Today we sold books at Splashdown 2009, an event at the USS Hornet in Alameda. Buzz Aldrin dropped by at 1 p.m. and gave a speech, and then the 1000+ people who had bought his new book got in line and had it signed. Yes, that's right, one thousand people bought the book from us, and most of them bought it between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. In the middle of that crazy bookselling bonanza, the following customer interacted with me:
[Enter customer dressed in a yellow volunteer shirt and an orange volunteer vest. Customer buys two books from Jessica and then turns to Jake, who is attempting to finish a transaction with someone else.]
Customer: Can I have a bag?
Jake: I'm sorry, we just ran out of bags.
Customer: Well I can't really carry these books.
Jake: You could try the gift store. They might have a few left.
Customer: Well can you go get some?
Jake: You know, I asked them a little while ago and they didn't have enough to share with us--no one expected to be this busy today.
Customer: Well I don't want to carry these books.
Jake: I'd be happy to hold them here for you until the signing.
Customer: I'd really like you to go get me a bag from the gift store.
Jake: Ma'am, we have a really long line right now and I can't leave this table.
Customer: Well I want you to go get me a bag!
[Elaine, observing the exchange, moves to intervene.]
Elaine: Is there something I can help you with?
Customer: I'm just not used to dealing with bad professionalism!
[Customer literally runs away.]
So. How to be the best customer ever: don't be a crazy volunteer lady. Not to say that you shouldn't volunteer or be crazy--just be careful mixing the two.
6 days ago