Thursday, February 22, 2007

Not a Snob

I was reading this post over at Xark and I think the author is being too harsh. On herself.

No, you are not a snob.

Expecting half way decent service at any establishment where you are spending money isn't snobbery, it is merely what you deserve.

I'm sure I'm not the only one observing this trend. And it isn't just restaurants, in fact, most restaurants I've been to are the only places where I still do receive warm and friendly service.

I have had a clerk tell me to "pick that up" when I placed my basket on the counter. Not only did I not pick it up, but I left it right there as I walked out.

I have had a sales clerk in a shoe store chat with her two friends in an obviously personal conversation while I stood at the counter. When I politely interrupted the conversation, the clerk said, "Excuse me, I'm talking." I also left my merchandise on the counter, but got a lovely extra added bonus comment of "old bitch" and some giggles on my way out.

I have had a store employee throw a box to another employee, said box passing close enough to me for my hair to catch a breeze. When I left the area, the thrower followed me up an aisle and loudly punched a hole in a cardboard box.

Okay? I am not a bitch. I am not annoying. I used to work in retail for Pete's sake (a billion years ago, but still) I know how rude and obnoxious customers can be so I try extra hard not to be. None of these situations occurred in any circumstances other than me just wanting to hand them my money.

When my son was in high school, he worked at a big electronics type place. They basically told him not to do any customer service, to deny service or coverage because "where else are they going to go?".

Clerks talk on cell phones while ringing up your purchases. Gaggles of employees stand around gossiping and act like you are an inconvenience. And this isn't limited to retail or restaurants.

I don't know what it is. Is the the Wal-Mart effect, where big business doesn't have to care if one lowly customer is happy or not, because there are a million others who will continue to shop there? Is it because we have lost the local, mom-and-pop type business who served in their community, where they knew their customers?

Is it because we have just lost the ability to be respectful of others?

Thor sez: Excuse me, but I'm busy right now.


jaz said...

There are probably a bajillion factors playing into this but I expect that you hit on the high notes:

1. Big businesses don't care because, as you said, if you don't shop there, others will.

2. Many of the workers are paid ridiculously low wages with no benefits, which means they very little invested in the welfare of the company.

3. We live in a culture where ridiculing and shaming others (i.e. reality tv) is considered entertainment.

Chris said...

I always found a call or email to corporate works well. I make sure to remember the names of the employees...I had one fired at BestBuy for what he said to a friend and I several years ago. I'm sure he's off working somewhere else, but knowing he was fired gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. Some corporate office also send coupons, which can be nice. Doesn't fix the problem, but its nice.

Carla said...

I hear what you're saying! Where this conduct irks me the most is at a doctor's office, where the staff flits around, chatting and goofing off, oblivious to the patients waiting & waiting......

Marcheline said...

Reasons you just can't get good service any more:

1. When companies pay peanuts, they get monkeys for employees.

2. Parents aren't allowed to slap the snot out of their ungrateful progeny any more. Hey, I got "the switch" when I was bad, and I turned out just fine! *twitch* *jerk* *drool* ha!

3. Not enough people carry video equipment with them. One video of that biotch talking on her cell at work, emailed to her boss, and BUH-BYE!

4. Not enough people have watched "Fried Green Tomatoes".... TAWANDAAAAAA! I may be older, but I have more insurance!

- M

Janet Edens said...

Thanks, Janet, from Janet! What great comments: I especially like "when companies pay peanuts, they get monkeys." I do think, though, that as more and more people shop Web, more and more businesses without service will find themselves without customers.

A girl can dream.