Posted by: megaschwez | November 30, 2010

Part IV

Happy staff waiting to fulfil my every need

4. Competent shop staff

I once found myself in a large chain sports store in Linz, looking for, I don’t know, probably a bike pump, and not finding it. At my wits’ end, I resolved to craftily waylay a staff member, possibly brandish a wad of cash, plead with them to lead me to their bike pump aisle, and try and get a question in before they slithered off in the direction of the lunch room.

What actually occurred was a metaphorical shovel hook to the jaw. Firstly, a remarkably serene-looking staff member actually approached me to ask if I needed help. This is the point at which I usually get suspicious of overmotivated department store staff members, and start looking around for a camera or their boss. However, she proceeded to not only lead me to the relevant section, she actually pointed out the differences between the models, demonstrated how to use a couple, and gave me a recommendation. In short, she ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT. Stop the press.

O Austrian retail stores, where art thy incompetent staff members? Why doth thy employees appear to like their jobs? Whither dost thou send thy slack-jawed, slouching, casually-employed students? Doth there exist a grotto, from whose depths they emerge to stack shelves or something?

Alternatively, the usual casual worker suspects may all still be blissfully unemployed here, chillaxing on the weekends at hotel mama, enjoying dumplings and sauerkraut while their Australian cousins are slogging it out in shitty minimum wage department store jobs. I guess being incompetent is the best revenge for that.

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