You know how they say the customer is always right? I forgot that this morning.
The customer from last week rang to express his discontent that we still hadn’t sent him the details he needed and that he didn’t see why he should pay to return the goods and that it was all our fault . . .
I apologised for whatever it was that we had got wrong this time, expressed my surprise that it wasn’t proceeding smoothly and ascertained what the problem was. It was the same as last week – he has cocked it up again and pressed the wrong buttons, bringing the whole refund process to a halt. This, it appears is all my fault.
At that point I snapped and said “No!”
I explained that I was sorry that he hadn’t received what he wanted and that he hadn’t had his refund but said I was unwilling to carry on being told it was my fault. I have sent him the things he ordered and I have sent him what he needed to obtain a refund. He, on the other hand, ordered the wrong things and has failed to press the right buttons to obtain the refund. It is costing us money to correct his mistake and enough is enough.
I have now sent him a stamped addressed envelope and look forward to seeing if he manages to work that without mishap.
Now I feel guilty, because I have told a customer he is wrong, but I just couldn’t take it any more. Even if it were my fault, there’s no need for the constant chorus of blame, but some people just like to blame somebody for their misfortune, and it’s never their fault, or the product of blind chance.
We had two contrasting customers in today. One was caught stealing a coin. He palmed it and slipped it in his pocket. The owner was serving him. My co-worker went through to say hello, as we hadn’t seen him since before the first lockdown, and spotted the the theft.
He is now banned from the shop, and we are wondering how much he took in previous visits. When you have so many individual items about it is difficult to spot when things go missing unless they are very obvious. He was banned from the Birmingham Coin Fair years ago after being caught stealing, but the owner gave him the benefit of the doubt. It seems not to have paid off.
The next customer brought us ice creams,because he knows the shop is like an oven in summer. The part of the front room within 6-10 feet of the air conditioning vent is OK but the rest can be fairly unpleasant and the back rooms are very stuffy. We could open the back door.There is a grille on it and security would not be compromised, but the alarm can be tricky to reset so it’s easier not to mess with it.
After ice cream I went home and made a conscious effort not to go on the computer. I have tendency to switch on as soon as I get home and it can soon swallow up several hours without producing much benefit. Over the years I have turned into a browser of trivia when I really meant to turn into a producer of Great Literature. That is what happens when you allow yourself to drift. If I’d taken more control of my life I could have become a leader of men instead of a shop assistant.
This is probably the best example you could have of how out of step I feel with modern life. Apologies is you are becoming tired of my view on this subject, but I have to blog or burst.
On Monday afternoon we went to the new East Bridgford Garden Centre. A perfectly good local garden centre has been taken over, new buildings erected, a massive car park built and a slice of retail Hell has been grafted onto the Nottinghamshire countryside.
I’m sure, from the crowd of people, that it will be popular, and that it fills a need in the lives of many people. This need isn’t necessarily for plants as most people seem to have left without visible purchases. It is also providing a lot of jobs, though they are mainly, it seems, for teenagers. Older people, as in people in their thirties, don’t seem to have much of a place here.
We didn’t see any of the staff who used to work at he old centre and Max the Parrot has gone too. It appears that he went to live elsewhere during the building work and liked it so much that he decided to stay.
A likely story. I think he was handed his P45 as part of the move from Garden Centre to slick corporate retail outlet.
Anyway, back to the fish and chips. They were a familiar and, we thought, safe, choice in a rather confusing cafe.
They gave us a “locator” for the table – a high tech version of a number on a stick. The tea arrived, just ahead of the meal. My thoughts were that the tea could have been a bit quicker and the main meal was available quicker than I was expecting.
The staff were quick, efficient and cheerful and the locator seemed to work well.
And that was as good as it got.
The fish portion was small. The chips were large, though not numerous. The tartare sauce came in a cheap paper cup, the watercress garnish was a bit of an afterthought. And the peas…
For £10.95 you expect a goodly dollop. What we got was a smear. Julia’s photograph exaggerates the size of the portion. I wasn’t sure whether it was the promised pea and mint puree or just a leftover from a poor attempt at washing up.
Undoubtedly the worst fish I’ve had for years
The good news was that the sauce was tangy, the caramelised lemon was juicy, the chips were well cooked and the pea and mint puree was delicious, even if it was brief.
Bad news – the fish was the worst I’d had in thirty years.
It was small, thin and had a pasty consistency with only a few discernible flakes. Mainly it was tasteless, and in parts was so bland as to be unpleasant, which probably explained why there was salt on the plate when the meal arrived – an attempt to introduce flavour.
It took me back to market day in Uttoxeter thirty years ago. I had fish and chips in a cafe – the fish was thin, bland and, as I got to the centre, still frozen.
I really don’t know what to say. It wasn’t good value from the quantity point of view, and it was inexcusably poor from the quality point of view.
Surroundings were clean and bright, staff were great but the food is the important bit, and it was dreadful.