Thursday, November 02, 2006

The tale of Sir Valiant of Grocery Towers

Once upon a time there lived at Grocery Towers a good knight, bedecked in shining armour, strong of limb and pure of heart, ever ready to enter the lists on behalf of the realm and all those who found shelter within. Steadfast and true was this gentle knight.

Yeah, right.

The story begins, as so many do, with a querellous middle-aged woman approaching customer services to complain about the lack of a particular product. Upon investigation it emerged that this woman, who has a track record of making our lives miserable and then telephoning Head Office to massage in a bit of salt, had been able to get one box of whatever product it was she wanted - but she'd wanted two.

Oh, dear.

Notwithstanding the fact that she'd been able to get some she was unhappy at our manifest failure to keep the shelf full and she wanted the number of head office so that she could lodge a complaint because "they'll give me boxes for free".

The person who had the misfortune to deal with this creature dutifully provided the telephone number for Head Office (though we all harbour the suspicion that the creature knows it by heart or has it programmed into her 'phone). She also checked the stock holdings and ordering and made sure some would be on its way to us with the next delivery.

Then she called Sir Valiant to forewarn him. She laid out the woman's history, complaint, her own actions to ensure supply and finally the claim this woman had made to be able to extract free goods from Head Office.

From the other end we received grateful thanks for the warning and an undertaking that under no circumstances would the freeloader be getting her boxes from him.

The following day the same staff member received a call from our heroic Knight: the boxes were being sent to us by internal transfer, they'd been sourced from the local store and would arrived in the next day or two.

She asked Sir Valiant to repeat what he'd just said. After he complied she asked him to repeat the message again. At the third telling he added something along the lines of "so could you please get them delivered to her."

The response was an exceptionally restrained "I hope you don't bloody expect me to deliver them" followed by much "how could you?" which is polite speak for "you spineless, gutless chicken-shit!"