Supervisor: “You can’t vex more than me anah! You can’t vex more than me!”
Employee: “You can’t tell me that me can’t vex more than you! You just tell lie pon me!”
This was the conversation that ensued between a supervisor and an employee in a crowded supermarket, recently. Prior to this exchange of words, in another area of the same supermarket, one could observe an altercation between a customer and a bag boy.
Customer: “May I have a box for these items please?’’
The bag boy left where he was standing, folded his fist and proceeded to punch the customer on the upper arm.
These are the seemingly daily occurrences that we often find funny as we conduct business in St Vincent. It can almost be akin to the trailer in an episode in the series ‘St Vincent is not a real place’.
One may venture to believe that amidst everything that is going on in our country, our economy and world, that businesses would have adopted a more prudent way of relating to customers. It appears that for the most part, many are not fazed by the reduction in sales and profits or the number of business closures. Consequently, this begs the question of what else needs to happen for our business leaders to wake up and take notice.
Very few business leaders take customer service seriously; as such poor customer service has become imbedded in our culture as Vincentians. As customers, we accept whatever is handed down and as business leaders, we allow our products and services to be sold in any haphazard manner. It can be said that when customers accept crappy service they are enabling the businesses that have refused to improve themselves. I am certain that a customer would not purchase food if it is served in a dirty container, regardless of how good the food looks. However, by accepting mediocre customer service we are doing that very thing. Under no circumstances, should there be any unpleasant exchange of words between employees in the presence of a customer. Also, it is never acceptable for an employee to touch a customer unless the customer concedes, under extreme circumstances or where that employee may be saving a life, especially in these COVID times.
This is no longer funny, it is time to take the blinders off and stop behaving as if we have all gone mad.
Dr. Wendyann Richardson is a Management Consultant who specializes in corporate governance, business operations management and refining of skills through training. She can be reached at [email protected]