Sunday, October 7, 2012

Things Service Workers Don't Want to Hear

I know it's been a long time since I've updated this blog, but I've been busy not updating it. Anyway, here is a quick list of things that service workers don't want to hear. These are all based on either my own experiences or the experiences of coworkers and friends.

1. You Look Bored
        This is almost always said by a customer who has just walked up to a cashier who doesn't have a line, although it does happen in other situations. The problem with this is that most of the time, that cashier or other worker is NOT bored and he may just be catching his breath after a huge rush. It also makes the quite egotistical point that the service worker has nothing else to do but wait for you to grace him with your presence.

2. The customer is always right.
           While customer service is important. The customer is not always right. This line is most often used by customers who are clearly in the wrong and are trying to get the service person to break rules for them.

3. Customers first!
          This gem is normally a corporate policy which lets all the employees know exactly how little they mean to the company. A customers first policy often results in worse customer service than an associates/workers first policy that values the happiness of the employees which in turn results in the employees *wanting* to do a better job.

4. At least you have a job
           Because if you have a job in this economy, you no longer are entitled to be upset when the powers that be screw up your schedule, forget to pay you, or reduce your hours to 4 a week. Most service workers are grateful for their mostly low paying jobs, but that gratefulness should not be a blindness to be treated unfairly.

5. Why don't you have X?
              If you want to know why your local grocery store doesn't carry the organic nut free soy based carpet cleaner that you simply love and would buy tons of if only they had it, the reason is normally that there is no shelf space for it. Niche products are less likely to be carried. Why doesn't the restaurant you went to last night still have that amazing noodle free casserole with shark fins that you loved three years ago? Most likely, it wasn't a profitable menu item. More importantly though, the service person that you are asking about this likely has no input when it comes to what is sold there.     

6. I just need 5 minutes/ I just need to grab one thing/ I'll be quick 
           This and all of its variations are uttered by people who decide to wait until the place is either closed or about to close to decide that they need something. It's never quick, it's never one thing, and it's never just 5 minutes. Even if it was, you are keeping the workers there and often adding things to their job. You just want to get a pound of tuna salad from the deli and the worker is still there, so where is the problem? The problem is that now that worker has to either clean a spoon or grab a clean spoon which will have to be washed, get your tuna salad, weigh it on the scale which will have to be rewashed, and then go back to whatever they were doing before at least 2 minutes behind where they were before you had to have tuna salad. Now multiply that 2 minutes by at least 5 because there is always more people who also want to ignore the closing time. It's even worse for restaurants where they have to wait for you to finish eating to finish their cleaning.

7. Have you tried X?
          This one may just be me. I hate when someone asks me, "have you tried the potato salad?" No, I haven't and even if I had, why would you trust my opinion? How do you know that your tastes match mine? Even if we do have similar tastes, how can you be sure that I'm not just pushing a particular item because it's close to the expiration date?

8. You must love working here/You must hate working here
          This is one of those no win situations for the service worker. Sure, you love shopping at Hippy Dippy Dotted Dodads and they have the best dodads ever and you can't see how anyone could not love working there. However, Georgie is just working there because it was the only place that would work with her school hours and while she thinks that the dodads are awesome, the customers can be real pigs and it often takes her three hours to put all the dodads back where they belong after the store closes. If she tells you that she doesn't love working there, then you get defensive and demand an explination as to how she can be so dead inside. The inverse also happens. You hate going to Melly's World of Pig Bellies. It is always crowded and it smells like pork, people must hate working there. However, Greg loves working at Melly's because he is actually putting his degree in pig belly theory to use. He loves the challenges of a busy workplace presents, he loves meeting new peoplem, and sharing his interest in pig bellies with others. The smell was a bit much for him at first, but he's gotten used to it. If he tells you that no, he doesn't hate working here, you respond as if he is insane. How can anyone's opinion differ from yours? It's unfathomable.

9. Why is this so expensive?
        The service worker to whom you are complaining likely has no influence whatsoever regarding the prices of things. If it is too expensive for you, don't buy it, complain to corporate. Don't berate the service worker because you think that battered monkey feet should only $4.32 a pound instead of the $5.73 a pound that corporate set.

