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The Slice: Let’s talk business dealings

There are many people in the Spokane area who make it a pleasure to conduct various little bits of business.

And then, of course, there are a few who do not. Which brings us to …

Today’s Slice question: Whether dealing with someone in person or on the phone, what demeanor/personality style do you hope to encounter when trying to purchase a blouse, open a bank account, schedule an appointment or return a small appliance?

A) Brittle, barely keeping it together forced cheerfulness. B) Alert listening. C) Human normalcy. D) Someone on a power trip who wants to go on at length about how you apparently don’t understand the new policy.

E) Passive aggressive. F) Straight-up hostility. G) I don’t really care just so long as I can actually understand what the person is saying. H) Cult-member trance.

I) Remember that comedian, Sam Kinison, and how he used to gradually build up steam and finally just go off? Well, anything but that. J) Some eye contact but not psycho intensity. K) Someone who doesn’t stare at your breasts. L) The kind of robospeak you sometimes encounter when the person knows a supervisor might be listening in on the call.

M) Relaxed, casually friendly smile. N) High-pitched squealing. O) Someone who does not think it’s cute to refer to elderly people as “young man” or “young lady.” P) Someone who is not a walking virus vector.

Q) Clerk clearly regards your presence as a problem and wants to punish you for taking up his or her time. R) Someone who talks a lot about an institutional commitment to customer service but doesn’t seem all that interested in actually providing it. S) Someone who is so good-looking you suddenly can’t remember what it is you wanted. T) Person who does not hold the rude, abusive behavior of other customers against you.

U) Scary she-devil who says “Now I know where you live.” V) Someone who whispers in a conspiratorial tone, “I had hummus today.” W) Sane employee who briefly restates your request without making it sound like the most unreasonable demand in the history of U.S. commerce.

X) Someone who compliments you on your hair or outfit without making it obvious that this is “Make That Sale!” tip No. 7. Y) The person projects a desire to keep you as a customer. Z) Other.

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email Remember D-Day on Wednesday.

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