If you have the excellent fortune of knowing me personally, you will know that I have rather strong feelings about the way I (and others) should be treated when bringing my (or their) money into any establishment that trades goods or services for said money.
Due to some yet-untraced genetic mutation, I expect to be treated like someone the company values. Kind of like a customer. What actually happens, however, more often than not, is that I’m treated like a two-bit jerk who wandered in and ruined some dude’s nap.
I have had quite a few negative experiences lately, and I am at a loss. Are corporations hurting so badly that they’ve forgone customer service training altogether? Are their employees so independently wealthy that they don’t care about keeping their jobs? At this point, I feel stuck. I either go out and fight with imbeciles in every store I patronize, shop for everything online, or learn to grow my own food and fashion household items out of sticks and twine.
I can roll back the calendar and rattle off at least a half-dozen unpleasant experiences I’ve had over the past three months. I can talk about my poor husband, who, about four days ago, tried to relieve us of cooking on a really bad day with the babies by picking up some burritos. And how the guy behind the counter, despite my husband’s asking for steak, proceeded to glare at him while he spitefully ladled chicken onto his tortilla.
Or the time my husband and I parked in a hotel garage, and the woman taking our money was too lazy to reach over far enough to hand me the ticket, so she let it go, then watched it flit to the ground.
Or the time my husband and I, after several days of planning and coordination to replace a part in our minivan, were told, “Oops. The part’s not here yet. Sorry we didn’t call you.” Really? Really?? Really? Woman? Because it took me four-and-a-half hours to get my kids fed, ready, and to a sitter in 100-degree weather just to get this godforsaken piece of crap here on time. Really?? And, yeah, I don’t mind waiting for you to pay for your lunch delivery and then check your phone for text messages before you reschedule my appointment. As long as you don’t mind me waiting in the parking lot for you after you leave.
I’ve stormed, fuming, away from more stores than I can count, refusing to return. I’ve been the thorn in everyone’s side when they suggest restaurants at which I will no longer eat. I’ve gone out of my way to avoid stores that have things I need because the people who worked there were too ignorant for me to tolerate.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want a cloying phony waiting on me, either. I simply want to be treated as if I’m of some value to the company. Just a little.
I can imagine working conditions may be bad for some, maybe even many. But it’s not my fault, Lady. Don’t take it out on me. And we all know the concept of customer service has basically become a joke. I recognize that. But there are things I need. Does anybody care? Do you even want my money? Because I’m two minutes away from becoming really handy.
I’m not going to wax nostalgic about things not being ‘the way they used to be’, since we’ve been there and done that. Plus, I think most of my adult life has been this way.
Let’s face it: Things are bad when you know that calling customer service means a) speaking to someone with only a meager grasp on the English language, who b) may or may not have any idea how to help you, who will then c) put you on hold, and subsequently d) hang up on you. Or reasonably expecting that cans will be thrown haphazardly onto your eggs at the grocery store. Or knowing you are not going to be greeted or thanked or even asked if you need help while shopping. Hell, even Amazon thanks me for my order once it’s completed.
Despite all this, many companies will continue to insist, in vain, that the customer is always right.
Lordy, if this is right, then I really don’t want to be wrong.