I stood and watched them today as I purchased by Blue Cheese wrap, muffin and grapefruit juice. There was very little, if any, eye contact from them to me but I watched everything, every little expression. I wanted to be sure it wasn’t just me and it isn’t, every customer gets the same treatment now.
They have both (checkout girls) developed special faces they present to the customers, the faces say “I couldn’t be less interested in your order if I tried. Go away, you’re bothering me!”. The original misery-guts, Queen of Misery, has now trained a new girl too. The training went well, Princess of Misery is doing a fine job. They now have complete mastery of the art of being completely indifferent, not to say insulting, just by the use of facial expressions. I was never a fan of video training methods, but this is a case where it would work a treat if secret cameras could be installed. Mind you, they clearly couldn’t give a flying-baboon’s-backside what anyone thinks so I expect the video idea is just a waste of time.
They have other faces, but they only use those when communicating with the other staff. The other faces tend to be quite nice, happy, smiley, laughing even. This is probably a bit like being in the trenches during WWI. They are the British soldiers, suffering together this great hardship, finding comfort amongst themselves to shield against the hardships of the world outside. We, the customers, are the German forces who have just finished a 3 day artillery bombardment with massive shells and are now running across no-mans-land with bayonets fixed and screaming at the top of our voices “We’re coming to get you, you sad bastards!”. They stick together. The enemy is the other side of the counter.
They are now so unattached from what they (presumably) get paid to do that even simple things like remembering that someone’s order was for take-away, or that the muffin in the bag goes with the sandwich in the toaster are forgotten instantly. The enemy will remind us anyway so why bother trying. They (presumably) see so many customers that the odd one who goes in there very regularly ordering pretty much the same thing and always take-away just becomes another faceless jerk. Wayne’s Coffee staff might find that hard to believe, but who cares about them, eh?
For balance. My wife uses CH in Sadyba and she’s very happy. Nice friendly people, they know her well, all is good. So why can’t this be copied in ZT, I wonder? Is Queen of Misery the manageress? God forbid.