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Staff chatting in shop

(56 Posts)
Grindos Sat 22-Jun-13 22:12:13

There is a greengrocers in our nearby shops who sell their own local produce, which is great. However, the staff need some simple customer service training. Last week I walked in and the two women staff were having a conversation and ignored me. I went over to the display of eggs and was looking at the prices of different ones. They were still talking. I picked up a dozen and walked over to pay for them. I suppose I waited 10 seconds before one of them came over and took my money, still talking to the other woman. As I was leaving, I said,"Sorry to interrupt your chat," and she said, "Oh that's OK, you could have joined in." Another time, I was overcharged about £4 and another time I was given change for £20 instead of the £10 I gave her. Both times they were talking the whole time they were serving me. Should I write a note to the owner of the shop and suggest he speak to them, or should I grin and bear it, or go to the nearby Co-op instead?

j08 Sat 22-Jun-13 22:40:33

Find a nice Waitrose.

j08 Sat 22-Jun-13 22:43:46

Apart from that, grin and bear it. And always check your change. Or pay by card.

I wouldn't worry about having to wait 10 seconds to be served.

gracesmum Sat 22-Jun-13 22:57:55

I see the WI are saying that if every member spent £5 a week in a high street shop instead of a large supermarket, we might "save " independent shops. I'd go along with that - last Thursday I bought fish and cherries at the market, ham and local cheese at the deli, asparagus and eggs at the farm shop and honestly don't think I paid over the odds. It was a pleasant experience to boot, a bit of banter with the market stall holder, a hug from Dee at the deli and friendly chat at the farm shop. No stress, no queues and human contact. Oh and some "advance" birthday presents at a great quirky gift sort of shop also in the high street.

vegasmags Sat 22-Jun-13 23:08:07

Sorry, but what I can't stand about local shops is all the queuing and meaningless chit chat - reminds me too much of all that waiting I did as a child, when it was thought polite to serve all the adults before the children. Much prefer Tesco - in and out in 30 minutes. As for customer service, if you want all that And Here's Sixpence For Your Trouble, then go to John Lewis or Waitrose and pay through the nose.

nanaej Sat 22-Jun-13 23:22:35

Vegasmags I guess your name indicates you prefer brash neon lights, glamour and flashiness rather than the quieter, slower & relaxed approach!
Each to their own I say!

NannaAnna Sat 22-Jun-13 23:40:07


j08 Sat 22-Jun-13 23:45:00

It would be - and is - sad to see our varied small town high streets disappear.

j08 Sat 22-Jun-13 23:45:53

You don't pay through the nose at Waitrose and John Lewis!

merlotgran Sat 22-Jun-13 23:59:59

All I know is that when I was a young mother with three children under five I would have killed for a Tesco or Sainsbury nearby. High Street shops were not family friendly. Children's clothes were overpriced and there was very little choice. You couldn't get a pram or pushchair through the narrow doors and as for trying something on.....what were you supposed to do with your kids/shopping/pushchair?

I think we over romanticize the image of the high street.

j08 Sun 23-Jun-13 00:13:54

Yes. I think that too. I remember real shopping at the small shops we used to have. It took ages!

I guess I'm being selfish here - thinking about the enjoyment of going round small independent shops when on holiday. Different thing altogether.

Gorki Sun 23-Jun-13 00:15:09

That's true merlotgran. There is now a huge Sainsburys near where we used to live and every time we pass it I say to DH "I wish that had been there when ours were young."

As for Waitrose, I am a new convert. I think their prices are reasonable especially on "Essentials " range. With the loyalty card there are all sorts of other very good benefits too.

absent Sun 23-Jun-13 00:26:56

I miss the wonderful covered market open six days a week and the outdoor market twice a week, as well as the farmer's market once a month that I used when I lived in Darlington. There are two supermarkets in the centre of town here and a new one is being built but no individual shops or stalls in the style I am used to. As said above - each to his own.

janeainsworth Sun 23-Jun-13 02:11:04

I think that small shops can survive only by providing excellent quality AND good customer service, since they cannot compete on price with supermarkets.
I like to support local shops that provide both these things, but not if they don't.
The OP made me laugh, because the shop unit next to our local excellent baker was taken over by a green grocers and initially I was delighted. But there was just something not quite right about the women that worked there and there was no local produce, only stale imported stuff.
The shop closed suddenly and it later transpired that the owners had been arrested for money laundering grin

Greatnan Sun 23-Jun-13 04:49:11

Jane - insomnia? Commiserations, I know about the wee small hours.

