I Know They are Convenient, But...
Mobile phones are great. They are convenient. They can organize your life, locate directions, access the internet, and provide hours of enjoyment through various app's designed to make you laugh, reminisce, or just waste time.
I love them...here comes the "but"...BUT they have also found a way to permeate into every aspect of our life, causing some of us to slowly forgo our usually helpful, customer service-oriented selves.
Over my lunch break today, I ventured out to run a few errands and stopped at a local privately-owned store. This store isn't on my usual shopping list, but it had been some time since I was there, so it seemed like a good stop on my way back to the office.
I may have encountered the reason I don't go there often. While at the register, waiting for the employee to run through my purchases, the conversation was firmly rooted between her and her mobile phone. From the conversation, it was apparent that she was talking to her daughter. While I don't yet have children of my own, from experiences with my friends I understand that a mother often needs to talk to her children to talk away a bad day, soothe a minor bruise, or provide the location of a beloved toy. After a few moments of standing there, though, it was mentioned that the 'child' was 20.
Seriously. She was having a five minute conversation with her 20-year-old about getting a haircut while a customer stood at her counter. I was perplexed and irritated over her rude behaviour, and not because of the fact that it took so long to run through the few items. The mobile provider must have read my thoughts, as her call suddenly cut out and she lost her conversation. Although things did not get any better when I heard the familiar 'buzz' of a text message coming in as I was walking away.
This happens all the time with people in their personal lives. I am amazed at how many times you'll see people in restaurants and someone at the table is on their mobile. Next time you're out and about, take a look around and you'll see it too. Or, worse yet, you'll experience it first-hand when the person you're with does it to you.
I'll end my
rant story with the point I am trying to make: mobiles are convenient. They are how people reach you. They will likely even make you money. But, from the customer's point of view, taking that phone call or reading that text message when you are supposed to be, or in the midst of, talking to said customer comes off as incredibly rude and negates any goodwill, friendliness, or relationship you built prior to tending to your mobile.
As for the little store I visited at lunch: I'll be taking my business elsewhere next time...but I hope your 20-year-old's world didn't come crashing down on her when the call was lost!
~ Tanya Spilchak, Education Coordinator