That’s how it comes off. I’m not wanted. Example: There I am having breakfast with my wife and a friend. Local mom-and-pop place. The waitress, a somewhat elderly lady, comes up and introduces herself and asks how we’re doing. We all say fine, going with the customary pleasantries, then in the spirit of acting interested, I ask how she’s doing.
*sigh* Big mistake.
This was her big opening. For the rest of our visit she made use of the opportunity to tells us that… she was only working because she had bills to pay… listed three things she’d rather be doing at that moment, and how her job was getting in the way of that… complained about how busy it was that morning, she’d prefer less people… and generally made us (me, at least) feel that our presence was unwelcome and an imposition on her life. Now, she did all this in an attempted joking manor, but the humor came off as only a facade, a way to say what she thought and get away with it.
I get it. There are many other things I’d rather do than go to a job for most of every day five days a week. But I make the best of it. So, I’m sorry that our patronage of your employer’s business… that provides you with an income so you can pay bills and have things like food every day and heat in the winter… is such a burden. I’ll keep this in mind next time I decide what to do and where to go.
The whole “I’d rather be anywhere else (than here dealing with you)” image is not an image that businesses or society should put up with. Treat customers with decency. I don’t want to hear that you’re getting off in an hour. I especially don’t want to hear what drudgery your job is. At least pretend you’re appreciative of my patronage.
The Side Conversation
There is another common practice that I see often that is no less off-putting: Employees having side conversation when they’re supposed to be dealing with you. I see this often, especially with younger people.
I’m standing at a checkout, and the cashier’s friend/co-worker is standing right beside the register and they’re having this deep conversation… and essentially ignoring me completely.
And what were they talking about, you ask? They were talking about getting off soon, what they’d rather be doing at that moment, and… get this… how much they each hated their job and most of their co-workers.
No filter, as if I wasn’t even there. Talk about unprofessional. How can a customer not feel unappreciated in that kind of scenario?
My sister told me that she once told a cashier off and that she didn’t give a crap about her personal grievances and wanted to be treated like a customer instead of an annoyance. (She got a shocked blank stare in return.)
I love my sister! I was so proud of her. lol