Wednesday, November 27, 2013


That day I was on a search mode to find a 500ml or + white matte acrylic paint of any brand to paint a wooden birdhouse. After browsing the net, I found an arts&crafts shop in Paris 6th. To my great disappointment, none was found. The alternative was to buy a matte paint with silky effect (which is a contradiction if you ask me) and mix it with a matte gel. As a procrastinator, this solution will only but postpone the end of the whole project.

On my way home I decided to cheer me up with sweets and I bumped into a chocolate shop, here.
I already tried the one in Saint-Germain en Laye, I was very excited to repeat the experience.

I bought a few chocolates. They are a good balanced between cacao, sugar and butter.
The packaging was made of heavy stock paper.
The decor was a mix of dark colours with a touch of mystic green. It's nice, mysterious and elegant.
About the service… well… could be better.

Transcript of the dialog of my encounter with an employee (I will name her Dionne).

Dionne: Goodmorning. What can I do for you?
I: It's just for a little bag of goodies, just for now.
Dionne: How much (gram) are you taking?
I: I don't know…. Hum. 15 pieces or so.
(She takes the plastic bag and she begins her speech about the variety of chocolates)
I: I'm taking anything with milk.
Dionne: How much of those would you be taking?
I: 2 of each variety
(She fills the bag with the milky ones and starts the speech on the dark ones)
I: No thank you. I'd like to try the one I saw on the web, something with ginger, the spherical one.
Dionne: We don't make any ginger flavoured chocolate. The spherical one are not ginger flavoured.
I: I don't know I saw on the site, a chocolate with ginger. I want that one.
Dionne: W-E D-O NOT sell any ginger spherical-shaped chocolate. And they come 12 a box and it costs 4.6€ a piece.
(WTF! Why is this? The price argument !!! I look at her in disappointment, see here = ginger)
Dionne: We also have gianduja chocolate.
I: No thank you. I think it is time then to update the website.
(She keeps on describing the chocolate)
I: Yes I think I saw it on the website.
Dionne: W-E D-O regularly update the website.
I: I don't understand. I'm sure I saw the ginger-flavoured chocolate on the website (see here). I don't remember if it is square or spherical shape.
Dionne: We describe our chocolate on the website.
The manager: Everything is alright? (looking at Dionne)
Dionne: Yes
I: (wondering what was the point)
Dionne: And some of our chocolates can be ordered online.
I: (looking dazzled by the stubbornness of the madam). Then the website should be updated. I want to buy some and they are not available. (I have my share of stubbornness). Do you have truffles? I'd like some.
Dionne: Yes. How much would you like?
I: 2 please.
Dionne: That would be all?
I: Oh! Do you have some marrons glacés? I'd looove to have some. I saw it on the website.
Dionne: No.
I: When will it be available?
The manager: Next week.
I: Would it be available in this very shop or any shop or online?
The manager: any shops.
She: That would be all?
I: Yes
She: It is 14 euros.
(I hand over the credit card)
She: We don't accept credit card for amount less than 15€.
(I go trough all my pockets. After a desperate search of long endless 6 minutes, I found a note of 20).

I walked out of the shop and was deeply disappointed:
1. I guess not accepting credit card for amount under 15€ is due to economic reasons. However, you walk into a MOF institution, you expect some effort to make the experience unforgettable : from entering the shop, to picking the chocolates and finally to paying.
2. Service inconsistent. In Saint-Germain en Laye, the lady took time to identify what chocolate would suit my taste and even offered some to try, and everything not mechanically repeated and above all with a smile. In 6th, they looked more uptight and were not customer-orientated.

This experience made me think. Michelin stars for restaurants are difficult to earn and to keep you have to provide a constant service at all level. If they can't keep up, they lose credits and stars. Apparently, the MOF institution (chocolate, flowers, …) don't obey the same rules. One can earn the title but can NOT lose it, even when providing poor service. 

See any similarities?! The price argument, it is from far the apotheosis.