There are many things in life that I do not understand. I do not understand physics. I do not understand calculus. I do not understand the space/time continuum. I do not understand how my voice can travel across the world and allow me to have a conversation with a friend in Italy. And I also do not understand how one person can be so rude, inconsiderate, foul and spiteful to a complete stranger. I’m not looking for answers – especially not on how to understand calculus. However, perhaps someone could tell me why people have so little respect or regard for others. Perhaps you could explain to me what happened to the human decency I had become used to.
My boyfriend was surprised when I told him about my day. He wasn’t surprised at my stories about rude customers, bitchy women, chauvinistic men or worthless coworkers. He was surprised that I seemed unused to this behavior from others. “Don’t you know to expect this from people?”
I told him that the moment I began to expect and/or accept that kind of behavior from people was the day I would decide to become a hermit for real.
I am a sales associate in the lingerie department of JC Penney. That means I sell bras and panties all day long. Most women looking for clothes and more specifically underwear are not usually in a good mood. I do my best to go into my job with a smile on my face every day because I am paid to do so. However, the people I deal with do not seem to realize that I am a human being. I may be in a customer service position but that does not mean that I am your personal whipping boy when you are having a bad day. I have bad days too, you know? And yet I have enough decency not to take that out on the guy in the fast food window, the girl who hands me a pack of gum in the gas station or the kid who bagged my groceries at Kroger today. They have jobs to do and I do my best not to yell at them. Other people don’t feel the need to extend this courtesy to others.
I am not a stupid person. I had a 4.2 gpa on a 4.0 scale. I go to college. Next year, I will be going to graduate school. I have every reason to believe that I will be able to require people to call me Doctor for the majority of my life. It therefore follows that I can reasonably fold clothes, scan bar codes and put things into a bag. I can also figure your percentage off in my head without the use of a calculator. Therefore, when I tell you that a certain brand name does not make a size 40 A bra, you might want to believe me. Especially since this is what I get paid to know.
I have been yelled at because our store doesn’t carry certain brands, sizes or colors. I have been yelled at because people fail to bring a receipt when they try to return merchandise that shows obvious signs of wear and no longer has the tags on it. I have been yelled at for telling a woman that she should go up a size. (Usually I would understand, but it is my job to measure these women and tell them what size bra they should be wearing.)
People are also pigs and see no problem with their behavior. They knock things off racks and leave them in the floor. They ransack tables leaving clothes piled in places I would have never thought to put them in the first place. They wad clothes up in corners of dressing room floors leaving the hangers everywhere. They leave other, less appealing things in dressing rooms that I don’t want to talk about. They go to the bathroom and take a dump on the floor or “miss”.
Why? What makes you think you have the right to treat other people like crap? Just because it is my job to help you and make you happy, your happiness should not come at the sacrifice of mine. So here are some new rules for dealing with people in customer service professions.
1. Leave your problems elsewhere. You’re having a bad day? Deal with it. You do not have the right to take it out on other people. I understand bad days. But let me give you a tip. Being nice to others can make you have a better day.
2. Pick up after yourself. You don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to post signs saying, “You’re Momma doesn’t work here, clean up after yourself.” I’m not asking you to put things back where they belong. I’m asking you to pick things up when you knock them down. I’m asking you to put clothes back on the hangers and not leave them in the floor of the dressing room. If we have one of those nifty bars outside the dressing room put the clothes there. If not, leave them on the hooks in the room.
3. Allow me to do my job. This means believing me when I say things. When I say “We don’t carry that brand / size / color that means we don’t carry that brand / size / color. Really. I’m not just saying that to make sure you have a bad day. I’m saying it because it is my job to know such things and inform you of it.
4. Patience is a virtue – try some, you may like it. I cannot answer the phone, find a size 48 C bra, check out the woman with the screaming baby and check the price of your boot-cut stretch jeans to see if they are on sell. I can multitask, but you’re asking for a miracle and last time I checked, I can’t walk on water.
5. And last but not least: If you yell at me, I cannot yell back.. That is really not fair to me as I enjoy yelling back at people who yell at me. My point? DON’T YELL AT ME! I am only barely hard of hearing and there is no need to raise your voice. I know you’re angry. You’re probably pissing me off too. Yelling at me does not make me more inclined to help you. If anything, I only want to piss you off in what small ways I can and then pass you off to be someone else’s problem.
That’s it for my rules. I don’t want to ask for miracles. I know it is my job to serve you with a smile. I’ll write another article with rules for how to serve others properly. This article is about how to be a non-annoying, bitchy, hateful, spiteful, rude and base consumer. This also could make my life a little easier