As a wanna-be author, and anxious hope-to-be-published soon writer, I tend to be a people watcher. Lately, some of the people I’ve been watching (and overhearing) have me scrambling for my stock of romance novels. People today have become, well, not to put too fine a point on it, RUDE! To quote Jar-Jar Binks, “How rude!”
My day job is in the service industry, banking, to be precise, and it is definitely a customer-service oriented job. Day in and day out, my job is to smile politely and professionally, be an expert at my job, and handle customers’ accounts without mismanaging so much as a penny. But somehow, a profession which once commanded some measure of respect seems to have become despised, at least by many of the customers who utilize banking services. Rudeness abounds, coupled with impatience and thinly veiled contempt. My colleagues and I have been subjected to some of the worst possible language and attitudes, including the intimation that because we work in banking, we are inferior to our customers in some way. And this attitude isn’t limited to banking; I’ve seen it at work in fast-food restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores, and of course, on the phones.
Now granted, not all customer service people are stellar performers at their job. But many of us are, and being subjected to derision and comments that range from questioning our competence to outright accusations of deliberate misconduct is really too much. Yes, we deal with your money, and for the most part we do a pretty decent job of it.
And so do those overworked and underpaid employees at your local grocery store. Or your local Sears, Walmart, K-Mart, etc. Honestly, people, we work just as hard for our paychecks as you do for yours, and having to do it while under verbal attack for things beyond our control is a bit, well, RUDE.
I mean, honestly, did you think that there would be no line at the bank during lunch when everyone else is doing the same thing? Oh, and we need to eat our lunch too, at approximately the same time as the rest of you.
What about the lines at the grocery store on Sunday mornings, just before the football games are starting? Or the night before that massive snowstorm/blizzard/blinding white 2 1/2 inches of snow comes down and we all need T.P. and milk?
Seriously, folks, we need to lighten up. Because I work in customer service, I’m perhaps a bit more sensitive than most, but the next time you’re standing in a long line, think about how you would feel standing at that register looking at the line of grumpy people making rude comments about how slow you are, and have a little consideration. That sales clerk could be you. My grandmother used to say you got more flies with one drop of honey than with a ton of vinegar, and I can tell you that even though I give 100% every day I work, I give 110% to those of you who practice a little understanding and patience.