Friday, November 09, 2007

For Those In Service

I'd like to think that I am one of the most easy-going customers out there. I'm almost never in a rush and I'm pretty nice to everyone with whom I contact during the day. Most of the people who work at the establishments that I frequent know me and we usually exchange pleasantries or inquire about one another's spouse/kids/house/weather experience/or whatever - there's usually decent small talk involved. I'm pretty spoiled because there hasn't been much turnover in the staff at my gym/cleaners/groceries/post office/coffee joint/etc. and the people that have worked at those places have been very pleasant over the years. Today, I encountered two new people and both of them really just ticked me off. Mind you, they wouldn't have known I was annoyed because I wasn't so annoyed as to actually say anything. I was pretty pleasant. But geez - if you're going to work in a service position, please do not emulate either of the people I am about to describe.

First was a male senior citizen who was working at a local grocery store as a bagger. This guy was bitter. Now I don't know why he was working as a bagger, and frankly, not only is it none of my business, but it shouldn't be. We all have our own problems, guy. Please stop taking yours out on other people's potato chips and hamburger buns. Seriously. He was about as pleasant as a bad bowel movement. Why can't you be as pleasant as the senior citizens working at Disney World? If I run across this codger again and he so much as looks at me sideways again, I'm going to the store manager. Everyone has a bad day once in a while and I'm hoping I just caught him in the middle of one. You get a reprieve Mr. Angry - buck up before I see you next week.

The next person was the middle-aged male working as a cashier at the Whole Foods. If you don't know what you're doing, ask for help. Don't stand there trying to figure it out while the line grows longer and longer (and my ice cream starts to melt). This guy was cagey & nervous. Worst of all, he was trying to process the order for a cute, little old lady with a food stamp card. She stood there patiently while he fumbled and she looked a little embarrassed. I felt bad for her. FINALLY, he called for help and the manager came and processed the card in no time. Luckily, the store manager was overly sweet and comforting to the woman with the order in limbo. I was right behind this woman, and when it was finally my turn to get checked through, not only did Mr. Dense not greet me, he didn't apologize for the ridiculously long wait that could have been avoided if he'd had the balls to call his manager sooner. Even worse, as he was such a clod, I bagged my own groceries, which isn't a problem, as I don't mind - but instead of helping me after I finished paying him, he started to ring through the next customer. Note to dense cashier at Whole Foods: Unless there's a dedicated bagger there, you make sure the person you just checked through is bagged before you start ringing through the next guy. If this guy makes it through the Thanksgiving holiday without incident, I will be surprised. I'm staying away from this one as he has that “I don't belong here” look about him and he may just blow up there one day.

So, people in service jobs, all I ask is that you realize that your job is to serve your customers. Whatever baggage you personally carry should be left at home. For your own sakes realize that you're working at the job that you are working at for a reason. Try to make the most of your day instead of being a complete moron. You can try to make your jobs more pleasant by not being the miserable one all day long.

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