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Comments

trekkiebabe

Yeah, I totally agree with this post! I have had people throw things at me, glare at me, treat me like shit because I have to ask them about the company card, member card, etc. Heck, even as a greeter I get treated like crap! That's why if I'm out and someone is being awful to someone, I will speak up, because no one deserves to get treated that way!

The Last Archimedean

I refuse to put up with that BS. If everyone called these scumbags on their crap every time they'd stop doing it.

Jenyfur

Agreed. Luckily working as a nursing assistant I rarely get moments like these but family of the residents can be horrible. We always get a daughter of a resident that wants us to take care of her mother right then and there. No, I can't. I have 15 other residents that need my help. Oh, you're paying a lot of money for her care? So is everyone else. I will tend to your mother when I have the time to.

It's the same thing nearly everyday. Though I'm lucky to have nurses that back me up. Not everyone has that.

BarStar

So true! What a good post!

Twice in my bar career, customers have attempted to use "the customer is always right" in an argument with me to get their way. The first was a group of lowlifes who wanted to play the juke box while the entire rest of the bar was watching the Super Bowl, and the second was a group of entitled twenty somethings who felt happy hour prices should never end, just for them. Those two experiences have been more than enough to convince me that anyone who utters that particular phrase is most likely a complete idiot.

The silver lining here is that my job gave me the freedom to respond to these jerks in ways most employees can not... Both times I smiled sweetly and said, "You can be right all you'd like, until you argue with me!"

CoG

Agree 1000%. Especially about losing respect. I'll respect you just because, but you have to do something pretty shitty to lose my respect. And once it's gone, it's pretty much gone.

Nightwalker

Typically, when I end up telling someone they have to earn my respect, it's the result of them losing it already.

Retail Kiwi

I only tell someone they have to earn my respect when they think they are so important they should have it straight away, i'll be nice to you but won't respect you unless you deserve it. BUT and this is a big BUT I won't be a dick to you just because you don't have my respect, there are very few people in this world whom I respect, but I am nice to mostly everyone.

Perky

I think it will be interesting to see how people who post here define "respect." And if they think there is different levels of respect or if it is an all or nothing sort of thing.

Wishinonehand

"Besides, I feel that if I stay silent, I am almost giving an abuser permission to act like a raging asshole. Ignoring their behavior suggests to them on some sick level that what they’re doing is Ok."

Aye. So right. Edmund Burke said it best: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Yeah, sit there and say 'None of my business', asshole people of the world, while the helpless are beaten down and abused by those who get their sick thrills out of hurting people - because noone ever made them accountable for their actions. That sure makes you a good person. Not. It makes you a coward and just as horrible as the asshole who's screaming at some poor clerk over stupid, stupid shit. You're saying it's FINE that people behave that way. It's not fine.

As far as respect goes, for me at least it's pretty simple. I will start out treating you with respect, until your behaviour shows me what you really deserve. To be treated with respect, you must behave respectably. And bitching out a teenage waitress for minor, non-life-threatening mistakes on her first day on the job is not respectable behaviour. It's asshole behaviour, and I WILL call them out on it if it happens in front of me.

Brittany

This is the most amazing thing I have ever read. Well said !!!

Hellbound Alleee

The word origin of "respect" is "looking back at one." To consider. To re-look at someone. To not judge before considering the other's station in life (as in ancient Latin) or, in a humanistic, modern way, to consider the other's humanity.

When I think of the word "respect," it goes two ways: first, one acts respectfully. This is one's own level of behavior. That is how one outwardly treats all others. Then there is "I respect you," which is a higher step with that behavior. "I give you esteem." This you show the traditional way with authority figures (because that's how society works), teachers, policemen, firemen, EMTs, and finally people you have business transactions with: your clerk at the store.