10. Anything religious or political
            You have opinions regarding religion or politics. Good for you, share them with your friends or debate them online with total strangers, or anyone who has a choice in the conversation. Don't try to force a service worker into a conversation that could potentially end with her being fired. Most places now have policies that the worker must be friendly towards you, even if you are spewing political or religious diatribe at them.


Monday, April 2, 2012

The Way Station

The Way Station

Elvis lying on white sandwiches

peanut butter dog cookies

Milk Duds

not a seemingly coherent connection

Mr. Presley is long dead

he works at the Walmart

no the Circle K

was it Burger King

words on the page

run together trying

to keep your eyes

away from what is not there

half a gallon of milk rots

in my fridge laughing

at the federal surplus

of my past her present my future

candy lies coffee truth

vodka exploration

Shirley Temple of Doom

I need to use the TARDIS

Monday, January 30, 2012

Random Monday Thoughts

I am going to a concert tonight. A Jonathan Coulton and They Might Be Giants concert. You may now be jealous.

I've been excited about this for months, almost as excited as I am about going back to New York for spring break. The most exciting part about both events? I won't be going alone. Jamila and I will be going together. It's nice that she wants her mommy around for these kinds of things.

I hate homework. I don't think that will ever change.

Unless you are in a very math heavy field such as astro-physics or one of the other "hard" sciences, you will never need to use algebra in the real world. All of the posters in your math class are lying to you.

It is amazing how two people of approximate weight wearing similar shoes can vary the amount of noise they make whilst walking up stairs or a ramp.

I think every school should have a library staffed with a librarian and children should learn why to use Wikipedia as a beginning source, not the only source for research papers.

If you fry your french fries in peanut oil, you should display a notice about doing so in a very visable and noticeable place, like the front window of your eatery. I'm not allergic to peanuts or peanut oil, I just hate the taste. Yes, I can taste the difference. Yes, I know that most people can't. No, I'm not just imagining it.

Anyone who uses a fake/imitation cheese or cheese product instead of real cheese in their food should not be allowed to use the word cheese to describe the food. They should have to use the word Yuck. If a pizza place uses imitation mozzerella or mozzerella cheese food, they should list their pizza as Yuck pizza, or pizza with Yuck and sausage.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This blog is being ignored currently due to an overwhelming amount of schoolwork. My other blog is actually for class and will be updated more frequently. You are more than welcome to read my other blog and I will try to update this one when I get the chance.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Poem

This is not something I wrote for class. This is just something I wrote for me. It is as yet untitled.


I could set it in one of those
caf├ęs that are really overpriced
coffee shops selling the Art
hanging on their walls
done by some great Artist
who just happens to be besties
with the manager

I could set it in one of those
Cities that everyone knows
until they live there Cities
of strangers Cities of light
Cities of wonder Cities somehow
different from the other Cities
just like them

I could set it somewhere
personal like my studio
with the fuchsia not pink
K superglued to the wall
because the mounting tape
would not work on the brick
next to broadsheet of Orlen
from the memorial gently framed
above the convertible couch
she used until she moved out
leaving me with my thoughts
and poetry to set.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Post Created Sep 16, 2011 10:34:20 AM

I wrote a poem for class Wednesday. A poem I won't post here because if it was a movie it would be rated NC 17. It was extremely adult in subject manner. I had no qualms turning it in and providing copies for my classmates since we are adults. At least, I thought we were.

After class, a classmate whom I've talked to a few other times and am on friendly terms with were discussing our poems. While we were talking about them, she told me how the guy who sits next to her responded to mine. He read the first line and demanded to know who I was. Just the first line. The line that has two profanities. The line that describes a sexual assault without implicitly stating it is such.

He would not read further. He judged my poem, and worse he judged me, by one line. One line that I intentionally made coarse and vulgar. I am not sure what he expects in a 400 level poetry class, but if he is that easily offended, perhaps he should switch to writing children's fiction.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Soul Separation

I was leaving my body behind
I was being drawn out
Not yet I thought
I started
A dream I must convince myself

I reached for you
Received no comfort
My small concern less important
Than the rain and the television