Saccharine and Surliness

receipt pictureI spent a few hours at the local mall this past weekend with my fellow shoppers. Among them was the bro who mistakenly believed his friend was behind him on the escalator as he proceeded to share a tale peppered with the extremely liberal use of a phrase that describes, um, mothers and a certain proclivity for sexual activities. He swiveled his head around (I imagine because he hadn’t heard a grunt or guffaw from his bud)  and SURPRISE – found me!

In between all the good times and frivolity I did manage to do some actual shopping and interacted with a variety of clerks and sales assistants.  The experiences ranged from welcoming and enjoyable to pain-filled.  One clerk was on her cell phone throughout the encounter (“hold on; I gotta help this lady”).  Another was unable to scan an item due to an incorrect price tag and asked me (let’s not imagine for a moment that SHE could do this..) if I could go get another one that so could ring the transaction.  Which, naturally, I did.

Saccharine and surliness.  Assistance and agony.

And on all ends of the spectrum, I was asked to provide feedback on the service.  This is nothing new – a lot of large department stores and chains have been doing this for several years – “Please visit the website listed on this receipt, enter your code and put in my name, Trixie, to tell us about today’s shopping experience.”

How many customers actually take the time to do this? I never have, primarily due to the fact that as soon as I get home the receipts are dug out of bags, purse and pocket and tossed in the trash.

But I actually contemplated taking the time this weekend.   I wondered how best to capture the boredom and disgust with which Sarita hastily scribbled her name on the receipt as she asked me to complete the survey?  How to fully articulate, via a web portal, the fact that shortly after Sarita rolled her eyes as she instructed me to enter my PIN she reminded me to “make sure I praised her?”


Now I’m willing to cut folks working in retail some slack.  They spend hours on their feet, put up with rude customers, and do it all for the glory of  (generally) low pay.  It’s a tough job.  Not always sunny.  I get it.

But Sarita better expect the ‘shopping experience surveys’ to be a little gloomy too.

Now where did I put that receipt?






  1. Ryan says:

    Love it. Retailers often use this feedback from surveys collected from their valued guest as 360 feedback on employee evaluations. When it comes time to coach to performance and offer feedback to that very same person in the service industry, “the customer was having a bad day”. Continue to make a difference…offer your feedback when asked…it truly does make a difference. Thanks Robin for yet another great post!

  2. Xu Meng said: Do you want to look for our group to help veterans say something, and if lucky maybe you can borrow three million years, without further ado, you change clothes, we’ll be starting.

  3. Xu Meng washed five times because the head, so the speed is slow, it would still be dressed in bathrobes, see Liu Yiyi this outfit, he suddenly a lower body, bathrobes are not cover this big tent, so Xu Meng I simply bathrobes fling, Liu Yiyi naked in front of you. Also exceptionally shook showing off their capital.

Leave a Reply