The good, the bad and the ugly

Customer service is something that we all deal with everyday.  In my job it is all important because we have a limited number of customers.  It seems that in other industries this is less important because they have unlimited numbers of customers.  But in the age of the Internet and social networking I think even the high street chains need to watch out.  Facebook has power, a group can keep Simon Cowl off the Christmas No 1 spot so they could do more.

Today I had an opticians appointment with the aim of getting some glasses I will actually wear in public.  I have contact lenses but the optician suggested taking occasional breaks, so the buying glasses appointment was arranged.  I arrived 20 minutes before my appointment with Mr Midnite in tow for the all important second opinion.  Managed to try on a couple of pairs that I had pre-selected last week.  Just as we were reaching the conclusion that the black frames were a bit harsh and eliminating them from the short list a optician employee approached:

"Can I help you" says optician woman.
"I have an appointment but I'm just picking some glasses first"  I replied.
"Well you had better come over and book in so that we can start the pre tests."
"I'm just going to choose some glasses first while I have someone here to help me"
"We need time before the appointment to do the pre-tests so you have to come now" optician woman snapped.
"I'm early anyway so I'll just have a quick look at some glasses"
"The appointment time doesn't include the pre-tests so you don't have time" was the next abrupt optical response.
So Mr Midnite joins in and asks "how long will this take?"
"About 10 minutes but then the optician appointment will be 40 minutes."
So I said "if I don't pick glasses now I won't be buying any."
Optician woman ignored this and said "we need to get you booked in."

So Mr Midnite left and I reluctantly followed her over to a desk.  Fair to say I was pretty annoyed and quite upset because I felt like she hadn't listened to me and that she had been rude.  I had been early so I definitely had time to pick the specs.  It was then I realised she hadn't even asked my name so in fact couldn't actually know I was the right person.

I sat down and she said:
"have you brought your glasses?"
"Have you got something to put your contact lenses in?"
"No, sorry I forgot."
The bitch gave me a dirty look.

So I said "I'm not doing this today" and got up.  I was going to leave but that seemed rude to the optician I was due to see next.  So I went over to the desk and just told the person there that I needed to cancel my appointment and that I would make another one.  Now I didn't intend to get her in trouble or complain but just her bad luck (or karma as I like to call it)the guy I spoke to was the owner.  He asked what happened and was very nice.  He got me to sit back down and he said he didn't want any of his customers leaving looking like they might cry, which I did.  I told him what happened and he apologised and now I'm getting a discount when I go back.

I wouldn't normally make a fuss but this woman never smiled, her tone of voice was not good, she was abrupt and snappy and to me gave off a very negative vibe.  I'm going to say she was ugly, I don't mean in looks, I mean in attitude.  I really didn't want her near my eyes. 

Guess it didn't matter to her if I bought glasses or not she would still get paid.  The owner clearly saw it differently.

Spoke to Mr Midnite after and he agreed that she was rude.  He said he could see that I was picking up the negativity and he knew I wasn't going to be happy.  I am very empathic according to other people! 

Now I am refusing to let myself feel guilty.  I know she might just have been having a bad day but I have bad days and I would swear my clients don't know, my colleagues do though!


DanWins said...

No worries love, you were in the right. When I was in management one thing I told the people under me was "You can have a bad day, You can gripe and bitch at me (within limits), But you WILL NOT Take it out on OUR Customers!

I have a feeling he may have told her something like that at a minimum.

No Fault of yours! You WERE the CUSTOMER!

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt feel bad if I were you, sounds like a grad A bitch. I have to work with customers all the time so I understand they can be frustrating but I dont think you did anything wrong. I think I would have snapped back at the woman

DanWins said...

Even though our Mrs. Midnite looks rough in that Gorilla suit, she is still nice inside even to "Royal Bitches".

Have a good night love.

Ps. if i remember correctly I am using that right correct? it has been many years and that definition may have changed.

Vanilla Toast said...

I've been in both shoes, to be honest. I work in retail, so taking care of clients is something that I do on an almost daily basis.

Despite the fact that the girl may have been having a bad day, that still gave her no right to take it out on you. Even if it was policy to sign you in for pre-tests before your actual appointment, she still could've been far more polite about it.

Don't feel bad about it at all; I wouldn't. I sometimes get a bit snappish with clients, but they certainly don't deserve to feel bad because I haven't a good reign on my emotions.

Here's hoping that your next visit is more pleasant. :)

Anonymous said...

First of all, the Vanilla Toast chick is a bitch. (Haha just kidding - that is my baby sister, y'all(.

Second, never feel bad when the person who should be doing her job with a smile was acting like a c-word. If she was having a bad day, sorry to hear that, but don't take it out on me.

If she didn't like working in customer service, she should just get another job.

Don't feel bad.

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30 something female, GSOH, independent, unreliable, seeks sanity. Must like dogs and handbags!