Sunday 11 May 2014 12.04pm
In another thread I read remarks about customer service in our local supermarkets. Although I recognise that we all have different experiences, I feel I want to share my story.
I often go to Tesco Express on Tower Bridge Road
, not because I particularly value the quality of the shop, but simply because it is only a minute away from where I live: a convenience store indeed. I generally have no complaints about the staff and queuing up for a till in London is a fact of life, just like waiting for the next tube. I have long ago decided that that is not going to affect the quality of my life.
But there is one thing about this Tesco Express that is quite remarkable. It is one of the security guards. A tall African man with the friendliest demeanour possible. His name is Bertin and he is from Ivory Coast. Bertin welcomes each customer as if he is genuinely happy to see them (and perhaps he really is) His cheerful expression, warmth and helpfulness are a blessing. He loves a natter, will always ask how the dog is and we shake hands each time I rush in to get my milk and a paper.
Make no mistake. Being a security guard must be a daunting job. Day in, day out, standing in between nervous automatic doors, where it is most of time windy, cold and wet, seeing to it that people don't steal. I am sure that his job description will show some more responsibilities, but the essence of it will be prevention and that is never exciting. A job, moreover, that goes largely unnoticed and certainly not one in which one ever gets a hello or goodbye let alone a thank you.
Bertin gives me, each day, a few seconds of happiness, warmth and recognition. I am grateful for that.
I am writing this not only because it matters to me. Bertin makes me aware of a workforce that I had forgotten about and had taken for granted. But if that man manages to make me feel like this, he deserves a post on this forum. And with him, thousands of others.
That's of my chest.