Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A customer in need is a .... pest?

Last night I dreamt I was trying to buy a train ticket and catch a train to London.. from Polzeath… not sure what I was doing there and if that small Cornish resort even has a railway station, but that’s dreams for you! After experiencing some frustration in purchasing the ticket, including a near punch-up with an old lady who tried to queue jump and looked a bit like my Grandma, I finally got my ticket only to miss my train by one minute because I couldn’t find the train times. (Stick with me, there is actually a point to this rambling!)
The scene then switched to another angry customer complaining vociferously that they were bombarded with irrelevant information all over the station, including useless facts on advertising hoardings. All they wanted to find out what platform they needed to be on and when. Was that too much to ask? Rather than do the usual English thing of avoiding making eye contact with everyone; I instead stood on a chair and applauded this revolutionary outpouring. I was joined by the person standing next to me, then another and another, until eventually the whole station was applauding. It felt great. Then I woke up.

It may be entirely unrelated but I believe this subconscious rallying against poor customer service stemmed from a trip to the library earlier in the day when I waited patiently at the counter to pay my fines (tish – bad girl!). The ‘assistant’ was fully aware of me standing there trying awkwardly to balance a pile of books on a service desk that contains no space for such items. I mean this is a library, what do you expect!

However, he was rather busy sticking pointless labels in books. Pointless because the library has now gone self-service and your book is no longer stamped with the expected return date. Instead you wave your ticket under a laser beam and receive a receipt which you are expected to keep track of for however many weeks or remember when your books are due back (hence the fine…. I believe it’s a stealthy way of making more money out of us personally….). When he finally deigned to acknowledge my presence the look he gave me was one of withering contempt. How very dare I interrupt his important work? Who did I think I was? His eyes bored into me and I shrank a good few inches (not around the waist though, which would have been useful).

Quaking in my flip flops I explained I owed him some money. Tap tap tap on the computer as he fixed me with a beady glare and pursed his lips and prepared to tut. I handed over my coins and scurried off to the self service machine to check my books out and collect the receipt that I’ve already lost.

I left dejected and feeling slightly guilty. Am I really such a nuisance? Or had he perhaps somewhere along the line forgotten the point of his occupation. For surely it is to provide a service to the community - that being me. I may bring my books back a little late occasionally but it's my visits and token fines that pay his wages. The library is there for me not as a warm room in which to stick bits of paper on fly sleeves.
So, if you are reading this young man - take note - I have stamped your ticket!

Still, at least customer service is not dead in this country. Far from it in fact. I can think of plenty of great examples but it's late and I'm tired and I guess you're probably bored by now anyway! All this talk of librarians is sending me to sleep. Night folks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...