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dimanche 3 avril 2016





Ages ago, when the phone rang, I used to enjoy picking it up. First, because I am always in a talkative mood, and also maybe, because the very first summer job I got was as a switchboard operator.Hey you, don't laugh at me ! In the early seventies that's the kind of job students could still apply for.
Anyway, things have changed ...
Now, when I hear the ringing, I usually shuffle my feet to the phone set, because nearly half the time they are cold calls, and they drive me nuts !
Our house has just been done up, so I don't care about double-glazing,
insulation or solar panels !
As for complementary health insurances or whatever other rubbish, I have everything I need ! Period, point-blank !
The only marketing calls that can " tame the shrewd " I am ( just on the phone, of course !) are customer satisfaction surveys.
I think they are great tools for companies to get feedback, to pin down the customers'likes and dislikes, and improve their loyalty.
So, when  being polled, I am usually cheerful and ready to cooperate !
Yet, most of the time the pollsters ask me to rate my satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is ' not at all important ' and 5 is ' utmostly
important '.
How puzzling and frustrating for a chatter-box like me !!
Never mind ! Actually, I think the best way to advertise for something you are entirely satisfied with, is positive word of mouth !
I try to stick to that principle whenever possible, but am I right ??
Let me explain.
A fortnight ago, after dealing with my job as a serial weed-killer ( wild garlic is back and blooming cheekily), I was on my way to my favourite haunt for an invigorating and well-deserved coffee-break.
As I was passing along one of the bakeries of the town, I caught sight of a man trying to push the door. In vain ! The shop was closed !
I always feel sorry for people locked outside a bakery !
Licking one's lips at the thought of treating oneself with a crusty baguette or some fluffly Danish pastries, and then finding the shop closed can ruin a day !

So, I hailed the man and said :
" There is another bakery nearby, and you won't lose out ! ".
" It's just struck 2 o'clock. Is it already open ? ", the man asked.
" Of course, it is ! ", I replied, " it is open non-stop.Fortunately there are
   some shopkeepers who don't think life stops at lunch-time ! ".
" Good ", the man said, " but do you think there'll be still some bread
   left ? Today was market day, so I guess they must have run out of
   baguettes by now ! ".
" Don't worry ! ", I continued, " they bake three batches a day , so you
   will never get stale bread there !  And if I were you, I would taste
   their multigrain loaf ! It's worth it !! Anyway, whatever you buy there,
   you'll be thrilled to bits, and your tastebuds will be grateful to you !
   You can take my word, I am a bread lover !
    A good slice of bread with Breton salted butter ! What else ? " .
I was about to go on with my advertising campaign (I can be inexhaustible !), when  a car screeched to a halt just in front of the shop.
A young girl jumped out and , looking at the man, spluttered out :
" Sorry for being late, boss, but I was stuck behind a tractor, and, as it is a narrow winding road, I couldn't overtake ! ".
Then, she took a key out of her bag, and opened the shop door !
I turned as red as a beetroot , and suddenly felt tongue-tied *. I would have liked the earth to swallow me up !!
Before entering the shop, the man turned back to me and said :
" Thanks for all the information ! Next time I want to launch a new kind of bread, I will hire you ! You are a very good advertiser !! ".
You know what ? I think I should change the meaning of my initials :
PBB stands for Perky Busy Bee
Well, I guess Perky Blundering Bee would be more suitable, wouldn't it ?
* When my hubby read  ' I felt tongue-tied ', his only comment was :
                   If only it could happen more often ! ....