Customer dis-courtesy

What ever happened to good old fashioned, service with a smile, the customer is always right, customer service? It’s become rare as hen’s teeth. It surprises me because all I hear about is how lucky anyone is to have a job in these days of ramping up unemployment. I would think being nice to customers would provide some job security or at least make the job of dealing with the public a little more palatable.

I would think that.

But I would be dead wrong. I worked a job where I had to deal with the public. I know they can be rude. But I always tried to treat the people I had to deal with by going overboard with being helpful. I killed with kindness when I would rather have told them to take a flying leap at a rolling donut. It taught me to be kinder to those behind the counter when it was my turn to be served. More PC. Now it seems like I am an interruption in their day. The nerve of me wanting to get waited on. Can’t I see that they have more important things to do? More important than waiting on you?

Small case in point.

The long suffering wife left her courtesy card at the market. I stopped by the “courtesy desk” to see if anyone had turned it in. The employee was deep in some sort of paperwork. I waited. And waited some more. Finally after an ice age she sighed and without moving from her spot, snarled “Yeah?” Not, can I help you, or what can I do for you. Just “Yeah?”

I explained, with a smile, my problem. No response for a while. I began to wonder if she was deaf. Maybe I had suddenly began speaking in an extinct language. After a few months she favored me with another heavy sigh. “Name?” she growled. She fetched a small box and made a pretense of looking for the lost courtesy card. This took one second. “Not here.”

I looked at the sign that said “courtesy desk” and looked at her.

“How do I get a new one?”

Now I had become a serious pain in the ass. She ripped off another sigh. After a short wait of a human gestation period she produced a form and pretty much shoved it me. No offer of a pen. No explanation. Then she turned back to her paperwork. I was dismissed. The old me would have said something, made some clever cutting remark. The new PC me just slunk away. But I wonder if they shouldn’t change the name of that desk to “dis-courtesy desk.”

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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