Thursday, August 13, 2009

Would You Like Fries With That . . . Bitch?

This is my second rant on this subject - forgive me.  I just can't help myself . . . 

I am back in the good old US of A. The land of apple pie and burgers.  Of liberty and the first amendment.  And of the WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE in the world (well, up there with the UK).

Wait, didn't the Americans invent customer service?  Wasn't that what Mr. Wal brought to Wal Mart?  Weren't the Americans the cornerstone of 'service with a smile' and 'the customer is always right'?  I mean I worked at the Gap where they taught us it was wrong to let someone walk into the store without being greeted by a friendly, and oh-so-preppy 'Hello'.

But no.  

Maybe in Ohio or Kansas or California.  But most definitely NOT in New York City.  I have been here less than 24 hours and already I have been the victim of horrific customer service.

As an ex-customer service person, I know we all had our bad days. Possibly more than we cared for (there is a reason I don't do it anymore, I just don't like people that much) but I always tried to smile.  Or fix a problem.  Or at least say 'thank you'.


It's like you're an asshole intruding on their special time.  The time of which they are paid a minimum of $8/hour to be nice to us.  Okay, that alone would make be bitchy, but still, I feel if you are the one sitting at a post office selling stamps and mailing letters, you can't get mad at the people who are there to buy the stamps right?

Example #1  Brooklyn Post Office
The Engineer and I wait in line for about 20 minutes to mail a small parcel to Canada.  Get to the lady.  We didn't fill out the customs form right.  So she shoved the package at us and waved the next person in line.  Wait a minute here, I am confused.  Couldn't she have said, in a nice way, you filled this out wrong (and perhaps with a 'Sorry, you did this wrong' tone as opposed to a 'You are a stupid idiot' tone).  Why don't you get your girlfriend to grab a new label (or better yet, why don't I reach for one under the counter myself) and fill it out while I calculate how much this will be to send to Canada.  Seems easy to me.  But no.  She told us to get to the back of the line in her rude, nasally voice.  The line which was now double in size because some brilliant postal employee decided to stack the envelopes behind the glass as opposed to helping customers.  I didn't understand why the Engineer just walked away.  I would of put up a fight I tells ya.

Example #2  Brooklyn Library
Go to take out books.  Realize have forgotten library card - so I use my handy dandy iPhone cardstar application.  The librarian looks at the barcode and says, "Look you, next time you want to take out books bring in the actual card.  I don't know if this is a real card.  Do you understand me?  I want the card, not the barcode.  Jesus.  begin muttering under breath and shaking head  (then back to) I don't know if this is a real card."  F*&ck lady, I get it.  Bring in the real card next time.  How 'bout asking or saying it nicely bitch?

Example #3 Newark Airport Shuttle Service
Go up to counter and ask for a shuttle to Brooklyn, please. The woman looks at me with a sneer as if I just interrupted the most important moment of her life.  Looks to me like she was just sitting there passing gas.  She tells me they 'don't no take no dogs'.  I inform her that I spoke to the shuttle company yesterday who assured me I could take a shuttle with the boys as long as they stayed in their crate.  She huffs.  Then goes on to say some drivers don't like it  I retort that perhaps she could ask the driver then.  She rolls her eyes and calls the shuttle.  Sure, they say, no problem.  She shoves a paper at me and tells me to wait over in the corner.  After ten minutes, she calls me back.  'They ain't gonna take your dogs.  You gotta take a private shuttle for $100".  I feel she could have said, "I really do apologize but we can't fit the crate in with the luggage.  The only shuttle we have available for you will cost $100 but will be private.  Does that work?".  But no.  She just huffed again and pursed her lips and I think probably passed wind again.  Fine bitch, I'll take a cab.

Canadians are constantly teased for being over polite.  But you know what?  At least we aren't complete kumquats when it comes to dealing with people.  At least we make everyone feel nice even when we can't give them what they want.  We try to help the situation and a smile always makes a person feel better.  

Read these examples and see what happens to me?  I get enraged all over again.  I want to punch people.  That's what happens when you act like a bitch to someone, they act like a bitch back.  Maybe that should be a lesson here.  Perhaps if I start using my wonderful Canadian manners in this big city, customer service workers will start being nicer.  One bitch at a time.


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