Customer service

WWYD – What would you do?

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Here’s a new category of posts in which I will provide a circumstance, and you can provide your potential response; similar to a television show in the United States for which I’ve seen ads.

Here’s the circumstance that I encountered today that has inspired this initial post:

I walked into my local grocery store today, and waited at the Customer Service counter to cash in my winning lotto ticket:  $10    Woo hoo!  (The Customer Service counter is just outside of the public restrooms.)

English: I photographed this picture from a pu...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I waited for customer service, what did I see, but a male customer exiting the men’s bathroom, with a USA Today newspaper in his hands.  It doesn’t take an advanced educational degree to discern what this customer had just done – in the bathroom, with a newspaper.  By the way – USA Today is just one of many newspapers found on shelves approximately 20 feet inside the store’s entrance that one can pick up and purchase at checkout.

But that’s not all.  This customer then placed the very same newspaper – no longer a virgin-clean newspaper – on one of the seldom-used checkout counters, gathered his shopping cart where he had parked it while he did his business in the bathroom, and then happily proceeded to do his shopping.

As luck would have it, this same gentleman was right in front of me paying for his groceries while I loaded up the checkout counter with my soon-to-be-purchased items.  He walked away, I took my place at the checkout counter, glanced over at the seldom-used counter near the public restrooms, and there lay the USA Today, in all its tainted glory.

What would you do?

Postscript: A family member/reader suggested that the newspaper reader may have indeed already paid for the USA Today.  I agree, that’s a possible scenario.  Let’s take that thought a wee bit further, shall we?  Perhaps the paper had been paid for and the newspaper reader left it on the checkout stand so that someone else may enjoy the day’s news, free of charge.  (What a generous thought on my part.)

Even going with that wonderfully generous supposition, shouldn’t the next person on the receiving end of the free newspaper have been made aware of the previous owner’s potty antics e.g., perhaps the satisfied pottier could have placed a sign on the newspaper stating that this issue of USA Today had already spent considerable time in the men’s bathroom and therefore, in full disclosure, you have first right of refusal should you decide not to read a newspaper that has been in close proximity to someone’s morning duty?

What are YOUR Lack-Of-Customer-Service Pet Peeves?

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Here are just a couple of mine.

Today I experienced the inevitable straw that broke the camel’s back regarding poor customer service that inspired me to write this article which, I warn you, will be full of complaints and negative energy.

I’ll start off with the incident that inspired the diatribe you’re about to read:

The original Piggly Wiggly Store, Memphis, Ten...
The original Piggly Wiggly Store, Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grocery check-out lines.  Purchased my weekly dose of grocery items today – a mere $225 worth.  From the start of the transaction to its bitter end, the checker didn’t utter one word.  No baggers were in sight so I started to bag my own groceries, even though there were two employees standing five feet from me at the self-checkout area with nothing to do other than to watch this Baby Boomer bag her own groceries.  (Bagging groceries by employees is still a common practice at most supermarkets in Washington State, including this one.)  The transaction ended with the checker putting a couple remaining items into a bag, handing the receipt to me, logging off his register, and walking away.  Mind you, all my grocery bags still remained on the checkstand counter, leaving me no option but to personally place them in my grocery cart.  I feel a letter to the manager forming in my brain – not the first letter I’ve written to grocery store managers.

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...
I don't know why THIS guy is so happy! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Assembly line doctor visits.  I’m convinced that doctors are required to meet a certain patient quota per day – at least my doctor is.  The last few times I’ve visited her, she’s rushed me through the visit, even going so far as to do the following: 1) using a hand gesture to hurry me up – picture her hand going in horizontal circles in front of her while I’m trying to explain my reason for the visit; and 2) two weeks after major spine surgery this same doctor expressing her impatience by saying, “Hurry Irene, this appointment needs to end!”  Sorry to have messed up your day, doc! How callous of me for talking to you about my horrific and painful surgery experience!

A surgeon’s god-complex.  I just have to mention the aforementioned surgery experience.  A neurosurgeon operated on me a year ago to perform an anterior cervical spine disc replacement and vertebral fusion: a four hour surgery, one night in ICU, a full year of recovery.  At my two-month post-surgery appointment with this god-surgeon, I explained how difficult it had been going through such a drastic surgical experience.  His comment, and I quote, “It wasn’t that drastic of a surgery.”  Ahem.  My comment, and I quote, “It may have been the 5000th cervical spine surgery you’ve attended but it was my first!”  Imagine him minimizing my surgery, thereby dismissing my discomfort and recovery experience?!  Grrrrrr.

Before my blood pressure rises to unsafe levels – which would take a lot because my normal BP is 96/65 – I’ll stop right here to let you vent about YOUR frustrating lack-of-customer-service experiences.