I don’t mean to start the new year with a rant but I’m afraid I must. We all know the Lebanese economy has seen better days, so it baffles me that customers are being treated like a nuisance. Yup, it almost seems as though shop assistants and at times assistant managers have left their basic training behind and instead decided to show us how they really feel about our business; not much. In fact, we’d be doing them a favor if we just got lost. If you’re shaking your head and thinking “oh no not MY business” think again. Everyone’s doing it from the largest retailers in the world to stand alone stores.
1) No greeting. Basic right? Gone are the days where the shop keeper or sales assistant would acknowledge you with a simple hello. Ironically, they now give YOU a look as though you’re the one who’s supposed to welcome them into their own store and that’s IF they’re not ignoring you.
2) When the shop assistant tails you to fold and arrange the items you merely touch, but not once asks you if you need any help. In fact you almost hear her grunt in annoyance. She couldn’t give it two minutes until you were at least away from the stand to rearrange it.
3) The triumphant “we don’t have your size.” You could swear you almost see a smile. As though they’re relieved that they don’t have to lift a finger. No backroom double check or cross-sell. They may as well just tell you, “now LEAVE!”
4) The changing room assistant that demands you bring back all the clothes and hangers when you’re done. This has evolved from a courteous request to a conditional downright barking order. I like to catch them off guard by asking them if they would like for me to leave what I’m doing and help them hang and put the piles of clothes away.
5) When you realize you have the wrong size and ask the changing room assistant to bring you the right one. She may as well just spit in your face.
6) The security guard who doesn’t inform you that he’s about to check your bag but simply signals you to open it up and then shoves his grubby hands inside as though he can find anything like that. I understand our security concerns but let’s take a moment to reflect on the effectiveness of this practice.
7) That moment when you just completed your purchase and don’t get a mere thank you. Instead, you’re the one thanking the cashier who remains silent at this point. And then you ask yourself, “Wait? Did I just thank them for allowing me to spend my money at their store?” Damn straight you did!