Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I can’t believe it happened to me.

I can’t believe it happened to me.

A good mood, good intentions and the right timing bring me to a place that I rarely visit. A bit of a splurge but I could really use a lift. It’s a high-end grocery chain and the food they sell is representative of the best that nature and man have to offer to nurture our body. Pricey and although money is tight sometimes we just need something different. I wander around to the pre-made sandwiches and although pickings are slim because it is towards the end of the day I settle on a turkey sandwich. They make them dry and let you choose dressing from packets in a basket. I look around and don’t see any dressings. I stopped because I wanted to eat on the run and not an hour later when I got home. The sandwich case is attached to their deli so I wander around the corner and catch the eye of what looks like the deli manager but he scurries away leaving me to wait patiently as the deli attendant waits on a lady in front of me. I shrug my shoulders and blame myself. I was probably too tentative with my body language.

The customer was getting sliced turkey and as the attendant piles it on the scale it reaches .87 of a pound. She exclaims, “that’s fine” but the attendant oblivious to her comment turns his back and proceeds to slice more turkey until the scale registers over the pound that I am sure that the customer had requested. He wraps up the turkey slapping the price tag on the package and then blurts out, “Will there be anything else?”

The customer says, “Well I needed some cheese… but”

Her head turns and looks at me when she reaches that pivotal phrase and she gives her head a bit of a shake from left to right.

“No thanks…”

Her words trail off as she struggles to find the right words. Instead she simply turns and leaves with her turkey.

Unfazed by the exchange the attendant looks at me with a blank look in his eye. I swear his left eye trails off in search of a clock that I could not detect. The high counter seems to give the attendant additional stature and I feel I need to raise the sandwich I was holding head high to show him and exclaim,

“I don’t see any dressings for the sandwiches”

“We’re out!”

Those piercing words struck me by surprise. Out of mayonnaise possibly but out of ALL dressings?

“You don’t have ANY dressings?”


And as simply as that I was dismissed. The attendant turns and addresses the slicer that he had been using to serve the last customer.

I would have loved to see my face. What kind of look did I have? Perplexed? Angry? Shocked?
Whatever the emotion that was pulsing through my veins I was done. I was done trying to spend money that I really shouldn’t have in the first place. I was done with my good mood.  I was done trying to grasp any understanding about how a grocery store did not have ANY dressings in their hundreds of thousands of items that they stock. Couldn’t they have offered to open a small jar from their retail? Couldn’t they have apologized? Couldn’t they… I was done with wondering why people were oblivious to customers that were clearly upset in their store. I stormed past a half dozen employees, all who simply got out of my way. Worst of all is that this company will never know why I don’t return to spend my money with them. They will never know that I am gone. They’ll go on doing what they are doing.

…The thing is that stuff happens. It happens to you and it happens to me. Customers have a right to be noticed.  Customers have the right to be treated with respect.

We make our fair share of mistakes at Mr. Subb too. It’s natural because we are all human. Maybe we make a sandwich wrong. Maybe we are out of a product. Maybe we have our minds on something else and don’t listen closely enough to what you are saying. It’s how we respond to these circumstances that make the difference. I’d like to think that most of Mr. Subb employees care and will try to make things right for you. I fear that there are some that don’t. What bothers me the most is that I suspect customers are like me. They can’t believe what happened to them and instead of letting the company know they simply don’t come back.

If you have a bad experience some place try to do the right thing and let them know. It’s the only way we’ll change. Have a great experience? Everyone loves compliments, At Mr. Subb both good and bad comments are passed along to the location. Come on… Speak your mind.