I’ve been sitting here, waiting for the next post on this blog, wondering why it wasn’t appearing. Duh!
I’ve been unusually unstressed and peaceful in the last few days, but today a friend told me something that made my blood boil.
Suppose you’ve got an appointment to have a seaweed wrap at a beauty salon (no, I’ve never had a seaweed wrap in my life, nor any other wrap; I haven’t even had a facial; I’m not terribly fond of being pummelled by strangers – anyway, we’re not talking about me, we’re talking about you). Today is Tuesday and you have an appointment for next Wednesday, but when you made the appointment you didn’t know you wouldn’t be able to turn up that day because you’re going on holiday tomorrow until next Wednesday (no, not me: I never go on holiday). So, you phone the beauty salon, talk to Zelda and ask her to postpone the appointment to the following day instead. She says fine, thanks for calling. You breathe a sigh of relief, congratulating yourself for remembering to call: the salon charges the whole price of the treatment if the appointment is cancelled with less than 24-hour-notice .
When you get back on Wednesday, there is a message from the salon on your answerphone. It was left yesterday by Priscilla: she was just calling to remind you that you were coming in tomorrow Wednesday for a seaweed wrap. Aaaargh! You pick up the phone straight away and tell silly Priscilla that you talked to Zelda last week and that your new appointment is now for tomorrow Thursday, and it should be written down in the book anyway. ‘Oh, yes, here it is,’ she says. ‘That’s all right, then.’ Relieved, you can now unpack your bags and rest after your journey.
‘Le lendemain, elle était souriante…’ – don’t mind me: it’s a funny French song that seemed relevant just now. The following day, you turn up at the salon, ready to be wrapped in seaweed, but Priscilla’s not there, and Zelda has had a lobotomy in the meantime and cannot remember anything about your conversation or anything about any cancellation. She’s the boss of the salon and she’d like to get an extra £500 for the missed appointment. Isn’t that what a seaweed wrap costs? Non? I haven’t got a clue. You remain firm and insist that you did cancel the appointment last week, and in the same breath you curse the absent Priscilla for not telling Zelda about it and Zelda for not believing you. You can tell she doesn’t: she’s got this sour expression on her face and she goes, ‘If you say so.’ If you say so?! Is this how you treat a customer? (I’ve just watched a TV programme about how bad customer service is in this country. You don’t say!)
So I’m slapping Zelda and anyone who, instead of accepting their staff may have made a boo-boo, assumes the customer is lying and openly expresses their disbelief, thereby making the customer feel yucky and not wanting to be wrapped in seaweed after all.