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Confusion in Robert Sayle

So yesterday, I went into the Robert Sale near the Grafton Centre in Cambridge. Didn't really want a Robert, so decided to spend the vouchers I had on a Food Processor instead.

Having taken the little token up to the till, I was told they had none in stocks, but there were 2 in their depot in Trumpington if I'd like to collect it that afternoon.

Not really fancing going out to Trumpington on Public Transport to collect a food processor, I asked if it was possible to collect it from the shop at a later date. At which point I was hit by complete and utter confusion from the sales assistant. It was as if I'd asked if I could collect it from the moon.

Is it really that unusual a thing to ask?

In the end they called the supervisor who arranged it and it will be ready for me to collect when I'm back in Cambridge next weekend.


15th Jan, 2007 15:52 (UTC)
I think it's because all big chain shops have procedures for lots of things. And the people that work there are capable of following a set of instructions, but unused to independent thought and decision-making in their job. So when you ask for something that isn't in a procedure it's difficult. I'm sure it should be part of training for shop assistants for use their initiative, but I just don't think it is.

I think the same problem exists with lots of organisations, like colleges. Newnham can never 'think outside the box'. If there is a rule or procedure for something it can never be broken, even when all common sense says that the rule if ridiculous.

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