Shopping and customer etiquette

 

Sir, – As the season of goodwill draws nearer, it would be nice to think that retail staff who have been keeping us all fed and supplied with essentials during Covid could be treated a bit better.

Any customer service manual you care to look at rarely includes a chapter on how customers ought to behave.

This is especially true in the run-up to Christmas where retail staff will be attempting to deal with customers who simply must have the latest gadgets. It would be nice if retail staff were actually treated with something approaching courtesy and good manners by customers trying to get them.

Spending a large amount of money on an item does not make you any better or worse than the person you are dealing with. Retailing can be uncertain and seasonal. Bear in mind that as some sales begin on December 26th, those staff may only be having very little time with their families, or none at all if they have to work late on December 24th and have no running transport to travel home. Contactless payment has probably removed a horrible habit of throwing money on the counter instead of handing it directly to the person at the till. The person at the counter is the last person in the supply chain. It is not their fault if an item is not in stock, or the manufacturer creates a supply scarcity to drive sales, so don’t vent your anger on them.

Swearing at staff rarely achieves anything. There is no point in doing it.

Be nice. A smile goes a long way. – Yours, etc,

MARK O’HAGAN,

Midleton,

Co Cork.