Sunday, January 04, 2009

I Think I'm In The Wrong Profession

I don't really like people. One on one, some of them are fine. The few, select elite I've allowed in are all great. Lovely people, really. But en masse? They suck.

Today, a woman at work told me to shut up. She was trying to redeem a gift card issued by the mall and it wouldn't work. She called the company that issued the card and came back to me to tell me what they'd said. When I said "Right, ok, I get it," in the middle of her sentence, she said "Would you shut up and listen to me?" I was interrupting her, I suppose, but mostly I was agreeing with her and indicating that I understood what she wanted. Shut up was a bit unnecessary. She bitched and moaned because I couldn't do anything to fix her card. I felt like saying "Lady, we didn't issue the fucking card, I CAN'T do anything about it, so take your spray-tanned, fake-nailed, snot-nosed self out of my face." But I didn't.

Most of the time, people at work are just irritating, but when they do things like that, or when they throw their money at me or throw their purchases at me or talk on the fucking PHONE instead of paying for their stuff, I have all I can do to not start screaming obscenities at them. I turn my head and roll my eyes. A lot.

I try my best to be helpful at work. I answer questions for people who interrupt me when I'm dealing with another customer, I point people in the right direction when they're looking for a certain item or department, I give my opinion on things when they ask, I even smile (and I am not a smiling kind of person). Most of the time, people are grateful and friendly and nice. But there are always some who think that because I work in retail, I must be dumber than a box of rocks and don't deserve to be treated with even a modicum of respect or decency. Those people ruin it for me.

I think I'd be better suited at being a hermit. Cranky misanthrope seems to be my ideal right now. I'm good at it. I rock the snarky aside and the biting comment. But that doesn't really fly when you work retail and somehow I don't see that being a real selling point on a resume.

So for now, I'm going to practice my smiling and attempt to fix this hole I've bitten in my tongue.

21 comments:

SUEB0B said...

I feel you. I think because I am a misanthrope and have had to be a nice customer service person, I am less sympathetic to people who are jerks. It's like "Hey, I HATE people and I was nice, why can't you be?" Like if someone doesn't say "Thank you" I just stand there saying "Thank you! Oh, thank YOU! Thank you! Thanks" over and over til they respond. It is an assholish move, but it cracks me up.

ourlittlefunnybunny said...

I always say that if I ever quit my job and don't need the references or when I ever retire I'm going to tell everyone what I really think of them. I completely get where you're coming from.

Lisa said...

YIKES! What a BITCH! You are a far stronger woman than I!

The phone thing irritates me and I'm not even the one helping them!

Lara said...

"I love mankind. It's people I hate."

i forget where i heard that, but it's so true. humanity as a whole? of course i love everyone. you put individual idiots in front of me and i can't stand 'em. grrr.

except my students. somehow i adore them. :)

Rich said...

They tried to call me in, but I didn't answer the phone. Actually I didn't even hear it, as I was taking a shower and didn't know till later.
I didn't call back.
I was not in the mood to go in today.
One of the reasons I love working at the service desk is that there is usually someone else there and if I Can't deal with someone, I can pass them off or call someone else to deal with them if they get rude.

kittenpie said...

I so hear this. The fact is, these people don't necessarily think you're dumb, they just dont' think at all about people in service positions. We get the same shit at the library, where you'd think people would be, I don't know, more enlightened, perhaps? No. It's an entitlement thing, a self-absorbed thing, whatever. Bitchy people are bitchy people, arrogant ones are arrogant. I trade notes with my hairdresser and note a lot of the same behaviour, too. Just at the library, they are tossing their library card at you instead of their credit card. Same shit, different building. Those people suck.

Cat, Galloping said...

I couldn't possibly do your job! It's hard enough to maintain my composure in an office... But dealing with the public? Well my hat is off to you. Maybe you should keep careful notes and weave the results into a funny book that will make you rich.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

I've never worked retail but I've worked in plenty of restaurants and bars in my life. People can be total asses, and often w/o the aid of liquor. I feel your pain.

