How can I not help you?
At the risk of ridicule, I’ve decided to not make this blog about the holidays. Instead, I’ve decided to dedicate it to the ladies and gentlemen in the service industry. While many of them are great at their jobs and make you want to return over and over again… that’s the reason they’re called “unsung heroes”. No one talks about them. Where’s the fun in that?
Is there anything more frustrating than walking into a huge chain store that employs two hundred people and not being able to find a single person to help you? Why, yes there is… When you find that person who works there, but you know is not going to be any help at all. Unfortunately, we are often forced to interact with these individuals in the hope that they will point us in the right direction. I understand that they are often underpaid and the hours are not the best, but I’m not the one who forced them to don an ugly vest, name tag and orthopedic shoes for. Obviously it was the allure of glamour associated with working anywhere ending in -Mart.
Going into a big chain store is always a gamble. One store that shall remain nameless hires “greeters” to meet you with a smile and a “how are you” as soon as you enter their establishment. The only thing they don’t seem to do is smile or greet me when I walk through the door. I understand. They are usually senior citizens and probably not amused that they are on the High School to the Grave Minimum Wage Program. The stores are so immense that often times you need help finding something. Most clerks or associates are very helpful, but once in a while you get the one that starts counting the minutes until they get to leave, as soon as they start their shift. These are usually the people that end up training the new employees. When I see the name tag that says, My Name is Terry -Please be patient, I’m new, I believe It should actually say, My Name is Terry -Get ready to wait twice as long to check out and sorry about the extra charges on your credit card, but I don’t know how to reverse any of my mistakes, because the clerk who trained me hates their job and by association, me. I guess that name tag would be entirely too big.
I always enjoy going into the big hardware store and playing Incompetence Roulette. Hunting for someone to show me where I can find the plumbing section is more challenging than any big game safari. Of course, when I find said clerk and ask the question, I get one of two reactions: the look of disdain, the sigh and the answer, “I have no idea. I work in paint.” The other is the eyes wide look of fear, hands held up like I’m pointing a gun at them and the answer, “I have no idea. I work in paint.” Of course, then I say, “Ok. Can you mix me this color in semi-gloss?” Followed inevitably by the response of, “Sorry, I’m on break.” Going out to the warehouse to retrieve something you’ve purchased isn’t much better. That’s where they put the manager’s nephew. You know the one. Bloodshot eyes, thinks everything both you and him say is funny, always eating Doritos and smells like he’s spent the last hour standing in the middle of a pine forest fire.
Then we’re off to get some refreshments. While being on a wait staff can be very stressful, but many of them that make it look easy. Then there is the waiter that has the idea that if he moves twice as fast, he’ll get twice the tip. Maybe, but when my plate is taken out from under me as I’m eating and the check shows up before my dessert, I feel like I’m in a prison cafeteria. The only thing missing is a guy with a face tattoo coming over and telling me he likes the way I eat my chicken tenders. Next we have the waitress who never writes anything down, because she has it “all up here”(as she points to her head). I just sit quietly as the completely wrong food arrives and enjoy my chicken Caesar salad(the whole time trying to figure out how that sounds like Bacon Cheeseburger), because I know if I send it back, it’ll take twice as long to get the next wrong thing and she’s going to touch my food. Sometimes I just want to get something quick. Drive-thru is just a shorter way of saying, “Please Pull Ahead and Someone Will Be Out in a Few Minutes with Your Food.” At that point, I don’t care what is in my greasy bag, I just want to get on the road and enjoy my ice cold fries! There is this one place I go for coffee sometimes. I won’t say the name, but it rhymes with Funkin’ Honuts. I usually get coffee with just cream, because you really can’t screw that up, unless you try. Once in a while, I opt to treat myself with a sweet flavoring in my coffee. The problem lies within the lack of consistency. One time I’ll get a coffee so sweet that I could use it to assassinate a diabetic and the next it’ll taste like sweet smelling dirty water. I can usually tell what I’m going to get by which person is behind the counter. Each time I think to myself, “Please be patient, he’s new …..but it’s just @#*$ coffee!!!”
I keep going back to these places, because there are some really great employees who know their job and make my experience a real pleasure. Well, that and I can save money. All I have to do is allow myself an extra forty minutes to just figure it out for myself.
About: Ted Snyder
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