A Caucasian lady in smart office suit came by and looked apparently very hungry. She was choosing between which breads to buy and asking the staff about the fillings in them.
She decided on two.
The man was queuing behind her at the cashier.
When it was her turn, she opened her wallet and all were US dollars. She asked, "Do you accept US dollar?"
The cashier replied, "We only accept Singapore dollar."
"Do you accept credit card?", she asked.
"Only for purchase above $20", the staff replied.
"Is there somewhere I can change currency?" the lady asked again in a rather helpless tone.
"I'm not sure," came the response.
The lady was so frustrated and wanted to just walk off.
On seeing this, the man offered to pay for the breads.
The lady was so appreciative and wanted to pay him back in US dollar.
The man declined and went off.
Here is a customer who has the ability to pay for her purchase. Unfortunately, the currency she had was not acceptable.
Instead of saying no to the lady and leaving her helpless, could the cashier offered to let her take the breads first instead of leaving her walking off empty handed? She can repay back at the end of the day when she has Singapore dollar.
Was the staff afraid that the lady might forget about it once she stepped out of the store? If this is the case, could the staff asked for a way to reach her? Was she afraid that she will be scolded for the initiative? If she didn't have the power to do that, could she asked her superior? Or the cashier simply cannot be bothered whether the lady buys the breads or not? Or she had an encounter previously which left a bad taste?
Do you think of your work as work or solving your customers' problems?