Thursday, 20 October 2011

A tale of two shop clerks (assistants)

I shop for odds and ends at a local B.P. gas station and convenience store.  The manager is an affable chap, and one of the store clerks is a delightful woman who is always pleasant, even when under pressure.

  (I found out that she is a single mother with a handicapped child, and I noticed that she often looks so very tired -  there’s the American dream for you).

The store is always busy. It offers beer at very low prices.  I have been told that it has the biggest sales of beer in the region- and that would not surprise me.

This convenience store has recently hired a new clerk/assistant whose name is David.  He tends to be on the surly side. 

I have been keeping an eye on his approach to customers.  He extends his right arm with his hand facing down.  Then, without uttering a word, he wags his bent index finger in the direction of the next in line.

He waited on me the other day.  I was annoyed when he wagged that finger at me.  Before I could think I said (in a very calm voice) “Don’t wag your finger at me, it’s very rude.  Please say ‘may I help you’”.



He apologised without reserve.  I hope that I have helped him to move towards better customer service.

My favourite local supermarket has also made a new hire.  He is a kid aged 16/17.  He is at least 6’ tall.  This kid is always cheerful.  He always has a smile.  He is filled with enthusiasm.

The supermarket issues polo shirts to its employees -  they are in a fairly nice shade of green,  

So I began to call this new clerk/assistant  (to his face) “the jolly green giant”.

When he most recently attended to me I used the name on his badge and said “Hi Graham”.

He asked “why did you not call me the jolly green giant”.

I responded “well I was not sure if you liked that”.  “I love it”, he said, “and what’s your name'.  

My first response was to say that you can call me “the plumpish old man”.  He giggled and then I apprised him that my name is Michael.

It’s not hard to discern that my shopping at the supermarket is a pleasure.



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