Friday, April 28, 2006


French customer service is just as wonderful as always. I was in H + M this evening, or "ash et em" as it's called here, and I was at the till spending around 65€ on a few articles. The dress I chose didn't have a bar code but I remembered the price from the rack. The trousers I wanted had a button missing. Despite all of this I still chose to buy the clothes as I'm not one to spend hundreds of € on high-quality goods. (Starting to sound a bit mean on this site now...)

First of all I asked the sales 'assistant' if she could discount me 10% from the trousers as they had no button. She pointed out the spare button that was sewn into the label at the back and explained that she couldn't do a discount because there was a button. I explained that the button was supposed to be spare and to be sold as an extra button but this didn't make any difference. She said she could go and ask her manager but it would take a long time. I chose to forget it.

She then asked me why I hadn't chosen a dress with the price tag on. I explained it was the only one in my size and that I'd remembered the price. Even after that she couldn't run it through the till because of "the system". So, I had to go and pick up another dress from the rack on the other side of the store. I'm sure one of the managers thought I was an employee by this point.

Just another example of France's wonderful customer service. If I'd been in the States I'd have had free garlic bread.

Anyway, I'm getting very excited now because I've packed up my office for the week and I'm not going to do a minute's work until a week on Monday - it's holiday time! I'm going to Sicily with G for a romantic break around the island.

We don't have any plans as yet, so I would really appreciate any advice that anyone has. The only advice I've managed so far was for the wrong country.....

I was on the RER A line, reading my Sicily Lonely Planet book and a man sitting opposite me.

"Greece is beautiful in September".

Not really being sure what to do with that comment, I looked up and said "OK that's nice".

"You'll have a wonderful time".

"OK thanks, but I'm actually going to Sicily as it says on my book."

He then proceeded to tell me he knew nothing about Sicily but Greece was gorgeous after all the tourists have gone in late August. I thanked him and my lucky stars as he got off at the next stop. He wasn't a crazy, bum pinching m├ętro maniac but I didn't really feel happy with conversation on public transport.

Maybe I'm becoming too cynical, but at least I can now practise my sewing skills.

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