Monday, October 26, 2009

Do you have to be a jerk about it?

This post has been a long time in coming. And I have a feeling that there will eventually be more posts just like this one. You can file this under, "Hey, you don't need to be a jerk about it!"

As an individual recovering from 7 years of working in the retail industry I have become a little particular about customer service and exceedingly empathetic towards employee abuse. The latter being far worse than the former. Let's face it, if you get awful service somewhere you at least get to speak with someone in charge, get a company phone number to call, or at least know you can take your business elsewhere. However, if you are the employee being verbally abused all you can do is take it. If you get lucky you can call over your boss to take the heat. If you are unlucky you are the boss and the person who is angry doesn't understand the structure in corporate America and wonders why they can't speak directly to the owner of the business. Then they get really upset when they learn the only way to speak to corporate is through a 1-800 number with a teleprompt menu. All the while they are still yelling at you over something that you either can't fix, you can fix but would get you into trouble, or was simply a miscommunication and an honest mistake. There really is no quicker way to ruin a perfectly good day and squash your basic human dignity by knowing all you can do is lay back and take it like the proverbial whipping boy.

Yesterday Nick and I went grocery shopping. As we were checking out I happened to overhear.....well no there was no happen to overhear about it........cause it was that obnoxious level of loud you use when you are just on the verge of yelling but you don't want to cause a scene, so you pull it back a little but your voice is still loud and forceful enough that everyone around you hears anyway... So as we were checking out I hear the woman behind me talking about Baby belle Cheese. I love cheese so my interest was piqued. Sadly, the frumpy crow and equally squawky husband behind me were not touting the deliciousness of the snack-sized cheese wrapped in wax. Instead, they were berating the poor cashier for how expensive they were. They claimed to have found the same cheese at a competing grocery store for $3 less.

Now I appreciate frugality just as much, if not more than, the average 20 something with an armload of debt. But would it really have been so hard to simply say,"Oh I am sorry, we don't need the cheese. Could you please take that off?" and then wait til you were on your way to the car to say to your husband, "Hey, this was clearly more expensive than the other store. We should just shop there from now on." I mean really. How hard would that be? Instead this woman kept going on and on about the damn cheese. And violently rummaging through her purse. Then hurumpth "this place is so expensive it is just ridiculous." Then more rummaging. "It's how much? Well, I don't need that cheese. Take it off. I am never coming here again." Then her yappy purse dog of a husband pipes in with, "Did you get the Capri Sun at the bottom of the cart? I told you about that as soon as we got up here." Well off course the cashier forgot the Capri Sun you asshat! You and your wife have made this poor little 16 year old with the minimum wage, mind-numbing job so uncomfortable that if this same scenario played out in her bedroom this morning she probably would have forgotten to wear pants. I understand that your groceries were more expensive than you wanted. Ours were too. We too plan on doing our shopping somewhere else. But really, do you have to be a jerk about it?

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree! It's like the old man at Lowe's complaining about self check out lanes when HE CHOSE to use it! He was talking loudly to his son and complaining to the girl who was supervising all the lanes. If he wanted human contact he could have gone to the lane WITH A HUMAN!! It makes you wonder if some people are ever happy!!!