I know that I haven’t posted anything in a while but every waking moment has been spent inspecting my infant daughter for chicken pox.Â So far, so good, but this weekend is when she’s most likely to get sick so I’m obviously looking forward to that.
I did some mulling on Belgian supermarkets this week (look, I said it had been kind of slow).Â I shop in the local GB.Â The staff there are kind and sweet to my little daughter but in general act as though having customers in is ruining their day. They stack shelves and block up the aisles so that customers have to turn around and retrace their steps. They sullenly ignore your requests to get by.Â They are singularly unhelpful when it comes to looking for missing products. For three weeks, there was no dental floss in our GB.Â The Waffles were facing a floss crisis, our strategic reserves were running low.Â When I asked when they would get floss in, the floor staff, oblivious to our potential crisis, said that they didn’t know and maybe there was a problem with production.Â This is the inevitable response when something is missing. I’m just not convinced by this production problem.
Now, I know, the staff probably get paid almost nothing, but I presume that the same is true in Irish supermarkets, yet somehow, staff are more helpful, why is this?Â And I bet the holidays here are better; I heard two assistants chatting and one said to the other “Can you believe that I only get 28 days holidays? Isn’t that terrible?”Â “Dreadful” said her colleague.Â Now not to be all American about this, but that sounds alright to me.Â And I suppose that the atmosphere in GB staff relations generally is not outstanding.Â When I googled GB and Belgium to give you the link above (yes, I know, the research and effort that goes into this blog is phenomenal), the first two matches were about industrial relations problems.Â Still and all, on the whole they’re not a customer friendly bunch.
Then the way the supermarket is set up is kind of irritating. There is only one check-out wide enough to take a trolley with a baby seat and that is invariably closed, so you have to put your purchases through one check-out and scoot down to the one at the end to push the trolley through. Very trying.
Now, wasn’t that fascinating?
on 21 February 2004 at 15:44
Did you know GB stands for “Grand Bazar”?
“Ceci explique cel?”!…
on 23 February 2004 at 14:44
PFT, I am disappointed to hear that Tesco in the UK is similar…I labour under the (obviously mistaken) illusion that the service industry in the UK is excellent.
Thierry, thks, no, I didn’t know that. Tout s’explique.