Sunday, 5 September 2010

Don't Cry Over Spoilt Milk...

On Thursday I returned to London after a few days out of the capital. I admit I felt my anxiety rise as soon as our train pulled into Kings Cross. The hustle of the city was just a reminder that I was back home and soon to be back at work. It didn’t help when, the following morning, I realised that the pint of milk I had bought the following day was three days out of date. Foregoing cereal and settling for toast I later popped back to the shop I had purchased the white stuff from, expecting a straight exchange.
I took the offending item out of my bag and placed it on the counter. The shop assistant looked at me disapprovingly.
“What is the problem?”
“It’s out of date. And I only bought it yesterday.”
He finished serving another customer before turning back to me.
“When did you buy it?”
“About 3.30, I think.”
He shook his head. “You can’t have bought it from here. I re-stocked the milk before then.”
I looked at him incredulously. “But, I did. We caught a bus from Kings Cross at about three and came in here to buy milk.”
He shrugged. “You’ll have to come back after 6 to see the person who served you.”
Dumbstruck, I went off on my other errands, vowing I would not be patronising that shop again unless I was apologised to when I returned that evening. I popped back at about seven and spoke to the woman who had served us the day before. I explained my earlier conversation with her colleague.
“Did you buy it from this shop?”
“Did you take another pint when you came in earlier?”
“No, I was told to come back after six.”
She shrugged. “Just take another one.”
So I did. But I was not satisfied. What happened to “the customer is always right”? And apologising when you sell out of date produce? Apparently the customer is assumed to be pulling a fast one to get a free pint of milk. More than a little insulting, especially when it comes down to something of the value of 50p.
By Saturday, I was in a grim mood and decided I needed to chill. I arranged to meet a friend on the Southbank to go to the Tate Modern. The riverside was packed with tourists so I was relieved to get inside the gallery and wander around the impressive space and ever-changing collection. Feeling much better, I headed back to the Southbank with my friend to grab a bite to eat at the food market. Luckily it was late in the day and the bread and cake stall were selling off their produce BOGOF, so I headed home with two foccacias and a piece of banana bread for Him Indoors. Happy days.
Today I persuaded Him Indoors to go out for Sunday lunch to mark the end of my week of leisure. We headed to our local and tucked into roast chicken with all the trimmings. The staff were great, asking us if our food was okay and recommending desserts. Attentive, but not in your face. My faith began to return in London’s customer service and I headed home full of good grub and ready for an afternoon nap.
Tomorrow I have to go back to work and deal with the real world again. But at least I know that I can always escape from the grindstone if I need to.

No comments:

Post a Comment