Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cappola Customer Service

Today I want to rant about the standards of customer service. I used to think that there was a quality level of customer service here is Oz. But now I see I was wrong. I am unsure if I just expected less of people back in the day or if people have gotten consistently ruder. Is it just me or does it seem like a hassle for people to do their jobs properly? I don't think I am asking to much when I expect a person in a store or restaurant to do their job as they were hired to do it.
Has anyone else been met with sighs of disdain when you ask someone if you can try something on in a change room? I mean, seriously, just give me the little numbered tag in be done with it. I'm not asking you to do much. I'm not asking your opinion on how I look (ie. lie and tell me I look fantastic), or to get me another size (although it would be nice if you offered once in a while), I bring my own posse to take care of stuff like that. All you have to do is give me the numbered tag. So what's with the attitude?

You go to a fast food drive through and they screw up your order. If you, god forbid, point out their mistake, you are met with rolling eyes and yet another sigh of disdain. These days you are really lucky to get an insincere "Sorry".

Look, I understand you have a crappy job, I have had them too, but it's not my fault that you are having a sh*t day. You are paid to smile and be nice to customers. Hence the customer service aspect of your customer service based role. So just do it. It's only for a few hours.
This revelation came to me a while ago when I was over in the UK and noticed how appalling the level of customer service is over there. Apparently it is normal for the shop assistants to finish their private, non work related conversations with each other before even considering serving the line of customers that now extends out the door. Over there, customer service is one of those made up words, like gobbledock or punctual trains. No one knows what it means. I remember thinking to myself that the service is so much better in Oz, people are friendly and competent. My sister, Miss N, agreed with me on that point. But then I got home and saw that our service was so much worse then I remembered. Normally being somewhere where the service is bad makes you appreciate what you have, but instead it pointed out the inadequacies even more. Its like while I was away a heap of crap customer service staff from the UK came over to taught everyone here how to be crap. Actually, that's unfair of me. There are still some people who serve you that are genuinely happy and helpful, or are at least pretending to be. And if they are they are very convincing.

So join in the rant, tell me about your crappest customer service experience. It just seems that customer service is pretty much non existent these days. Here you go, these are the clothes I don't want. Would you be a dear and hang them back up for me? Not bloody likely.
That's it from me today.
Be awesome to each other.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Are Manners A Thing Of The Past?

I have been pondering this one for a while. I was bought up to say please and thank you, it is just the polite thing to do, but I am finding more and more that it seems less common to meet a person who is equally polite which makes me wonder if perhaps manners are a thing of the past???

I automatically say please and thank you and ask someone how they are. It was drilled into me as a child that manners are just a common courtesy. But how common are they now? I meet people who don't even put try to be polite, they just take, grab and walk away. How hard is it to say "Can I please?" or "Thank you for that". I mean, do people honestly think that by walking up to someone saying "Give me that", that they are going to get what they want? It sure seems like it.

I've noticed that people younger then I am, or even people about the same age were not all bought up with manners as a part of everyday life. I think this may be because my parent are significantly older then my friends parents. I was a later in life child, my father was 40 when I was born and my mum about 35 which makes my father 64 now and my mum 25. (Isn't it amazing how she is the almost the same age as her youngest daughter?)

I think that with them being older made their ways of rearing a child more traditional then others whose parents may be a good 10-15 years younger then my parents when they had kids. That gap is massive when it comes to something like manners. It seems that over this period of time, the whole way in which a child was bought up changed drastically. Manners were not of key importance to some parents (although that is definitely not to say all). However, I must say that when my sister and I went to anyone's house, we were sure to impress the parents, we still do actually. Maybe it was as a result of our upbringing that we are a little different to our peers. We were bought up with homemade go carts (rusty nails, skinned heels and all) and tree houses, just like my parents were, while other kids had their Segas and Nintendos, and at the time, boy was I jealous of those kids. I was running around the backyard, climbing trees, drawing roads in chalk on the concrete while the other kids were inside playing Alex Kid and Sonic the Hedgehog. We were taught that no video game could ever rival the imagination and we escaped into the world of books.

We were bought up in an unspoiled environment that nurtured our imaginations more then our hand - eye co-ordination and I think this may have a lot to do with the fact that we automatically use our manners. When other children were being asked "What do you say?" when they were given something, my sister and I had already said thank you with out being asked, and grown ups love that. The parents are happy as they have succeeded in bringing up polite kids, the guests are impressed and us kids? Well, the world was our oyster. Everyone loves a kid with manners, so why aren't there more? It doesn’t take any more effort to add and extra word into a sentence, and the appreciation that that word may get is worth so much.

