Monday, 15 February 2010


I was going to write about the problems with PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) and the threat to the Euro and the very existence of the EU but decided that was a bit like writing about British weather…a grumble leading to a moan…boring.
Although it remains an irony that the wisest minds seem permanently perplexed by the latest catastrophe.

This array of places where I’ve holidayed and generally had a great time were none of them likely to star as the superheroes in the recession-horror movie we’re living through called “Bust!”

And Greece had it coming just for the perpetuation of Retsina (a vile Roman invention in fact in the first place). Their current woes are, I believe, a direct thunderbolt from Dionysus for trying to pretend industrial strength paint stripper is something to sip with your octopus and warm cods-roe paste (aka taramasalata.)

Given the importance of their tourist industry (around 15% of GDP) and their volatility I can foresee our summer holidays being a touch on the grumpy side unless they heed my advice.

And here’s what they won’t want to hear - all of them are going to have to focus on super-customer service, hit new levels of competence, start loving their visitors and trying extra hard. Do not even think of going on strike Stavros – stop it!

I once went to Kalymnos (an out of the way Greek island) where an old waiter with a vile temper, prone to hurl food at you was dubbed Old Scrotum by the customers. Consign him and his like to the bin of history.

Nearer home customer service exploded in my face on Friday when I signed up to Ocado and when after that first tremulous shopping tour an hour and a half later I found they decided to reject mine and give me a new/wrong address off their own bat. Fury. Tears. Wrathful e-mails. Hatred never to be assuaged.

But within a few hours there was an ample apology and the problem was fixed.

Ocado 1 Hall 0

They really showed how to do great customer service.

So all you PIIGS pay attention and especially the land of the wine dark sea.

It’s how you behave, how you smile, how loveable you are that’ll get you out of this. The world needs cheering up and you could be the key to doing it.

But ditch the Retsina, the octopus and last nights Tara - OK?

No comments: