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AIBU to expect a modicum of manners from customer facing staff..

(82 Posts)
IchWill Tue 26-Mar-19 18:33:11

Right, tell me if I'm being oversensitive here. I might be, as I'm ovulating! πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

I'm really annoyed with the "customer service" experienced in the Tesco petrol station about 30 minutes ago.

I walked in to buy a drink, after paying for my fuel at the pump. The two women on the till were deep in conversation as I walked up to the desk.

I was the only customer and as I walked to the till, I wasn't looked at, acknowledged, or greeted in any way shape or form and I then proceeded to stand there like a fucking lemon, waiting like I was invisible, while they finished gossiping.

Finally, they finished their conversation and one lady grabbed my drinks, again without acknowledgement, or a hello, scanned them and said "Β£2.58." (or whatever it was). No "please", she just said the price.

I gave my money and got a cursory "thanks", but no goodbye, they tuen went back to talking.

I think that this level of customer service is awful. I'm not expecting a friggin' red carpet and fanfares, but a hello, a please, maybe a smile and not being kept waiting while they chat away is surely the absolute minimum in polite exchange?

I worked at this Tesco when I was young and I did mystery shopping for a number of years, so know there will probably be an expectation by Tesco on how staff deal with the public.

I'm annoyed that it's annoyed me so much TBF. But I hate bad manners and lack of common courtesy towards others.

Right, I'm off for a cava.

MrsJayy Wed 27-Mar-19 10:10:40

I loved the Do you think you are the Queen grin getting a bit above yourself expecting actual manners! Yanbu they should be a bit more pleasant to customers

mbosnz Wed 27-Mar-19 10:12:25

Minimum wage can become no wage if they are rude enough to someone that they irritate them enough to give the employer accurate feedback about how their employees treat their paying customers.

Ariela Wed 27-Mar-19 10:18:26

I have had the slagging off a colleague rather than serve me, so was delighted to interrupt with 'Sorry to interrupt, poor girl sounds like she's having a really bad time working here.... but could you please serve me I have the right money'

GabsAlot Wed 27-Mar-19 10:18:44

i cant stand this-theyre not paid to sit and gossip-fine if noone in the shop andn nothing else to do should sto-p a soon as a customer walks in though

minimum wage is irrlevant

outpinked Wed 27-Mar-19 10:25:56

It’s a shit job with shit pay. Most people working in shops would rather be anywhere else. I worked retail in my student days and it was the worst few years of my life. It really opens your eyes to how rude and entitled the general public actually are.

IchWill Wed 27-Mar-19 10:33:04


Sorry you had a hard time. I absolutely LOVED working in retail, I only left as I couldn't make a well-paid career out of it.

MrsJayy Wed 27-Mar-19 10:38:52

My youngest Dd works in retail she enjoys her job why do people think working in a shop is a lesser shitty job ? my eldest worked in a supermarket when she was a student and for a year after they are supposed to be pleasant and chatty to customers and people worki g out in the petrol station have the same training but probably less supervising so maybe think they can be miserable buggers!

downcasteyes Wed 27-Mar-19 10:39:17

Yes, they were rude. And I get why you are pissed off, it can actually feel remarkably lonely/vulnerable standing there waiting for someone's attention. But honestly, if you're going to sweat every bad customer service experience you have, you're going to be miserable and angry a lot. If there is no structural prejudice involved (racism, sexism, homophobia) that might suggest a whole group of people are getting a rough deal, then it's relatively minor - and worth letting slide sometimes, for your own peace of mind.

Unihorn Wed 27-Mar-19 10:40:10

I hate that. I work in hospitality as a manager and I wouldn't want people like that working for me. Customers pay wages and keep businesses open, and employees should bear that in mind when serving.

