Sunday, April 13, 2008

Service With A Smile

I have been wondering recently why everyone I know seems to get bad service everywhere they go, and I think I've finally figured it out.

My friend Steve came over tonight and related a story about how awful the service was when he tried to get a new cell phone to replace his lost one. And cousin Joshua goes on at great length about how terrible the service is wherever he goes. And lots of other people I know do this too.

From their stories, I can absolutely see how this happens. All these people relate stories about screaming at the poor person who is trying to serve them, and stomping out, and threatening to call supervisors, and God knows what else.

HEY! Have you ever tried plain old courtesy? I very rarely get bad service from anyone, because I thank people to the point of idiocy, I smile, I acknowledge that they have a rough job. whatever it may be, and I politely wait my turn without rolling my eyes and ostentatiously sighing.

Years ago - just to illustrate my point - I was on my way to a party and I stopped to buy cigarettes. The man behind the counter looked very much like a toad, and grunted in annoyance when I walked in, since I was taking him away from the porn magazine he was happily reading. I said, "May I please have two packs of Marlboros?", and he grunted and got them for me. I paid him, and he grunted, and he gave me the change, and I smiled at him and said "Thank you", and just as I was leaving the store, he said (in a rather grumpy voice), "Nice perfume, lady."

See how easy it is? Please, thank you, may I. Smile. Where on earth did people get this notion that they are kings of the world and the little people must necessarily take their abuse? Just because someone is on one side of the counter and you're on the other doesn't mean that they're somehow subhuman and not as evolved as you are. For all you know, that guy/gal behind the counter may have taken this job to finance their advanced degree in physics.

I mean, really. I thank waiters when they bring my food, and smile at them. And get better service. I always say please to taxi drivers and call them sir, and they don't take me out of my way. Please, thank you, may I.

Trust me. It makes our increasingly awful world one HELL of a lot easier on everyone.

Love, Wendy

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