Friday, September 10, 2010

"May I Help The Next Person In Line Please?"

Ah,the sweet sound of a polite and courteous cashier speaking words that are seldom heard these days.
Before I continue,I'd like to ask each and everyone of you one question: Is courtesy an important factor in your decision whether or not to patronize a local business or establishment, or are you more motivated by price,convenience,or product availability?
Sure,a car dealer,telemarketer,or salesman in a fine clothing store typically extends the utmost courtesy on a regular basis,especially when trying to sell you something extremely expensive,but what about cashiers & clerks in local businesses such as supermarkets,bodegas,liquor stores,or even pharmacies chains? Often while waiting in a single line for the next available cashier,you may be summoned in a not so friendly way.Too often cashiers will nod their heads upwards,use the "come here my naughty little child" motion with their index finger,or even say,"yo,whose next". Over the years I've also seen cashiers clap their hands,snap their fingers,whistle,or like the folks at the old Registry of Motor Vehicles at North Station in the 80's,simply say or do NOTHING!
That's right,tellers at the old RMV would often file their nails,mess with their hair, put their elbow on the counter and rest their chin in the palm of their hand until a customer was alert enough to notice that the privilage of dealing with these enthusiastic Employees of the Month was theirs for the taking.
Back to the local (Dorchester) perspective.Does it matter to you if you receive a "thank you" after spending your hard earned money at the supermarket? How would you feel if a clerk at a small variety store kept you waiting while he/she were choppin' it up on their cell? Would you go back to that store in the future or just chaulk it up to being all about one ignorant employee?
Ladies,how about sitting under the hairdryer far too long while your hairdresser took a 3 cigarette,5 phone call break? Better yet,your appointment coincides with their breaktime,therefore while you're running out of magazines to read,Girlfreind is in the parking lot WAXING a styro foam box of takeout.
Maybe it's me and my old fashioned ways.I often find myself thanking folks that I'm actually paying for goods & services (ask me how often they say,"you're welcome").
My advice to business owners that I patronize is to be nice to customers consistantly even if you are a chain or franchise that will thrive regardless. Business owners need to make sure that their employees display courtesy at all times even if it genuinely isn't in their nature.It's all about being professional.
Which reminds me of a late August visit I made to a recently renovated liquor store which I'd been personally boycotting since they requested my Social Security number while making a credit card purchase a couple of years ago. (I left my items on the counter and POLITELY walked out,lol) Well anyway, a female customer asked a clerk who was pretty much just standing behind the counter daydreaming,what the price was of an item she wished to purchase.The clerk said,"I don't EVEN have a clue" and turned the other way.
You're exactly right Ms. Sunshine,you DON'T HAVE A CLUE!