For years I went to a pastry shop every Saturday morning. Not just any confectioner, but the best baker in town. For crispy baguettes, works of art of pastry and the most delicious chocolates. I had to cycle a bit for it and stood in a long queue for my delicacies, but I was happy to do that. Still, I stopped this Saturday ritual. These days I'm scurrying around for bread.
Sometimes I take bread with me when I go shopping in the supermarket, on Saturdays I get my croissants at the market or I pick up freshly baked bread very early in the morning from the bakery four streets away. Why don't I come to this patisserie anymore? Was the bread no longer tasty? Were the pastries spoiled?
None of that. There were always several nice girls as Saturday help and then I hoped that one of them would help me. Sometimes I was unlucky and was helped by the owner of the business. This chagrin corrected me when I didn't pronounce the name of a pastry correctly. Or she just looked me out of line. No matter how cheerfully those cakes beckoned to me, while I was standing in line I calculated how many customers there were in front of me. Based on how quickly everyone was helped, I almost thumbed that I wasn't helped by the big boss. Too crazy for words.
Until I realized I was reluctant to go to this baker. That they made the most delicious bread and pastries in the city and maybe the region, but that I didn't feel like facing her anymore. That I didn't want that uncomfortable feeling anymore. I discussed this once with someone who knows the baker's family very well. He told me he recognized this feeling. Did I want to talk to her about this once? Well, I've considered it, but I'm not really comfortable with it. So I'm just gonna stay away. One less customer for this baker.
I now go for nice people around bread and pastries. People who feel like helping me. The bread hasn't been as crunchy since then. The cakes just a little less crispy. But I go for 'nicest' above 'tastiest'. Service over product quality. Of course I would have preferred the combi, but it's not available for a while.
Now, I guess I'm not the only one making those choices. What do you do in such a case?
This blog was written for CustomerFirst and published on 1 August 2018
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