This is in the “Monday Morning Rant” or “Let It Out” genre…
CUSTOMER TURN-OFF. As a customer or patron, one of the most annoying things to me is to walk into a store or restaurant and hear staff talking about their personal lives or intra-staff issues. I just want to turn around and walk out; sometimes I do. At the least, this is an annoying turn-off. More seriously, it is a pathetic disregard of a basic code of business conduct.
ROUTINELY PRACTICED. In my experience, personal and staff gossip shared openly in the presence of customers has become an unfortunate routine. I faced this when I walked into Bob Evans at Rockville Road and High School Road this morning. I hear it when I walk into a Builders’ Square or Lowes. I can’t avoid it when I am at many big-box stores as well as so-called “finer” venues with unreasonably higher prices. Is this the new low to which basic customer relations has fallen?
REFLECTING ON THE ORGANIZATION. What’s the deal? Who is training for guest relations? Who is managing for quality staff protocol? Do outlet managers care? Do their managers care? Do invested stockholders care? Does staff not realize customers do not want to hear about what happened to them over the weekend, or what they have against another employee, or how many hours their manager scheduled them for this week? This behavior--overlooked, permitted, or engaged in out of the ear of supervisors--reflects badly on the organization at all levels.
SHOPPING ELSEWHERE. This customer, for one, is beginning to avoid business outlets in which the noise of either innocuous or outright offensive staff gossip is being bantered around while I shop, dine, and check out. This customer is beginning to seek out commercial outlets that do not let the personal issues of staff or aired intra-staff laundry poison the business environment.
I wonder if I’m looking for a needle in a haystack…