Hello, Goodbye

You know how when you go to Subway or other order-at-the-counter restaurants or fast food joints they ask that you refrain from talking or texting or playing on your cell phone in ordered to be seen to properly?

Yeah, well, I wish we had that at our store for the service desk or for the check lanes.  I understand that our guests are busy and they have things they need to handle and sometimes that means they have to shop and set up doctor’s appointments or set up work meetings or have work calls going on.  But that doesn’t mean you should disrespect and alienate the person who is helping you get in and out.  In fact, I’ve gotten slowed down by people on their phones more often than those who give me their full attention.  Because, when you give me your full attention, I give you mine.  It’s simple.

I try to work with people and try to be polite, but sometimes it’s hard to do when people are flat out rude.  I’ve made more refund mistakes with guests who aren’t paying attention to me than to those who are.  If you would just get off of your damn phone, maybe I’d be able to have a conversation with you as to why your refund has to go back to a gift card instead of any other way.  Maybe if you’d get off your phone, I’d be able to help you out, but no, you insist on being a rude little twit who doesn’t think twice as to the extra work you might be giving others because you refuse to put your damn phone down for five minutes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty attached to my phone, too.  When I work at the service desk, its in my back pocket at all times.  When I cashier, I tend to keep it in my purse.  I know that my co-workers and so forth play on their phones.  Most people do.  Most people will whip their phones out and text or play when no one is around.  It’s modern human nature.  When I’m at the service desk, at least I have a wall I can go behind so that my guests don’t see me.  Nothing pisses me off more than when I go shopping some place and the employees, especially the cashiers, have their phones sitting right out in front of everyone.  I’ve even gone so far as to complain to a store manager about one of their cashiers playing on their phone the entire time she was ringing up my items.

It’s simple respect.

Sometimes I really wish I could put up a sign that said “In order for me to serve you better, please end all phone conversation before approaching the counter, thank you.”

But that would be considered rude.  I can’t ask my guests this.  God forbid I ask for a little respect at my job, you know?  Because, at my job, we give the guests all the respect, it doesn’t matter if they give us any.  Where I work, management’s number one priority is to fix the guests problem before asking questions.  I think that’s totally unfair and its teaching guests that they can come in and make demands or false claims to get discounts and coupons.  The employee’s side of the story doesn’t matter.  Not until they’ve give the guest 50% off of their ticket, anyway.

My store seems to hold onto that old saying that the customer is always right.  People ruined that saying a long time ago.  The customer is not always right and sometimes the customer just needs to be escorted from the store and told the shut the hell up before I punch them in the face.

Now, not everyone I encounter is plastered to their phone.  I’ve actually had guests come in and hover just outside of my service desk line while they finished up their phone conversation.  Those people are showing me some respect and I can show them some.  I can give them my full attention because they gave me theirs.  However, I still always get those people who walk right up to the desk and howl something like “Yeah, giirrrlll, I’m at the custama service desk noa.  I be return’ dem jeans that I wore to Kiki’s dinna partay.  Nah, they don’t curr that I wore dem.”

Yes, yes I do.  And now since you’re on the phone, I’m just going to act like I’m returning them and then stand here and wait until you tell your friend to hold or you end the call.  I’m not returning these now, thanks, bye, leave my sight.

It just rattles my chains when a place like Subway can ask you to show a little respect to the employees, but a store like mine can’t.  We can’t ask such things of our guests because that is alienating their rights.  You know what?  We may be working their to help them, but we are not their slaves, we are not their grunts.  They need to show us a little respect in order to get some from us.  It’s one of the biggest rules that we are taught as children, but once we  grow into adulthood, it’s like that shit doesn’t matter and we can throw anyone down in the gutter that we please.

What’s worse than that, though, is the guests who CALL ME and continue to have conversations in the background.  I’ve even had people ask me to hold.  Are you fucking kidding me!?  You called ME!  I’m the one offering a service, I should be asking you to hold!

My favorite is when I answer the phone and it takes the guest approximately 30 seconds to answer me back because they didn’t hear me; they just happened to notice that the other end wasn’t ringing anymore.  Yeah, maybe you should shut up and listen when you call someone.  I’m not your pal Rita who doesn’t care, I’m an employee at a business, I have shit to do and don’t have time to wait for you to stop griping at your husband for picking up the wrong size diapers.

I’ve even had people tell me to “hang on a sec” as they go beat their kid’s butts in the background.  I’m greeted with deafening howls and cries.  That’s the best.  I love feeling like my workplace is smack in the center of a daycare.

It’s not too much to ask is it?  For employees at the store to get a little respect from the customers and guests?  I mean, it’s common courtesy, right?  Probably a little more than half of people working in retail aren’t doing it as an after-school job or a job to get them through college, they’re doing it to live life and get by because they couldn’t get a job that paid better.  The least you idiots could do is show them a little respect when you go shop in the store that gives them a paycheck.  You might be surprised at how much better you get treated when you show them respect and thank them for their time.

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