Sunday, September 20, 2009

Work Harder for the Money (So Hard for It, Honey)

I hate to start the new year (Happy 5770!) with complaints, but I've been thinking quite a bit lately about customer service. As a long-time menial-jobs-holder, I fancy myself fairly adept at common customer courtesy. As such, I'm repeatedly baffled by the service industry's overwhelming & frequent inability to be hospitable &/or kind &/or competent. Recent noteworthy offenders of such customer services fails in the DC area include:

Lou Lou, 1601 Connecticut Ave. NW
Despite Lou Lou's adorable, affordable & ever-changing stock of accessories (multiple score!), I'm sadly considering a store boycott based on its consistently Mean Girls-esque customer service. I know you're trendy, ladies, but sell me my necklace minus the 'tude, if you please. Case in point: I brought a falling-apart-but-otherwise-awesome green headband to a store clerk, asking if they had others in tact in the back; she gave me some snooty answer about how they only carry a limited number of items because they're all "unique." Well, OK, but then they should also be unique enough not to disintegrate on the shelf! Kicker: She then offered to hot glue it together for me before I paid. Honey, I'm not shelling out $20 for some cashier's arts & crafts project.
CVS, 6 Dupont Circle NW
This is the busiest CVS in existence, I get it. It's open 24 hours, has approximately four people on staff, & is located in the heart of hoppin' Dupont. But when I need someone to unlock the cabinet that houses teeth whitening strips, I shouldn't have to loiter in the dental aisle for 15 minutes waiting - after I ask for help & after a pharmacist pages someone to help & after at least four conscientious shoppers eyeball me like I'm about to pocket a few toothbrushes. The employee who finally came to my assistance told me I couldn't pay for them at the pharmacy, which would've meant waiting in two ungodly long lines. Luckily, I'm practiced in withering facial expressions, so she caved pretty quickly.
Yogiberry, 3515 Connecticut Ave. NW
The good people at my fave local froyo joint have begun asking for customers' names to slap onto their orders. Why? So that they can then set them on the countertop quietly when they're ready. Sigh. If you're gonna take my name, call it out! (That's what she said?) And today, my friend & the woman behind her both ordered froyo with bananas on top. But instead of saying something along the lines of, "We're all out of bananas," the froyo folks instead tried to quietly substitute bananas with... raspberries. Yeah, that is not the same thing. If you don't have the topping a customer orders, you don't just throw on a completely different one & hope no one notices. That's like a GAP cashier saying, "Hey, we're all out of jeans, so I rang up this blazer for you instead." That's just... not how substitutions work.
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