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AIBU to interrupt a shop assistant with a quick question if she is talking to someone else?

(58 Posts)
NightSun Fri 24-Jun-16 15:46:56

I was in Debenhams, baby crying, couldn't find the lift to get out.

The only shop assistant on the floor was talking to an elderly gentleman so I waited a few of mins for a gap in the conversation (which was about the weather not sales), but no gap came. So I cut across with
'Sorry, which way is the lift?'
Shop assistant glared at me and said to gentleman 'I am so sorry Sir, if you will give me a moment' turned to me with another glare, told me where lift was and turned back to original customer with another OTT apology.

Is it so wrong to ask a quick question and interrupt? She could have just said 'round the corner then turn left' politely.

Or was I terribly U to have interrupted at all? Please be honest! I'm used to working in a busy hospital where interruptions are the norm.

HeffalumpHistory Fri 24-Jun-16 15:49:56

I was going to say ywbu from the heading but in that situation, baby crying & chatting for the sake of something to say, I'd have done the same as you

madmother1 Fri 24-Jun-16 15:50:30

I think it's rude. Sorry !

originalmavis Fri 24-Jun-16 15:50:36

I suppose it's how it's said but a crying baby would give some urgency. I'd be probably said excuse me to the other customer .

Theoretician Fri 24-Jun-16 15:59:26

That sounds fine for me. It's unreasonable in any context to wait for a conversation of indeterminate length to finish so you can get a single sentence response to a question.

The shop assistant was rude to OP.

Arfarfanarf Fri 24-Jun-16 16:00:57

Yes. It is considered rude.

But sometimes you have to break into a conversation. The way to do it is start with ridiculously over the top apologies for interrupting.

Excuse me? Im terribly sorry to interrupt...

Is the way to go.

It's one of the weird little social dance things.

MozzchopsThirty Fri 24-Jun-16 16:03:01

I don't think it's rude at all crying baby or not

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 24-Jun-16 16:04:11

Well, when I was a shop assistant, talking to one customer did not make me unaware of the other customers around me. It's not that hard to spot that another customer is looking for assistance. Especially if I'm just chatting, not actually 'serving' them.

I can remember several instances of chatting to regular customers but saying to them - 'Oh I think that lady/gentleman needs attention, excuse me, I'll just go and see to them.' On that basis, I think your shop assistant was a bit crap.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 24-Jun-16 16:04:27

But sometimes you have to break into a conversation. The way to do it is start with ridiculously over the top apologies for interrupting. Totally.

StealthPolarBear Fri 24-Jun-16 16:06:19

It is slightly rude but sometimes slight rudeness is justified. This is one of those times.

CurlyMango Fri 24-Jun-16 16:21:30

I think you were rude, should have aired or apologised to other customer

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 24-Jun-16 16:25:22

It was rude without a "I'm sorry to interrupt, could I just ask a very quick question.....?"

PoppyFig Fri 24-Jun-16 16:29:43

I also have been a ship assistant and if I was small talking or helping with another customer and someone in your situation did the same I wouldn't bat a eyelid and give you a hand politely excusing myself for a minute with the promise to be back.

No need for rudeness.

TwentyCupsOfTea Fri 24-Jun-16 16:34:57

You were rude. There is nothing I hate more than a customer interrupting me when I'm already talking to another customer!

Sparklingbrook Fri 24-Jun-16 16:39:09

I agree with Arf. Cutting across with 'I am so sorry to interrupt but could you tell me where the lift is please?'' would have been better.

Did you use the lift to get in?

I think it was rude. It was not an emergency. I don't see any reason why you couldn't have waited until the assistant had finished her conversation with the elderly man - and she knew you were there, so I doubt she'd have gone on chatting forever.

It is worth remembering that, for many elderly people, chatting to the staff in shops may be the only social contact they have. Of course this doesn't mean that shop assistants should spend all their time talking to lonely customers, but I do think you could have borne this in mind, and been just a little bit more patient.

Imnotaslimjim Fri 24-Jun-16 16:53:03

All of you saying she was rude - have you never felt the urgency that comes with a baby screaming at you? If I was the shop assistant I wouldn't have found it rude, especially if I was just chatting rather than helping/serving them.

YANBU or rude!

teenagetantrums Fri 24-Jun-16 16:56:21

Did you not come up in the life? it cant have been that hard to find, I work in a shop and I would have acknowledged you if I could, but we are supposed to finish dealing with one customer before the next.

Daffodil90 Fri 24-Jun-16 16:56:49

I work in a shop and it happens all the time. No problem at all. If it's a quick Q, I don't mind and my other customer never minds either. You just have to handle both customers politely and professionally. It's your job to ensure satisfaction for everyone.

YANBU crying baby or not. She was BU .

WineSpider Fri 24-Jun-16 16:57:46

Good sales people can handle or at least acknowledge more than one customer at once. They have to now, there's never enough of them.

Birdsgottafly Fri 24-Jun-16 16:58:39

I think standing there, with a crying baby, would have been more rude than a quick interruption. It allowed the OPs question to be answered, without ending the conversation.

I agree that it should have begun with an apology, though.

VulcanWoman Fri 24-Jun-16 17:00:55

I haven't got time to piss about, as long as you've said excuse me, I can't see the problem.

FoggyBottom Fri 24-Jun-16 17:01:58

You were rude. And how do you know that the conversation was not just either starting or concluding. You make the other customer sound like a time waster. But he was "elderly" and you had a baby, so of course you're more important.

londonrach Fri 24-Jun-16 17:04:45

Rude. Is have asked another customer.

londonrach Fri 24-Jun-16 17:04:58

Id not is

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