1 EAGLETON NOTES: Kirkintilloch

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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Kirkintilloch

Kirkintilloch is not the most interesting place in Scotland, nor the prettiest, nor, indeed, does it possess the most of any particular quality. It's not even the most depressing. The High Street does, however, have a splendid assortment of charity shops. Apart from, perhaps, Ayr I know of no finer collection in one street.

The first known settlement on the site of what is now Kirkintilloch was a Roman fort on the Antonine Wall established in  the mid-2nd century by the Romans. Today it's only claim to fame is housing the headquarters of the East Dumbartonshire Council.

Apart from the fact that it's not very far from Bishopbriggs which is where I stay when I come to Glasgow for my cancer scans and reviews, Kirkintilloch would never figure in my thoughts but for the fact that my wife's Godmother, Jenny Coutts, was it's first female Provost back in 1964.

However the reason that I am wriiting this post has really got nothing to do with Kirkintilloch itself but because when I was there yesterday to get a new battery for a watch I met the rudest and the least rude shopkeepers I've met for a very long time. I walked into the first shop and there was a woman reading a book sitting down behind the counter in a huddle under a headscarf.  After I coughed discreetly and without looking up to see if I was potentially more interesting than her book obviously was she grunted "Yes?" "Do you fit watch batteries?" I asked which was unnecessary given that I was standing next to a large sign offering that very service?  "Yes." I took my watch off and placed it on the counter. After a while the still buried face imparted the information that "Boss back in 10 minutes."

Further down the road there was a Timpsons - the 'we do everything' shop. There was a chap working away with his back to me whistling loudly and mending a pair of shoes for a lady who was sitting on a chair waiting surrounded by more shopping bags than she could possibly have carried. He turned to acknowledge my presence with a cheery "Be with you shortly" and finished mending the shoes. Whereupon, whilst shoe glue was drying, he put a new battery in my watch and managed to have a three-way conversation about life, the universe and everything whilst still being cheery (though not actually whistling at the same time). 

He probably charged considerably more (with a year's written guarantee) than the little 'general hardware store' down the road but I know where I'll be going next time.

30 comments:

  1. Some shop assistants have no idea how to treat customers with respect. If you get good service in a shop you are much more likely to return.
    P.S. Is there a mis-spelling in your last paragraph?

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    1. Absolutely, YP. Thanks - error duly corrected.

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  2. I think I am with you there. I would definitely return to a business that offered good service even if it did cost a little more. Not everyone is price-driven, despite popular opinion.

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    1. JayCee I think you are right about not everyone being price-driven: certainly not when bad service is involved.

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  3. I've definitely reached an age where I can no longer abide bad or rude service. There are several stores in our local town which are a pleasure to visit, others not so much. I suspect it also won't be long before I begin to voice my displeasure. 😆

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    1. Jules, oddly enough I'm more tolerant now than I would have been when I was younger. I'd have taken the woman to task at one time but, frankly, it would have been a complete waste of time in this case.

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  4. It's difficult to understand why somebody in business wouldn't get it what customer service is and what it means.

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  5. Timpsons are good. The one in Glenrothes is the best thing about the place.

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    1. Adrian, the advantage is that they do a lot of things that other people don't do: key cutting and shoe repairs being the main ones but now they even do dry cleaning.

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  6. I work in a supermarket as a supervisor and we find customers are pretty good, we get the odd rude one but most people are ok, in saying that your experience is pretty dismal from what I've read, the least the first one could do was to acknowledge you were there. The 2nd one sounds a bit nicer and I hope you got your watch fixed.

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    1. Amy the chap in the second shop was great and he put the new battery in in a couple of minutes and returned the watch with the date and time corrected.

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  7. And it costs nothing to be attentive and polite. Recently I've walked out of two shops where I've been left alone at the counter whilst the 'assistants' chat amongst themselves. Dreadful.

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    1. Absolutely, Cro, and then people wonder why shops lose custom and people buy via the internet.

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  8. It makes all the difference when you come across a cheery helpful shop assistant.

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  9. Such rudeness shown by that first person is not acceptable. It's disgraceful.

    I'm with you...there is no second thoughts who will be receiving further business from you.

    Rudeness is just not acceptable...anywhere...such behaviour is inexcusable.

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    1. I agree, Lee, and I certainly won't go near the shop again (but then I probably wouldn't usually anyway).

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  10. Such a contrast in service! Yes, we know where you will go next time!😊

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  11. I am wondering who the rude person was. SOmeone who had been mistakenly hired by some genial old cove of an owner, who had no idea she'd be rude? Or some bitter individual who simply didn't care who he hired? Whatever the answer, I am with you that the whistling cheerful and friendly man definitely deserves your custom! It's funny how a small incident like this can put you right off a place. I remember once going into Woolworths, back in the day, because I really, really needed a carrier bag for something or other. (Bags were free in those days.) but the girl behind the counter tossed her head and said, "No, you can't have one because you haven't bought anything." Woolworths closed down not long afterwards and I was sorry, but not QUITE as sorry as I might have been!

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    1. Jenny, from the sort of shop and the way she spoke I assume that 'Boss' was her husband or at least a family member. In Stornoway we wever very upset when Woolworths closed because it was everyone's 'go to' shop for so many things.

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  12. My pet hate is when waiting to be served the assistant answers the telehone and deals (for ages) with that customer who has, in my opinion, just pushed in!

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    1. Potty, that really irks me too. Sometimes they ask if it's okay but I suspect they would be very surprised if one replied in the negative.

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  13. That kind of thing puts me right off and i would never go back. People underestimate the power of friendly service

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    1. I think, Kylie, that some people just don't care! Which is a poor reflection of our society in general and commerce in particular.

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  14. You do have to wonder some people go into jobs which involve talking to people. They would obviously be much happier living on a desert island somewhere. ;)

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    1. But then, Jenny, they wouldn't be able to sit and read - they would have to work to stay alive.

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  15. Reading this post made me think of how I have been next in line at a register several times, when the sales person gets a phone call. And, instead of hanging up, carries on a conversation with the caller. I have been known to return the item and walk away and buy it someplace else. Cost is not the issue, but polite customer service is far more valuable and to you and others as well.

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    1. Beatrice, I agree with you entirely. I find it very discourteous when people prioritise a phone call over me particularly when they are actually serving me. I have only walked out once (when I knew I could easily get what I wanted nearby).

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