That's it from me today.

Be awesome to each other.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bullying - So Not Cool.

**Ok, so I wrote this post for another blog a few years back, but I think since bullying seems to be such a hot topic at the moment, that it was prudent to re post this.**

This topic is a lot more serious then the most stuff I choose to write about, and it hits a lot closer to home.
I am talking about bullying. The effect it has on the people bullied, the bullies themselves, the repercussions for seeking help when you are the victim and the response of the people who are meant to help with the problem.

Bullying is a massive problem. Yes, there are groups out there that have been established to help the victims of bullying, but how much can they actually help if their actions are not adhered to in society?

It's much too easy for people to look the other way then to take a stand. It happens every day, in so many different environments, be it within the school yard, the work place or even within your own household.

I personally have witnessed it on many occasions and while I can say I tried to stop it, I must also admit, that most of the time, my efforts were met with little success.
I have seen friends bullied at school. On one occasion, I walked into a bathroom to see a girl I knew being beaten up by two other girls. I stepped in and they stopped. When I took the girl who had been beaten up to the office, her mother was called and she pulled the girl out of school that same day and nothing was either said or done to the bullies.
I have seen a colleague belittled by his boss on a daily basis and unable to do much about it as his boss was a close mate of the company's CEO. On the occasion that he did report the harassment, the next day he copped it even worse when the boss had found out he had complained. Its more then a little ridiculous when you have to fear such repercussions from someone so childish.
I have also seen domestic disputes that could easily be compared to bullying.

The incident that bought this back to my attention happened to a young man I have known my whole life. He is the closest thing I have to a little brother and it makes me feel literally sick in my stomach when I think about this.

He is in high school, Grade 9, and he and a couple of his mates were being bullied by a couple of boys in the grade above. I'm not talking about just calling them names, but the kind of bullying where people get hurt. Which is exactly what happened in this case. One of his friends was beaten so badly that he is now is hospital, the other has also left the school after a similar beating. My friend is the only one who continues to persevere. He goes to school every say, knowing that it is going to be hell, because as he says, the day that he doesn't turn up is the day that they win. It's hard not to admire someone like that.

The school has been told about this problem. The beating that lead the boy to being admitted to the hospital was actually caught on a videophone and yet the school does nothing. They say they are unable to help. Not good enough I say!

This makes me furious, what more do they need? Hitting another person is assault. It's a crime! One people have gone to jail for.

The parents of the child in hospital are planning to sue the school, and so they should. It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that their students are safe whilst in their care.
I want to know why this incident hasn't gone further? Why aren't the police involved? Why aren't the media all over it? Where are those shonky current affairs programs when you need them to fan the fire to get some action?

The Australian Government has created a program called "Bullying. No Way!", but it seems to be somewhat redundant when schools do not enforce the policies laid out. They claim that they are making a difference, but are they really?

It is never ok to make someone feel like crap. It is never ok to stand by and let someone do this to another person. Could you honestly say that you could handle it if you were in their shoes? That the snide comments and the rude remarks about anything from the standard of your work, to how you dress, to what you eat, would not wear you down after a while? Could you look yourself in the eye when you stand in front of a mirror and know that you did everything you possibly could to prevent this from happening?

Ok, end of rant.

That's it from me.

Be awesome to each other.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to the SoapBox

I've decided to start another blog that is dedicated to venting about the weird and downright crappy things that happen to or around me as well as to celebrate all things awesome. For my first post, I have a combination of both to offer you.
Lets start with the bad.
I catch the bus to work every morning. It's usually not to bad and I can usually nab a seat. Some days it is complete chaos and you are jammed in like sardines. Yesterday was one of those days. I can put up with people invading my personal space when it is situations like this because, really, what can you do? People jostle each others around by accident, more often then not accompanied with a "sorry!", which is fine. Occasionally they accidental graze your boobs or your ass, and if it happens to be a guy, you are met with a mortified look, which again is fine, so long as it wasn't intentional.

***Ok, so maybe it wasn't quite like this bus***

You know what isn't fine? Getting your neck licked in a bus.

Yep, someone licked my damn neck. I swear this would be a really funny joke if it wasn't completely true. Because the bus was so packed, and there was the jostling and accidental grazing, I have no idea who it was. I did say "Someone just licked my neck!" really loudly which earned me a sypathetic "Dude, that sucks" and a few stares that seemed to indicated that some people thought I was insane. Ah public transport, what's not to love?

And now the awesome? I present you with...

That's it from me today.

Be awesome to each other.