Pet Peeve: Open For Business

Maybe I'm crazy (okay, I know I'm crazy!), but I think if a business is open from x to y, they should be OPEN and ready for business during those hours.  (This excludes an extenuating circumstances.  Stuff happens to us all. )

I know that I am expected at my desk and ready to work by x.  Being the crazy person that I am, I am usually at my office and ready to go at least 10 minutes beforehand.  Sure, there are times when I am late, but it is not the norm.  If you need me, you know where you can find me and if I'm going to be late or not available, I generally let people know.

Of course I do not work in the retail business, so my situation is a little different.  Still, am I wrong to think that if your establishment has set hours that you should actually be open and ready for business at that time?

Two examples:

1.     I had a 10 o'clock appointment for a pedicure at my local salon.  The salon's hours are 10-7.  I arrive a little before 10.  The salon is not open.  The place is dark and the door locked.  A few minutes AFTER 10 an employee shows up.  I and another woman who was waiting outside are invited in.  The person doing my pedicure is not yet there, so I sit and wait for 10 minutes or so before she shows up. Turns out she had a flat tire (extenuating circumstances, I get it).  I would chalk this up to a one-time thing, BUT I had a 10 AM appointment with her previously.  Again, I was a little early.  She showed up at 10.  I sat down and waited while she turned on the light, equipment, etc.  It took good 10 minutes or so before she was ready to get started.
2.     I went to the produce market before work.   They open at 8 and I need to be at work by 8:30.  I figured I would pop in, purchase the few items I wanted, pay and get to work.  I arrived a few minutes before 8.  There was a van in front of the building, out of which a group of people emerged.  They were obviously employees.  I question why they were being dropped off to work 2 minutes before the business opened. (Shouldn't they have been dropped off at least 15 minutes prior?)  I went in and while there was produce available, there were lots of areas that were empty.  The produce had not yet been put out.  Again, understandable, but shouldn't this have been done PRIOR to 8?  The employees WERE hard at work; putting out items and the registers were open.  BUT if I wanted certain items, I was going to have to wait until they were put out.  I did purchase a few items, but not much and not what I had originally come for.  And I DID make it to my office by 8:20.  

Let's go to the flip side for a moment.  I like to do my grocery shopping first thing in the morning.  I hate the crowds after work.  (After a long day who really wants to fight the crowded narrow aisles and stand on long lines?)  The Supermarket at which I shop is open daily from 7-11.  Whenever I can, I get there a few minutes before 7.  Hubby will grab a cart and in we go at 7 on the dot (if not a little before).  Although there is still restocking being done (and this goes on at all me...I know), everything is in its place.  I can easily navigate the aisles (relief!) and get everything on my well thought out list. (And then some...yes, I'm an impulse buyer!).  There are not many cashiers, but there are enough and they lines, if they exist, are not too long.  (Did I just jinx myself?) The whole experience (on a good day) takes about 40 minutes from driveway and back.  (The unloading of all the groceries is a whole other story.)

I realize that my supermarket is just that; a HUGE conglomerate and the salon and produce place are small businesses, however that shouldn't have an impact on customer service.  If you say you're going to be open at x hour, then be open AND READY for business.  I'm your customer.  I'm ready to use your services and buy your product.  My time and money are important to me and they should be to you too.  So please, make it easy for me; make it easy for ALL customers (and potential ones too).  Make business hours realistic...for me and for you.  You'll have a loyal customer in me if you do.


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