Thursday, 4 September 2008

Drama at the supermarket

There are times when I feel very confident in getting around here. I've been to the supermarket many times. Alone. I always manage and in the end did today.

I was only going for a few things - but when I saw the shopping trolley on wheels I bought a few heavy things - bottles of ice tea, orange juice etc. as well as carrots and a big watermelon. When I got to the checkout the price was not on the trolley - so there was a conversation in Chinese - that I did not understand.

Despite the fact that about 6 staff were doing nothing but watching, no one offered to get the price for me. Oh, well. I'll carry it al myself.

When I presented by China Bank card, I was handed the thing to key in my PIN, and when I saw the price I agreed by hitting the green button. Don't we do that at home in Australia? Anyway, I should have just keyed in my PIN - as chaos reigned. It had refused my PIN, so it wasn't my card. About eight staff - none of whom spoke English stood around. "Money. Money" they said. I would if I could. But I wouldn't have used my card if I had the cash.

There was a Chinese standoff for a while. Is there at ATM here? No one understood until eventually some customers came to my aid. Yes, there was an ATM, so I left my goods and found my card did work and I got the cash and returned. You'd think the 6 or 7 staff standing around would have got the price for the shopping bag/trolley thing. No way. They just chucked it behind the cash register and I had to carry my goods in a plastic bag. Which I had to pay for!

There's no such thing as customer service as we know it. Anyway, I managed to collect my goods, and get a quick taxi (I'm not joking!) back to the college. I'll try and take cash next time, or not press the OK button.

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