Learning while shopping

August 29, 2011

One of the reasons I like shopping is that it gives me an opportunity to observe people’s attitudes, of sales personnel as well as customers. And yes, it makes the family happy, particularly my daughter. Recently, we were on a short trip to Spain with a group of friends. Although shopping was not on the agenda but like most of the times, we ended up finding time to do a quick round. We landed up at a shop that sold women’s bags and shoes. The lady at the shop patiently showed a number of bags. This any sales person would do but what impressed me more was the way she did a thorough quality check before packing the bag and accepting the payment. She ensured that all zips were working fine and the piece was perfect.

On our way back, I asked my daughter if she noticed the lady’s attitude. She could have simply packed the piece because we had selected it ourselves. But she cared, for us and for the credibility of her shop. I wish all of us develop this attitude of serving our clients with an eye on quality of products and services that we offer.

In the same trip, our group had a meal at a restaurant. To our surprise we received a much inflated bill. We settled on a figure but not only after having an argument which was absolutely unnecessary. I admired the way our friend handled the restaurant guy, keeping his cool and going through the order a number of times with him. He managed to reach a consensus some where mid-way between what we thought we had ordered and what was put on the bill. Naturally, we left the place in a bad mood with a decision not to visit it again. We wondered if the restaurant person really got confused because our group had ordered different things at different times or he simply wanted to cheat. I would prefer to assume that he got confused. When you feel you got a rough deal, try to give the benefit of doubt to the other person. It will make you feel lighter. It is much better than carrying the burden that you dealt with a dishonest person.