Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Tales in (bad) customer service – Pure pharmacy at Dublin Airport Terminal 2

I tweeted the other day about the rage I feel when I experience really bad customer service, and the response told me that I’m not alone. So I’ve decided to do a new weekly feature – on bad customer service. …

Wed, Aug 22, 2012, 07:30

   

I tweeted the other day about the rage I feel when I experience really bad customer service, and the response told me that I’m not alone. So I’ve decided to do a new weekly feature – on bad customer service. The joys! Email me rmaccabe@irishtimes.com if you have any stories you’d like to share.

As you may know, I’m now in France, and to get here I had to pass through Dublin Airport, an experience which usually fills me with something approaching joy. What? I love the airport. I feel like it’s the beginning of my holiday; I eat bad food, I buy trashy magazines and I stick my headphones in and ignore the world. I also, as the title of this post would lead you to suspect, buy goods in the pharmacy. This time, it was allergy tablets and tissues (I know, so fashion).

I approached the pharmacy counter to find a man and a young woman deep in conversation about her zoology degree. “I did zoology, so it’s kind of anything to do with animals,” she was explaining to this young genius. I waited a few minutes to see if either of them would acknowledge me, but they didn’t, which gave me time to find the allergy tablets myself and take them to the main till, where a blonde woman was battling with a queue of about two. The zoologist joined her and they began to have a similarly thrilling conversation.

“What are you doing tonight, any plans?” asked la bionda as the queue moved forward and she began to deal with another customer, all the while looking to her left at the zoologist.

“I’m seeing my boyfriend,” said the zoologist.

“What’ll you be doing?” asked the blonde.

“I dunno,” said the zoologist, robotically chanting “next” at me. I moved up to the counter, handed her my two items. Beep. Beep. “We’ll probably just, you know, hang out. Go to a cafe.” Then, as an aside: “That’s €8.15.”

Not once did she look me in the eye, acknowledge that I was there or ask if I wanted anything else.

I’m sorry, but when did the service disappear from the term “customer service”? Over on Twitter, @curlydena suggested walking away. She said she usually does, deciding that she doesn’t need anything badly enough to put up with rudeness. But in this case, I did need the items. And I didn’t want to have an anxiety-inducing argument with a zoologist before boarding my flight.

What should I have done? What would you have done? Ignore, or make somethin’ of it?

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