Search This Blog

Thursday, December 22, 2016

In Retail, It's Season's Greetings, Not Season's Beatings

It is Day #22 of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR, and it also happens to be the final installment of the Scrooged series that I have implemented for the Christmas season every Thursday.

And believe me when I say that I've saved the best for last.  Or, is it the worst for last?  I don't know.  Tell you what.  I'll let all of you be the judges of that.

This year, I've had a bit of a harder time getting into the spirit of the holidays.  At first I thought it had something to do with the fact that in my family, I'm the only one who is uncoupled and childless, and therefore, I'm left feeling like a fifth wheel of sorts.  I still feel that way on Christmas, but that's not the main thing that's bringing me down this year.

It's people's attitudes.  That's what's bringing me down.

Is it just me, or do people seem to be completely all about themselves?  I mean, I know, I'm preaching to the choir here given that I'm writing my feelings in my own personal blog that I've kept up for five and a half years now.

But the levels of narcissism and entitlement that I see this time of year - a time which should be about GIVING and not RECEIVING - it's bringing me down.

Thankfully, in the department that I am in right now, I'm spared a lot of that hassle.  As long as there are fruits and vegetables on the floor for people to buy, I get by unscathed.  But I could count how many Christmases that I ruined when I worked in other areas of the store.  When I was in electronics, it was sixty-seven.  And I guarantee you that of those 67 Christmases, none of them were my fault even though the customers made sure to let me know that it was.

I mean, I get it.  Christmas is a time that can be frustrating.  Trying to buy gifts for people you only see once in a while with money you don't have can be a bugger for anybody.  But we also can't forget the fact that Christmas should be about kindness and joy, treating each other with respect, and having fun either.

So when I hear some of my co-workers telling me stories about how irate, bullying customers have made them cry because they were in a mood and decided to take it out on them - I'm sorry.  I have a REAL problem with that.

First of all, how dare a person try to hurt the very people who are trying to help them as best they can.  Personally, that would call for grounds to have the customer escorted out of the building and banned from the store for life - well, much like that lady from Kentucky that made the news recently for making racist comments towards two customers.  If stores can ban people for harassing customers, I think they should be able to do the same for people harassing retail staff.

And, on that note, I think stores have every right to have the people working behind the register to speak up if they feel that a customer is intimidating or abusing them.  I mean, it's not an invitation for the cashier to pick the customer up and throw them into the display rack of Juicy Fruit gum, but I see nothing wrong with cashiers telling customers that their behaviour is unacceptable and that they need to stop or take their business elsewhere.  Businesses need to take the bull by the horns and stand up to abusive customers and tell them that it won't be tolerated.

And, just on a personal level, when it comes to dealing with customers myself, I live by the golden rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  If customers are sweet, kind, and appreciative, there is NOTHING I won't do for them.  Well, aside from loading their groceries in the car and paying for them out of my own pocket.  If I did that for everybody, I'd be on the streets.  But in most cases, I'll perform excellent customer service for them because they deserve it.  That's not to say that I won't serve the surly ones either - but I'll be the first to admit that there are only so many allowances that can be made.

And if a customer is swearing at me and abusing me, I'll just walk away and let management deal with it.  Like I said, none of us in retail need to take customer abuse.  At Christmas or any other holiday.

Rant over.  It's Christmas.  Be kind to each other.  And if you're unable to behave yourself in a online.

No comments:

Post a Comment