Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Rant

*This post has foul language (lots of it) in it that might offend some people. This is a warning for those people reading this site that I actually give a damn about what they think of me.*

What the hell happened to customer service? Whatever happened to a person doing their job with a smile on their face? What happened to people actually giving a damn about what they do? I don’t care if there’s a song in your heart while you’re plugging away at whatever mundane job you have. Plaster a fucking smile on your face and get over yourself.

I went to the commissary today. On a Saturday. Bad idea from the get-go. A commissary is a military benefit for those in the armed services or is a dependent of someone in the services. It’s a grocery store run by the government that does not run at a profit. Is the food cheaper? Yes. Is it better quality? Fuck no. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from the commissary, cut open a green pepper, only to find that it’s rotten inside. Their parsnips are soft and wrinkly by the time they even hit the floor. Their non-perishables? HAH. I bought a jar of yeast the other day, got it home and found out it expired in June. And the meat? Don’t even get me started on the meat. Too many times have I gotten home with a package of chicken, opened it, and you can tell it’s starting to turn. There’s even an Armed Forces Network PSA commercial that tells you “It’s okay if the meat smells funny.” Gee, thanks Uncle Sam. We’re going to sacrifice for you and our country – and our benefit is this craptastic commissary. However, thanks to our monkey of a retarded president and crooked banks we can’t afford to shop at a regular grocery store - a grocery store that has fresh foods. Thank god for the farmer’s market or everything we eat would come out of a can.

So, I’m trying to check out in one of those self check-out lanes. The people who bag your groceries at the commissary work solely off tips, so whenever I have less than 25 items I go to the self check-out to save a few bucks. But, we have the king of inept, ridiculously incompetent commissaries, so practically every other item has to be verified by the person overseeing the 6 self check-out lanes. The first item I have that has to be verified it takes me over a minute to flag down the kid that’s “working” (and I use the term loosely) the self check-outs. He finally moseys his lazy ass over, verifies my item, and then walks away. Immediately I have another item that needs verified. Where’s the kid? Over talking to his co-worker. It takes me another minute to flag him down. Oh, and there’s no one else at the 5 other self check-outs. Not a single goddamn person. He comes over, verifies the item, and walks away. The third item it takes me another full goddamn minute to flag down this idiotic excuse for an employee because now he’s text messaging on his phone. This happens 4 separate times. At this point I’m livid. I’m sorry, but this is pathetic. How friggin’ hard is it to just stay close by to ensure that a customer is able to finish their transaction smoothly and conveniently? Apparently it’s really fucking hard. Apparently you have to be totally disgusted every time a customer needs your assistance. Apparently you have to sigh in annoyance every time the machine doesn’t work properly. Apparently you have to cast nasty looks to no one in particular when you’re asked to move from your ghetto ass little computer podium. Screw you kid, do your job.

It’s at this time that I notice a bagger has come over and started bagging my groceries for me - in plastic bags. Completely oblivious to the fact that I have a big sack of my own reusable bags because I’m trying to make the effort to not kill the entire fucking planet with plastic bags. I try to get her attention, to ask her to stop bagging my groceries, but she doesn’t understand me. I point to my bags and the groceries she’s putting away trying to use signals to tell her what I want, to no avail. She smiles and says, “No, I do for you!” Oh fine. I can’t be mean to someone who’s just trying to help me out. Even if I do now have to tip her. Even if I do now have to recycle those stupid bags all the way across town. At least she has a smile on her face and is actively trying to do her best at her job. And she’s not even paid an hourly wage!

I suppose the point of this rant is to plead with those of you out there in the customer service industry. I get it, okay? Your job sucks. You hate life. What-the-fuck-ever. Get over yourself. I’ve been there. I was a server for too many goddamn years. I’ve worked in restaurants, bars, casinos, you name it. I know that people are assholes. I know what it’s like to lose all of your faith in humanity, night after night witnessing first hand the depravity of the human race. But you know what? Deal with it. Everyone has to work a shitty job at some point in his or her life. You don’t get to start off where Mommy and Daddy are. You aren’t going to own a BMW in your twenties. You aren’t going to graduate college and get a starting salary at $80k. You aren’t going to have nicer things than everyone else. You have to work for it. Does it kill you to do it with a smile on your face? Does it kill you to actually make eye contact with the person whose purchases you are ringing up? Is it an in-fucking-surmountable task to actually give a damn about what you do?

It’s so sad when I get excited - turns my frown upside down - if you will, when I experience friendly customer service. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be? It is called customer service after all. As in, serve-us. I’m way too young to be talking about ‘kids these days’ but what the hell is going on? When did it become okay to be rude to a customer? When did it become okay to not do your best? And no, I’m not one of those people who thinks the customer is always right. If you do, then you’re an idiot. The customer is not always right. That’s an excuse to blame people whose fault your problem isn’t and to get free stuff out of people. But for Christ’s sake people, put on your big-boy pants and stop acting like a child! Your life isn’t tough, your life isn’t hard. Go live in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Rwanda, or the Congo. Then your life is hard. So you work at a check-stand in a commissary. Big-fucking-whoop.

All I want is some decent customer service. Is that too much to ask for?


Kristin said...

Yup--too much to ask these days. But I have many fond memories of the commissary myself. Most particularly doing the family's shopping there, which required two carts and about 300 dollars. A WEEK. My brother played football. He ate a lot.

And even though you have to tip them, I always loved the bagger ladies who loaded the bags into the car.

Sweet Bird said...

Fair enough about the bagger ladies. I probably should've been more explicit about how it's this commissary that sucks so bad. When we were in WA the Fort Lewis commissary was the best, we never had a problem.

Nina said...

I am sooo with you on this.