Sometimes we experience a week of great lessons. This week was one for me. Three situations occurred which reminded me of the way observations can cause varid opion and potentail harm.
Those who know me well know I have endured some very testing moments. And it is accurate to write: there is nothing which could affect my daily life to any damaging degree. Like all of us, I have endured times of great difficulty and fear of the future. I do not consider the issues as lessons or beneficial learnings. They are just aspects of life: making poor choices: not listening to one’s soul: or just fearing the unknown outcomes of change. I’m pragmatic and accept life as an uncharted journey.
However, this does not mean I harbour a carefree existence without considering the situations experienced in daily life. And this week, I encountered three problems that I felt worthy of comment. And two of the comments resulted in some pretty vindictive social media replies. Of course, I couldn’t care less about nasty comments: they speak more of the writer than the subject.
Not a one of us will gel with everyone. It is impossible to befriend all or liked by everyone. With this attitude, it is easy to live a comfortable life. If someone dislikes me: that’s fine by me. I’ll not pursue the objection or change my life or opinion for anyone. I attempt to be transparent and fair. There is no point in arguing against an opposing viewpoint: after all, our minds are made up of years of experience and influence and changing a mindset in an instant is next to impossible.
I’m in the middle of a queue in a national retail chain. In front of me, I count 18 people and behind, I count 20! The line is for the only till taking cash. The other tills are self-checkout or card only. And I’m not interested in the arguments for self-checkout or card payment only. My comment is that 40 people in a line in a supermarket is questionable. And I comment to a fellow shopper ‘It’s ok for a national high street retailer to have 40 people in a queue: but it’s not ok for 30 people to attend a wedding or funeral’ And as expected, the comment results in resounding agreement (in the queue).
I mention this on Facebook and Twitter: And within hours, I receive some interesting comments. One is ‘is all you do is to moan?’ Of course, if you read my Facebook wall, you’ll see the upbeat and light posts. Did I moan? It is up to you to decide: the point made is of the concern for a high street business policy of having one cash till and allowing 40 people to line up in the city centre shop. Social distancing is impossible in the environment. Work out the situation for yourself.
I open a cup of Greg’s tea. It is half full and far too strong, as it would be if the water content is too low. So I take a picture and ask the question as to why we should pay over a pound for a tea and have a short measure? Would you be happy to pay X amount for anything and receive 50% worth of the product? And Yes! I accept the whole situation: the staff are busy, and the job is thankless. But, there will be many people who feel the same as I. We only have a few moments to get out of work or have short breaks: therefore, the short break should be pleasurable. And indeed, a constructive observation may help the business to rectify its reputation for good service?
Again: the moaning vultures attack! ‘Have you got nothing better to do than moan about a shop who have just endured 14 months of lockdown and are trying to get back on their feet?’ They have not looked at what I do for a living! I know as much about the issues of high street and market trading as anyone. And I do know this: exemplary service is one of the factors of survival in retail. And anyone who knows LizianShop or LizianEvents knows we set high standards.
In reality: the 40 people queue is not helping us with the roadmap to a freer society. And as for the half-full container of tea? I wonder if you’d complain if you purchased a glass of wine and the glass was only 3/4 full? Ian would, without a doubt! Should we expect a reasonable quality of service, or should we continue to allow standards to slip without comment?
I do not become angry on many occasions: But this is the last situation I feel must be addressed because its implications have long-lasting and potentially damaging effects. Over the last few weeks, I have sold many items to customers new to crystals. And as with all of us seeking news hobbies, they have correctly looked around the internet to discover information about the crystals.
And here is the issue. I have received emails and messages suggesting the crystals were fake! And could they return the items? Now, we have offered a no quibble return policy from the moment we open our shutters. However, on this occasion, I have argued the complaint.
You see, my stock is purchased from this country’s best wholesalers. And I purchase many items directly from suppliers in Europe and the USA. There can be no doubt of the integrity of the supply chain: in fact, all of the suppliers have traded for more years than me. And for a ‘so-called expert to deem my stock to be fake on a FaceBook or social media group is, without doubt, a libellous statement. And I would challenge any to provide evidence that the products are of questionable quality.
Please watch the video made just after receiving a complaint on Wednesday: (12:05:21):
The point here is that I am not only making people aware of this from my perspective. The issue is not only with LizianShop; it affects and damages everyone involved in the supply chain: incidentally, Carol Wallace has seen this trend as well.
Suppose one wishes to succeed in the months ahead. We will have to meet or exceed every standard of fair and proper trading. Indeed, this is why the Community-Exhibitors received such incredible feedback at the Newark Well Being Market in April. We all work to provide the greatest of standards, quality, service and price.
Our reputation keeps our Visitors happy and wishing to return to the events. And we are establishing an incredible reputation for quality and range of service and products which can be enjoyed at our events.
We have an immense choice of completion to reckon with, and if we are to thrive and prosper, the only option is to keep a close watch on our methods and the way Visitors see our work. It seems: looking at: and reviewing poor practice and understanding how small details can influence the whole picture to improve how the public sees us.
And we should protect the years of effort and dedication, which is the reason for our successes. Ignoring the reality will result in slow progress or, even worse, failure. When ill-informed people slight us: there is every reason to offer a counter-point. Not to reply to damaging and incorrect words and opinion is to set the seeds of long term problems. I, for one: will always defend and protect the reputation of my businesses. If there is justifiable complaint or problems: they will be worked through. And if any choose to demean our work: they should expect a clear and defined reply.
Many thanks for reading these Sunday Thoughts. I have ‘cleared the air in my usual way: there should be no doubt about my feelings. Clear opinion based on fact is the seed of debate and most often produces beneficial outcomes. Ignoring small and essential detail is setting the sources of difficulties in the future.
MD LizianEvents Ltd
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