Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On being rude in ASDA

Today I got to stick it to the man. Well, not quite THE Man as such but an employee (sorry, that should be "colleague". Yes, that's what they're called) of ASDA and as they're owned by Wal-Mart, it's much the same.

I was using the self-serve tills to buy my paper but watching a supervisor a few feet away offer the benefit of her experience to a very young girl, obviously very new to the job. "You're working for ASDA now so I don't want to see you doing that (she mimed leaning on her elbows on a shelf)." It wasn't a bawling out but it was still quite strident and very obviously in full ear-shot of the public and the two other trainees she was with. The girl turned away and was quite visibly upset but stoically bottling her urge to weep. I felt for her. The supervisor wandered off and I hurriedly paid for my goods. I'm sorry, Lady, you don't get away with that! I'm not a vegetarian and an ounce of free flesh was in the offing.

Instead of leaving, I turned and followed her up the store and watched until she was with two regular employees then made my move. Interrupting her conversation, I moved right into her comfort zone - I'm 15 stone and six foot in my shoes, she wasn't -and told her straight to her face in a calm but clearly concerned and very audible voice:

"I was watching you and heard you just now. Next time you need to tell someone off, doing it in front of the customers and their workmates is just about the worst thing you could do. Do it in private and offer advice, not personal rebuke. That young girl will never live that down."

"Yes. Of course. Thanks. You ARE right. They're placements..."

"Doesn't matter who they are, it's the number one rule of keeping them on your side - you don't do it in full view of everyone. Nobody likes being humiliated for something trivial."

"Yes, thank you. I see your point."

I remain calm and security don't need to be called this time. I have made my point and rubbed her nose in it in front of her peers. Disturbingly, she maintains a smiling countenance throughout and doesn't appear outwardly phased, although her eyes give me the reassurance I'd hit the bull. One of her colleagues makes his excuses and walks away, no doubt embellishing the story with every departing step.

1 Vegetable peelings:

Anonymous Sharon J said...

Good for you, Richard. People need to make their voices heard.

LM has just been "stepped up" at Tesco. Next step, supervisor. I hope she doesn't act like fool at Asda. I don't think she will.

4:29 pm  

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