Like most of the country, I really love a Nando’s. In fact, Nando’s is probably my one true love, and if I could marry it, I would. Now, I’m a pretty chilled person, and having worked in customer service myself I know exactly how soul-destroying working with the public can be. When I was at Topshop I developed a slow but very intense hatred for people in general, and honestly I don’t think I could ever put myself through that again. However pissed off I was, however, I still knew that my job was to smile politely and make awkward small-talk, even when I didn’t want to, and I think a few people who work in customer service seem to forget that.
So last year, when I was still a poor student, I somehow managed to frequent Nando’s at least once or twice a week. Buying Nando’s was definitely higher on my list of priorities than buying household essentials, and if you ask the student community of the UK, I reckon most of them would say the same. Anyway, on one of these such occasions I happened to be served by possibly the rudest woman I have ever encountered in my 23 years on planet earth. I’m not even exaggerating, Jill was truly diabolical.
For starters, the staff at Nando’s have got it really fucking good. The place pretty much runs itself; manning the tills and keeping the fork pot filled really can’t be that testing. I’m not saying that they don’t work hard, ‘cause I’m sure they suffer like the rest of us, but I’m pretty certain there are a few waitresses out there who would trade places with a “Nandino” in a heartbeat.
So there she was, this particular charming young lady with whom I quarrelled in a peri-peri rage, stood at the counter doing absolutely fuck all, looking agitated with the world. I stood there for a good few minutes before she even bothered to ask me for my table number, during which time my friends had ordered, filled up on cutlery and napkins and sat themselves down to discuss today’s lecture. When she eventually acknowledged that I was there, she tutted and sighed her way through taking my order, muttering “for fuck’s sake” when I asked for my wings (medium spice) to be well done.
By the time I had actually sat down about 15 minutes later, my friends had already eaten their meals, and so I ate my loner meal in a grump, and seethed over my matey’s wanky attitude. I’m usually pretty placid, and I can literally never even be arsed to complain about stuff; I was soon to find out however that that was for the best, ‘cause on this one occasion that I did complain, I ended up feeling like a complete moron.
Have you ever complained at Nando’s? Don’t.
I was actually so offended by this girl that I went home and got onto the Nando’s website to complain, and I literally went to town. I went so far as to say that she “lacked basic human social skills” (which to be fair was the truth). And what did Nando’s do? They made her call me and apologise.
Now, I don’t really know what I was expecting from them; I honestly didn’t think a big company like Nando’s would even care that I’d had shitty service on one day in a small Sheffield branch of the store, but it would seem that they did. I’ve never been as mortified in my entire life as the afternoon that I answered the phone to Jill from Nando’s who was ringing to apologise to me for her service. I’m not going to lie, an apology was a great thing to receive, and she offered me a free replacement meal, but it had to be one of the most awkward conversations of my life – this girl had seen that I’d described in great length her lack of social competence.
That was the day that I decided never to complain about anything (officially) for the rest of my days. If you notice that I’m particularly kind on here about products, it’s probably because I’m haunted by the complaining shame of my past.