KEEP CALM and…

…well that’s it. Just keep calm. Calm down. Wooosaahhh. Simmer.

After 11 years of working in some avenue of the Customer Service industry, I have discovered my biggest pet peeve. Also, I have found that a lot of people are assholes. And it just can’t be necessary.

The pet peeve part? Here goes:

I’m doing my job, whatever it may be: refilling their coffee, completing their transaction of the sale of a shirt, or a cell phone payment, or their paycheck deposit. Upon completion, this is the most common way the conversation goes:

Me: Alright, you’re all set! Have a great day! 🙂

Them: Yep.

………waiting……..*they walk/drive away*……….*my jaw drops*……..

Seriously!??!?!? All I get is “Yep”??!!? First of all the lack of manners is appalling (Um, YOU’RE WELCOME!!!!! Thanks for saying THANKS!!!), but what’s worse, is I wish upon you a “great day” and you just take it and run with a “Yep”?!?!?!? Do you not hope I also have a good day? Is saying “You too” just too many syllables for your vocal chords and mouth to form that a singular “Yep” is all you can possibly muster? I mean really people. Really. You don’t have to spend hours of your day daydreaming all of the wonderful things you possibly could hope to happen to me, you don’t even have to deep down truly mean it. But seriously. Say “you too” when someone tells you to have a nice day, or else you’re just a jerk who deserves to step into a deep puddle. How rude!

Continuing on that note, when did we become so elitist? And where did this sense of entitlement come from!?!??

I truly believe, while the government may be a bit too “involved” in certain aspects of our lives, it should be law that everyone’s first job should be in Customer Service. The world would learn a lot. And I bet there would be a decrease in big meanies.

Until that happens, here are a few lessons I have learned, and a few pieces of advice I’d love to pass on:

  1. When you are at the bank, or the cell phone store, or liquor store, or WHEREVER, and they ask for your ID, just show it!! Don’t say “Why?” or “Well they know me here” or anything other than “Sure!”. I don’t care who knows you or how famous you think you are, in many businesses, it is their company’s policy to ask for identification. Even if I am  working and you are my relative or best friend, I have to ask you or I will be fired. And I mean really, in many cases it’s for your own protection that it is verified. And if you think your picture is bad…..well…..you are showing that same face in public right now….so….stay inside if it’s that big of a deal. Or do you not want to show it because it is just too difficult for you to pull it out of your purse or back pocket? Well then you’re probably the same lazy person who won’t say “You too” when I wish you a good day. Or wait, what? You left your ID at home like always? Well have fun when you get pulled over and get an extra ticket for not having ID on you. See? It’s the LAW!!! (Or do you also tell the officer that you don’t need it since they all know you down at the precinct? Well, aren’t you special.)
  2. Don’t yell at the bank teller if you have an overdraft fee. Or the cashier at the cell phone store when you have a late fee. (Yes, I have been told, “You charged me a fee and I am not going to pay it!”…..well, no Mr. Ass, I didn’t. I did not physically look up your account to see if you were late or had a negative balance and then physically put a fee on there. The company’s automated system did that. If you were responsible and paid on time or were smart enough to balance your account, this wouldn’t have happened. It is 100% your own fault.) TRUE STORY: I was working as a rep at a cell store, and a man came in saying he needed to get his phone repaired, and this was the 3rd time he was coming in. He proceeded to tell me that I didn’t fix it right the first 2 times and I needed to pay his insurance fees and blah blah blah….I kept calm and matter of factly told him that I am not a tech so I have never touched his phone before. I also can’t afford to pay his insurance fees but if I was rich I would love to pull my debit card out and pay the $$ that needs to be paid for the phone that he initially dropped and broke. After more yelling and finger pointing I find out that it is actually his wife’s phone and he’s just in there trying to get it fixed because he is so tired of her complaining and yelling at him for it not working properly. To which I responded, “So you’re sick of your wife yelling at you so you come in and yell at a stranger in hopes that will fix things?” A million rude comments from him later, while I continue to sit back calmly with a smile on my face (which no doubt made him more upset) a coworker came up to us, slammed his hand down on my desk and yelled, “HEY! You are not going to be so rude to her any more. It’s your fault the phone is broken, if you want it fixed you have to pay. That’s the policy. And if you just feel like yelling at someone yell at me!” The man got up and muttered something under his breath, but I made sure before he walked out the door to say, “Have a nice day!!!”….he didn’t respond.
  3. Expanding on this finger pointing and “you did this” thing…..understand the difference between the person who just works there and the actual company/automated occurrences. If your cell tower is down, the rep at the store did not turn that tower off. So don’t blame them. If the website where you pay your bills is down, the rep did not shut the website off. If the coupon expired yesterday and you were out of town and could only go shopping today, it was not the representative who chose the sale dates, or forced you to go out of town then. (There will be another coupon next week, for sure.) If the store has set a limit of 10 in $1 flip flops, and you have 32 children, again, the rep did NOT make that happen….most likely….Either way, stuff happens. sometimes it’s beyond anyone’s control, and if you really feel like you are SOOO important that YOU specifically deserve special treatment (ever hear the saying, “well if I make an exception for one I have to make an exception for all”?….don’t be greedy. You aren’t better than anyone.) try being nice, and say things like “please” and “thank you” and “HAVE A NICE DAY” !!!!
  4. Tip your servers and bartenders. Seriously. Just do it. If you can afford a drink or a meal but can’t afford a decent tip on top of it, YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO GO OUT. Yes, I understand it is of their own choosing to work at a place where they get $2something an hour, but maybe their choices are limited….you don’t know, and you shouldn’t judge. Either way, it’s their job and they work hard. If they’re taking longer than preferred to bring you a refill, look around! Is it busy? Do they have other tables? (again, you aren’t the only and most important person.) When they ask you if there is anything else you need, and you say “a napkin” and then they come back with one and then you say, “Oh can I also get butter?” and then they come back with that and then you ask for……STOP! Ask for it all at once! Servers are amazing at carrying multiple things at once, plus, all of your demanding is wasting their time, other tables’ time, and even your precious time. If you have children, control them. This is a topic I could spend a million paragraphs on, but in short: don’t let them run around, if they throw their entire meal everywhere you should at least clean some of it up, and if they are screaming and yelling you need to invest in a muzzle or a babysitter. Your child can affect everyone in the entire restaurant, and everyone deserves an enjoyable dining experience.

There are many many many more lessons I could teach, but we’ll just start with this. In general, be patient. Keep calm. Be nice. Things happen, people have bad days, but don’t you think that if you’re having a bad day, maybe the person you are being rude to is also having a bad day? And you’re just making it worse. Or maybe their day was fine….until you came along.

That being said, I’d like a give you all a challenge. Actually 2. First of all, say “you too” when someone says, “Have a nice day”. Second, try to give at least one stranger one compliment. Be it every day, every couple days, once a week, whenever. Every so often, throw something nice out there.

“I like your shirt”

“Oooh! Pretty eye makeup!”

“Hey! Neat shoes!”

“Here, let me get the door for you.”

You never know what your nice gesture can do for someone.

Do Good. Be Good.

Make yourself a blessing to someone. Your kind smile or pat on the back just might pull someone back from the edge.

~Carmelia Elliot

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One response to “KEEP CALM and…

  1. Pingback: Plain Jane meets the World | LettersToADove's Blog

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