I spend about 30 euros a week in our village supermarket, just to help keep it open, but I do my 'big' shop at the large supermarket in the next village. It is quite nice to be recognised in my local shop, and having a chat with the owner helps my French. There is a lot of romanticising about little shops and markets in France - in fact, I believe about 80% of food in France is bought in supermarkets. Service has improved in the last ten year - checkout staff now say 'Bonjour' to each customer and 'Bonne journee' after you have paid, but they still tend to chat to the woman on the next till. No help with packing, of course - sometimes I miss Tescos! And no free plastic bags, which is a good thing.

Greatnan Sun 23-Jun-13 05:15:09

Correction , Jane, I see you are in the USA!

janeainsworth Sun 23-Jun-13 07:08:33

Yes Greatnan, it's now 2.06 EST and you're right, I have insomnia, given up counting sheep and come back on Gransnet grin

NfkDumpling Sun 23-Jun-13 07:15:30

We're lucky in that we have a reasonably sized Tesco, a small Co-op and an independent supermarket. All of which keeps the local shops on their toes with regards to price, and being retired we enjoy passing the time of day with the assistants/owners. (Haven't actually used the Tesco)

Where we used to live the small shops had mostly closed and we had to use the enormous Sainsburys. I hated the fight for parking, lopsided trolleys, miles of walking, hassle, queues, robot assistants, having to check enormously long bills (my fault, I'd put off going) and lack of service when the bill was wrong.

Give me a friendly chat and a ten second wait any day.

Grannyknot Sun 23-Jun-13 07:29:16

Waitrose gives me a free cappucino, their Essential range prices are comparable to those in Tesco, and the staff in my local smallish branch know me anyway (especially the deli staff) because I live across the road and use the shop as my pantry. smile

On our high street there are some great independent shops which I support just because they're great: a florist, a beautician, a cafe and a gift shop. I don't mind waiting for a bit - usually when I'm shopping, I'm not in a rush.

Gagagran Sun 23-Jun-13 08:34:26

DH and I were talking about this yesterday. "What will there be in the high street in 20 years time?"

We agreed that with ever inventive technology developing there will be no need or demand for many of the shops there now.

The generation that has had little or no experience with digital technology will be gone and everyone will use online shopping almost exclusively.

In fact we could only think of personal service shops like hairdressers that would still be there.

whenim64 Sun 23-Jun-13 09:06:18

I stood behind a woman at the checkout in the supermarket last week, and she carried on talking on her mobile phone the whole time from loading her shopping on to the conveyor belt to walking away with her bags. Not once did she acknowledge the person on the checkout, or say 'thankyou.' When she walked off I said 'hello' and the checkout woman said 'you'd be surprised how many customers do that nowadays.'

Aka Sun 23-Jun-13 09:32:51

Our high street has seen so many small businesses close down and charity shops take their place. But if I wandered up there today most of the shops will be closed, being Sunday, even those who aim for the tourist trade. Conversely all the little cafes will be open and doing a grand trade.

Vegasmags wink

JessM Sun 23-Jun-13 09:47:23

Or maybe people will still like to look, touch and feel merchandise?
Or find the unexpected?
As some of you know we had a recent victory here in MK. There was a dastardly plan to get rid of a thriving market - one that would be the envy of many towns - and replace it with a giant Primark. The market is not a middle class cutesy affair btw. and it brought a bit of grittiness into the centre which is otherwise a modern mall with all the chains. There was a huge outcry and the planning application was withdrawn at the final hour. I think this shows there is an appetite for "real shopping".

petallus Sun 23-Jun-13 09:56:02

when I saw a woman do exactly the same thing a few months ago. It seemed incredibly rude and of course she was slowed down with her packing and paying, resolutely ignoring the stares of others waiting in line.

I always shop in Waitrose and the talking between check out assistants is starting up there as well.

I notice myself getting edgy about it and then think 'oh well, if it gives them a bit of pleasure in what is probably a boring job!'.

Not much worse than a forced 'hello, how are you' or whatever that they have to come out with nowadays.

We have a couple of thriving food makets here but I don't use them much apart from he W I stall. What about hygiene?

dorsetpennt Sun 23-Jun-13 09:58:09

whenim64 I could write a book about rude customers far outweighing rude shop assistants. From time to time I have to interrupt what I'm doing [internet customer shopping] to help on the tills. The woman on her mobile? common occurrence. A customer thought she'd give her child a ride and put him on the conveyor belt. I asked her please remove said child for various health and safety reasons - called me a 'jobs-worth' . When I'm pushing my large trolley full of customer crates, it is heavy to push, customer comes up and says 'eggs?' and walks away whilst I'm still explaining where they are - no thanks of course. Then we get the sweet old lady who is quietly shop lifting - lamb chops, biscuits etc. I alerted the guard and she was furious said she felt we could afford it. Not thinking that actually the customer affords it as the price of our insurance is put onto our food prices.