Monday, August 15, 2005

Why are people so mean these days?

I've been thinking about this topic a lot over the past year or so. Prior to my new gig as a SAHM, I was an optical manager for Costco. This was a great place to work for the most part. I had been there for almost 16 years when I left to stay home with my little punkypants. When I first started, most of the customers were pretty nice and there was a level of mutual respect. As the years went by, I noticed that what used to be was that the majority of customers were nice and the minority were obnoxious, the tables seemed to have turned. It was now the nice ones were the minority. It seemed to be the general thought all of the sudden that just because one worked in retail, that you could treat them like they were lower than the toe jam between your toes! Now that I am not working in retail, I am still noticing this trend everywhere in our society. Here are a few of my favorite stories.

1. A friend and I were at Baby's R' Us, buying a shower gift for a good friend. We are standing in line behind this woman who is buying what looks like their entire stock of baby formula. As we are standing there, this conversation occurs.

Customer: I want to do 852 seperate transactions, because I have this stack of coupons I want to use on these. (Okay, so 852 is a bit of an exageration, but you get the picture)
Cashier: I'm sorry, the coupon clearly states, that there is only one coupon per customer per day.
Customer: Well, I've never had a problem doing this before.
Cashier: Well, I'm very sorry that this is a problem, but the manufacturer won't reimburse us if we don't follow the coupon guidelines.
Customer: Are you and idiot? This is so inconvenient for me. I don't want to talk to you anymore, get me a manager.
--Cashier politely calls for a manager--
Customer: I want to buy these all on seperate transactions so I can use these coupons on each one, but this idiot you have working here, won't let me do it, will you make her do it?
Manager: I'm sorry, but we are not able to accomdate you with your request. The cashier is correct.
Customer: But, I've done it here before.
Manager: I'm sorry that another one of our cashiers did not catch that they should not have done that, but I can't accomodate your request.
Customer: Fine! I'll just come back in here every day until I use up these coupons! Then, I'm never coming back because you are all a bunch of morons!

**Thinking to think your the moron!

2. Greg and I get a lot of stories standing in line at our local Safeway! This is one that happened while I was I had NO control of what came out of my mouth!

Customer: Hands cashier coupon for some odd item (value 10 cents).
Cashier: I'm sorry, this coupon has expired.
Customer: I want to use it anyway, it hasn't been that long.
Cashier: Ma'am, this coupon expired last year.
Customer: I want to speak to a manager.
Cashier: --calls manager over--
Customer: I want to use this coupon.
Manager: I'm sorry the coupon is expired, we are unable to accept it, as it is a manufacturers coupon and they will not honor it after the date.
Customer: Well, this is nuts! You all have been doing construction in here, so it's always cold, and your loud speaker is too loud. I don't know why I shop here.
ME: I don't know why you shop here either, here is 10 cents, and Albertson's is across the street.
Customer, just looked at me dumbfounded and TOOK MY 10 CENTS and left with her groceries!

3. I wasn't present for this one, but if Greg remembers the story, then it had to be crazy, because I'm always the one paying attention to this stuff.

Greg headed to Safeway, to pick up some odds and ends we needed, and got in line. Well, you know how at Safeway, when they are done with your transaction, they say "Thank you Mr./Mrs./Ms. whatever your name is as you leave. Greg is standing in line behind this woman, who tells the cashier that when the transaction is complete, she does not want her to say her name outloud for everyone to hear. The cashier politely tells her that the policy is mandatory for them, but if she does not use her club card, then she will not know her name to say. The lady says fine. The cashier rings up her groceries, and then the lady uses her credit card to pay. The cashier asks to see her ID by saying may I see your ID Ms. Whatever her name was on the card. The lady flipped out and started screaming at her, and was yelling that a manager should come over and fire her right on the spot! I guess she was worried that the Albertson's police would find out she was shopping at Safeway.

4. Last story for this post. Greg and I were at Kohl's for the first time checking it out a few weeks after they first opened here in CA. The lines were HUGE! Anyway, as we are walking by, this cashier scans an item, and apparently it came up the wrong price. The guy immediately started screaming and cussing at her that the price was marked differently on the floor sign. This guy didn't even give the cashier a chance to get a word in edgewise to offer to get someone to fix it or anything. Just right in with the yelling or screaming.

Anyway, more of my retail follies in another post, but I guess I was really thinking about this today, because I've been seeing a lot of complaining going on, that is really just not nice. It's not even so much as complaining as it is hurting other peoples feelings or not treating them with respect. If we have a problem with and event, or something we buy, or somewhere we shop, shouldn't we be reasonable first and give the person the benefit of the doubt and give them the opportunity to make it right, or instead of complaining, maybe making suggestions to help improve something?


Lara said...

Craziness! I think the funniest one was when you gave that person a dime! Ha!

Lizz said...

I agree with the dime story! LOL

sylvia said...

OMG laurie! i totally hear you on this. it is my biggest pet peeve when people are so rude and it's always something so dumb too! i use to be a teller at a bank, about 100 years ago, and it's even worse when it concerns people's money. ugh!! i have lots of stories to share!

Lisa BC said...

Those stories are crazy, Laurie! I remember back when I used to waitress how frustrated I would get when people were jerks. I think that everyone should at some point in their lives have some sort of service job, i.e. retail, waitress, etc, so they can see how it feels to be on the receiving end of this nonsense. A little niceness goes a long way.

Helen said...

Laurie, These are just obsurd, as a retail girl I have to say I am so glad we don't have coupons here in Aus, the stories I read just make it seem like craziness.

you cracked me up with the dime story :)