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to hate it when cafe workers and shop assistants say....

(143 Posts)
burberryqueen Tue 23-Jul-13 10:57:59

"are you all right there?" when they mean 'can I help you?'
but of course i don't ......(or else they could have a point!
i often say 'fine thanks and are you all right there too?' which makes them a bit hmm
another one that grates a bit is for example they put a coffee in front of you and you say 'thank you' and they say NO WORRIES!!!

EstelleGetty Tue 23-Jul-13 19:46:36

Sorry, but I have to say YABU. What's wrong with 'are you alright?' In the last shop I worked in, we were told not to say 'can I help you?' because it sounds old fashioned, if not a bit suspicious. I say 'no worries' and 'no problem' if I get someone at work a coffee and they say thanks. Who cares about the semantics? It's just the way people talk.

I would ask you to bear in mind, also, that these 'fuckwits' may well have managers breathing down their necks at close range, who will reprimand them if they don't approach customers. You might well be a mystery shopper, for all they know. It takes steel will to be courteous to customers when they brush you off all day and act like you're an irritant. They might be the 3rd shop assistant who's approached you today. You might be the 20th customer they've had to approach. You can walk in and out in 10 mins. They are there all day.

I was called a few unpleasant names during my years in retail (thankfully never fuckwit), having done nothing to deserve it. It wasn't my fault a pompous asshole was having a bad day and decided to take it out on a shop assistant earning shit wages. I despised being treated as if I was thick. I'd just repeat to myself in my head, over and over again, "these fuckers don't know you're doing a PhD."

SoleSource Tue 23-Jul-13 19:35:03

Do you think she was curios because you are British? If you are... slightly

slightlysoupstained Tue 23-Jul-13 19:31:51

Sole yeah, last thing I expected to see was her face peeking up at me, standing there in me knackered grey travelling knickers! Was too shocked to say anything except "er don't think they suit me Ta" as I made a swift exit!

MotherOfSuburbia Tue 23-Jul-13 19:30:27

Ragwort I am absolutely racking my brains to work out how on earth 'there you go' could be in the slightest way offensive when bringing someone a coffee?


Madlizzy Tue 23-Jul-13 18:35:20

Absolutely, gingys. Closed questions do not make a sale. I do love the fact that the OP thinks that we're fuckwits for doing our jobs. Charming.

gingysmummy Tue 23-Jul-13 18:32:41

when i work for a mobile shop many moons ago we were no allowed to say can i help you? as it was a closed question

Madlizzy Tue 23-Jul-13 18:28:06

I'm not going to read all of this, but shop staff are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Yes, I will say "Are you all right there?" if someone is looking confused or in need or assistance. I will also say "No worries" or "It's a pleasure" if someone thanks me. The majority of customers actually like this and it is our JOB.

Frenchvanilla Tue 23-Jul-13 18:22:42

Lush are awful, Mardybra.

I like bath stuff and smellies. Sometimes I want to go in and browse stuff. But I never do, because of lush's over keen, champing at the bit staff.

It's not their fault, I know it's store policy, but seriously- I never go in there now. Never go in there- never buy anything.

Lush, if you're reading this- be like all other normal shops and WAIT FOR THE CUSTOMER TO APPROACH YOU

SoleSource Tue 23-Jul-13 18:09:36

How odd slightly. Talk about pushy, would have pissed me off.

slightlysoupstained Tue 23-Jul-13 15:59:21

It could be a lot worse. I once tried on a pair of jeans in the Levis store in San Francisco. I left without buying after the unbelievably pushy saleswoman peered under the changing cubicle door to shout some question (I think she felt I was taking too long and needed a bit of encouragement, perhaps US customers are a bit more speedy at stripping off).

I don't know if this was typical of US retail because I was too unsettled to try again during the remainder of the trip!

SoleSource Tue 23-Jul-13 15:50:27

I was in a café when the assistant asked me if I was ready to order. I deep fried her head. That taught her!

