Wednesday, January 07, 2009

In which Stacey rants about a pet peeve

(I know, despite my notice yesterday, I'm making two posts in a row. I lied.)

So while I may have been a little on edge due to my son's attitude (see post below), something that is normally a pet peeve just really cheesed me off today.

While I was standing in the checkout line at Target with my hard-won potty seat, the girl in front of me was on her cell phone. She hadn't reached the cashier yet, but when she did, she didn't hang up. She didn't smile at the cashier, didn't excuse herself from her phone call to say hello, didn't even make eye contact. In fact, at no point during the entire transaction did she even deign to acknowledge the cashier's presence.

This is a HUUUUUGE pet peeve of mine.

People in the service industry are not below you. You are not their master. They are human beings, with emotions and feelings. When they are completely ignored despite being friendly at the onset, it hurts those feelings. Therefore, when you refuse to acknowledge them, you are straight up rude.

I realize that sometimes it's unavoidable to be on a cell phone when you're in an interaction with someone else. What would you do if you were with a group of friends and you received a phone call? Class? That's right, you'd excuse yourself for a moment and take said phone call. The same is true when you receive a phone call when you're in a transaction with someone.

Once, I got a call from Ace's doctor's office while I was checking out at the grocery store. I said "I'm sorry, this is my son's doctor, I need to take the call." The cashier said "Of course! Take it!" No hurt feelings. See what I did there, y'all? I treated the cashier just as I would any other person whose company I happened to be in at the time.

I'll give her a little bit of credit - she did sound like she was on a business call. While she could have waited until she was finished with the call before checking out, she may have been in a hurry. This did not preclude her from putting her hand over the microphone and saying to the cashier "I'm sorry, this is a very important business call," then saying "thank you" and smiling when the cashier handed her the receipt. Instead, she acted like she was more important than the cashier.

I know there are cards that tell the cell phone user to shut up when talking loudly in public about things that are private... maybe I should make a similar card that says "Dear Cell Phone User: People in the service industry like being treated like they're human despite your Very Important Call." I'll be the founder of the Society for HandHeld Etiquette When Buying Stuff.

For what it's worth, I tried to commiserate with the cashier. I said "I guess some people are too important to acknowledge you - how are you today?" She broke out in a big smile and laughed, and we had a nice conversation.

(Inside joke to a Jennifer - reckon I'd get snarked for this one? :) )


Kayra said...

that's beyond rude. Those are probably the same people who complain because the cashier was rude to them.

Christine the Soccer Mom said...

UGH! I hate that. I practically hang up on people if I get a call while I'm in line at the store, or if I get it before I start in line, I hover near the line, but not in it. If I am finishing as I get to the front of the line, I fall all over myself apologizing because it's horribly rude to ignore the cashiers! Good golly, they don't get paid enough to be treated that way!

Same goes for the pimply kid at McDonald's. He deserves the same respect as anyone else.

Of course, Stacey, we are both assuming that people have basic manners, aren't we? As in, they even know how to treat their friends and acquaintances with respect and dignity? Yeah, right.

Just another symptom of the general coarsening of our culture and the lack of respect for people/life in general.

Jo said...

I hear ya! That's a big pet peeve of mine too! Hang up the damn phone in the drive through too... bank... McD's... etc!

I was stalked by a loudmouth woman on a cell phone in the dollar store yesterday! SHUT! UP! I swear... everywhere I went, she was there blabbering on and on!

I agree with Christine too...people are just rude nowadays!

LOL... my word verf: miscu (it's a miscellaneous college)

Sandi said...

You should print out cards like that. The chick may not have realized she was being rude.

Watercolor said...

Totally rude.

Of course, a lot of cashiers don't seem to speak at all anymore. Sometimes I am lucky to get a grunt in reply to my "hello, how are you today" lol! I still smile and try to make them speak. :) But I am evil that way. heh.

Jen said...

I speak to the cashier and if they don't speak in response to me, I AM SO MAD! I hate when they are RUDE! Especially when I am being nice. I hate to be on the phone when checking out period.

Tonight, I called Aaffees (military PX) to get our online username reset. The older lady that answered gave me some serious ATTITUDE & I was all Yes Ma'AM and NO Ma'AM, I put her on speaker so hubby could hear her and then all of a sudden she tells me "i gotta hurry up and get done with you so I can answer my other call on my cell" WHAT THE HELL!? I almost lost it BUT I didn't. I am taking those damn fertility drugs and if I had started in on her, I couldn't have stopped NOR been held accountable for my actions. LOL! Freaking people piss me off being rude. The world is bad enough without all that.

jessica said...

Praise him, Sister! As a dedicated member of the service industry for the past decade or so, I say Preach on!!! You are speaking the Truth!

Dr. Wifey said...

i always hang up when i get to the cashier. i used to be a cashier myself, so i talk to them because i know how it is to be snubbed by the snobs

From the Doghouse said...

I've seen some places (especially food places) that now have signs that say "I'll be happy to take your order AFTER you finish your call."

I hang up when I get to the front of the line too, and if I can't do it immediately, I apologize to the cashier when I get off the phone.

Bird said...

I'm in no way trying to excuse this girl, but one day I was WAITING for ther pediatric neurologist to call me back--not her nurse, but the actual doctor and she called RIGHT as I was checking out at the supermarket. I apologized effusively when we hung up, but I was going to answer that phone no matter what--it's near impossible to get a doc on the phone.

mayberry said...

You are RIGHT ON with this one sister!

Melinda Barton said...

You are so right. I always used that as a test for dates. If she was mean or rude to the wait staff or servers or whoever, that was it. I learned the dark side of a few ex-friends that way too.

I really can't stand when the waiter/waitress delivers the food and uppity people can't even be bothered to LOOK at him/her, much less acknowledge him/her or say thank you. Yes, I know I'm paying, but I ALWAYS say thank you anyway. These people are servERS not servANTS, damnit!