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Thursday, 23 February 2017


A few years ago, I coined the term "lemon sucker" on a BBC Radio 4 'You & Yours" segment about customer service. Lemon suckers are employees who by their pinched lips, concave cheeks and squinted eyes give out signals that they are not happy serving the public. 

There is too much average to poor service in shops, hotels, restaurants, post offices, health centres, libraries, etc and service industries should be more selective in recruitment and more meticulous in managing front line service employees. I have also referred to *"mint crunchers" and *"gum chewers", more and more common on checkouts and service counters, maybe because mastication is now an essential part of the job description.  It looks horrible.  It is horrible.  A sour face, especially distorted by the action of chewing, has no place in customer service.  

*Add "water-swiggers" to that bunch.

To be clear, there are some brilliant, wonderful, genuine, happy people in customer service roles - but not enough of them.

So, straight out of the retail delta, a-pickin' and a-strumming my guitar, I wrote a blues song and here it is....... 


“Woke up this morning, went to the store,
Wondering if I’d get a smile or frown at the door
I got the blues,
I’ve got them lemon suckin’ blues
Will I win or lose
With those lemon suckin’ blues

Shop girl smiles on the left, lemon sucker frowns on the right
I know where I’m heading ‘coz I don’t want a fright
With the blues
With them lemon suckin’ blues
I want to win and not lose
With those lemon suckin’ blues
I’ll vote with my shoes
To sidestep those lemon suckin’ blues”

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