More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Customer Service 2 - Awkward Silence

I had written a rant about customer service previously so I thought I would write a bit more about it. This post isn't a rant, but more an observation.

I had poured some petrol into my car and had gone into the store to pay for it the other day. As usual, I took out my credit car and gave it to the attendant and said "credit". This is where the awkward silence occurred. As he swiped my car and pressed ok, we both stood there in silence and waited for the machine to process the transcation and clear it. The period of time, as we both knew, would only be about 10 seconds, not enough time to really start a conversation as I would be out of there soon. So we both just stood there, not knowing where to look and waited. He passed me the pen and I just held it and waited uncomfortably.

This situation gets repeated in all places now. It happened at the supermarket, the shopping centres and even food outlets. In the past, when you would pay cash, the service staff would go off to the till and get your change while you stood there and waited. Now, they didn't have anything to do so stood there with you and waited, creating this awkward silent moment between the two of you.

Have you experienced a similar thing, or is it all in my own mind. I think it isn't because I can sense it from the other person that they're are uncomfortable as well as they look away and don't really know what to do. This happens more with younger service staff. The older middle aged ladies tend to just look right at you and smile, which I guess diffuses the awkwardness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i work in retail... just have a couple of lines up your sleeve like "how's your day been, good?"

to which they have a think and say "yes"
... see 10 secs gone by easily...
oh yeah and have a phoney smile up your sleeve also to follow up to that phoney greeting.

works a treat all the time

9/26/2006 4:18 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Yes I remember my fake smile when I was a waiter back during uni. It got really hard to force a smile as the night wore on and I just couldn't pretend anymore so just asked for their order with a straight face.

9/26/2006 7:28 PM  

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