Thursday, June 4, 2009

We the Consumers...

Marketing managers place the almighty consumer at the center of their efforts. And nothing wrong in it, after all the consumer is the king of the market. But does this make him arrogant? With increasing choices, a consumer does not think once before disposing a mean demeanor. To quote an example, some time back I went to crossword to indulge myself in reading. It was Saturday and something around 10.20 in the morning. What a morning it was, clear sky and light breeze. A perfect day for vacation.

Fresh and clad smartly, I entered the kingdom of books. Although I find almost the same books at the same place every time, the place thrills me. While I was looking around, picking and dropping books, I observed strange glances. The staff was looking at me rather uncomfortably. I ignored and continued my quest for the book I would partially read that day. I was the only 'outsider' in the shop then.

Some time later, a middle aged lady entered the shop. She looked in a hurry. She knew exactly what she wanted and headed straight away to a particular section, picked up a couple of books and went to the counter. I continued my search. Suddenly I heard the lady shouting and abusing the staff. She said she would complain to the manager. That the staff was impolite and rude. That they were unfriendly towards the customers. That they would be responsible for the loss of business which crossword would face due to their arrogance. That the staff were dumb and should shut up. She used more English words when she knew that the staff didn't understand much. They kept on requesting her politely to calm down and wait for 10 minutes till their manager arrives. That they cannot transact till then. It struck me suddenly the reason they were staring at me.....The shop was not open yet!! The lady asked for their manager's contact number threatening to complain. The scared staff didn't know what to do. Frustrated, she left, shouting all the way outside.

All those inside were dumbfounded by this act of impudence. I politely asked them whether I could stay and look around for books, as the shop had not opened for business. Smiling, they explained that they had no problem with it. Just that they cannot sell anything without their manager coming and switching the computer on! The tone was almost hapless.

I thought that sometimes we, the consumers and customers, are so conceited that we fail to understand the situation at hand and unfairly take advantage of our vantage. The junior staff working anywhere, malls, shops, are humans. They should be dealt with and treated with the same respect that you expect from others. (Remember the day when your client screams at you and you feel victimised).....
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