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Tue 23-Jul-13 15:46:06

Ooh kitty I worked there years ago and it sounds like it hasn't changed much! I hated trying to sell shoe polish!

I work in retail now and feel you can't win, you try and acknowledge people with a greeting and you are being rude, you leave them alone and you are being rude <sigh>

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Jul-13 15:45:58

Whispers its still fecking rude though!

KittyLane1 Tue 23-Jul-13 15:42:38

Right so, the hand signals.....

Basicly mime picking apples from a tree to remind your colleagues to gather information from the customer to get a better idea of what to sell them. Example: do they want heels for a wedding? Shoes to walk the dog.

We also had to learn a dance to a girls aloud song to get us suicidal motivated.

Don't mention the shoe care, really, I have blocked the shoe care from my memory.

WhispersOfWickedness Tue 23-Jul-13 15:31:57

Saggy, that is probably because they are used to being pestered in other shops, so it's become the standard response to a shop assistant sad

Ragwort Tue 23-Jul-13 14:48:36

I agree with the OP - I wonder if it is an age thing (I am mid 50s grin) - I do find it mildly irritating to be asked 'are you alright there' when what is meant is 'may I help you'. On a recent holiday in this country we had to go in three different pubs before we received anything like half decent service - the Brits are (in general) really, really bad at customer service.

I have worked all my career in retail and hospitality so perhpas I am extra sensitive to customer service.

Another thing I dislike is someone saying 'there you go' when they put down your coffee. Or what about shouting out 'who's steak' when serving food grin. We were taught to write down orders to match where the customers were sitting so we could serve the correct food to the correct customer unless they swapped places.

I get fed up with told to 'use my local high street' when in over half the shops you are treated as though you are doing the staff a favour by entering their shop/cafe etc. grin. Saggy - I love people saying 'good morning/good afternoon' to me, I would always reply politely. smile.


ginhag Tue 23-Jul-13 14:36:49

I still can't get my head around the OP's response to someone being friendly is to call them A FUCKWIT IN CAPITAL LETTERS IN HER HEAD.

I despair, I really fucking do.

SleepyFish Tue 23-Jul-13 14:36:47

Well I use all the terms you mentioned OP. It's just what comes naturally to me. Perhaps you should just stay home and make your own coffee/sandwiches.
Oh and if you're on your mobile be warned, I will not serve you.
And maybe swap your espresso for camomile tea.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Jul-13 14:36:29

I stand on my stall and say "good morning" to anyone who shows an interest. I think that's nice and polite. 97% of people will reply with "no thanks" or "just looking". I personally think that THAT is pig fucking ignorant! How's that?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Jul-13 14:36:25

I stand on my stall and say "good morning" to anyone who shows an interest. I think that's nice and polite. 97% of people will reply with "no thanks" or "just looking". I personally think that THAT is pig fucking ignorant! How's that?

ginhag Tue 23-Jul-13 14:30:53

Now. Lets talk about CUSTOMERS talking to shop assistants and see if they ever say anything as terrible as 'are you alright there...'

<casts mind back>
Hmm I was called an anorexic skinny bitch once, to my face, and I had to smile or lose my job. <ponders> hmmm I wonder if that is nearly as offensive...

ginhag Tue 23-Jul-13 14:27:59

's alright usual.

ginhag Tue 23-Jul-13 14:27:16

See what I like is when people in shops/cafes/pubs/the world actually say what comes naturally to them in a friendly fashion, rather than following a script.

usualsuspect Tue 23-Jul-13 14:27:13

Thank you, ginhag.

Exactly that

ginhag Tue 23-Jul-13 14:24:07

'Are you alright there?' = 'I don't want to hassle you if you don't want to be hassled, I am not about to do high-pressure sales and am happy to leave you alone if you are, indeed 'alright there'. But I am being FRIENDLY and not ignoring you as you may possibly want help but I'm scared of customers jumping down my throat for hassling them when I genuinely just want to know if they are happy just having a mooch about.'

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