So yesterday I had a couple of odd “customer service” moments that I would like to share and I think, as consumers, we can all agree…customer service ain’t what it used to be. I remember there used to be one rule in customer service and it was this…”The customer is ALWAYS right.” Today, that is not always the truth. But this isn’t even why I’m writing. Yesterday I ran into a totally NEW issue in customer service…and that is apparently I look like Dr. Phil.
Confused? Well…you should be because so was I. I went to the grocery store and the girl at the cash register (they DO still call them cash registers right?) looked completely bored and lethargic. As I was emptying my cart I heard her sigh and as I looked up at her, she was rolling her eyes and making this disgusted look like I had just made her day 10 times worse. I asked her if everything was okay and she decided that it was okay to tell me all about her morning and how she had been there since 8am (it was noon) and that she had worked late the night before and how she just didn’t have enough time or sleep and that she was irritable and tired and blah blah blah something something and I forget the rest.
Not that I’m not interested…buuuuut…I’m kinda not. I mean, I realize we’re all human and we all have things we do that we don’t want to but…you’re working the cash register at the local grocery. It’s not like you’re out working in a coal mine or anything. It’s what we do. We work to make a living. Ya gotta pay the bills somehow, right? So…if I’m coming through your grocery line at noon on a Monday, I gotta tell you…I don’t really care if you LIKE your job or not…I just want to pay for my groceries and get on with my day.
Same goes for you, Mr. Waiter Guy at Applebee’s. When you come up to my table and ask me how my day is and I say…
“Fine. How is yours?”
This is NOT an open invitation for you to replay your entire miserable existence. Seriously…I don’t care. I just want to feed my family. I just want to get through the ordering process which, depending on the mood of my wife & kids, can either go swimmingly or be as painful as a root canal. I don’t need you adding to the situation. So a lesson to all you waiters & waitresses out there…it’s not that I don’t care because I do. I wish you had a great day and you got laid and won the lottery and your ex called to say she made a huge mistake and all was wonderful in your life. But if it didn’t happen that way and things were a little shitty? Well…I don’t REALLY want to know about it. I’m just trying to be nice and get through the process of ordering my potstickers. I’m not looking to add to the drama in my life. Life is dramatic enough without hearing all of your problems.
Does this seem harsh? Am I being selfish here? Or am I on to something when I say, when I go into a business to shop and then to pay for the products I need or want, I’m not necessarily looking to make friends. And if I were looking to make friends, I certainly wouldn’t want to make friends with anyone as dramatic and miserable as these two seemed to be. I just want to get on with it. So if your day was not as good as you would have liked…well….welcome to real life. Not every day is flowers and rainbows. It’s the person who asks me “How is your day?” with a smile and a nod of disinterest that gets my return business. And maybe after you’ve seen me a few times THEN you can unload on me. As most of my real friends know…I’m really good at listening. Really…