I Beg Your Pardon

Vivian Gilbert Zabel
 


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The woman tapped her foot as she waited for assistance. The young man continued his personal conversation on the phone. The woman cleared her throat. He glanced in her direction before turning his back.

“May I have some help, please?” she asked.

He whispered into the receiver, “Just a second, ” before covering the mouth piece. “I’ll be with you in a bit. ” He returned to his phone call.

The woman placed her package on the counter, pivoted, and walked off, muttering, “I won’t be here. ”

That business lost a customer because an employee put a personal conversation before doing his job. Every time someone takes care of personal business rather than his duties, he or she harms the employer by costing the company money, clients, and reputation.

The illustration given previously cost the company a customer, which in turn takes money that pays the employees wages, causing a lost of income to company and employees. The wages paid the young man during the time he wasn’t working for the company, but was visiting, are wasted since the business gets nothing in return. Many of us have “horror” stories about poor service and refuse to return to that store or company.

Two clerks chatted as one rang up the purchases of a customer. The customer tried to get the clerks attention, but the young woman on the register ignored the man, continuing to talk with her friend as she ran bar codes past the scanner.

“Please, ma’am, ” the customer insisted, “you need to know about this slip. The chairs are being loaded. . . ”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll get it rung up. ” The cashier didn’t even glance toward the man as she answered.

“But, you don’t understand, I’m suppose to tell you that there were six chairs, ” the man added.

The cashier, not much more than a girl, rolled her eyes at her friend as she waved a hand toward the customer.

The man and his wife shook their heads as they walked away from the counter with the bags holding the rest of their purchases. On the way home, the wife examined the register tape. “That girl only charged us for one chair. I thought the total seem mighty low. ”

“We’ll call the store when we get home, ” her husband replied. They did call when they arrived home, but the manager, once he heard the story, told them that since it wasn’t the couple's fault, not to worry about the price of the other chairs.

That store lost several hundred dollars, but it didn’t lose customers because of the good manners of the manager. Still the store wasted money on wages that weren’t earned and on the loss of the price of the chairs.

The lack of good etiquette costs businesses money through loss of unearned wages and loss of profit if mistakes are made because of employees not doing their jobs carefully. Also poor customer relations causes customers to leave and not return. Those dissatisfied customers and clients also tell others about their experiences, possibly causing others to stay away from that company.

This spreading of dissatisfaction hurts a company’s reputation. As word spreads concerning poor customer service and employee lack of good manners, people start avoiding the business. The result becomes a deterioration of reputation for being fair and caring for clients.

Finally, employees are either fired or the company folds, causing the employees to be unemployed. Then those very people, whose lack of good business etiquette led to disaster, wonder why they no longer have a job.

Vivian Gilbert Zabel has submitted this article in affiliation with a site for Fax Machines ( http://www.Facsimile.com/ ). She was part of the business community before becoming a teacher of English and composition for twenty-five years. Her books, Hidden Lies and Other Stories and Walking the Earth, can be found on Amazon.com or at Barnes and Noble. She is a member of http://www.Writing.Com

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