Monday, July 24, 2006

I was only asking...

My washing machine has died a sad and noisy death, so having done some basic research on-line, tonight after work I call in at a retail park and enter large electrical retailer the purposes of this story we’ll call Retailer X.

After ten minutes or so one of their employees, a middle aged man, walks past and in decidedly patronising tone (which was strangely absent when he was speaking to male customers) enquires: “You alright there darling? Do you know what you’re doing, or do you need some help sweetie?

Well I do have some questions” say I. “Ok luvey, I’ll send someone over.

Ten minutes go by as I pour over the information booklet and try and reconcile kwh levels with different functions (I’m considering a washer dryer, but being a good eco kid I’ll only use the dryer part in rare circumstances, so my primary concerns are the energy and water usage in the washing cycle), but still no assistant.

The same guy comes back past. “Did someone come and help you darling?”, he asks. “Errrr not as yet” I reply. “Sorry about that sweetie, I’ll get someone to come straight over”.

Ten minutes later, still no assistant, but yer man reappears, apologising for the delay, he can help me now. “No problem” say I, “I can see you’re busy”.

So how can I help you darling?” he asks.

Well I want to buy a washer dryer, but if possible could you not call me ‘darling’ or ‘sweetie’, only I don't really like it” say I, in what I promise was a light smiley manner (no, really I know sometimes I’d say something like that dripping with sarcasm, but I was actually in a good mood and put it as a very polite, light-natured request…honest!).

Sorry no I can’t” he replied “it’s the way I was brought up to speak where I come from”.

That’s ok, it’s not a big deal, I'm only asking that you try your best not to. If you could just try I’d really appreciate it" I say, again very pleasantly, adding jokingly “and you’ll be much more likely to close the sale! ".

To which he replies aggressively “I can see our personalities are going to clash, this isn’t going to work.

Well bugger me, but I thought I was just asking about a washing machine, not proposing a long term relationship.

Ok, maybe I could speak to someone else then?” I suggest lightly, not about to have my mood dragged down, by this knuckle scrapper.

I don’t know”.

“Ok, no problem” I say, still smiling, but now in a rather bemused way, “I guess I’ll just take my money next door”.

I exit.

Next door in Retailer Y, a wonderful saleswoman, answers all my questions, gets the technical brochures for me…couldn’t be more helpful. Job done. As I go to leave, I thank her profusely for all her help and confess that I’d walk out of next door, because the sales guy was so obnoxious.

We get a lot of people in here saying that” she replies.


sally said...

Oh please, please give us a clue..who were they? You made me laugh so much .... I think a long term relationship would have been fun.....

Steve said...

Name and Shame, sweetie, Name and Shame...

1 i z said...

Well let's just say, they didn't curry any favour with me...

Emma said...

That's....I struggle for words. Except to say that the last time I asked for advice in a branch of what I take to be the same company the 'assistant' merely read what was printed on the card by the item in question. When I pointed this out she shrugged and admitted that she didn't know what else to say. I did, but fortunately for her I didn't say it.