The American in me…

Det starta med to flasker Tea Tree olje. Eg trengte det. Så eg gjekk innom alle plassar eg kunne tenke meg at kunne ha noko slikt i Bergen. Til slutt var det berre The Body Shop igjen. Det er mange år sia eg handla her. Og eg trur eg hugsar kvifor no. Men dei hadde det på utstilling. Så eg gjekk inn. Og observerte kva som skjedde i butikken samtidig.

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I kassa stod ei som jobba i butikken og prata med ein kunde. Dei dreiv tydeligvis og avtalte noko. Bak kunden stod ein mann med ei flaske Aloe Vera. Det var ein heilt normal mann. Eg tippar han var i 30 åra. Han stod der og venta på å få betale.

Samtidig med meg kom tre jenter inn i butikken. To av dei var venninner. Alle tre var rundt 20-25 år. Og veldig fine å sjå til.

To av dei andre som jobba i butikken delte disse tre kundane mellom seg. Eg såg på tea tree oljen min og registrerte at dei hadde eit tilbud: 10 ml for 119 kr, 20 ml for 179 kr. Eg ville sjølvsagt ha 20 ml. Så eg såg om eg fann 20 ml flaske, men det var der ingen igjen av.

Så eg tok to 10 ml og stilte meg etter herren med Aloe Veraen.

cof

Då vart det veldig interessant å sjå korleis kundane vart behandla. For ho som hadde stått i kassa og prata med kunden, var tydelig ferdig å avtale. Og då kunden gjekk, gjekk også ho ut i butikken. Mannen med Aloe Vera og eg vart ståande og vente.

Då kom den eine av dei tre ansatte med to av dei unge jentene som hadde fått hjelp. Dei gikk glatt foran mannen med aloe vera og meg, og ho ekspederte først den eine av venninnene og så den andre.

Eg stod og var litt undrande, for så kom den andre butikkansatte og hadde med seg den tredje jenta som kom inn samtidig med meg. Ho fekk også betale før det endelig var mannen med Aloe Veraen sin tur. Eg lurer på kor lenge han egentlig hadde stått der, sidan han var der før eg kom inn. Men han stod tålmodig til han endelig fekk betale og så gjekk han.

cof

Så vart det min tur. Eg gjekk då fram og spurte høflig om dei hadde fleire 20 ml flasker igjen. Nei, dei var utsolgt. Då spurte eg om eg fekk to for prisen av ei 20 ml flaske. Nei, dessverre. Men eg kunne få ein gratis om eg kjøpte tre! Nei, takk sa eg då. Men sidan ingen andre hadde tea tree olje, så blei det likevel til at eg kjøpte disse to flaskene.

På veg ut frå butikken kjente eg at eg kokte litt. Og eg er heilt sikker på at dette hadde aldri skjedd i Amerika. Eg har opplevd dårlig service der og, men eg har aldri opplevd at nokon har blitt så dårlig behandla som mannen med aloe vera. Og eg kjente at eg har nok blitt litt amerikansk i måten å tenke på..

cof

Eg forventar meir av folk i serviceyrker. Eg syns dessverre at mange er altfor uhøflige og frekke her i Norge, og dei vel seg ut kven dei skal vere hyggelig i mot. Det er ikkje god service. Og nordmenn finn seg i litt for masse. Når eg er i USA kjenner eg på at eg er veldig norsk i sånne sammenhenger, men når eg er her i Norge, så ser eg at eg blir stadig meir amerikansk. Og eg likar virkelig amerikanerene sin holdning til service. Dei gjer det dei kan for å hjelpe, sidan dei veit at dette er det som skaper eit god rykte og gjer at kundane kjem tilbake. Dei er hyggelig mot alle, og dei tek alle etter tur. Dei lar ikkje 3 personar snike foran i køen. (for då blir det bråk!)

