Saturday, May 14, 2005

Great Expectations

I will be the first to admit that my expectations for most everything are too great. Not unrealistic, just too great.

Tonight I had an unpleasant experience at a service plaza with a clearly annoyed "assistant manager" as indicated by her nametag. She made no eye contact, stood with one hand on her hip and spoke in an irritated, curt manner. Her body language expressed that she was not happy to be there and she just wanted to get the transaction over quickly.

We placed our order, got our ticket number and stepped aside to wait. I commented to Ed on how I thought she was a bitch and had a bad attitude. He reponded with his usual shrug of the shoulders and babbled some "excuse" for her. He sat down with his food as I stood by the side of the counter waiting for mine. I watched her wait on the people who were standing in line behind me, displaying the same attitude and treating each one with the same apathy.

I was finally handed my sandwich from another employee and went to join Ed at the table. When I sat down, I said to him "Man, she had a shitty attitude." There was a woman and man sitting next to me and he overheard me, turning to his wife to repeat what I said. I looked up at them and when they looked at me, I said "right?". They heartily agreed and we discussed her poor attitude, her body language and the tone in which she spoke to everyone. I said "I think I'm going to go up there and tell her."

After sitting there a few minutes, steaming about the fact that she was just getting away with acting that way, and sitting next to LOCALS who came here for dinner, I decided I was going to say something to her. Ed said "Go ahead - it will make you feel better. When I got to the counter, she was on a personal phone call. She did not acknowledge my presence, kept her head down, kept talking and even turned her back to finish her conversation. I had to put my hands between my thighs and the counter to keep them from reaching over to press the button on the phone to hang up on her...or throttle her...I was having a hard time deciding, but I thought it best to keep my hands crushed up against the counter.

When she got off the phone, she looked at me in her half lidded, bored manner and said in a clipped tone, "What can I get for you?"

I said "'re the assistant manager here, right? I just wanted to tell you that I don't think you have a very good attitude. Your body language, your demeanor and your manner of speech are very rude. Even the people at the table sitting next to me mentioned it. I know it's late and you probably want to go home. Believe me, I know the feeling. My family owned a restaurant and I know what it's like. You may not realize that you are acting this way, but I would rather come up here and say something than leave this place and say "Boy, that girl was a bitch." I think you should know and try to be more aware of how you are coming across." I spoke quietly, calmly and was not in earshot of other employees or customers.

WELL. She stood there with a look in her eyes that said "Shit! I was just caught being rude." but she said "I'm sorry" and I said "Well, I just wanted you to know." and she said "Thank you" and that was that.

I walked back to the table feeling good about doing what I wanted and I've decided that from this point forward, I'm going to do that more often. I wish I had done that last night at the movies with the people that talked through THE. ENTIRE. MOVIE. If I did, I still wouldn't be annoyed about it today....but that's another blog entry. Look for it in the future.

I feel that we all let these incidents go and they become more abundant. These people are in the CUSTOMER SERVICE industry. They need to be professional and serve their customers. I don't want to hear excuses like "they don't make enough money", "they are not educated", "they might have had a bad day", "maybe they don't like their job".

Bullshit. I have had ENOUGH of the excuses. Do your job. Do it well. Or do something ELSE.

Just make sure it's not in customer service.....

No comments: