Aboard the Ark: Day 9 – Customer Service put to the Test!

I do not believe it!  The weather forecast said it would stay dry until 1pm and then it would only be light rain.  The weather forecast lied!  Dog and I sauntered out into a balmy morning, delayed only by me recovering the umbrella from the porch were it had just about dried out overnight.  We had an uneventful walk – no pony greeting this morning, no hedgehogs and no dead things; really quite dull.

He had breakfast (Salmon and Potato Kibble) and I had a Latte in my half pint Barn Owl decorated mug which was a present brought back from the USA about 20 years ago.  I did the usual washing and dressing stuff and tucked Dog up with his snackies to go for the bus.  I got to the front door and it was pouring down … I ran to the bus stop (if I put the umbrella up for that short dash it sits sodden on my feet the whole journey!

Weather guru was gloomy – it was raining and still almost dark – revolting weather in other words!

Then came the real customer service test.  At my destination I headed to Costa to get breakfast (Green Tea and Brown Toast with Marmite).  I was happy; the staff member recalled my breakfast of choice these past few weeks.  She went away; she came back and said “we have run out of brown toast – I can do you white” I thanked her but said I would just have the green tea.  She tried to make me feel better by saying everyone had ordered brown toast and that was why they had run out … it didn’t help.  Seeing mountains of leftover half eaten brown toast on an uncleared table didn’t help either.  Neither did the lack of napkins in the dispenser thingy (I always manage to nudge the table and spill green tea from the silly glass cups)

I sat in the corner, half reading my book but also observing the cafe.  It was briefly busy and with only two staff there was a consistent queue of three or four people.  The synergy between the two staff members was completely lacking.  It was 20 minutes before any tables were cleared.  After about 40 minutes there was no queue, most of the tables were empty and the staff looked lost and bored.  At this point I would have asked me if I should speak with our other coffee shop (just opening) and see if we could get some brown bread to toast for me … it didn’t happen.

What I have noticed in both the stores I have visited this week is a distinct lack of Manager presence … I am going to provide some feedback and see what the response is.  I’ll let you know … just goes to show big isn’t always better or more beautiful!

The highlights of my day? helping a passenger with information to get to her destination; a smile and compliment about it from the bus driver; travelling on the bus with a person and their support worker – seeing the rapport and how the individual was supported to make good choices during his journey and their lovely dialogue.  I have seen this support worker before on a bus with someone else and he is a person I would like to work with in the future so I will be drafting, and carrying with me, a short flyer to explain my plans; it would be unreasonable to engage him in discussion when he is working.  Oh and one last one Pup has opened his eyes today … not long before he will be truly mobile and my parents will have four furry torpedoes until they come to their new homes (Pups not my parents).

I will try and get photographs tomorrow …

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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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