Monday, May 18, 2009

Bad Mood Mud

by Amy Platon

I was out on Sunday running errands and I had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with several (as in more than three) bitter customer service personnel. So, what’s the first thing I do? I blame myself. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m not coming across the right way. I am cringing even now as I type that. Because as memory does, it adds a tone of outcome to the dialogue, so I hear, nah nah nah. Nah neeh nah nah. Blah.

Without going into too much specific detail, I got nicer and nicer (on purpose) with each incident. I was even cheery. So then, I say to my daughter, “I know what will cheer us up (by us I mean me). We’ll go to the pet store!”

“Yeah!” She was totally on board with that one. So we pulled into the store that does pet rescue adoptions on the weekends. It’s the same store we rescued our dog from, about eight months earlier. We went in and had a good time looking at all the cute puppies, cats and bunnies. We even picked up a few toys for our dog. I did feel better. All better, in fact.

So, we sauntered over to the adoption desk to spread the cheer. “I just wanted to tell you, we adopted a dog from you all about eight months ago and…” Before I could even finish, the woman (who I adopted from) looked up over her sandwich to ask, “Do you still have it?” Her voice came down hard on the “have” you know what I mean? There was no room for misinterpretation. “Well yes. In fact, he’s great!” She looked back at her food, “Great, you need another one then.”

My eyes pushed themselves up into my head, and frankly I don’t blame them a bit. We had had enough! “I was just letting you know that we are very happy.” My mistake lady, I thought you cared about the dogs you placed.

But here’s the part I wish I said. People like you, in your pissy mood, can shove it. I get to say that, because I too am in customer service. So don’t tell me I don’t understand. I do understand. I get it that you’re having a bad day, but when you snap at me, this is what I see. I see you playing in your little mud puddle and you’ve just splashed me with your nasty little comment. I see you as an out of control child that isn’t behaving.

I grabbed my daughter’s hand, “Ewe! Honey, let’s go.” Because how am I supposed to raise a respectful little girl when people like that are over here getting us all dirty?

Grow up! Clean yourself off. Have a little respect. And if you can’t, then go take a break. Go get laid, something. You need some maintenance.

Huhhh, sorry for yelling. I just had to get that off my chest! I have to work tonight and I can’t harbor that, or I won’t make any money! There. All better.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a cashier at our local Lowe's. She was super pleasant, but related a tale about a fellow employee... When a customer asked her, "Don't you ever smile?" Her answer was, "Smiling is greatly overrated." :|

  2. I think we all have had similar experiences. I, like you, have gotten to be very direct and call a spade a spade. I point out their rude behavior and suggest that they take a break and reevaluate!!! Who knows if it makes a difference but at least I have let them know that I find their behavior/attitude unacceptable!! Good for you!


  3. Reap what you sow! And vent in appropriate ways...not at the people you are there to serve. I, too, have spent many years of my life in customer service oriented jobs and knew that part of my job was to smile and be polite to the customers.

  4. I think if everyone just smiled a little bit more it would help diminish the sourness. I hate when people are so rude especially when they're in the position of customer service. I tend to overcompensate and kill 'em with kindness...maybe it'll rub off on them :)

  5. I guess I've been in customer service in about half my jobs, now especially. Actually I think I've only displeased about 10 customers in a year which is pretty good. There is no excuse for bad customer service though I often want a t shirt for work that says "they pay me to smile @ you" I do smile @ them because that is part of my job, to be friendly, welcoming, and helpful.

  6. You know, I'm a bartender eight years now, and I find you don't even have to concentrate on being "nice" just sincere. Let others have their turn to speak, and in return just listen. Then respond thoughtfully. It's not the news, it's the delivery, that people get so amped. Unfortunately pasting on a smile doesn't always work, if that person is still being a jerk. It only comes off as being smug. So true, friendly, welcoming, and helpful is the only way to be in service. I like kill 'em with kindness, I wish that really worked.

  7. Amen, sister! Your description of their bad attitude as mud that splashes on others is right on.

  8. You are more patient than me! When someone in customer service is actually nice to me, I am so caught off guard that I don't even know how to respond.

  9. It is so frustrating when people act like that. I usually hold my tongue, when I don't it rarely comes out right and then I regret it.

  10. As someone who used to be a cashier, I can tell you it happens on both sides of the counter...and it is, IMHO, inexcusable. I don't care how rotten your life is. We all have our problems! I never, ever took them out on a customer. And, thank goodness, 99% of them were nice--just as I'm sure you've found most customer service people are at least civil. But boy, that 1% can sure ruin your day! I'm sorry that happened to you, and I hope it's the last of that kind of nonsense you have to deal with for a loooong time.
    BTW, I'm now a receptionist for a pediatrician. The number of annoying people runs way under 1%, but I'll tell you this...99.99999% of those annoying people are very young mothers. I just smile and deal with it, which I guess, in the long run, is the best way. I just can't be mean, it makes me feel bad!

  11. people can be just crabby, eh? forget 'em... move on! :D

    have a happy day.

    peace and hugs.