See that? I invented that right there. Okay, so maybe it has been done hundreds of times already, but I’ve been slaving over a hot keyboard for hours trying to think of a witty opening to today’s blog. Honestly, the things I do for both of you.
It all started (as most appalling stories do) with Mrs. Chips’ luxuriant tresses. I mean most appalling stories begin with “it all started”. I don’t mean Mrs. Chips’ abundant mane launched 1000 alarming anecdotes. Keep up Jim, keep up.
Anyway, as a result of the odd strand falling floorwards, our vacuum cleaner has ended up all-of-a-twist. And, as any domesticated dude (or dudette) will tell you, that’s a Dickens of a fix to be in. Trying desperately hard not to let the failure of another costly appliance cause us to feel downhearted, we set our credit cards at a rakish angle and trudged off to find a suitable sucker.
By now, of course, you must have answered the riddle. If not, please leave this page immediately. You’re lowering the average IQ, and we need all the points we can get.
Being your ever alert consumer hound watchdog, I am duty bound to report on excellent products as well as the also-rans (which is posh-chat for crap). Most of the products are run-of-the-mill and don’t bear mentioning, but the following are noteworthy exceptions.
One of the products we looked at was the Genesis all-in-one gadget you see with nauseating frequency on TV and in the more questionable periodicals. During the demonstration, the sales person poured some instant coffee granules onto the test carpet and proceeded to embarrass himself by failing miserably to remove the coffee and return said rug to its former glory. A few questions revealed his disastrously inadequate knowledge of the product and we concluded that, either the product doesn’t perform ‘as seen on TV’ (now there’s a shock), or the demo didn’t do justice to the product. After politely taking our leave we wondered where we’d try next. With quite some trepidation, we pulled into Stax in Clearwater Mall.
What a terrific experience it turned out to be. The sales lady, Rose, rose to the task (haha, brilliant that, I thought) of selling the Mielé vacuum cleaner with relish and aplomb. Her knowledge of the product was excellent and she seemed to have pre-empted our concerns regarding spares, reliability, toughness, after-sales-service and workmanship. Rose’s colleague, in the white goods department, also displayed outstanding knowledge and sales skills on another product – both of which we ended up buying.
Later, I spoke with one of the managers who told me that Stax is on a service-excellence drive and is expanding by opening several more branches country-wide. My initial reaction was one of surprise, especially when one considers the poor wretches who pretend to work in chains like Pick ‘n Pay or Game (we’ll chat about them in a future post), and who don’t know where their next strike placard is coming from. It was most refreshing to see knowledgeable, motivated and happy staff enthusing over their products.
At the end of a wearisome time looking for a replacement vacuum cleaner, I am persuaded of the following: Time and fuel are expensive. So next time, Stax is going to be first on my shop list. You have my loyalty for as long as you keep up the good work.