The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Customer is Often Wrong

I wake up each day thanking the Deity that I no longer work in retail.

This piece is a very intelligent, common-sensical deconstruction of the notoriously inaccurate adage "the customer is always right." In fact, the author demonstrates how observing the adage can actually be detrimental for businesses.

As always, captain obvious strikes, but I suppose that obviousness eludes most people. Running a business, like driving, is mostly common sense, which I'm sad to say is not so common. In my many years of retail service, though I had very few problem customers, I made it tacitly clear that my level of service would diminish as a customer's rudeness, often unprovoked, escalated. The problem is with managers, who will usually bend over backwards to satisfy the most unreasonable customer, leaving their employees feeling useless and powerless. It's also amazing how few managers would ever condescend (in the 18th century sense) to say a simple "good job tonight" to an employee. Unbelievable.

This reminds me that I must write my long awaited piece on how communism is far from dead since it still lives on in the retail sector. Simply put, despite appearances to the contrary, retail businesses often (if not always) operate using a Communist, not capitalist, underpinning.


Here's another classic that I read about 7 years ago on writing college papers. It no longer rings true for me, but it sure did at one point in my life not too long ago.


Blogger tedt said...

Your first article is great. It links to some other good pieces, like 'when is the right time to quit.'

2:30 p.m.  

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