Rene Pastrana: Grocery Store Manager Who
Can Melt the Anger of an Irate Customer
By Apolinario Villalobos
One morning, when I purchased some goods at Isetan grocery store along Recto Avenue in Quiapo, I had an unfortunate experience that almost spoiled my day. Rather than talk to any of the rank-and-file staff, I looked for the store manager, whom I found to be Rene Pastrana. Before I could blurt out my complaint, he broke the ice by asking with a smile, what he can do to make my shopping comfortable. His stance immediately pacified me. After relating to him my dissatisfaction, he gave me an assurance that he will do his best to patch up the “loophole” in their operation.
What touched me was his unabashed confiding that he knows what to do because he started his career as a “merchandiser”, which actually, was the focus of my complaint. Instead of anger, what I felt was sympathy while listening to his story. It could be a ploy on his part to divert my focus, with which he was successful. On the other hand, I selfishly thought, that his story could be another blog material that could inspire aspiring Filipinos.
According to Rene, he left his island-province of Marinduque after graduating from high school. When he arrived in Manila, he immediately looked for a job, with a plan to proceed with his college studies by all means. He fortunately found a job as a “merchandiser”, which sustained his studies, until he finished Computer Science.
His diligence in job, pushed him along his career path with unusual expediency until he became manager of Isetan’s grocery store, charged with its overall operation. He has been in the job for the past twenty years, his earnings from which have also helped his family back home, in Marinduque.
Rene could well be considered as a self-appointed “ambassador” of his province in his own way because he does not hesitate to promote it as a veritable tourist destination every time he gets the chance. This he did to me, when he shared touristic information about the island. His effort proved helpful to me, as what I knew about the island have all been updated, especially, about the islets with resorts.
In appreciation of all his effort to pacify me and giving me updates on Marinduque, I told Rene to count me as among the convinced patrons of Isetan grocery from then on. He practically “captured” another patron for their grocery because of his amiable and brilliant sales technique not found in sales training manuals…I know that, because I have also been a “sales person”, myself.