Does anyone else get annoyed when walking into some fine establishment such as the aforementioned Moe’s or CiCi’s Pizza (aaggh even the websites do it) to be greeted with a barrage of “HEY WELCOME TO (insert fine establishment’s name here)!!!” ??
Now I realize that in the right setting and under certain circumstances it CAN be an enjoyable experience much like the ever-so-entertaining flood of people shouting “NORM” whenever Norm entered the bar on Cheer’s. But the difference is that THEY KNEW HIM & WERE HIS FRIENDS. But I would be lying if I said I NEVER found it nice or pleasing to the ears. But on the – well shall we say NORM – I guess I find it a lil annoying.
I am probably making a serious error when comparing Moe’s with CiCi’s because typically there is a “hearty – light” air to the way the employees at Moe’s welcome each customer. But I have found at CiCi’s it seems to be some robotic, stalkeristic “HI WELCOME TO CICI’S – HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HERE BEFORE – WELL IF NOT THEN WELCOME – IF SO THEN WELCOME BACK WE ARE SO GLAD YOU EXTREMELY ENJOYED YOUR LAST VISIT SO MUCH THAT YOU DECIDED TO BLESS US WITH YOUR PRESENCE YET ONCE AGAIN” uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh gasp deeeeeep inhale to recover my breath
So I wondered into the local CiCi’s around here today for what I like to call “lupper” – it is my lunch/supper when I have slacked around and not realized I did not eat till it is 3 PM and I need some lunch but cannot wait till supper. And I mean come on – what is better than paying a grand total of $4.23 (inc tax) for an all you can eat buffet of salad (yes I do eat salad) and tiny pizza pieces along with some interesting dessert pizza choices. (I guess I should say $5.23 since I left a $1 tip – not even sure you have to do that but they do clean up my crap so I did) Anyway back to the story….
So I walk in the door – pretty certain I know what is coming next – some teenager/college ager who is way more excited than they should ever be for having this job – belting out the famous “HI WELCOME TO CICI’s”!!! So I graciously nodded and said hello as well. Then I was met with the next programmed inquiry (this is what differs CiCi’s from all the others I know of) “HAVE YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE?” – and of course I kindly responded that I had. This brought a little squeal of delight since she now knows she does not have to explain the rocket-science equation of how you go about this mythical process – um pay girl, get plate & cup – fill up said plate & cup – find seat – proceed to stuff one self till a button pops off – um yeah I think I pretty much got the basic tenet’s of how CiCi’s works.
But something went wrong over the next few seconds – she went through the routine of – is it just one buffet, YES; would you like a drink, NO I’ll have water (oh yeah I’m thrifty & healthy I know); would you like to add any wings, NO thank you. GREAT – that’ll be $4.23 – interaction ended – or has it?
I guess at this point her reset button got pushed because all of a sudden she blurted out “THANKS – HAVE YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE” – to which I simply & as non-sarcastically as I could (see I do have a filter) replied, “Yes I have” – while in my head I was thinking “HAVE YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE – LIKE 5 SECONDS AGO WHEN YOU ALREADY ASKED ME THIS AND SAID THE SAME EXACT THING TO MY RESPONSE???”AAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH It was like I was in an alternate CiCi’s Groundhog Day Universe where the same thing would be replayed OVER & OVER & OVER & OVER &…. okay you get it.
You see I’m fine with the fact that they want their employees to be bright, happy, cheerful and to engage the customer. My only problem is that it is SO RIGID and PROGRAMMED there isn’t anything SINCERE that bleeds through at all. Thus in actuality causes me to not feel appreciated in any way, shape, or form. So let’s keep the IDEA behind the training but if nothing else give them 4 different phrases to choose from to at least – “shake it up a little”. Maybe they could get like a CiCi’s doll that you pull the string or push the button in the little pizza cutter attached to it’s hand and the doll would cycle through 4 or 5 different saying of how to politely address a customer – yeah that could be the next great training tool – I think I might look into it.
Oh well – just curious if anyone else gets as annoyed as I do & oh yeah before I forget “HI WELCOME TO NEAL’S BLOG – HAVE YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE? OH GOOD – PLEASE ENJOY YOUR STAY AND IF YOU’D LIKE FILL OUT A FORM IN THE COMMENT SECTION – THANKS AND HAVE A LOVELY DAY – PLEASE COME AGAIN!!!”
uuuuuhhhhhh GASP DEEEEEP INHALE……..