I used to visit Zumbo's at least every couple of weeks. Not anymore. I had my small dog with me and was conscious that this was a food service area, so I picked him up before entering; in order to grab a couple pastries and duck out the door. This was not the first time I'd visited the store with my pet. If you haven't been there, a large glass counter protects all of the food from the storefront. In the last six months they'd run out of some of the pastries quite quickly with the construction going on behind them; they're an easy snack for the lads.
"Are you ok?", the service staff asked.
"I am, thank you. And I'd like to order some pastries", I said. (Not even a smile? Tough day...). "Can I have a sausage roll please, and what kind of pies do you have left?".
"We've got all of them", the service staff said.
Ok, I understand that repeating a menu can be tiresome, I thought to myself. "I'll have a beef pie, please." And then came the attitude...
In the past the service had been exemplary, however the lip service I received from the staff member was atrocious. Initially it was polite, informing me that I couldn't have the animal inside. I replied, "That's why I picked him up to grab a couple things and duck out." Before I could apologise, the staff started rabbiting on about the rules, as though I was either intellectually impaired, or a thug wanting to leap the counter and rob them, while my chihuahua honed in on their ankles. I was neither. I was a customer.
So I asked if they'd like me to leave? The staff turned away and said, "That's your decision". (Actually no, I was asking if you'd feel more comfortable if I left the store with my pet).
The staff then forgot what I ordered and said, "What did you want?". Before I could answer the staff said, "There's a menu behind you."
"I've already told you, I want a beef pie", I replied.
And with that the staff shut the door to the warmer and asked me to leave. I was shocked. I was defensive and annoyed, but I didn't deserve this vitriol.
"I don't need you being so rude to me. I work too hard to deserve being spoken to like that. I'm not serving you and you can leave."
Another attendee, who saw and heard the whole exchange asked, "What did they say?" as I was leaving. I could hear the staff's voice rattling like the jack hammers in the distance as I quietly turned without a word and gently shut the door behind me - forever.
Well, how about that? Now you have a customer who will never return, never recommend your business, and a lovely review for the world to see. All because of an unprofessional employee. If having customers visit the store with pets is a problem area perhaps place a sign saying, "No Pets Allowed. We apologise for any inconvenience". Best of luck. (To both of you).
**A word in advance for the defenders**:
Don't bother telling me that I shouldn't have brought the animal inside. That's like letting someone drown because they chose to swim outside the flags. There was a time when rules and regulations didn't supersede compassion, let alone courtesy. This incident occurred Thursday 4th of September, the day after the Rozelle blast. I'd have gotten something else to eat on Darling Street, only everything was shut and under investigation. [As I write this, part of the street is still shut, and closed to traffic.] It's sad that even under such circumstances, there's inevitably someone who displays a lack of community spirit.