Brilliantidiot Wed 27-Mar-19 10:40:17

Working with the general public can grind you down, the attitudes, the petty complaints, blaming you personally for things way out of your control....... Some days you go home feeling like no money in the world can justify how you've been treated.
But that doesn't mean you just become rude to everyone. You can call out the rude ones if you really want which is an exercise in futility but you need to face every customer with polite and as prompt as you can service. Regardless of how much you get paid or how arsey the last customer was.
I'll be honest, I find it hard to deal with ignorant customers, ones who are on the phone and shush me as I'm serving them, or in conversation themselves and totally ignore me until they've finished and then act like they're doing me a favour by paying what they owe, the ones who kick off at me because a price has gone up...... List goes on. But the next person in the queue isn't to blame for that.
I don't think you're being U at all, it'd annoy me too.

Limensoda Wed 27-Mar-19 10:46:15

You spent 2.58 in a shop and expect the minimum wage staff to give a's a transaction you aren't the queen, move on

What a disgusting attitude.
Whatever wage you are on, don't get a customer facing job if you are an ignorant, rude git!
It's not the customers fault you are on shit wages!..Save your contempt for the higher management of your employment or the politicians who allow them to pay shit wages.
Do you think someone spending thousands deserve more respect than someone only spending a few pounds?
Get to fuck!!

IchWill Wed 27-Mar-19 10:46:38

@Brilliantidiot Good point, well made. It should work both ways, I hate seeing people on their phone while being served. It's incredibly rude. Occasionally I might receive a call while queuing, if I'm still talking to them when. About to be saved, I either say I will call back, or ask they wait a minute while I get served.

@downcasteyes I've actually got a thick skin and long fuse, but this situation just irritated me beyond belief. Hence wondering if I'm being oversensitive.

@MrsJayy Agree, as I said in my PP, I loved working in retail, really enjoyed dealing with the public, even the rude ones! πŸ˜…

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Wed 27-Mar-19 10:48:52

Not U at all, OP.
I used to work on the front line, though not retail, and when people had to be kept waiting (quite often) I'd always say, 'Sorry to keep you waiting,' or similar - I'd never just ignore them.

Recently in a small Boots, another woman and I waited for ages to pay while two staff - probably pharmacists, since they were busy quite close by with prescriptions, just ignored us - and they must have realised that we were there.
Neither of us said anything to the person who finally served us (there was no apology) but we both thought it very rude.
'I'll be with you as soon as I can,' would have cost them nothing and avoided two very disgruntled customers.

MustShowDH Wed 27-Mar-19 10:49:39

Quick call / email to customer service with details from the receipt so they can pinpoint who served you.

Those saying its not fair to get people in trouble, what about the section manager that also has a job to do? They have to manage the customer service levels and having concrete example like this can really help when trying to explain what is and isn't acceptable. What about the other good members of staff that get tarred with the same brush and are sick of it?
Not everyone is cut out for customer service. Some will never be, some can be trained. If people thought more of retail workers and the skills involved standards would go up for everyone.

Having worked for them previously, Tesco do expect a lot from their staff, but pay above minimum wage and have good benefits.

DolorestheNewt Wed 27-Mar-19 10:53:03

I'm sure that there are some rotten experiences working in retail with entitled customers, but just wanting to be served is not entitled. This wears me down too. As a PP said, my default, when I worked in retail many years ago, was that I was polite with every single new customer unless they gave me serious reason not to be.
I wonder if it's bad management? My only experience of retail was an 0800-1800 shop, so the manager was a constant presence for the whole day (and it was in a small town, which could also be very different to, say, London). In a shop with longer opening hours, is there less management encouragement to keep a positive atmosphere with the customers? Or is it just not seen as part of management's responsibility? I'm genuinely curious, not having a go at retail managers! We've got an Iceland and a Co-Op near us on the main road, and in both shops the staff are so friendly it's a pleasure. Someone's getting something seriously right there.

Prequelle Wed 27-Mar-19 10:55:46

^Working with the general public can grind you down, the attitudes, the petty complaints, blaming you personally for things way out of your control....... Some days you go home feeling like no money in the world can justify how you've been treated.
But that doesn't mean you just become rude to everyone. You can call out the rude ones if you really want^
Absolutely agree. I've been punched, spat on, called every name under the sun, been sexually assaulted, been threatened with my own bandage scissors grabbed from my pocket...

