Whatever happened to customer service? I've noticed the steady decline of professionalism for a while now but today really confirmed what I already knew.
First we went to the fabric store. They have set this thing up where the line for the checkout kind of wraps around the two checkouts and nobody is ever sure where to go. The check out furthest away had a girl serving someone else and the check out closest to me had a sales assistant yakking on the phone (surprise!). I didn't want to go around and stand by the one furthest away in case the one closest stopped talking on the phone and served the person behind me so I stood by the sign and waited to see which one would want to take my money first. Not surprisingly, the one who wasn't on the phone opened up first. She yelled across the room at me to go around to the end of her counter in a crabby tone that suggested maybe I was the one with the lower IQ. She scanned my items while constantly scanning the room for more interesting people. So busy was she looking for people who were not me, she didn't even notice when I handed her my money. I just stood there wondering how long it would take for her to notice. I got the feeling that I would have warranted more attention if I'd had a penis. Don't you just love women like that?
Then it was off to the bank. First I went to the teller who told me I'd have to go to the desk to do my transaction. So off to the desk I go to be told I would have to put money into my debit card account in order to complete the transaction. So back to the teller I go, put my money in and return to the desk. Oops, the debit card isn't working; can I go back to the teller, get my money out of the debit card account and into my chequing account? Sure, why not? I only have a life to live, what is that worth these days anyway? So off to the teller again and back to the desk again. Ah relief, it is finally done.
Then to the hardware store where once again it seems as though nobody wants to take my money. Of course only one check out is open and the person in front needs a price check. Can't these people check that there are tags on the product before schlepping it down to the front??? But wait, what is that over there? Is it a check out complete with sales assistant who doesn't seem to be doing anything? No, it's not because this sales assistant is actually doing something....she is gossiping very loudly with another sales assistant who is also not doing anything besides gossiping about her weekend. Given the choice between being served and going home or hearing about some teenagers drunken slutty weekend, I think I'll pick the former. Especially since I've been towing all 4 kids around with me this entire time and they are starting to grate on my nerves. And they also don't want to hear how the sales assistant spent the weekend with her legs wrapped around her head, puking into her own hair...nor do I want them to hear it.
But wait, there's more. I had to pick up a parcel from the post office. I walked in and it was totally empty. I can't tell you what a rare occurence this is. I am beaming from ear to ear at the thought of being served straight away. But then I spot them. The gaggle of hens laughing it up out the back. One looks at me and all of a sudden her face turns into a haggard scowl. I have obviously ruined her whole life by my very existence in that room at that moment. She drags her feet (and her knuckles) over to me, chomping hard on her chewing gum as though they have just sent her down the Green Mile. I politely ask for my parcel and she gives it to me as though she has just done the biggest favour in the world for me and I might have to give her a kidney one day in order to repay her.
I then do the best thing I could have done and go home. Whatever happened to a smile? Whatever happened to helpfulness? Whatever happened to taking pride in your work? I don't know but I miss it and I wish it would come back. Or else I might have to start running errands with hand grenades....