Bon Jour Madame

Whenever I have friends going to Europe, I always give them this piece of advice: When you walk in to a bar, don’t just plop down on to a stool and order a drink. First you must say hello to the bartender, and then you can sit down. When you walk in to a shop, don’t start pawing the clothes. First say hello to the shopkeeper, and then you can continue to shop.

Hey folks, I’ll be right with you

Here in the states it is a little different. Here in the states we expect the employee to say hi first. And so they should.

“Hey folks, I’ll be right with you.” How long does it take to say that? 1 second? 2 seconds? Why don’t people do it then? No matter how busy you are, you should always have time to do that.

How hard is it? Very, apparently. I can’t tell you how many times it doesn’t happen when I go out.

What a difference it makes

Now, I realize that I am old, and therefore rather invisible, but that is no excuse. In fact, that is more of a reason to make sure and do it. Make people feel welcome.

I went out with my wife last night for a drink and a quick snack and had an ok time, but it did prompt me to write this post.

One of the 2 servers/bartenders walked by us twice without bothering to greet us. Now I am sensitive to certain things (obviously hyper sensitive about some things) and I notice if it’s busy or not. I can tell if you are in the middle of doing something or not. And this particular server was neither busy nor engaged in anything.

She still managed to walk right past us without a hello, an ‘I’ll be right with you,’ or a smile. If she was carrying a tray of drinks, I would have understood. If she was going to a table to take an order, I would have been more patient. She was literally doing nothing.

No excuse

I would also like to add that even my wife noticed the snub, and she is not nearly as sensitive to these particular issues. This time she was, so it isn’t Tom just being his usual extra critical, over sensitive self. Or is it…?

Like I said, it takes about 1-2 seconds to say something like, “I will be right there.” Take the 2 seconds. You take the time to do that and people now know they have been noticed and will wait for a long time for you to take care of them.

It can be the difference between a customer returning or not. And by now you understand that getting the customer to return is the whole idea.


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