained. The complaints went viral (in the office) and resulted in the office manager sending out a tongue-in-cheek memo asking for input : keep the new or revert to the old. Toilet paper. Everyone got into the little charade except for the owner who (in Trumplike fashion) fires off a rebuttal memo telling those who wished to continue wasting company time on toilet paper to find a new company to work for and hopefully their toilet paper would be better. This terse tirade response was met with outrage. How dare the owner take such an reasonable stance. Geesh.
As I’m typing this I am sadly reminded of tons of other examples:
The ice cream shop that opens at noon and the proprietor is sweeping out front 5 min to opening. When approached by customers says: sorry we aren’t open yet.
The security staff that’s happy to let you miss your flight while they stand in unison chatting on break.
The contractor who has your email with photos of what work to do but shows up without warning to take another look and his own photos.
The new prospective family doctor who’s receptionist asks a ton of personal questions and then tells you “we will call you if you’re approved as new patients “.
The Alzheimer’s society who spends over an hour at an in person meeting telling a client (82 years old) about all the great services they provide and when a particular workshop is chosen being told its full and you’re on the wait list for the next session in 4 months!!
The front desk at the Y not knowing their own schedules and misinforming clients.
And don’t even get me going on banks!!!
Being retired = no more employees.