Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

I had a disconcerting experience today while I picked up a few things at a local store. After I had located my desired items and deposited them in the bacteria infested cesspool of a shopping basket, I headed towards the open cashier to pay. As I began placing the items on the counter, I received a phone call from work and had to answer it being that I could be getting called in to rub rich people. (I'm still waiting for the call to work on Jessica Alba)

As I answered the phone, the cashier asked me if I had a store card which I promptly began locating on my key chain when she just about took the keys from my hand, as if I were performing surgery and lacked sufficient concentration to delegate to her request. (mind you, there were no other customers behind me) As I answered a few questions from my manager, I heard the woman bark the total of my bill. I retrieved two twenty's and before I could even extend my arm to pass her the money, she spitefully snatched it from my hand as she exclaimed (loudly), "So rude!"

Dumbfounded, I drew a breath, looked around, and then placed the phone aside and said, "Excuse me?"

"It's so rude to talk on the phone while I'm trying to talk to you," she responded.

I drew another breath to simultaneously gather my thoughts and calm myself before responding. During the the nanoseconds of nerve synapses in my brain, I pondered whether I would give this woman an intelligent, well thought out, eloquent verbal assault, or get medieval on her ass. I decided that although she was wrong in execution, she was right in principal. Ultimately, I figured a mild retort to her inappropriate behavior towards a customer, coupled with an acknowledgement of her frustration, would be the best way to go.

"Ma'am, I apologize for talking on the phone; I realize that it was rude. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have answered, but it was an important call from work so I had no choice. However, snatching money from my hand was vehemently uncalled for and tactless."

I don't think she was expecting my reaction. In fact, she was probably expecting me to get ghetto on her or something. After she picked up her jaw, she said, "I'm sorry, it just happens all day."

I wanted to say, Well, perhaps you should look into some anger management classes, or get another job! But instead I said, "Sorry to hear that, hope your day gets better". And then I left.

Truth is, I totally agree with her. Talking on the phone while interacting with someone who is helping you, is rude. However, being in the customer service field and treating people like shit is egregiously imprudent and worthy of a reprimand. Believe it or not, I see this kind of stuff at my own work from time to time, but I can't let those people, or moments get to me. It's not fair to myself, or to the next guest. Its kind of like when women treat their current boyfriends in regards to how the one before him treated her. Look honey, I'm not your daddy or any of your other boyfriends. Learn to drop the extra baggage, or your going to be paying those extra fees on every flight you take.


Fleas said...

I think you handled the situation very well. I agree that it is rude when someone is trying to deal with you, but there are extenuating circumstances. She is just lucky you didn't open up a can of whoop-ass on her.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! Fleas surprise me and said it all.

Mr. Poopie said...

Fleas - I definitely shook the canister and was just about to lift the lid....

Vince - I know, she does that a lot huh?

Amy xxoo said...

I also work in customer service and sometimes get annoyed when people answer their mobiles in the middle of a transaction. Sometimes will apologize as they're answering it - " Sorry, i have to take this, i wont be long " - and thats cool. Its only the people who are obviously having some inane, gossip like chat that get to me.

However, i'm not rude enough to stoop to their level and go offf my tree at them. I just wait til they've gone first!