Yesterday I stood in line at Harvey’s, waiting for my burger to be made ‘my way‘ when I noticed a woman in line behind me placing her order and I looked at this woman’s prune-like face, all twisted in misery and anger and I could tell that she was going to be a huge pain in the ass for the poor women trying to provide service for her.
“I want a burger” she snipes in a severe tone.
“Would you like the combo?” the girl taking the order asks in that fake pleasant voice that all fast food workers seem to use when speaking to the customers, and I wonder to myself if we sound like that at work when we speak to the customers.
“Did I say I want a combo?” the miserable witch snaps churlishly.
“Sorry.” The girl mumbles, her head down as she enters the order into the register. She tells the woman how much the total is, which is paid quickly and then the woman steps down the line, closer to us, to await her turn in picking her toppings for her lone, combo-less burger. Now, it would have been nice if she’d let it go and just stood in line with the rest of us in similar silence, but that doesn’t seem to be possible for her. Instead she stood there going on about the girl asking her if she wanted a combo like it had been the biggest insult that woman had ever had to endure.
“I asked for a burger, not a combo. How hard is it for them to just give me what I want. Why do I always have to be asked if I want a combo. I think that if I wanted a combo I would have asked for one.” She turned to the man beside her in line, “Did you order a combo, did you need them to remind you that they offer combos?” The man looked at her in discomfort and you could see that he just wanted his food and be left out of her little diatribe.
‘Single hamburger.’ the girl putting the toppings on the burgers called out and the woman stepped forward, despite the fact that there were others ahead of her who might have been able to lay a claim to that burger. She never even thought to check.
“Everything”. No please, no waiting to be asked what she’d like. No time for simple pleasantries in this woman’s life.
The girl behind the counter began to slather on ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles and all the while the snipe was commanding her and directing her on how to do it. “Two pickles, not one. Don’t rip me off!” she sneered.
“Did you want hot peppers on that?” The girl asked, a smile on her face, she was really trying to be pleasant to the old crow. “Did I say everything? Well then I guess I meant everything. How hard is it for you to just do your job and listen to what I want. How hard is it for you to just put the toppings on the burgers and follow instructions. I swear I don’t know how much dumber you people can get?!” She snarled in exasperation.
The girl quickly finished making the burger, wrapped it and handed it to the woman and then ran to the back of the restaurant where she could get some quiet time, away from customers. She was obviously upset.
The manager and other staff watched her flee the counter in stunned confusion and the started to quietly talk amongst themselves, speculating as to what could have made their co-worker flee her station in such a way.
Hubby stepped up and quickly filled them in, on what that poor girl had to endure.
Sure in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t like racial epithets were being spit in her direction, she wasn’t being physically assaulted but it’s still a hard thing to have to endure that kind of insulting behaviour with a smile on your face because to turn and tell that bitch what you really think of her could mean you losing your job.
So Hubby and I told the manager exactly what happened and how that poor girl faced it with calmness and decorum and that she waited until she was done serving the customer to step back and calm down, and that Hubby and I totally understand what happened and we don’t mind her not serving us right away. It’s fine.
The point of this entry is that I want to spread the word to all you folks out there that come face to face with customer service representatives today, or any day. If you’re having a bad day, don’t take it out on them. If they are trying to serve you and doing their best, don’t scream at them and speak to them rudely.
It isn’t their fault that they have to follow company policy. They have certain things that they need to say and do in order to keep their jobs, they don’t make the policies, but they do have to enforce them.
My theory is that if I’m having a bad day, I do my best to make certain that I’m super sweet to someone who is helping me, because there is no reason to spread that misery and ruin other peoples days.
Maybe you can do the same, and if you see someone having to endure that sort of derision and ridicule, perhaps you can step forward and try to mediate and point out to the bitch that she is in fact being a bitch. Say something that the poor customer service rep can’t.
Ask to see a manager and tell them that this person’s behaviour is not acceptable and that the poor rep shouldn’t have to put up with that. People are just trying to do their job and they shouldn’t have to take abuse from the public just so they can pay their bills.