Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Don't you just hate it ...

... when people try to blame their mistake on you?

This is what happened to me this morning. Don't worry, nothing dramatic or serious, just a simple misunderstanding, and yet I was the one who got the blame in front of a score of people.

Around 11 this morning I went to pick up the baguette and soft rolls - which we call 'sandwiches' - that I had ordered by phone yesterday. I clearly remember giving my family and first name. I always do this to avoid confusion ... and ending up with my cousin's order.

Just a photo to brighten up this post.
Ducks enjoying the June 2013 sun in La Ferté-Saint-Aubin.

When I arrived at the bakery there was a long queue which I patiently joined. When it was my turn, I asked for some extra pastry and then gave my name, adding that I was coming to pick up my order. The girl disappeared in the back room, to return shortly afterwards with two huge bags each containing 20 mini-sandwiches and another bag with 20 'pistolets' (crispy savoury buns). No sign of the baguette ...

I kindly told the shop assistant that there must be a mistake, because this wasn't what I had ordered. She looked at the name on the bags. "That's you, isn't it?" I confirmed that it was my name, but not what I had ordered.

She disappeared in the back room, where I heard her discussing the matter with the manager. They looked through the order book together and the assistant came back holding a sheet in her hands. "Is this your order?" she asked pointing at a hastily scribbled line mentioning the items I had ordered.

It didn't take long for her to return with the right bags. However, she was followed by the manager, a buxom woman, who in a stern and loud enough for all to hear voice said: "Next time, give your first name too. We have several customers with your family name." Slightly taken aback by this public reprimand, I informed her that I had given my full name, but that she had omitted writing it down. She mumbled something and returned to her chores in the back room. The shop assistant smiled shyly, apologized for the mistake and wished me a nice weekend. Which I intend to have ... even if the sun which was shining so brightly this morning has disappeared and dark clouds are gathering at the horizon.

Hope you'll enjoy your weekend too!


Carolyn said...

I'm glad they realized it was their mistake. Well done, Martine, for making yourself clear.

Jean said...

Some people just hate it when their mistakes are found out. Good for you for standing your ground. They obviously didn't do the "good customer service" part of the shop assistant's training !!

Travel said...

You were kinder than I would have been.

VirginiaC said...

Martine so sorry you had to go through this.
People these days never want to admit to their mistakes, and it's so simple to do so and move on.
It's human to make mistakes.
Hope you were able to enjoy your bread after that fiasco.

Bob said...

i found that if you remain calm, things tend to work out. If the business tries to shift the blame to me, that's when I get mad, especially when I know i'm right. I'm sure the customers behind you made note of your treatment.

ladybird said...

Carolyn, I went back this week to pick up my order after giving my full name. No problems this time.

Jean, The shop assistants are students. And although very friendly and efficient, they miss some of the basic skills.

Travel, Welcome and thank you for posting a comment. I try to stay calm in those circumstances. I've learnt that it's the best way to deal with these matters.

Virginia, The bread was delicious and the incident wasn't serious enough to take my business elsewhere ... where the bread is less tasty :)

Bob, I had the feeling that the other customers felt awkward about the incident too. Maybe they have 'learnt a lesson' and won't make the same mistake.