Friday, March 18, 2011

When I'm queen of the world ...

If in another lifetime I get reincarnated as (however unlikely it may seem) someone in charge of some sort of retail operation or other service to the public, here are the first three things I'm-a gonna do:

1) Hire adequate, or perhaps slightly more than adequate, numbers of staff.

2) Draw up watertight employment agreements with lots of detail in them about the rights and responsibilities of the position. (For example: the bright pink hair is okay. The dirty bright pink hair is not okay.)

3) Train all such staff members as will be dealing with the general public in (a) their job duties, and (b) dealing with the general public. The latter will include

(a) Smiling.
(b) Making eye contact.
(c) Speaking clearly and audibly (none of the current yoof fashion of talking vowellessly with your mouth shut except to give the occasional imitation of a strangled cat).
(d) Answering any question put to you as best you can.
(e) Offering help when help is obviously needed.
(f) Not addressing any group of people more than 20 years older than you as "Guys".
(g) Keeping your bum crack out of people's faces. This is particularly important if you are a waitress or waiter, in which case you also need to keep it out of the food.

Also, you kids get off my lawn. Again.


elsewhere said...

Didn't you miss the sparkling, dangly earrings bit?

Deborah said...

I think you need to start signing these posts off as "Curmudgeon of Adelaide." I enjoy them enormously. Also, I'm thinking of printing them out so that I can simply hand them over to those who need them.

Are we allowed to suggest further topics for curmudgeonlyness. Because you really do it very well.

The Elephant's Child said...

And perhaps as a subset of (d)If you don't know the answer asking someone who does,and
as a subset of (f) not calling a complete stranger luv or darl.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

El, the sparkly dangly earrings are for people who are actually interested in self-improvement and Getting Somewhere In Life. (It was the mention of dirty hair that reminded you of my Conference Paper Giving Guidelines, wasn't it. I did actually see some long, unbrushed, uncombed and very dirty bright pink hair today -- tastefully set off by the infected nose piercing -- behind the carpark ticket counter, and it's not a sight I'll forget in a hurry. I keep having to suppress the urge to boil my wallet, if not my entire handbag; the child in question did handle my ticket and my change.)

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh and Deborah, yes of course, all suggestions for curmudgeonly treatment are welcome.

Frances said...

It won't work. They're retail, and they know that almost everyone in our economic hierarchy despises them for that, and wants them to pull their forelocks to them to indicate their low caste.
What I don't like is the faux interest in me that such as bank tellers sprout, or the gushing admiration as I squash into some outfit, that, if it truly made me look as much better as the seller says, would only encourage me to go home and end it all.
The last time someone called me "ma'am", I replied with "mamzelle". It didn't seem to make any difference.

Frances said...

But I do wonder, Kerryn, what you are buying where bumcracks show up.
Not groceries, I assume.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Not me, I don't want anyone to pull his or her forelock. Goddess forbid. A little pleasant efficiency is all I ask, and when I'm queen of the world it will be mandatory.

Believe it or not, the bumcracks were in evidence on the waitresses in one of Adelaide's best beachside restaurants. But by 'best' I'm referring here to the food (which was sublime, though not as sublime as the view over the beach and the sea), not to the service, which was provided by a sweet, friendly, untrained and half-naked 17-year-old girl in too-small low-rise jeans and a short crop top. She was also the one who kept loudly addressing the table of septugenarians across the room from us as 'Guys'. I suppose she at least did it clearly and audibly. Look on the bright side.

David Irving (no relation) said...

Even worse when the plumber's crack is topped off by a tattoo immediately above it ...

Not that I disapprove of tattoos. In their place, they're fine.

Anonymous said...


Er, which seaside restaurant was that, just out of, er, professional curiosity?

And I don't mind darl or love if they are old enough to be my parents, as it harks back to a time when people may have addressed you as such, but they knew their stuff service-wise.


Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

BS, alas, it was the Star of Greece. Hard to believe, I know. They may have thought that such a waitress was in keeping with the haut-shacky holiday ambience. FWIW I believe it has just changed hands, which might mean the service will be better but it might also mean the food will be worse.

Besides, that is the most beautiful beach in the world, if a certain sort of diner can tear his eyes away from the vast expanses of peachy 17-year-old skin ...

Lord Sedgwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lord Sedgwick said...

(Deletion by dint of embarrassing tpyo)

Obviously you haven't been to a large public hospital with a nearest and dearest lately.

Not damning them all with barely (bumcrack reference would be cheap and tempting) faint praise, butt (oops, that temptation finally snuck in) some would benefit from a 'Human Relations 101' course.

Other hilarious aside to my visit yesterday was walking through the labyrinth that is their underground car park into the bowels of the hospital.

En route I noted all the posters pointing to this establishment's state of the art medical technology, nuclear even.

I also noted a coin in the slot machine which would give you your weight, height, BMI AND your horoscope.

I was tempted to ask if my nearest and dearest could have a horoscoposcopy, but my normal Taurean chutzpah deserted me.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

As a fellow Taurean I must protest. The word 'chutzpah' carries with it a faint suggestion that one is all fascinator and no face. Taureans, on the other hand, have horns, hooves and shoulder muscles with which to follow through.

Lord Sedgwick said...

Ah, our halcyon Taurean days in the sun at Pamplona.

Us - 7,894.

Chutzpahic drunk tourists - zero.

fxh said...

I deal with excessive bum crack and wobbly exposed cleavage daily whilst toiling to survive. Its easy enough, although risking a sexual harassment caution, and being seen as a bit of an old perve, to say "BTW a bit much of your arse shows when you bend over" but I've never found a way to say "You are showing way too much wobbly cleavage for a work meeting".

I'll never buy food from any serving person who has a nose piercing or lip piercing. Reminds me of snot and bacteria.
Ears metal, even eyebrow, tatts, don't violate my food handling regulations.

Yours etc
Angry of Mayfair