Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do Your Job!

I had a weird experience the other day, and I'm still thinking about it now so I guess that merits a post. I went over to Grand Forks to get some of the back to school shopping started and happened past one of those 'Learning Centers' (the one that starts with an SYL and ends with AN) and thought I'd check it out for Charlie. We need to get him reading more and I'm out of ideas. I walked into the building and was nodded to by a guy talking on his cell phone. He turned, walked through a door marked "Director's Office" and shut the door behind him. Fine, I'll wait for you to send an underling out to greet the potential customer for you. Looking into the classroom type area, I saw several people working with assorted kids and three or four others just standing around looking like they needed something to do. After making eye contact with three of them and still standing alone in the solitary confinement that was the waiting room, I remained ungreeted. I gave several pointed glances at my invisible wristwatch and counted to 150 before emitting a disgusted snort, throwing a dirty look through the window in the door marked "Director's Office" and left, slamming the pneumatic door as best I could (quite a feat, try it sometime!) and stomped back to my car. Really?! Was it THAT much effort for one of these people to at least say "Someone will be right with you." if they didn't want to take responsibility for me? I don't think acknowledging someone's presence is quite the same as picking up a piece of trash in the woods. I didn't become theirs as soon as they said hello. Suffice it to say, we won't be PAYING for their services anytime soon. Do your jobs, people!
Later in the day, after getting half of what I needed at the store, I was treated to the life story of the cashier while she scanned my purchases. I have no problem being chatty with the cashiers, I rather enjoy these exchanges and if I can bring some levity to what I know can be an incredibly monotonous job, all the better. What I don't wish to hear is a list of complaints about your unsatisfactory boyfriend told in a near shout to the cashier in the lane behind you, the entire exchange punctuated by snaps from the wad of chewing gum that is roughly the size of a golf ball and in imminent danger of falling into my bag of notebooks and folders. After putting a pair of tennis shoes on top of the package of hamburger buns, she handed me my receipt (I had scanned my card myself, minimizing the effort she needed to put into her job) and stuffed my last items in to a bag (laundry soap on top of grapes) without ever making eye contact or addressing me directly. Do your job, sweetie!
The final nail in the customer service coffin that day was the waitress at dinner that night. After we had been seated and given our menus (and given enough time to not only memorize, but preapre most of the dishes ourselves) we were approached by a sulky and rather unkempt waitress. She plunked the water glasses down on the table (sloshing the rough amount of a small wading pool onto the table) and muttered the daily special in a monotone barely discernible from the hum of the air conditioning before wandering off without asking us if we wanted any drinks. My beloved headed over to the bar to get our long desired beverages and the kids and I were left to play tic tac toe until the waitress reappeared. Her second coming was heralded by her loud and annoying ringtone blasting from her pocket and she actually told us to "Hold on a sec" as she answered her phone while standing next to our table. After about two minutes of listening to her rehash the previous evening's alcohol-induced indiscretions, we opted out and headed to the Dairy Queen for an ice cream based meal. Do your job, missy!
That's it, I'm doing all my everything online from now on.