Hats off to Dupigny and Burtons in Roseau. They either have staff training or a sales incentive scheme, perhaps both, and the standard of service tops anywhere in the capital. It’s been like this for a few weeks now and shopping in both stores is something I’ve begun to enjoy.
Today in Burtons, I walked in and a young guy behind the counter greeted me with a smile, a ‘good morning and how are you today sir ?’ He even shook my hand. He helped me with my purchases and then when I was done he asked:
“Do you have enough batteries and torches for the hurricane season, sir ?’
“I do actually, but thanks for checking.”
“No problem. By the way, sir, do you shave yourself ?”
“I’m sorry ?” I said, rubbing my chin, concerned that I may have missed a clump and was walking around town looking like a bearded tit.
“Shave. I’m asking if you shave yourself, sir ?”
“Well, yes,” I answered, thinking ‘well who else would do it for me ?’
“I was just wondering if you’d be interested in this. It’s a new line of battery shavers and they’re on special offer,” he said, bringing up a box from under the counter.
For a little while I was rendered speechless. In all my years in Dominica, no-one had ever tried to sell me anything in a shop like this before. I’m so accustomed to grunts and complete indifference that I forget how different the whole shopping experience could be. In another hardware store earlier in the day, the cashier had had her thumb right up her nose as she took my payment for Christ sake.
But when I recovered my composure I managed to say:
“I see. it looks very interesting. But to be honest I prefer to wet shave. I find these things tend to give me bit of a rash.”
“Understood, sir,” he smiled.
“But thank you so much for taking the time to show me,” I said, desperate to offer him encouragement.
“No problem at all, sir. You have a nice day.”
I left the shop in rather a dizzy spin and had to have a good look around to make sure I was actually in Roseau and not some parallel universe. The sight of a raggedy-arsed drunk swearing and peeing against a wall brought me back to earth with a thump.