And It’s All Seth Godin’s Fault

I had a “customer service moment” in Wegman’s today.

I love Wegman’s, I really do (I can see Catherine waving and jumping up and down, yelling “Me too!” all the way from Iowa. Hi Catherine!)

Love the produce, the fish, the beer aisle(s) !!

Love the magazine section, love Nature’s Marketplace.  Love the cafe.  I even love the bathroom where there is usually a vase of fresh flowers near the sinks.

But the coffee kiosk???  Not such a fan.

My standing order is: soy latte, hold the foam.  Not a complicated order, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve gotten half a cup of foam.

Sometimes, when the baristas –I even hesitate to call them by that honorific since they don’t have much, if any, “skillzzzz” but are merely java jockeys), are being slammed, I just take my half cup of foam and walk off  and sulk in the broccoli aisle.

But today, today was different.  Today the store was quiet (10 AM on a Thursday) and there was no line.  I was “it,” the only customer for miles.

I was happy, in a good mood. I asked her to hold back the foam, and when she started to pour the pitcher of soy milk into the shot with no hold-back, I stopped her and reminded her, “Please hold back the foam.”  She gave me a look and a sneer and said, “That’s how we make them here!”

I picked up the cup, and yup, it was light. Half foam.

Me: “Could you just take a spoon and scoop off the foam and give me what’s left of the soymilk in the pitcher?”

“Fine!” she huffed, and proceeded to make me another drink.  She slammed the fridge door closed, sloshed the soy milk into the pitcher, shoved it under the wand, and then proceeded to hold back the raging river of foam with a teaspoon, which was completely ineffectual.

Result?  Same drink, except this one had a lot of added venom (on the house).


She plopped it down as if to say, “Here.  You happy now, bitch?”

I said nothing, but craned to look at her name tag which was attached to her hat. She saw me and pointed to it and said, “Yeah, it’s Roxanna!”

(All righty then.)

I talked to a manager on my way out.  Told him the whole sad story of Roxanna and her snippy attitude and her inability and unwillingness to hold back foam.

I told him she didn’t fit in with the whole Wegman’s experience of the happy fish guy and the woman who goes out of her way to find me the goji berries. She doesn’t fit in with the flowers in the bathroom and Cathy, the checker who can pack a bag so expertly that it looks like Rubic’s cube of geometric symmetry. And on top of that, she always smiles and talks to me like I’m a person. (Amazing.)

Ever since I’ve been reading Seth Godin and Chris Brogan and all the other gurus of the new business paradigm, I am less tolerant of businesses that have mediocre or, (godforbid) downright bad customer service.

Businesses like Amazon and Zappos and L.LBean and a host of others have spoiled me (and a lot of other “me-like” people out there) and we know we don’t have to put up with the likes of Roxanna any more.

I told the manager at Wegman’s that I will just get my no-foam soy latte at The Soulful Cup next time so as not to have to have my perfect Wegman’s shopping experience sullied by the likes of the Evil Roxanna.  (I didn’t call her that.)

He said he was really sorry.  He asked me to wait a few weeks and then try the kiosk again, and if I still had a problem to come see him (his name is Steve).  He gave me a $7 gift card to treat myself to a coffee on the store.

Now that’s the Wegman’s I know and love.

And PS.

Roxanna? Honey? I think you might be going back to the stock room.  Where you belong.

5 thoughts on “And It’s All Seth Godin’s Fault

  1. April 8th; Day 8; 40 min. in the 7 pm-hour; facing West, watching raindrops on the window … lots of deep breathing in the poses … slow & smooth & savory … good stuff … glad I’ve done 8 days, but am beginning to lack inspiration, so, afterwards, I watched a bit of my Seane Corn “yoga from the heart” DVD … think I might watch another DVD & yoga-with-that tomorrow … need a little boost (too bad I can’t get to Mansfield for said boost!) … also, I need to shift from pm to am at some point here! altho, of course, BOTH would be ideal!!! 0-:-)


  2. I wasn’t very focused today and just did sporadic yoga throughout the day. A little para formers (sp?) here, a little downward dog there. I did some suns to procrastinate writing my paper. I don’t think today puts me on the charts but I’m glad yoga is once more becoming something I’m thinking about…


  3. Kath, I love that you took charge of your Wegman’s experience! That’s outstanding! Sounds like something I’d do…and have done similarly in the past. Way to go!


  4. I used to feel awful about saying anything negative about workers like Roxanna–finding ways to explain their behavior (they had a bad morning, something awful is going on in their life, ect)–but now, I’m like, “Dude, you need to figure out a way to live in the new reality where being nothing more than a (snotty) cog in the machine is not going to get you my business.”

    Seth Godin has ruined me as well! Thank you SO much for the retweeting of him and the book recommendation and everything! Life-altering without hyperbole.


  5. Here is Catherine, waving and jumping from Iowa! I love Wegmans too but their coffee sucks at all the stores!

    Good for you at turning in Roxanna. We have started doing that. We had a miserable person at Costco who put a bag of potatos on top of my fresh cut flowers! And then was crabby at me when I said I didn’t want smashed flowers. If we don’t let stores know when their employees are providing bad customer service and good customer service then we become part of the bad service problem. We always let them know when people are great, just like you did, but we tend not to let them know when folks are bad. NOT ANYMORE!


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