Anyone out there work in the service industries?
Working in bars, shops or places of recreation?
I stood in the line at the post office today, little parcel tucked casually under my arm, and waited my turn. Now the post office in question is actually a satellite branch inside a local Spar shop so although the core services are the same, there can’t be the same range that you may expect to see at the larger dedicated outlets.
Now, the man ahead of me in line tried to complete a transaction with a very large item but the facility wasn’t able to do the business. Now here’s where we get to the interesting part. ‘Man in Line’ decided that the young lad who was serving him was the perfect recipient for his ire at the fact he couldn’t do what he wanted.
“What’s the point of having this as a post office if you can’t send things from it?”
To his credit, the lad behind the counter calmly explained the situation but ‘Man in Line’ just continued to moan, muttering away that it wasn’t good enough and that the lad was just not helping. Happily he left pretty quickly but it highlights a wonderful phenomenon.
When the customer isn’t always right.
No doubt there are loads of stories with anyone who works in these kinds of places but why do these things happen in the first place?
Why is it that we as a people have now become so utterly focused on what we are doing that we end up ignoring the rules or attempt to bulldoze our way to our goal despite it not being possible?
It’s a normal thing that we get angry. Getting angry when we want to do something but can’t, still normal, but when the reason we can’t is because it’s out of the realms of possibility, now not so great.
Why do we want to rage against a situation that’s immovable? At what point do we move from trying to overcome something in our way to then deciding that we should be able to do everything and anything we could want and the rules that are in place shouldn’t have to apply to us. And even more, that the person who’s telling us no is the one who’s being unreasonable.
I’ve been told that a child should be able to use the gym I worked in, outside of the usual planned times, just because the mother wanted it to happen, and when I explained she couldn’t, that she ‘pays my wages’ so how dare I suggest that these rules be enforced. The next port of call was the sentence that’s like fire on my skin, “I’m taking this further,” meaning ‘if you don’t give me my way, I’m going to (try to) get you in trouble.”
Now working in the industries I have, I’ve seen so many examples of people doing everything they possibly can to be absolute arses to those who are there to do a job. The ‘I pay your wages’ to ‘You have to do what I say’, come barging out when the desires they may be harbouring are rebuffed.
Is it that the angry people just want to be a pain? Some do.
Are the workers being deliberately awkward to a small handful of customers? Again, some might.
But do we end up bending over backwards until we’re coiled like a spring for the tiny percentage of pricks out there who just want to complain about absolutely everything that the majority end up having to fit around the dense core?
I’m writing a series of books about Dragons and magic but something which is folded into the core of the tale, is an examination of power. Not only do I want to see that magical power comes to the fore, but that how people are treated on a more day to day basis. I’m trying to look at different characters at all levels of the ‘machine’ as it were, and see how all of these people mesh together. The master of the estate may have all of the power but how is it being wielded?
In the real world, how the dynamic plays out between the customer and the worker can be a glaring light shone on the human condition. Does the customer try to bully the worker? What happens if the worker just withholds service because they feel like it?
Shouldn’t we all recognise that each and every one of us is held within certain criteria? Certainly, ask, test the chances of getting something beyond the normal but if it’s knocked back, don’t explode. If we all just mesh together then won’t the gears just move more smoothly?