What makes a gay heart weep tears of price-tag infused pain [with a side of free-gift-with-purchase agony]? Why, working in the Customer Service Industry and the absolute fucktards who don't know the system.
We've all griped, bitched and moaned about bad customer service from the customer's point of view. I mean, who hasn't had that assclap barista who made their coffee with an extra splash of "go fuck yourself"? Or the really rude salesclerk mutter under her breath that that delightfully green blouse you're trying on makes you look like a friggin' jolly fat-ass giant? Or that welcome-desk guy who didn't make you feel welcome so much as you were intruding on his World of Warcraft time?
Yeah, we all have had some bad customer service stories at one time or another, but, lest we forget, there is a tacit agreement here. Good customer service is a 2-way street. When the Server is nice, the Customer is nice, and the Server is nice in return. A volley of kindness. That whole pay-it-forward crap, ya know?
Of course, there are ALWAYS folks who don't believe in this system. People who's sole goal seems to be to work your one remaining shredded nerve until its frayed ends splinter and your patience becomes a thing of the past. These people? These total assclap selfish dicks? Are the Shopping Dead.
I've been "lucky" enough to work in the retail services industry - c'mon, I'm a gay man who's a very 'customer friendly' [their words, not mine] and 'outgoing' [again, their words] - off and on since I was 20 and can testify that this system is real.
For example; in the recent months since Borders closed [read: where in RetailHell am I gonna find another job where I can pretty much dress, talk, act and promote how I want?] I've been back in the 'proper' Customer Service Industry and have I some tales to tell.
For now, we'll gloss over the paranoid schizophrenic off her meds who threw the iron; we'll pass over the creepy old dude who created a doggie kennel in his room and hid it behind his comforter strung-up on the wall; and we'll instead just talk about a plain, run-of-the-mill jerk.
About a month ago, Mister X [shan't call him by his real name, Total Jerk Assface, for legal reasons] showed up to my service counter/desk/whatever-the-hell-you-wanna-call-it and after I politely greeted him [I stay caffeinated to keep up my pseudo-perky demeanor, thank you] rudely cut into the schpeel we are all forced to say.
*Ahem* strike 1.
I arch an eyebrow but politely ask how I may assist him [I'm not gonna lose the Customer Service battle without at least trying] and smile big'n'purty [I may often have a British accent, but, I was raised with Southern manners, thank you].
Of course, my extreme politeness didn't curb his enthusiasm any and the vitriol and acid leaked off his tongue with an alacrity that put me in the shade.
*Ahem* strike 2.
Sure, Mister, I'll happily process your request. Thank you for throwing your credit card at me to pay. And of course it's great that you just called me a fucking idiot for not knowing your name before you told me it and for not being able to read your mind as to what I can do for you in every manner. Why, no, it doesn't bother me when assclaps like yourself act this way.
Oh, wait, yes it does.
Strike 3 - you? Are so outta here.
Pulling my own forked tongue out from behind my teeth I dialed the accent up a notch, dropped the Southern gentility of my politeness - WASP alert - and looked him straight in the eye. And told him.
Have a nice day.
What? You think I'd tell that jack-off exactly what I thought of him? Remind him of the whole 'I'm nice to you so you're nice to me' unspoken deal that is part of Customer Service?
Okay, I did kinda do that. Bu-ut, that was after he told me to shut my fucking mouth and to not be so sarcastic. [Sidenote: telling a gay man to not be sarcastic is like telling a fuzzy kitten to stop being cute. Not gonna fucking happen. Just fyi.]
Seriously. I'm sorry, but, when I am politely doing my job and go out of my way to ensure that I'm being polite to you and you brazenly breach the etiquette here? Sorry, but all gloves are off.
I tell you this story not to brag - in fact, I'm very NOT proud that I lost my cool like that - but to illustrate the delicate balance the whole dance of Customer Service is based around. It's a give and take. I do my best, when on either side of the counter to make sure I'm giving my best and I hope you are too.