I’m not sure if others feel the same as me about ice cream cones, but they are my downfall however my response now is nothing like it used to be.
I’m much more cautious and fussy now about where I buy them.
This change in my consumer behaviour was due in the main to an incident a couple of years ago, which I will share with you, it highlights the importance of ‘good customer care’ and reputation.
So it’s summer and the weather is actually nice and hot. It’s midday and I’m already dreaming about getting a soft cold vanilla ice cream cone with a chocolate flake.
Suddenly there it is, the sound that takes me back to my childhood, that grainy sounding off key tune that tells me there’s an ice cream van nearby. It definitely has the ‘Pavlov’s dog’ effect on me as I’m salivating already and the van hasn’t even pulled down my street yet.
I start looking for some money, I know the order already it’s imprinted in my mind four flake cones, I’ve got £5 and I need to find another £1, oh come on! Please let me find something, please the van is going to go. Then I remember that there’s change in my coin pot, I’m saved.
The van is here it’s parking up, my mind can’t concentrate on anything else right now. I just want my ice cream, and there’s three people already in the queue!
As I get closer I see some people that I know and I’m finding it hard to converse with them because of my fixation.
I’m next, my eyes are glued to the picture and at first I’m slow to register that the kind lady is asking for my order or rather to confirm it.
You see if you hadn’t already guessed I’m a regular, and the ice cream lady knows me very well she always stops for me.
Her voice brings me back into the real world and I place my order. I’m so excited I rush in to share out the ice creams with my family before they melt.
My family and I are all just as bad with our ice cream addiction, little did we know today was going to change that feeling. We each sat down to enjoy our ice cream in our own way but within a minute we started to notice an ‘off’ taste so asked each other if anyone else had tasted something different.
The cone was tasting almost sour, each one of us disliked it, and the only thing we could do was to throw the cones, a task which I found upsetting, and at the same time the van vanished from sight.
I was so disappointed my whole mouth tasted bitter as if I’d drank ‘gone off milk’.
Not only was my mouth bitter but so was my mood
I’d wanted my ice cream so much I’d imagined how good it was going to be and this was the result. That day my love changed into a very different emotion, sadness.
I was sad at the loss of my money and my ice cream and no longer did I feel the same about ice creams.
Just one encounter changed a love I’d had for over 30+ years!
That day I decided that my habits of buying an ice cream every time I heard the van would stop.