These are mostly people who are helping you--people who are there for you. This is how capitalism was supposed to work. This is why people used to get dressed up to go shopping with gloves and things. It's because shopping in the past was not a hunter-gatherer sort of thing. You went to a store and asked someone for the things on your list. I even remember going "hose shopping" with my mom when I was little at such a store. We went to "Ladies' Foundations." There was a woman who went to a big drawer, grabbed several panty hoses, draped them over her arm and showed mom the quality of the hose. She chose, and this lady GIFT WRAPPED THE PANTY HOSE in a box tied with string. And THAT is why people were supposed to respect their clerk. And this is why "the customer is always right" made a tiny bit of sense back then. The server was a very important person who had a lot of control over the customer's wants.

Now a clerk is someone people feel is in the way of their purchase. Even though they need their hands held to do it. The whole Starbucks barista thing was supposed to bring back that feeling of service. But modern people who like to "get it and go" find this tedious. They cannot stop and appreciate the level of service this takes. They do not know how to respect their server. And that's sad.

Retail Kiwi

@Hellbound Alleee, your point on respect is exactly right

NC Tony

This is also why people wonder why there's so little customer service these days. If retail slaves know that they're going to be berated, yelled at, steamrolled and thrown under the bus by management, they're not going to give a damn about customer service. Unfortunately there are a lot of managers who are so concerned over loosing ONE customer over the thousands of other customers who, while maybe not showing complete and total respect, don't go out of their way to be raging douchebags. I was joking with a couple of my co-workers about this last night "We're a multi-billion dollar company. I don't think loosing one asshole customer is going to affect our bottom line."

But, I wholeheartedly agree that we, when we're customers, should stand up and say something for the slaves whose hands are tied by corporate bullshit, by telling the offending crusty off. Maybe, just maybe, they'll think before they fly off the handle again, wondering if someone is going to call them out for being an idiot to someone who is just trying to do their job. Customers seem to forget (or just don't care) that we're human beings. We don't live just to serve them. We have lives outside of the store, we have feelings and we have good days and bad days.

Crustys don't realize that as soon as they leave the store, they no longer exist to us (unless they were a colossal asshole who we want to rant about here). We can't change all the stupid customers of the world, but we can damn sure try, one crusty at a time.

Techtyger

Wishinonehand: "For evil to win, good must only do nothing".

It's not just 'the customer is always right', although that's a large part of it. More of it is the 'special snowflake' way kids are being raised now. "You're the most important person in the world, and everything you want should be supplied to you right now the way you want it even if it's stupid". So they grow up with parents catering to their every whim, including giving retail people shit when they dare to mess with their kids...how DARE they tell them not to play with the knives because they might be hurt? Don't they know how SPESHUL their kid is? ...which teaches the kids that EVERYONE should kowtow to them...

Skittles

@Nc Tony I think the wages that are ridiculously low have a pretty big part to play in that as well. I know I'm prepared to take a lot more shit for 50k a year than 15k a year.

As far as the respect goes I agree with the punk kids. To a certain extent that is. I think that being respectful should be my default however if it becomes clear that the person I'm dealing with, no matter how exalted their position is not worthy of respect than that changes immediately. The concept that people can automatically be worthy of respect because of a position of authority, or a certain age has been reached is too often abused. This is precisely why we have a lot of the social issues in this society today.
In short although ones default should be respect, respect is earned with each person individually.

Bitch Boy

When I started with Worst Try I was taught (behind closed doors) that "What the customer perceives is always right; but they can be technically WRONG."

That shaped my approach to retail from Day 01.

CoG

@Techtyger You call it "special snowflake", but I like to think of it as "Veruca Salt Syndrome" ;)

Spligger

I was lucky enough to end up working for a small electronics business with an owner who had a completely different motto. "The customer is barely ever right." This said, he always honored the customers that had fair claims and fair complaints.

He thought nothing of throwing out abusive customers, or ones that made ridiculous claims. One particular customer who, apart from attempting fraud, also started to rant like a madman (something about a basket full of buns breaking from bun weight) got sent out with the words:

Boss: I wouldn't even let you buy my poop. You're not worth my poop."

Madman Customer then stood outside, trying to persuade other customers to buy stuff for him from our store.

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