Holidays and the Public

To anyone who has to deal with the public during the holiday season,

People are mean.

People are grumpy.

People are awful.

People have this incredible way of feeling like they’re entitled.

Like they’re the kings and queens of the universe.

Like the world revolves around them.

Like their poop doesn’t stink!

Well, I’m here to remind you that they’re ridiculous. If you work with the public in any way, be it in retail, restaurants, the post office, etc. you know what I’m talking about. And I’m here to tell you a few things.

There was a woman in Target the other day who was being a bit ridiculous at customer service, in my opinion. I’m not exactly sure what she was trying to do, but apparently the woman behind the counter was offering her NO help at all.

Target Rep: I’m sorry ma’am, but I can’t do anything without the serial number.

Crazy Lady #1: well, isn’t that what’s on the receipt?

TR: No, the serial number is printed on the box. All electronics have them.

CL1: Well it’s already home and wrapped up.

TR: I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do.

CL1: Can’t you just !@#%!@? (I didn’t hear that part)

TR: No, I can’t access that screen without the serial number. That’s what I’m trying to explain to you.

CL1: But I told you! It’s already wrapped!

TR: Do you have someone at home that can carefully unwrap it and tell you the number over the phone?

CL1: Ugh! No! I guess I’ll just have to come back! (as she slams things back into her purse and walks away)

Seriously lady? First of all, how difficult is it to rewrap a gift? My cousin can undo the wrapping without even ripping anything! Granted it used to take her FOREVER, but that’s a rant for another time.

Is it a hassle that Crazy Lady #1 has to go back to Target again? Yes. But can’t we just accept that the person who WORKS AT THE STORE knows more than we do about their policies and the way things work there? The worker was apologizing the whole time, had a smile on her face and was doing everything she could to help but it was still for naught. I hope Crazy Lady #1 went home and ate some chocolate. I think she needed it.

Then today I went to the post office to mail a letter to my friend Patrick who joined the Navy at the beginning of the month. There was a line…as expected…I mean, it IS the holiday season…so I took my place and waited. A woman (we’ll call her Crazy Lady #2) walked in right after me, sat down ENTIRELY too close to me and huffed.

Someone got out of line and left, we all moved up, Crazy Lady #2 stood up (still entirely too close to me)

Crazy Lady #2: I’ll just go ahead and say what everyone is thinking (first of all, stop. Please don’t speak for me.) they should have a second lane open! After all, it IS the holiday season.

Sane Woman: Well we just need to be patient. I’m sure they’re doing the best that they can. (Yes. Thank you. You can speak for me.)

Everyone from this point on was silent. CL2 definitely spoke loud enough for the workers in the back to hear, I felt so bad for them. Thankfully, so did SW.

SW did what she needed to, was very nice to the postal worker and went on her way. I did the same. I know what it’s like to work with people (Customer Serivce at Shaw’s for 8 or 9 years) so I always try and be extra nice, especially during this time of year.

Next it was time for CL2 to get up. She puts two tote bags on the ground

Postal Worker (smiling): Hi Ma’am. You’re the one who was complaining about the line…

Crazy Lady #2: Yes, that was me. I hate to do this to you (lies) but I have these…

And she pulls out one padded envelope, about the size of a regular piece of paper, out of one of the bags.

At this point I left. I had to. I was afraid of what was going to go down after that, because CL2 probably had at least 20 of those envelopes that needed to be mailed separately. Poor, poor Postal Worker!

Thinking back, maybe I should’ve stayed to sing Christmas Carols with everyone else in line.

Regardless, bottom line is this:

No one deserves to be treated like garbage. You WILL get through this season. 

So from those of us who know how to be human beings:

You are appreciated. You are liked. And thank you for not yelling at us for someone else’s incompetence. It will get better. I promise. And at the very least, you won’t be searching for dinner conversation – because the public is a GOLD MINE for that.


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