Obligitory Sevice Industry Entry
2005-04-21 - 4:37 p.m.

I need to find a job that doesn’t require me to interact with the public nearly as much. It is causing me to become a callous, cold-hearted person.

Every time I hear a person get out of their car in the parking lot I think, “God, just go away. We don’t have anything for you.” Now, to be fair, most of our customers are fine. They are nice people, and while many of them are clueless, they really don’t mean any harm. There are enough jackasses, though that it just ruins it for everyone. Sometimes I feel that if one more person asks me “if I can do any better on that” when I tell them the price I will scream and tear their heart out with my bare hand a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. If I could make the price any lower, don’t you think I would have just told you that price right at the beginning? Do you think you are so special and charming that I am going to hear that magical phrase and just say, well, hell since you asked, you can have it for free! Don’t try to bargain with me. It will not work because I don’t care. The people I really love are the ones who think I will make them a better deal if they disparage our equipment, as in “really, that costs that much, come on, it isn’t worth that. It’s just made of wood/ a coffee can with a light bulb/ kinda dirty.” Yeah, directly insulting my company and its products is SO going to make me want to help you out. I wonder how many people who try that realize that I may have knocked a little bit off the price until they said that. As soon as those words come out of their mouths I dig my heels in and refuse to budge. If anything, things suddenly get a little more expensive. Oh, and no, my manager is actually off site right now so he isn’t available either. (Insert fake smile here) Sorry!

I also hate cell phones. Actually, I hate people with no cell phone etiquette. I do not mind if someone gets a call, they say “excuse me a moment,” answer the phone and say, “Hi, can I call you back in two minutes? I’m finishing something up.” Hang up and return to our transaction. That is proper cell phone use. Or, if you are finishing a conversation as you walk in, and you step back from the counter as you finish up and let anyone else who enters after you go first if you are still on the phone. Again, proper use, good show. DO NOT come in here with your fancy little ear piece yapping at the top of your lungs to your girlfriend or whoever and continue this usually rather private conversation throughout the entire time I am trying to deal with your selfish ass and rolling your eyes and looking put out every time I need to get some piece of information from you. I am the live human being standing in front of you trying to get something done; I take precedence. Do not treat me like “the help.” In fact, never ever even treat the help like “the help” you rude asshat.

To continue: if it is 2 minutes to five, do not expect me to wait for your late ass. We close at five. I want to go home. You may ask if I can wait or if there is someone who is planning to stick around anyway, but do not assume that nothing would make me happier than to wait here alone for an extra hour just to process your $11.00 purchase. That will not even cover the overtime they will have to pay me for this, so please don’t think it will make my manager happy either. Again, ask but if I say no, just accept that. I'm not rying to be mean or ruin your day. If I don’t have anywhere to be or if one of the guys is staying anyway, we can usually hang out for an extra 15 minutes or so, but do not demand it and do not say you are 15 minutes away when you are an hour away. When you do that, you are sealing my life from me, and again, being a royal asshat.

The other thing that bugs me is when folks feel they have the right to comment on my working situation. “They really need to put windows in here.” “Isn’t it really dark in here? That’s really bad for your eyes. They should change that.” “Wow, it’s really hot in here! Aren’t you hot?” (during the summer) “Wow it’s really cold in here! Aren’t you cold?” (during the winter) “Why are the walls grey? Isn’t that depressing? You should change that.” Yes, it would be nice to have windows, but this is a warehouse, so, yeah. It is a little dark, but not to the point of blindness. You just came in from having blinding sunlight reflected off the concrete and our bright white building straight into your corneas. You are not adjusted yet. Also, take your sunglasses off, dink. Shut up. Yes it is hot in here, again, warehouse, big tin box. No air-conditioning. Go figure. Yes, I am hot, that is why I am wearing as little clothing as I can get away with and sweating like a pig. Shut up. Yes, it is cold in here, see: warehouse. That is why we have a big ol’ heater hanging over you. Don’t you dare complain about that, either. That is also why I am wearing five layers right now and look akin to the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man. Shut up. As for the décor, well there really is only so much you can do with a WAREHOUSE. This is not J.C. Penny. Yes, I hate the grey walls and have been trying to get them changed for years. Don’t rub it in and just SHUT UP. I know most people are just trying to make conversation, and I don’t think they realize they are being pushy and rude, but they are. If I walked into your cubicle and asked why you put up that crappy inspirational poster; that would be rude. You wouldn’t ask someone whose home you just walked into why they painted their house that horrible color, or why on earth they bought a house on this street would you? No, because it is rude, and while this isn’t my home, I do spend 8 hours a day here and I do associate myself with the place, for good or bad, and I don’t need to be told that I don’t know what’s best for me or my personal workspace. Mind your own knitting and if you hate the aesthetics of this place so much, don’t come back.

I didn’t used to be like this. If anything, I was more of a pushover. Maybe that’s the problem. I got so tired of being taken advantage of and talked down to that I swung to the other extreme. Except for the cell phone thing. I have never liked being treated like I was sub-human. Just ask the person you are talking to to hold on for two seconds and talk to me like a person.

I know these are things many other people have said many times, probably more eloquently, but I needed to get it out. It really blows me away how many people can just drift through life being complete jerks and not get smacked down for it. The trouble is, if you are a polite person, or are in the service industry and are forced to at least not be rude back, you can’t really smack those folks down because that would require you to be rude back and that would begin a viscious circle and that just leads to chaos. CHAOS I SAY! Sometimes I wish that the Supreme Being, whoever it may be, was still into the smiting they talk about in the Old Testament. Not necessarily the bursting into flames and dying instantly, that would be a bit harsh, but just, say, a good, invisible smack or something when you say something unbelievably rude or treat people like they are beneath you. The best part is, you can’t really question the judgment of a Supreme Being, if anyone is to say what is rude and what is not, it’s Her/Him. I like it. Though that may be because I’m really worked up about this right now.

Can you tell it’s been a rough day?

Hey, a nice customer just left! He was polite and friendly and didn’t freak out when I told him one of his backorders would have to arrive tomorrow instead of today. He is an example to all who follow. He was even cute, too.

Anyway, I need to finish up the paperwork for today so I can leave at 5pm on the dot. I have rehearsal tonight so I need to make sure I leave on time. So no waiting around! Not even for you! Hee.

when we last left our heros… - in our next exciting installment…