Who says there is no customer service in France?
Usually me, I know, but on this Monday in Provence, one lone Frenchman dared to defy the stereotype going above and beyond in the customer service arena and coloring me shocked.
Miss Vicki and JoDelle had discovered some Provençal pottery that they just had to have. While they were buying up the shop, I bid adieu and went on my way exploring all of the pretty soaps, fragrant spices, olives and tampenades. And I bought some saucisson sec to treat Gregory; one olive, an herb, and a bleu d’Auvergne. (Just so you know, the bleu d’Auvergne saucisson with a glass of red wine is practically a revelation, it’s that good.)
A few minutes later, I heard someone shouting, “Madame! Madame!” I ignored it because whoever was shouting definitely couldn’t mean me because then I’m sure they would have been shouting, “Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle!” (Right?!) But when I felt a tug on my arm, I turned around to see the Frenchman from the pottery shop standing there. He was red in the face and huffing and puffing something fierce. He quickly explained that the two American women I had been with earlier were missing some of their pottery. When he had been wrapping up their packages, he had accidentally left out a couple of pieces and as soon as he realized, he ran out into the market to find them.
Let me tell you something about Forcalquier Market, it is not small. It is the largest in the Alpes de Haute-Provence department and covers a large area in the center of town, weaving up and down different paths. This little Frenchman, taking off into the crowd, searching for Miss Vicki and JoDelle to return their missing pottery is astonishing, especially in France (no offence Frenchies but you know it’s true). Gold star for him.
Want to know what else is astonishing? Me actually understanding every bit of his rapid fire French as he tried to catch his breath while frantically explaining what had happened. Now that’s astonishing.