From Retail Death webcomic creator, Austin:
When you've worked in retail for a long time, everything a customer does pisses you off. Whether it's one of their many annoying tendencies or something completely innocent. And I recognize that my veteran status has made me far quicker to wageslave rage than many others. But I am sure I can't be alone in my profound annoyance with customers who look at my name tag and use drop my name into their dealings with me.
Here's the thing. Customers don't wear name tags, and very few will be forthcoming with their personal nomenclature. They, on the other hand, know your name, because your retail slave masters force you to wear it on your shirt. Maybe a customer occasionally uses your name to be polite. But -- not to be paranoid here -- most of the time? It's a power play. It's, "I get to know your name, and wield it as a symbol of my power in these proceedings. You, on the other hand, shall never know my name!"
Imagine that you are at a party. Someone wants to know your name. How do they find it out? You likely expect an exchange like this:
Person: "Hi, I'm Jim."
You: "Hi Jim, I'm Austin."
Jim: "Nice to meet you."
In retail, however, it's more often:
Custy: "Hey..." (custy eyes name badge) "...JIM. Where's the pencils."
But what bothers me more is when they try to use it like we're friends.
I used to have regulars at my old store who all knew my name. Some
recommended me by it, some filed complaints by it, it really depends on
what day they caught me initially. But they would always use it when we
interacted. I, on the other hand, might have recognized them from the
store, but had no idea who they were. So afterward, they could just
disappear again, anonymous and secure.
And it's the anonymity that really appeals to most of them, I think. I have an old saying I live by, paraphrased from the Matrix (sorta): "If you're an asshole in a store, you're an asshole in real life." People seem to think it doesn't count when you're a customer...that it's part of some game that only they're playing to argue with and jerk around the staff at a store. Now if I know this customer is Susie Johnson, I can tell all my fellow associates, friends, and family, that Susie Johnson is a douche. But if I don't know who she is, well, word that "that mean ass blonde lady with the dog" is a douche isn't exactly going to work in the grapevine.
In comic related news, you will surely realize that this comic is the same drawing as one used last week. Well, I have had a hell of a time at work this week, staying late, going in early, and tonight -- my normal drawing night -- has been interrupted by a visit from my parents. Tomorrow I have to go see a friend I haven't seen in months. So I'm booked. When I made the other comic, however, I'd had two ideas, and realized the same drawing worked for both. So I made an "A" and "B" version, and ended up posting B. So this week you get A. And don't get me any C about it either ;)