I’ve recently had a spate of experiences within the customer service realm both as an employee and customer that have left me feeling, quite frankly a little disappointed with humanity.
I realise that it is not easy to run a business and as a society we also have the need for rules and regulations….databases and systems. Organisation and order is a beautiful thing. But. When did these systems and rules override the compassion of allowing humans to be just that. Human. In all of its magical chaos and messiness. Aren’t life lessons the point of our very existence?
Since when is it obscene to see a waiter eat a handful of nuts? Horrific to find the girl behind the reception desk wearing a scarf to keep her neck warm? Distasteful to see a tired cafe worker sipping on some water?
I get it. It is hard economic times but isn’t the happiness and morality of your staff propelling your business forward? Isn’t the aim of the game to work smarter not harder…to encourage your staff to engage whole heartedly in the business and work WITH you to develop ways to make the business grow? Does this nit picky environment of anti human comfort promote this sort of thing? I think not.
I will share a particularly personal story with you displaying my utter dismay at human interaction and compassion recently…
My beautiful little sister is getting married to the man of her dreams, let the excitement and festivities begin!! Of course we needed to go Bridesmaid dress shopping, which inevitably lead to choosing 3 exquisite dresses being put on lay-by from a particularly well know retail giant. A few weeks later we discovered some very exciting news… that one of the Bridesmaids had actually fallen pregnant. What a special time for the family! But alas we must take one Bridesmaid dress out of the lay-by as it will no longer fit by the time of the wedding. Something that should be a simple and straight forward task was like trying to complete an obstacle course with rings of burning fire.
After phoning the desk to explain the situation I was told that we can’t take one dress out of the lay-by and I would need to come into the store, go to the lay-by department and cancel the lay-by and then re submit with just the other two dresses. I was not informed that this would incur any fee or charges to make this change to the lay-by. So, on I went into the store to do exactly that. After explaining the situation to the lay-by Manager she proceeded to inform me that this was not possible and that the only way I could make changes to this lay-by was to pay off the total amount and refund one dress or cancel the lay-by entirely which would mean we would lose our 20% deposit as a cancellation fee regardless of the fact that we would be putting the other two dresses back on lay-by straight away. After a lengthy conversation explaining the SIMPLICITY of the transaction I was asking for, I was told repeatedly that ‘unfortunately our systems don’t work that way’ despite the fact we’re human beings not systems and that this situation was unexpected.
Is anyone else left feeling a little perplexed by this?
Life is not perfect. Things happen and people bend, blur and flat out break the rules. Knowing the difference between helping someone out and doing something illegal is within us all, a guiding force connected to our hearts. The essence of our humanness. Lets listen to it and act from there and maybe we can make a change in this world!