Hadde eg vore mannen med aloe vera, så hadde eg satt den frå meg og gitt tydelig uttrykk for at med så dårlig service så kunne dei berre ha heile Aloe Veraen. For Aloe Vera får ein på andre plassar. Eg var på nippet med oljen og, men eg trengte virkelig tea tree olje og hadde vore byen rundt etter det. Amerikaneren i meg ga tydelig beskjed om at eg syns kundeservicen var under lavmål. Men eg må vel innrømme at nordmannen i meg vann denne runda, sidan enda på visa var at eg venta og godtok på sett og vis behandlinga og eg i mitt halvstille sinn bestemte at eg går ikkje tilbake til The Body Shop før eg absolutt må! Akkurat som en ekte nordmann gjer. Neste gong håpar eg egentlig at amerikaneren vinn.

sdr

In English;

It started with two bottles of Tea Tree Oil. I needed it. So I went to every store I could think of that could carry it when I was in Bergen this week. The last stop was The Body Shop.  It’s been years since I shopped there. And I think I remember why now. They had it on display. So I went, and I started to observe what was going on in the store.

Behind the counter one of the women that worked there was talking to a customer. They were making an appointment. Behind the customer there was a man standing in line to buy a bottle of Aloe Vera. He was an normal man. I would guess he was in his 30’s. He was just standing there, waiting for his turn.

At the same time as I walked in to the store, 3 girls also entered. Two of them was friends. All 3 of them was approximately 20-25 years old. And good looking.

Two of the other employees walked over to these girls. One took care of the friends, the other took care of the girl who walked in alone. I was looking at the display of Tea Tree Oil.  I registered they had a discount: 10 ml for nok 119 (approximately $14), 20 ml for nok 179 (approximately $21). I looked, but couldn’t find any of the bottles with 20 ml.

So I took two 10 ml, and I got in line behind the gentleman with the Aloe Vera.

It was very interesting to see how they treated their customers. When the customer at the register was finished, the women behind the counter left the counter to find a spot in the middel of the store where she was looking for other customers. The guy with the Aloe Vera and I was still standing there, waiting.

Then the one of the other employees, the one with the two friends, came to the register. With the girls. And she helped them both.

I was a little baffled at their policy, because then the other employee came to the register. She brought with her the third girl that came into the store at the same time as me. She was also able to pay before the man with Aloe Vera finally got to pay. I wonder how long he was standing there before he got that far, because he was there before I entered the store. But he was patient and just stood there waiting, then he paid and walked off.

And finally it was my turn. I walked up to the register, and I asked if they had more bottles with 20 ml. No, they were sold out. Then I asked if I could get two 10 ml bottles for the same price as a 20 ml. No, sorry. But I could buy 3 and get one for free. NO thank you, was my response. And since I couldn’t get Tea Tree oil anywhere else, I had to buy those two bottles.

I could feel that I was very dissatisfied on my way home. I am certain it would never happen like this in America. I have experienced poor service in  America too, but I have never seen anyone being treated like the man with the Aloe Vera. And I realised that I have adopted an American way of thinking..

I expect more from people working in service related professions. Unfortunately my experience is that a lot of people are rude and not very service minded here in Norway, and they choose who they are going to be nice to. That is not good. And Norwegians just accept that. When I am in the US, I feel very Norwegian I these situations. I don’t like to make a fuzz. But back here, in Norway, I realise there is an American part of me that is growing stronger. I really like the American culture when it comes to service. They do all they can to help you, because they know this is the way to build a reputation and make the customers come back. They are serviceminded towards everyone, and if there is a line, you have to wait for your turn. No way 3 people would get ahead of the line. (That would create a lot of fuzz.)

If I was the man with the Aloe Vera, I would have put it down and made it clear that when they treat people like that, they can keep the Aloe Vera. Because that is something you can buy several places. I was almost there with the oil, but I really needed the oil, and I had been to every store I could think of without finding it. So the American in me was very articualte about what I thought about their service, but I have to admit the Norwegian in me won this time, because in the end I waited, and I accepted them treating me bad and in my almost quiet mind I decided that I will not go back to The Body Shop unless I really, really need to. Just like a true Norwegian does.  Next time I hope the American wins.

 

 

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