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Edition 93 – The Sunday Shift

It was a Sunday afternoon and my wife and I headed off to Bunnings. I’m no handyman, and ordinarily, I’d rather have my finger nails removed one by one than visit a hardware store. However, we were popping in to pick up some petunias to plant in the pots we have on our back terrace, and I quite like gardening. So, the trip was reasonably enjoyable.

Once I’d dashed out of there faster than you can yell “power tools”, Trish and I decided to head up to the local shopping mall for an afternoon coffee and sneaky cake. This was the closest to a date night that we were managing this week.

At the mall, there are plenty of places to have coffee. Trish is a fan of one in particular, I’d never been there before, so off we headed.

In short, here are the reasons I won’t be back anytime soon:

  1. The young lady that served me couldn’t bear to bring herself to smile when I said hello.
  2. My questions in respect of the cakes were answered with either “yes” or “no”, rather than attempting to engage me in conversation and make the options seem attractive.
  3. When we went to sit down, the table hadn’t been cleaned from the last guests.
  4. Food scraps and crumbs sat on the floor around our table, and others. Other tables had dirty coffee cups and plates left over on them.
  5. The food arrived after 10 minutes – two slices of toasted banana bread. The coffee arrived 10 minutes after that again.
  6. The staff wander around aimlessly trying to identify your order number on your table. Why not ask “where are you sitting” when they take the order?
  7. At one stage, when I stood up to grab a napkin (because they didn’t come with the cake), one of the three staff was standing behind the counter, checking her phone. Apparently that’s important to do that, in front of paying customers, whilst you are at work.
  8. Two ladies sitting at the table adjacent to us eventually gave up after 20 minutes, went to the counter and obtained a full refund. It does not take 20 minutes to make coffee.
  9. When one staff member finally cleared a nearby table, I was astounded at her lack of intent as she shuffled back to the main counter.

Now, here’s what I think. The three staff on hand that day were all very young. My guess is that they were 16 at most. They clearly didn’t want to be there,

My other guess is that the owner of the business decided that due to our ridiculous penalty rate system of paying people in this country, that he/she could only afford to employ 16 years olds in his/her coffee shop on a Sunday. Except, as is often the case with business owners, they look at the direct cost of what they are paying and not the opportunity cost of having someone more senior on hand to instill discipline and drive a superior standard of customer service.

I won’t be back anytime soon. Two other ladies were even less patient than me. I’m telling the world right now about my experience, and I wouldn’t be surprised that, if in these days of social media, those ladies didn’t make some remark about their experience on some platform. Meanwhile, the owner of this business is most likely oblivious to the damage that is happening right underneath their nose.

This Weeks Tip

If you own a business, have someone “shop” you sometime. You may well be surprised at how well or how poorly you perform which is an indicator of how strong or how weak the value of the goodwill is inside your business.