The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.

Do Me a Favor

I know most of you do business at a retail or food service establishment pretty much every day. Walgreen's, the grocery, Starbucks, etc. Here is a list of suggested etiquette:

1. Please, please, please, finish your cell phone conversation before you come in to order (or go up to a register to pay). There really is nothing ruder to the person working there than for you to not have the common decency to talk to him or her like an actual person. There is no reason you can't do this. If the conversation can't wait, paying/ordering can. If it's too much of an emergency to wait, you don't need to be buying donuts from me, anyway. You need to be somewhere dealing with the emergency. We don't want to listen to you talk about what Chris may or may not have done last night. I'm waiting for you to notice that I need your money, and a line of angry customers is ready to lynch you.
And whatever you do, don't apologize to the person on the other end of the call for having to interrupt your conversation to talk to the little people waiting on you.

2. If the person smiles, smile back. If they wish you a nice day, say thank you, or wish us a nice day back. For most of us, it's an effort to stay polite and cheerful for hours at a time, and when the customers fail to acknowledge that, it makes it a lot harder on us.

3. Don't use profanity if you can't have exactly what you want when you want. Unless you are talking to the owner of the company, or at least a store manager, you are probably not talking to someone who can change store policy or manufacture what the store sells. At least not immediately. We know how frustrated you are, and we will do what we can to help (we don't, after all, want you to not come back), but we are not magicians.

4. We are also not psychic. If you want your bagel sliced and toasted, please tell us. No, everyone else does not eat their bagel that way. If you want a large drink, order a large. If you don't, we'll have to guess, and odds are we'll guess wrong. Please be specific especially if you insist on continuing your phone call, as you will be angry if we have to interrupt you to ask for a clarification.

5. Don't assume that just because we work at a "lesser" job than yours, we are somehow less intelligent, incompetent, or irresponsible. A lot of people enjoy that kind of work, believe it or not, and a lot of people just can't find something better. For example, I work 3 days a week at a donut store. Every morning, we have a cook with a degree in Biblical languages, a woman with a masters in education, two college students about to graduate, and a lawyer working. The store itself is owned by a former college professor with a biology doctorate. Each of us has different reasons for being there. You are not automatically better than us. Please don't treat us as morons.

Sorry for the rant. It was a rough morning at the store. But I really feel strongly about these things. If you've never waited tables, or worked at a mall or fast-food place, you really can't understand what it's like. People act rudely mostly out of ignorance of the way they are behaving, and I just wanted to address the topic in a semi-public forum.

1 Responses to “Do Me a Favor”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Thank you for the reminders. Sometimes we just forget that EVERYONE is a person, not just a human to wait on our every need.  

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