But that doesn't mean I'm a rude pig to everyone. And my wage is shit for what we actually do so that's no bloody excuse either is it.

Poshjock Wed 27-Mar-19 10:58:10

Tesco welcome and encourage feedback at my local store. The staff have little cards with their name on that they give out with the link above. It means they are all really nice and helpful to get your positive feedback. It’s a great store to shop in now. I wonder if they get rewards for positive feedback?

I would flag it up tbh. Ultimately will make the place better for everyone.

IchWill Wed 27-Mar-19 11:00:08


I've had the exact same thing happen in Boots too. It's amazing how far a quick acknowledgement will actually go for the customer.

Ninninannanoonoo Wed 27-Mar-19 11:49:55

We have spent hours in a UK supermarket this week (long story!) and the checkout staff are unfailingly cheerful and polite. The person in front of us at the checkout had bought an item of clothing and the cashier asked them if they wanted to keep the hanger. The customer didn't even make eye contact and just barked "no" back at them. I said "no, *thank you*" very loudly. She did have the decency to look a bit sheepish.

OnGoldenPond Wed 27-Mar-19 11:57:38

I went to the prescriptions counter at a branch of Boots one day but there was no one at the counter. However, I could hear someone moving about in the shelving area just out of sight behind the counter so I surmised they would not be able to see me either. No bell or anything to attract attention.

I waited a few minutes. No one came. Getting a bit concerned now as I didn't have a lot of time and really needed this prescription. I called out "hello?", not particularly loud and definitely not aggressively. The reply was "I know you're there, just wait can't you?"

Five minutes later staff member came out of shelving area, face like thunder, proceeded to stomp and harrumph while finding my prescription, glaring all the while.

Was I rude for just gently letting them know I was there or should I just have quietly waited even though I wasn't sure they knew I was waiting? Or perhaps left as they didn't seem to be geared up for serving customers?

IchWill Wed 27-Mar-19 12:02:42

@Ninninannanoonoo Well done to you for calling them out. Almost like adults have to with a child eh?

@OnGoldenPond you weren't rude. They were.

Limensoda Wed 27-Mar-19 12:03:28

I'm pretty sure in an interview for retail assistant, when asked how they would respond to a customer, no one says 'I would carry on chatting to a colleague not look at the customer and just demand payment'
If asked when faced with a rude customer, they won't say 'I will be rude back'

Bunnybaubles Wed 27-Mar-19 12:17:35

My local Tesco has a very bad reputation for bad customer services. Checkout staff very often have their chairs facing each other while deep in conversation and get really arsey if you bring attention that you are waiting to be served!

Happened to my mum a few times, the last time, on her way out after paying, she saw the checkout manager and said something. The reply she got was 'what do you want me to do about it'. Shes never been back.

Happened to my dad once, he filled the conveyor belt with what could only be described as a months worth of shopping, stood for over 5 minutes politely waiting to be served, after asking to be served the lady just glared at him and was aggressively scanning his shopping he called her an ignorant ba*@#$s, and walked out leaving all the shopping behind for them to clear. But he's less polite and less patient than my mum grin

I have also had this numerous times in the same shop so I don't shop there anymore.

Nanny0gg Wed 27-Mar-19 12:23:15

It’s a shit job with shit pay. Most people working in shops would rather be anywhere else. I worked retail in my student days and it was the worst few years of my life. It really opens your eyes to how rude and entitled the general public actually are.


Also worked in retail and other customer facing roles. It's rude to expect a greeting and proper service is it?

Nanny0gg Wed 27-Mar-19 12:27:27

Yet (all anecdotal obviously) my local Tesco staff are pretty much all pleasant, polite and helpful.

As was the young man online I had to speak to a few weeks ago.

Maybe it's management expectations?

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