Monday, December 04, 2006


Well its that time of year again! The joyous occassion that is christmas. It's a time for family, friends, giving, being thankful for the year just past........

It is also a time for teeth grinding, unending pushing and shouldering and having to deal with huge queues just to buy a pair of socks (for your dad).

Now all of this can be as annoying as having your eyelids cut off with a rusty razorblade but is all part of what we now call "getting into the Christmas spirit", I am not a great one for shopping at the best of times but equipped with a list and a stupid sum of money I get on ok. However, of late I have been noticing something which is putting my back up.

The Sales Assistant. Now, I am a retailer myself but am talking from a customer perspective. The problem I have been seeing is not accross the board and there are some fantastic retail stores out there with an excellent calibre of helpful happy staff. The ones that I am trying to avoid are the store where you walk in and find two or three sales assistants standing behind a counter chatting......

Assistant 1: "I was out last night and got feckin wrecked outta me head. It was dem fat frog tings dat done it!"

Assistant 2: "Yeah I know dey are awful yokes. I puked me ring de last time I had dem."

Assistant 1: "Yeah I got off with some bloke and can hardly remember it!!"

Me: "Excuse me....."

Assistant 1: "Yeah?"

Me: "Ahh, I would like to buy this please"

Assistant 1: Grabs my item "And den we went to this shit hole of a club and it was grand though because we were all wrecked"

Me: "Sorry, but how much is that?"

Assistant 1: "*SIGH* 14:99 please"

Me: "There you go" handing over a twenty

Assistant 1: "The queue for de taxi was a feckin disgrace. Had to flash me legs to get one!!!" big belly laughs ensue

Assistant 1: "Deres your change, thanks"

Me: "..................." moves quickly towards the exit.

So what the hell is going on that customers have to put with staff like that. I felt like I was intruding on them. There was no attempt at any customer service, add on selling, nothing!! Amazing!! So I have been thinking of ways to avoid this.

1st: Be a wanker. Just tell them to shut up and serve you now!! You may get bad looks and some snippy comments but you will be out of the store quicker.

2nd: If you see this happening leave the queue, put back your item and buy it elsewhere. This way the sales staff will not hit their targets and it may actually help the management of these stores to improve staff training etc

3rd: Make friends!! Join their conversation with your own little anecdotes! ie: "Well I once threw up in a girls mouth after drinking 47 litres of after shock. It was feckin deadly" or "I got sooooo drunk one time that I woke up sitting in the crows nest of a tall ship in Dublin Bay!!"

Other than that if you are looking to avoid the christmas rush you are too late...but when shopping this time just buy double and you wont have to bother shopping next year!!!