Monday, June 9, 2008

The things people ask us

Some questions are repeated more than others.

My particular favorite is " Do you sell panadol." I can ignore the irritation but one my colleagues has now spent enough time in retail that she could join a secret police force hunting out people who ask daft questions and torturing them. Her favorite answer to this one is " No, we sell paint, go to the hardware store for panadol."

This often leaves a stunned look on the customers face as they stand gasping and pointing hopelessly at the panadol stand. The worst moment, when she responded to this by saying, " Well if you can see it why did you ask." We have tried explaining to her that the question is just a sort of alternative for "I'd like some panadol.", but she's not having it. Luckily in this small town most people know every one else, and every one knows she can be "grumpy".

A large amount of time on public holidays is spent responding to phone calls asking if we are open. I can understand the calls, I mean it's a public holiday. You can see the people sat at home asking each other, " It's a public holiday, do you think they're open. I know I'll call and find out."

They ring us, we answer and then.....well one customer in three hangs up without talking, we answered, we're open. This is irritating but I get it. One in three customers says " I was ringing to see if you're open," to which we reply, "Yes 8 till 8". A polite explanation of the call. After twenty calls irritating but ok. It's the final one in three that get under my skin.

I answer the phone and a voice says " Are you open?" My option for reply. " Yes, eight till eight." (Gets very boring very quickly.) My preferred reply, " No, I come in on my day off to answer the phone and tell people we are closed." or " No." and hang up. Neither option is really a good one, but sometimes I'm tempted, very tempted.

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