Friday, April 13, 2012

The scurge of silly signs

Front page story in the Dom today caught my attention. A Kiwi barista hung a sign at the counter of a cafe urging that his customers show some common courtesy by removing their phone from their ear while ordering coffee.

The Kiwi business displaying the sign seemed to get inspiration from a UK coffee trader that also hung a sign in their business earlier this week with a similar message directed at customers that don't adhere to cell phone etiquette while placing an order at the counter.

Many accommodation providers can empathise with the motivation behind the signs.

We have all encountered distracted guests that have communicated their needs by mouthing and erratic hand signals while they scream into a cell phone. I can remember checking-in one such fellow one evening and having to endure the same comical wordless charade performance when he checked-out the next morning. I'm not too sure if he was on the same phone call or not, however it was amusing that he was able to register, stay with me and pay without looking me in the eye or uttering a legible sentence.

Probably the worst example of cell phone arrogance was an extremely self-important sales rep that parked outside our reception with the engine running while yelling into his cell phone that was connected to the car's bluetooth. The phone call was obviously of national importance, as the rep was unable to excuse himself and extract himself from his car to check-in. Several blasts of his horn was a signal that I was to perform a motel check-in McDonalds style while he continued with his phone call. Unfortunately the process fell down when it became apparent that the EFTPOS pinpad was unable to be stretched far enough.

....One thing struck me about the UK and NZ coffee shop stories were the differences in the signs that were erected in anger.

The barista in the UK took the time to type his message on a computer and print it. The sign is hung with some forethought and if I'm not mistaken, it has also been laminated. OK, the sign is still tacky, but at least there has been a bit of effort.

Meanwhile in NZ, I see that there has been a rushed amateurish hand-written attempt at a sign that has been crudely hung and is curling away in the steamy cafe environment.

While customers can be frustrating when they leave their manners at home, a scurge that needs to be immediately addressed in NZ is hospo/accommodation providers that insist on erecting silly unprofessional looking signs!

Click the "Get Widget" link below to place this widget on your website or blog!