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Saint Dogbait

Even though I can get grumpy with people at times, I’ve always had an empathy for shop assistants who have to deal with grumpy people all day long.  I try to be pleasant and toss in some wise cracks although it can be lost on the occasional sour puss.

Earlier in the week, I bought some bread from Baker’s Delight, the local bakery chain, who has a reward card for purchases over $5.  Now that I’m retired, I have this wallet full of reward cards and I don’t even need to produce my Seniors Card to get a discount.  It’s disconcerting, but one glance at you now now and they fall over backwards to give you a discount!

However, I digress.  I was chatting to the young shop assistant and tossing in my usual banter as I presented my card for a $3.50 purchases.  I suddenly realised my error and went to put the card back in my wallet when she grabbed it and stamped it anyway.  When I enquired why, she said, “Because you’re a nice person and it’s nice to serve someone pleasant”.

Well, knock me over with a feather.  Turns out that they have to deal with grumpy, irritable people all day and she told me the story of a woman who came in a few days earlier and barked out for 12 bread rolls and the young lass put them in a plastic bag and was rudely told to put them in a paper bag.  When the girl politely told her that she should have requested that in the first place as she watched her doing it, the woman went on a monumental hissy fit.

Then yesterday, I was coming home from the city and stopped at another Baker’s Delight and ordered some bread and a ham and mayo roll to fend off the hungers.  I was in another frivolous mood and she tossed an extra roll in the bag because “I was a nice guy”

So there you have it.  Being a “nice guy” has it’s rewards so I’ve decided to be extra, extra, pleasant to all shop assistants now and never have to pay for my food and coffees again.

Don’t worry, the next sour puss I meet will snap me back to reality.

  1. thomashouseman
    April 27, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Totally unrelated to this blog entry but thought you’d like NASA’s picture of the day today:


    Thomas – I love those space photos. A bit hard to make out which is the summit of Everest. By the way, do you like how I’ve made that link into a hyperlink on the “picture of the day”

  2. thomashouseman
    April 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    The link… very schnazzy!

    Everest… I was hoping you could enlighten us all as to which was the summit.

    Shop assistants… it works both ways… Once I left an entire conveyor belt at Woolworths full of my weekly shopping because the checkout chick wouldn’t stop discussing last night’s party with her colleague and actually serve me.

    That’s something I’ve come close to doing too.

  3. AZ
    April 28, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I was screamed at by a cashier at Safeway, she was in a foul mood and was looking for someone to take it out on, I was the lucky one to hand her a coupon she took one glance at it as said she wouldn’t honor the coupon because it was for a different size product, I corrected her (nicely) and showed her that the coupon was for the product I was purchasing. That’s all it took, she started screaming that she wasn’t going to stand there and argue with me when I was obviously in error. Needless to say Safeway gets very little of my business, and I’ve only been back to that store a handful of times. I have to say that on my return trips to that Safeway store, I’ve never seen that particular cashier again, maybe she went off on her customers once to many times.

    AZ – Obviously she had a major problem. You should have made a complaint to the management but someone probably did seeing that she disappeared. We got onto a Qantas flight home from Hong Kong once to be met by an abusive flight attendant. She was aggressive to everyone who boarded and was carted off by her colleagues never to be seen again.

  4. Scott from Oregon
    April 29, 2009 at 4:09 am

    I was a bagger at a grocery store when I was about 17. The new manager took me immediately away from customers and put me on night crew duty because I worked really hard but refused to smile when doing so.

    “I was concentratin’!”

    Apparently, people don’t mind waiting in line if they get smiled at.

    Scott – I started to worry when you said the manager took you away. I thought it was going to be one of those ‘let’s go out the back and I’ll show you how to pack the shelves properly’ excuses.

  5. April 29, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I try really hard to be nice to the checkout people, and if they are grumpy I try to understand cos it must be a thankless job scanning and bagging groceries. Before the days of barcodes, the cashiers had to know the prices of everything and actually were able to use their brains, but not any more.

    Shammy – Sorry, I can’t tolerate people who are in a customer service job and are not interested in doing their job.

  6. Muppet's Mum
    April 29, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Hey, I was a checkout chick when I was a teenager and SMILED all the time (well at least when the customers were looking). I even won a Customer Service award for it !!!

    MM – If everyone did a Customer Service job well, there would be no need for gongs.

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