An open letter to retail customers

Hello, good morning, good afternoon, how do you do?  Are you familiar with any of these phrases?  It sure seems as though they are foreign to you.  I hope it does not come as too much of a shock, but I checked in to it and “I need” is not an acceptable greeting in any part of the world.  So before you bombard me with demands, take a deep breath and please acknowledge the fact that you are talking to a person, not a machine or giant clown with a speaker in its nose.  I don’t expect you to care about my day, as I surely don’t care about yours.  I merely request the simple courtesy of a “hello” before any further yelling commences.


Speaking of yelling, why must you shout so often?  This is not a football game, I did not leave my hearing aid at home; chances are I can hear what you need to say at conversation volume.  I understand you are angry (even though I likely am no direct cause for your anger), but try to control it.  Look at it this way, if we were out on the street and I wasn’t being paid to be nice to you, would you still be so quick to shout?  You’d likely be punched in the face.


Enough of this rambling though.  I wish to teach you a few things.  The first is the concept of a line.  In the retail world, a line is something that starts at a counter or registers and goes away from there.  It is not a cluster at that counter.  Also, keep in mind that if you are waiting in a line, there are people in front of you.  Unless you are at the front of the line, it is not your turn.  Let us go over that again.  If you are the third person inline, there are two people ahead of you.  That means that until those two people leave, you need to wait in line.  I know that you, the customer, are the most important person in the world; but right now, there are two people more important than you are.  Deal with it.


Now that we have that out of the way, can we get personal here?  I would prefer we did not.  I have yet to have you ask about my family or big business meeting, so why must I hear about yours?  I am sorry your grandma died, but that does not mean I will give you products at half price.  In addition, I am sorry you waited until the last minute to prepare for your meeting, but your procrastination really will not make me work any faster.  So with that in mind, can we stop using your personal tragedy as a means of getting a better deal?


Hmm, better deal… better deal… Why does that phrase bother me?  Oh, yes!  It bothers me because I am not running a rummage sale, yet you frequently feel the need to try to bargain prices with me.  If there’s a price clearly set, I am not the one who set it.  I did not just make a price up on the fly.  Furthermore, I cannot change said price because you are a cheapskate.  If you’re in a large chain store, that means that people much richer and more powerful than any of us came up with these prices, so you can either pay them or go somewhere else.  Fighting over prices is just wasting everybody’s time.


I think we are making progress here, do you not?  Wait, why are you ignoring me?  Is it because I am a simple peon working a register?  Ignore the fact that I likely have a much more involved role in the business than cashier, and this is simply a small part of it.  Or maybe the fact that I am just doing this while working my way up to better things outside of this business.  Forget all that, because I am behind a register and obviously my nametag says “moron” on it and nobody told me.  You must be right, I just cannot keep any of this straight because I am so incredibly stupid.  At least, that is the impression I constantly get from you and everybody like you.  You see me as some person who serves no purpose in the world but to smile and give you your receipt.  Forget the fact that I am being paid to do this.  If I somebody gave me a choice between going to a museum and dealing with customers all day, I would certainly not choose the customers.  It is a job, just as you have.  The only bad part about this job is that I have to deal with you.  I wonder though, if you were given an extra $8 an hour, would you begin treating people with respect and courtesy?  Even if you did not like that person?  That is all it takes for me, so can it work for you?  Or is it somehow programmed into our brains that when we engage the role of customer we automatically become self-centered, disrespecting nincompoops?  I truly hope that the latter is not the case.  I simply must be a misunderstanding.


Yes that is it!  It is all a big misunderstanding.  It must be.  I mean, clearly and civilized person would realize that they are having a service done for them and being treated respectfully in the process.  When you buy a large order of fries or a pair of sneakers or get an oil change, the person helping you doesn’t spit in your face or punch your pregnant wife in the stomach.  No, they usually do what they can to make you have a pleasant experience, in hopes of you returning with more money to spend in the future.  Since that level of respect is being displayed, it only makes sense for you to return the favor right?  I mean, anybody in this situation would certainly understand that another human being is at least pretending to care about his or her needs and it only makes sense to not treat them like dirt.  So there must just be a miscommunication, because you are obviously rather intelligent and know the difference between kindness and rudeness.  Don’t you?  Or was I flattering you too much?


At any rate; have a nice day, please stop back any time.


Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter

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Author: Jay

Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter