Posted by: blogone | July 16, 2006

Blockage in the hose…

Its 7pm in San Diego and 3am in Dublin. I’ve woken up and I’m having some difficulty getting back to sleep. When I woke up I had various thoughts in my head. A thought about Atlantic Homecare was one of them.

Earlier on today five people, not including myself went to Atlantic Homecare to pick up some tiles for my Mum. The place was packed with people.

Every checkout had a long line. What struck me as soon as I walked in to the joint was the thought that we had come at the wrong time. We wouldn’t be getting out of here in a hurry.

Luckily my Mum had picked and paid for the tiles some time ago. All we had to do was collect the tiles and load them into the cars. We needed to find a customer service representative to collect the tiles and bring them out to us.

That was easier said than done.

As you walk into the joint there are approximately eight to ten check out registers on the right. On the left is a customer service desk.

I noticed straight away that the checkout line closest to the door had a really long line with a young lady at the helm. She was standing up holding an orange plastic thing, (turned out to be top bit of a garden hose), above her head, trying to get the attention of someone from the customer service desk across the way. I took me one second to realize that she was looking for the price for the item, because it appeared that it wasn’t scanning correctly. The long line was spilt. Some were watching her and some were watching the customer service desk.

When someone from the customer service desk looked over at her she said something like, ‘How much is this item?’ The person at the customer service desk gave an exasperated look, rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and went back to talking to her colleague behind the counter.

There was also a line of people at the customer service counter.

A shop floor person walked by and the girl at the check-out caught his eye and asked,

‘Can you assist me?’

His response as he passed by was to hold up a piece of paper and say ‘Customer!’

He kept on walking.

It appeared to me that everyone who was working there today did not enjoy his or her job. They ‘appeared’ no to enjoy dealing with people. They didn’t ‘appear’ to enjoy talking to people and they didn’t ‘appear’ to understand that they are a team and if they worked together they would have more success and the day would be much easier.
Why do people work in that kind of environment? Why does the organization allow this kind of environment to develop? I have my answers and I’m sure you do too.

I was distracted by something my Niece decided to do with a deck chair that looked like fun. I don’t know how much the item was so that’s going to remain forever a mystery.



  1. Welcome back to reality. Irish customer service hell.

  2. If only there was a book to help. 🙂

  3. fear not!

  4. I know what your talking about, see it most times out shopping.
    I know a couple of other big establishments that carry the same air of gloom and doom and no-one seems to want to do a thing about it, I heard in one, this guy tried to highlight the problems and kick off change and all he got was shit from senior management. Mabye it suits some places to have a shit environment??

    Welcome back, give me a call.

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