Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Can I have the next customer, please?

I attended a job interview today and, during the "sitting waiting for something, anything, to happen" stage that accompanies these things, my thoughts flashed back to my last job interview. Insofar as that was concerned, it happened last week and I haven't heard yet, but I'd much rather get the one I went for today than get that one. It would be nice to be offered both. I probably won't be offered either. That's the way it goes.

At last week's interview I wrote explicitly on the application form that I was flirtatious. I probably shouldn't have put that. Still, I didn't want to claim I was rapacious, voracious or Cretaceous, so I couldn't claim it was just a simple slip of the hand. They didn't bring it up.

I didn't want them to, but being flirtatious would be good for nearly any job. I mean, I'm too nice to just make advances on any (never mind every) girl who happens to clock me at work - besides, when my sights are trained on one person, it makes me feel guilty for doing so. But being flirty isn't just about flirting - outrageously or not. Combine it with an outgoing, friendly manner and you've got a killer combination for customer service.

Problem is, I don't have an outgoing, friendly manner. I'm friendly, sure. I'm pleasant and I'm nice, plus I have a mercurial sense of humour, and good enough eyes. But it takes me a while in someone's company before I start to emerge from my shell. Afterwards, I do, fine, but not before. So I have to rely upon my inherited acting ability, and put on a face. But I suppose customer service is all about that too.

"If I may use a theatre analogy," I said today, "I see this as being like a cast - the customers are the stars, and we're the supporting cast - we need to know when to come on, what to say and when to leave." I didn't add, "and when to say they have lovely hair." But I'm not sure I'd say that.

When I said I was flirtatious at last week's interview, I didn't mean anything by it (outside that I'd try to build a good rapport). I put it down because they asked me to describe myself in five words. Don't ask me damn fool things like that. You're lucky I didn't just put damn you all to hell. That's five words.

I think I may have added "honest" to the five words. But then again, that's probably a given, knowing me.

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