Updated: June 6, 2012 3:36PM
While National Business Etiquette Week has been on my radar for a couple of months now, I struggled to find some personal experience I could share as my lead-in. That is until last week.
Since the middle of May, I have been waging war with my garbage company. I won’t bore you with all the ugly details, but, after calling four times for the same problem, I called once again, my patience almost depleted.
The luck of the draw, I got “Randy,” who made me once more go through what was now a lengthy narrative. After asking Randy to guarantee a resolution within 24 hours, he explained, as if talking to a child, that he couldn’t do that. My temper went up a notch, telling him that wasn’t acceptable.
“I told you I couldn’t guarantee that lady,” he snapped. “I told you the route supervisor was working on it.”
So much for customer service! While I didn’t slam the phone, I did hang up on our boy Randy.
In your experience, where has business etiquette gone by the wayside in your experience?
Joan Dembowski, Crown Point: My husband and I took our in-laws out to a very upscale and pricey restaurant for their anniversary recently. Seated, our waitress approached, smacking her gum and greeting us with, “So how you guys doing?” While I know “guys” has become the genderless slang of today, it wasn’t appropriate in these circumstance with ladies obviously present and I found it way too casual coming from someone I don’t know.
Patrick Egnatz, Hammond: This whole notion of dressing appropriate for business situations is rapidly declining. I understand the concept of business casual but come on! I don’t want to see feet in sandals, shirt tails hanging out or associates in tank tops and shorts, unless they’re working at the water park.
Rich Pearson, Schererville: Overall, I’d say the level of customer service has slipped just about everywhere. Many stores are understaffed and their people are stretched and not properly trained in how to best interact with the customers. I stopped an employee in one of the big-box hardware stores recently to ask where to find something and was told there was a directory at the front of the store. He just kept on walking and so did I.
Claudia Daniels, Hobart: I “clerked” my way through college and we were always trained that when waiting on a customer, our attention should be on him/her throughout the transaction. Anymore when I go to the grocery store, I get a clerk who is more interested in gossiping about other employees with the bagger than paying attention to what she’s doing. A couple of weeks ago, she scanned one of my items twice. When I had to interrupt her, I got a big sigh and look that clearly said I was annoying.
Wayne Sutherland, Highland: Visible body piercings and tattoos, especially where food is sold. I understand it’s their right to do whatever they want with their bodies. However, it makes me queasy and it’s my right not to patronize food places that don’t require the piercings to be removed or the tattoos covered.