Friday, 12 October 2012

Some businesses don't deserve it.

Today I had to go to Rawtenstall for quite a depressing reason which I won't go in to right now and feeling low, I was tempted (rather like John here) to buy something comforting and wholly naughty to eat. Yes, you are right, feeling something negative (in this particular case, frustration) can make us reach for something we shouldn't. My temptation today took the form of a delicious, golden, pastry wrapped sausage roll! mmmm

Now I had two choices, on one side of the road was a Greggs (for those from other countries that don't know, Greggs is a successful chain of bakeries found on every high street) whilst on the other side of the road was a nice looking, quaint, independent bakery.

Now my first inclination was to just pop into Greggs, firstly because I was on that side of the road anyway and secondly because I knew what I would get, a sausage roll for 68p! BUT I ignored this inclination and thought I would go to the one on the other side, in order to help support local businesses and also in the hope that I may end up with a treat that was a little more special.

Hopping into the shop with a hopeful spring in my step I expected to see a lovely baker woman with a smile on her face and a selection of fine pastries for me to drool over.
The lady who served me must have been in her late 40's, certainly old enough to know better and with a face like a slapped arse. The sausage rolls did look delicious and I asked for one to relieve this craving, with my best Cameron Diaz smile. 95p, so more expensive than Greggs, but I would have been happy with this had their been any sort of customer service. Her face seemed incapable of cracking a smile and she could barely utter the price to me, so much loathing of me seemed to emanate off her. Not quite sure what I had done to warrant such dislike I tried the good old British thing of smiling even harder (maybe she thought I was demented by now). She snatched the money from my hot little hand and chucked it into the til, turning away without a backward glance. Nasty old cow.

Now, I am all for backing small independent shops complaining about customers turning away from them in favour of chains and supermarkets, but perhaps some of them need to learn a thing or two about customer service from the 'giants'. I have no inclination to ever return there and indeed would instantly choose Greggs next time; so does a shop like this deserve to thrive? There is nothing I loathe more than people who are unpleasant for no apparent reason. Maybe I am just turning into that grumpy old man? It is quite likely.


  1. Eeek! Nothing worse than unfriendly staff.

    I will choose to go to more expensive cafes, etc if the staff are friendlier than cheaper ones.

    I guess you will be going to Greggs next time and the independent will lose out on your business.

    I hope the lady who served you wasn't the owner.

  2. Someone peed on her cornflakes this morniing, for sure. Would it kill people to be pleasant....we are indirectly paying their wages...most people are grateful to have a wage!
    Jane x

  3. You should find if they have a website or anything really where you can vent your displeasure. If she were not the owner then whoever is would be devastated at the way she is ruining their business.

  4. Not you are not turning into a grumpy old man. There are just some people who either have no manners or for whatever reason want to bring everyone down to their level of misery. I also know it is hard not to be affected by them, believe me, but you just carry on smiling because that shows class.

  5. Just no need for it... We go to Iceland now to fill the freezer cheaply and the staff just great. We asked the checkout girl about an offer that was on as we couldn't find the goods in the store. She said that they probably had some out back and would get an assistant right away to get the stuff we wanted. What a refreshing change

  6. Wonder if her boss or shop owner knows she has a face like smacked arse \ bull dog chewing a wasp when she serves customers. Hope the sausage roll was good.

  7. Oh Dear ... not good for business ... faces like ... well you know what! Its true Rawtenstall isnt the most exciting place to live, but you would think it would brighten her day ... a dashing young man with a smiley face.
    If you are ever that bit further up the valley in Haslingden you should try a Cissy Green's Meat Pie ... a truely wonderful pie-y experience.

    Vicky x

  8. Don`t worry, Dan. You`re not turning into a grumpy old fart just yet. You have lived in the country amongst friendly folk now long enough to appreciate a happy smile and chatty personality. It`s a shame some towns folk have no idea what that is. Seems that this particular individual has no personality or manners either. I don`t blame you for not wanting to shop there again.

  9. Loving the picture at the top to compliment your blog-I am sure they must lose customers hand over fist with attitudes like that.

  10. Oh dear. I know the owners of this business who have been in the Valley for 40 years to my knowledge. I will pass your comments on to the owners. Whilst there is no excuse for poor customer service, perhaps everyone is entitled to a 'bad day'. And, without wishing to sound too parochial, you're not from round here.... said very much tongue in cheek, I've lived in Rawtenstall for 34 years and am only just beginning to be accepted as a local. I do agree with Anglesey allsorts comments about Cissy Greens pies, have you been to Mannings? But, if it's Greggs for you, then go boy, get your toes squashed in that tiny shop on Bank Street

    1. Just had a message through from the owners fiance, he is going to print the comments and show them to the staff. So, there you go, you have made a difference!

  11. As Janet has just illustrated Bloggers can make changes simply through airing their opinions. (I know Froogs was incredibly effective when she was handed a poor meal at a world famous restaurant.) Next time, be brave and do the Name and Shame. Use Facebook and Twitter the same way. Remember these places are in business, and that business relies on keeping the customer satisfied. You are mentioning the matter because of your integrity and expectations of fair practice.

  12. I definitely appreciate a good independent shop with friendly service! If they remember who you are, or even just a friendly hello, it makes you much more inclined to give them your business. (The coffee shop we went to when we didn't have the internet springs to mind - very friendly chap!)

    The shop in my village, however, we all try and avoid as much as possible, even if it means going another three miles to the next village! The sour looks you get, the way they don't even say hello, just grunt the price at you, similar to that woman you had by the sounds of things! It makes me want to go to the co-op instead!!

  13. oh I do agree with you about customer service. You wonder sometimes how these people get their job in the first place. It really doesn't take much to be polite and smile even if you feel like c.ap inside. I do at times make a point of letting them know that their service is not up to scratch in a polite manner and I have been known to contact the company involved to air my opinion. I don't feel good about complaining about a person but there are times when you don't have any option. Hope the sausage roll was tasty...