Because I typically went during the same time on the days I visited, I ran into the same employees in the stores I shopped in. Those employees recognized me since they saw me regularly, and most of them were friendly and courteous.
But not all.
There was one woman in particular who was especially rude. But not to everyone. She decided, for whatever reason, that she didn’t like certain people and was blatantly frosty and unfriendly to them.
I was one of those chosen people. And I had no idea why. She made up her mind that she simply didn’t like me and made it a point of letting me know. At first, I thought she was this way with everyone, which would make her an all around grouchy person. Not that being grouchy while serving the public is a good thing, but at least she’d be fair with everyone.
But that wasn’t the case, I realized soon enough. One day, while waiting in line, I watched her being reasonably polite to the customer in front of me. She even smiled, which she didn’t seem to do very often. When my turn came up, I greeted her in a friendly manner, and she simply ignored me. She scanned my items, told me what I owed, took my money, gave me change and pushed my bagged items toward me. She never once made eye contact with me.
Perhaps, I told myself that day, it was an isolated incident. But no. She was this way with me all the time. At first, this upset me. I had never done anything to this woman and couldn’t figure out for the life of me why she was being so deliberately rude and bitter towards me. It troubled me so much initially that I didn’t go into the store at all when she was the only cashier available.
That feeling didn’t last long, though. Eventually, I became annoyed. I came to the realization that this wasn’t about me, it was about her. Whatever her problem was, it was her problem, and I wasn’t going to allow her bad attitude to upset me or disrupt my day. If she wanted to be a miserable, grumpy individual, why should I care? I would continue to go about my day in my usual cheerful, friendly manner – and simply ignore her.
So I returned to visiting this store regularly, and made it a point of heading for her cash whether or not other cashiers were available. I no longer cared about her attitude. I waited quietly while she scanned my items, paid for them and left. No smile. No eye contact. No thank you. No nothing. And I was okay with that. And whether or not she liked my sudden aloofness didn’t concern me.
So I have become thick-skinned over time with these types of individuals. But I’m going to tell these folks once more what I think about all this:
Dear rude/obnoxious/grouchy/miserable person working in customer service,
If you’re going to serve people, leave your opinions, problems and negative attitude at home. Customers are not in the mood to deal with that, and you have no right (or acceptable reason) to impose your bad attitude on anyone simply because you have something up your *behind* - temporarily or permanently.
Be nice to people. Damn it. It’s so easy to do. And if you can’t, stay away from customer service and do something else for a living.
What in the world are these people so angry and bitter about, anyway?