But because of our experiences, aren't WE lovely people? I think everyone should work in retail/food service or something else very public at least once. Then we might all be more polite to each other. Or maybe I'm being too optimistic?

(Also, word verification for this comment? "Comply" Swear to God. Heh.)

T- said...

I completely understand. I hate people. I wish I didn't, but I do. There. I said it.

I am glad I no longer work in sales. I prefer my little corner spot where I only have to talk to 3 people a day, max.

April said...

I so understand this as well. What I used to get when I worked in retail is people would ask me questions about an item, then decide to buy it and walk away forcing me to carry it to the register.. Ugh.

Ree said...

You're a stronger woman than me. I'd have called her on the Shut Up part. I so would have.

Patois said...

What a bitch. I hate when people treat others like that. I hope her gift card never works.

Traceytreasure said...

I have a hole in my tongue too. I left work crying one day, I thought it would be my last. I slammed the door after a customer called me incompetent. He came in reeking of alcohol and cigarettes which meant that he was out driving drunk and he had the nerve to walk in at closing time and call me names. I left my manager a note explaining what we said to each other and I was secretly hoping that she'd fire me and not want me to come back to work.

I need a secretarial/receptionist job in a town that only has 10 job ads in the classifieds. I'm screwed!

Hugs!!

Maggie said...

oh....this is why I had to quit working retail. I was going to end up in jail or death row for beating someone to death with a slipper.

Steph said...

(((HUGS))) Rude doesn’t begin to describe that woman. Where in your job description does it say take verbal abuse from a rude bitch? Find comfort in Karma is a bitch she will get back somewhere. People now days need to go back to the Golden Rule we learned in school. Do one to others as you would have done to you.

Sarahtoo said...

OMG--I so get this! I think that those of us who work or have worked retail are nicer people than those who haven't. At least, I know that my experiences in retail have affected how I treat others, especially those in customer service.

I probably would've given at least a stink-eye and "EXCUSE me??" at the "shut up" comment, though. I mean, really. Rude! Good on you for abstaining!

Lea said...

After 9 years working at the phone company as a 411 operator, my tongue was nearly bitten clean off. The verbal abuse and name-calling from customers was off the charts~ maybe it was the anonymity thing, but we were allowed to say nothing. I feel your pain, and admire your restraint!

Janah @ So Not Mom-a-licious said...

You're not in the wrong profession, there are just that many assholes out there nowadays! I went to Texas for the holidays, and my sister said "I thought people here would be more polite?" I had to tell her that I had been thinking the same thing the entire visit. What happened to excuse me, or pardon me, or just waiting politely for someone's attention. But, at the same time, I believe in karma, and that chick kind of got what she put out there. And how could you ever tell someone that you didn't know to shut up? I would have pulled the "manager" card, andtold her ass to leave.

movin' down the road said...

I don't miss working outside the home. I tell myself this almost every day. So hey, I didn't realize people still actually say "shut up". Isn't that from the 80s? Heh heh.

Naomi said...

My first retail job was at Sears, in customer service. Mostly people were kind, they were either returning stuff or paying their bills, or asking questions the salespeople couldn't answer. But occasionally nasty people came in and decided to take their lousy mood out on the high school kid behind the counter. I remember standing, wide eyed, as some guy spewed forth with very foul language about some product that didn't work -- blaming all of Sears, and me in particular, for the problem. My manager stepped, asked the man into her office, and shut the door. When he left his head was down and he walked quietly away.

My manager told me that I NEVER had to put up with people's rudeness, even though I was behind the counter (and a kid at that), and tell them that I will only be spoken to in a respectful way.

It made life in customer service much easier.

But it also caused me to dislike MANY people on sight. You could just tell.

Krystal said...

people are just miserable nowadays. I have worked in retail since high school and the people have just gotten worse and worse. I guess I lucked out during the holiday season since the ice storm decreased the number of shoppers but even then the people weren't too rude because I think most people felt like everyone was in the same boat.