Just 40 years ago, virtually everywhere, if you asked a question of a stranger you were answered, even if the answer was “I don’t know,” if you had your hands full, people held doors for you, or thanked you if you did that for them, drivers allowed others into a lane, Police were smiled at, children were sent to play while adults talked and if they got back soon, they didn’t take over the spotlight. TV was about just the facts news, entertainment, and maybe late at night you were sold junk, or saw Church services on Sundays. People went about their lives, helped others where they could, spent time with family and friends, and in general, enjoyed their life. This is not the case today, sadly, as many have decided they are the center of the universe, able to control and punish anyone for any imagined slight. Virtually every corner of life has been taken over by this attitude, from the retail or food service world, to education, to corporate America, even professional sports and entertainment. We are so tied up in “I know the best way to do….” that we never even consider pausing to ask if that may not be true.
Consider when you call Customer Service now versus even 20 years ago, how you react at a restaurant when told something you don’t like, now versus just 20 years ago, retail now versus then, your general attitude most days. In the 80’s and 90’s would you ever have seen someone sue a restaurant for not having an item that they did not pay for? Not too long ago an attorney went to Our Place, a local DFW restaurant that regularly advertises their soups as part of lunch, but they had run out due to a busy day. He did not eat, and thus did not pay, yet he sent them a bill for “his time” in writing a letter threatening a false advertising lawsuit because they ran out of an item. I worked at two different sit down restaurants and two different pizza places, one delivery and dine in, one just delivery. All of them ran out of something at one point or another, including a pizza delivery place that ran out of pizza dough, on a weekend! Yes, within an hour we had donations from virtually every other store within 20 miles and drivers were dispatched to pick those up, but it happens, and this guy threatened to sue! I can remember, as a child, going to restaurants where I had ONE ITEM I liked, and more than once I heard “I’m sorry, we’re out.” My parents were very clear I would pick something else, eat it all, and not make a scene, but today if the waiter isn’t psychic and ensures you get what you want, people must have their lives ruined.
Where did we change that selfishness became the most prevalent trait in humans? I was told, many times in my childhood and teen years, by my Dad “go grab that door” especially where there were multiple doors, and then I, or he and I, would hold the door for multiple people, several times at restaurants we would just find the others we were with already seated and join them, yet just about a year or so ago, I held the door at a convenience store, for 8 or 9 people, but the last one started berating me about how “she doesn’t need a man to open doors for her.” I’ll admit I was tired and not in the best mood, but I feel I handled it well, as I just said “OK” and entered, letting it close. She then followed me in, ranting about my being rude and “slamming the door in her face,” a feat I assure you as the door opened inside out, meaning she’d need to be inside to have it slam in her face. I lost my patience there, leaned in and simply told her she cannot berate me for holding the door then also for honoring her demand that I not do that. She sputtered and I continued with “you may not have all ways applied to you, you get to pick one, you chose for me to not hold the door when you got angry, live with your choice.” I left after that, and yes, I could have handled it better, but it’s every day now.
Customer Service has never been a coveted job, save where you have great pay and/or benefits, such as working for an airline where you can travel almost free, or companies that pay above the norm to ensure they get the crème de la crème and keep them. But in just one day I need more than two hands to count the instances where I literally repeat myself at least 4 times, at times I’ve literally said “I have tested the steps above, but I am not allowed to edit your live server, so if you just use those steps it will solve your issue” only to be told if you don’t know just admit it, then a complaint filed. If it weren’t for companies recording EVERYTHING these days, I’d have been reprimanded for “being rude and refusing to even try to help,” rather, the client was told exactly what I’d said and emailed the proof, after which she actually said I’d faked it, and tried to demand I be fired for telling her how to resolve her issue.
We are in a rocket fuel powered handcart to hell people, and if we don’t kill the engine, hit the brakes and turn around, we will arrive and trust me, the world where customers can get you fired for doing your job, for literally begging them to just do what you know will work and thus what will resolve their issue, because they refuse to listen, well, trust me, no one will like that world. The people calling will not like getting any help for fear of being fired for helping them, the agents/cashiers/waiters won’t like it because they’ll be so scared serving someone breakfast, when they ordered breakfast, will get their fired for not knowing they actually wanted a beer and pizza but didn’t want to say it, and at the end, no one will be working, and we will be back in the stone age, is that what you want? At this point, I could happily move to cave in the Rockies, fish and hunt for my food, burn branches to keep warm and dry, or to cook, and never need money or tech ever again, but I know the vast majority of the planet are so unprepared, they’d starve in weeks, while bemoaning the “obvious hateful and spiteful attitudes of the world that they won’t just do their jobs and serve them” while ignoring they are the very cause of the collapse killing them.
At this point, honestly, I say we split the planet, give the crybabies and SJW’s and so on the eastern hemisphere and the rest of the people take the western. That gives the “I have rights” crowd more land, and they have a lot of people to spread out so no one offends anyone else, right? Just make sure travel is heavily controlled so they never again darken the door of the other side. Something tells me if we did that, within a few months we’d be ordered to send them food, money, technology, people to run their countries, and they would be required to do it for free and never complain. Even holding a signed contract stating they cannot do that, ever, they would cry about “it’s not fair” that we “just won’t help them any at all,” ignoring that they would not only not help, they’d happily take from anyone and everyone to satisfy their mere desires. So the question is now very simple, where will we end up, and how soon?