I had to laugh at a news story about a taxi driver who was fooled into thinking that a dressed mannequin was a ‘sleeping’ passenger. Normally, a good taxi driver’s ‘customer service’ equates to traffic chit-chat and general exchanges of football results. Therefore, for a taxi driver not to notice the plastic ‘skin’, the stiffness of the joints and the lack of ‘breathing’ from his sleeping passenger would suggest that he didn’t just ignore his passengers, he was asleep, or ‘sleep-driving’. The result? He became £140 out of pocket because when he arrived at his sleeping passenger’s destination, he realised that his ‘living passengers’ had scammed him. It’s a lesson in what happens when you offer poor customer service. Unfortunately, I am an expert in poor customer service.
Customer service has never been my strong point. As an eighteen year old till girl, I was always keen for my fifteen minute tea break. In my mind, speed was everything. If I had a customer and my break was already due, I sped up my work like a Duracell bunny on Speed. People want to go quickly through the checkouts. Right?
Wrong. The middle-aged couple whom I served complained about me. And you know you’re NOT QUITE an adult when the shop floor manager grabs you by the wrist and drags you into the back corner of the till line (the super market naughty spot?) to tell you that your customer service is unsatisfactory.
Apparently, I put this lovely couple under pressure, ‘you obviously scanned the food too quickly, Kathryn!’ my manager said.
‘I thought we were supposed to put customers through the till quickly,’ I said, a typical slouching teen.
She glared at me over her specs, ‘if I hear the smack of raw meat landing on the conveyor belt, you’re going too quick!’
Ten years later my customer service skills didn’t see much improvement.
As a teacher, I loved helping my students and worked hard in order to get the best results out of them. However, this didn’t stop me from being a scatty mare. Unlike the unfortunate snoozing-taxi driver, I wasn’t out of £140 but I did have to face the wrath of 30 teenagers when I temporarily ‘misplaced’ their reports. And rightly so! Thirty angry, stomping fourteen year olds are not forgiving when you explain that you left their reports in the staffroom food tray trolley. However, I was extremely apologetic. And, yet, my poor teaching ‘service’ is nothing compared with what doctor surgery receptionists get up to.
When my friend talks about her episodes with ‘that woman’ working at the doctor’s surgery, I rub my hands together and await the next instalment of pursed lipped receptionist versus my friend’s terrier-like ability to chew someone up (I’m not sure I even mean metaphorically). It makes the spats in EastEnders look like bunnies buffing up their tails. This receptionist behaves like a ‘heavy’, as if she’s protecting the Medical Mafia (my friend’s doctor). This receptionist interrogates my friend over every medical detail whilst throwing in medical jargon and citing ‘guidelines’ (she is sqwaking whilst flexing her feathers).
Someone like this could be very useful. Who needs a bodyguard when you have a pursed lipped receptionist? It’s a pity that taxi driver didn’t have one.
Thanks for reading my post,