Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tough Topics: Rude Customers

     As a server, I dealt with people snapping their fingers at me or waving me over or being completely demanding. I would start off with, "Hello! My name is Rachel and I'll be taking great care of you today. How are you doing?" Most of the time, I would get to my name before I was rudely interrupted with, "I'll have a Diet Coke with extra lemon" or "Bread, we're still looking at drinks".

     I had several times were I was lectured about, "These booths are too far away from the tables. I bet you only serve fat people." Excuse me? "This bread is stale." or "I need more butter/ranch/dipping sauce/lemons/etc. You barely give anything in this little bowl." Or, the ever so popular, "What's taking so long?" when there's parties of twenty, the lunch time rush, and they ordered a well-done steak.

     The worst part, in my opinion, was that guys seemed to think that it was okay to hit on me at any given time. I never flirted with my customers. I won't lie, a lot of servers will do it for bigger tips, but I never did. I was in a relationship the entire time that I worked in restaurants (and still am, now). They still thought it was okay to touch my arms or my hands or to make suggestive comments. (Here's a secret: Servers hate physical contact with guests and have to go wash up afterwards.)

     Customers would change their kids' diapers at the table and let them slobber all over the salt shakers or throw the sugar packets on the floor, along with half of their food. They would just not pay attention and then when they left, I would have a $3 tip and it looked like a dumpster exploded.

     All of it is rude. I understand that there are problem- generally speaking, I think all servers understand that- but since they (and I, at one point) lived on only tips, there was little to no chance that they were purposefully causing problems. I was even bitched out a few times because the soda machine stopped working and we had to call in a guy to fix it, so they couldn't have a full list of our soda products (only what was also on tap in the bar).

     After I started in retail, I dealt with a woman screaming at me because the store credit would not come up in my computer. It said that it was expired, which the owner later explained to me, meant that it had been previously used. She screamed at me and tried to take a video, tried to have me sign things, all saying that I was stealing money from her. A whole $35, that she wanted to use on our buy one get one free on sandals.

     Later, I had a woman scream at me because our store credit can only be used at the location it came from. Each store has a different barcode system- there is literally nothing we can do short of stealing from the store. We're supposed to tell them that when they return the shoes to begin with. She said that our business would go under and basically said that we were the scum of the earth, because she had to drive five whole miles to the other location.

     Kids come in screaming all time. One kid punched one of our glass windows and their father came in and yelled at one of my girls, saying that it was too breakable and that he would sue if his child had gotten hurt. Never mind the fact, that the glass is very secure, until somebody sucker punches it. Never mind the fact, that technically it would be the mall's problem, if it was the glass and not the kid, because we are renting the space but they built it.

     All of that is pretty uncalled for. Yesterday, I think I had the worst one happen yet.

     A few days ago, the store owner called and asked if we had a certain shoe in stock. I said yes. He asked me to please put it on hold under his name so that he could pick it up and take it to another store. I said, "Of course. It's on the counter for you." Yesterday, he called and had one of my girls bring it out to his car so that he could get it to the other location quickly.

     Half an hour to an hour later, that girl left and another girl came in. We were getting busy when a mother and daughter came in. They said that they had shoes on hold, so I took them to the counter and asked the name. We didn't have any shoes on hold for that name, so they said it was under the owner's name. I asked if they were the $32 red pumps. They said yes. I said, "The owner picked them up this morning and took them to the other store."

     The daughter said, "Are you fucking kidding me?" The mother came over and asked what the problem was. After she found out, she then proceeded to scream, "I HAVE SPENT SIX HUNDRED FUCKING DOLLARS IN THIS STORE AND ALL YOU DO IS GIVE US THE RUN AROUND! WE HAVE BEEN BACK AND FORTH AND NOBODY EVER FUCKING KNOWS WHATS GOING ON!"

     I tried to apologize for the inconvenience. She said, "THAT'S WHAT THE GIRL AT THE OTHER STORE SAID! THIS IS THE LAST FUCKING TIME I BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS SHIT STORE!" Then they proceeded to head to the door.

     I called, "HAVE A NICE DAY!" after them. Probably not appropriate, but I couldn't help myself. I say they're lucky that I didn't jump over the counter at them. They came back in. "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU SAY TO ME!?" The only remaining customers in the store said, "Dude, she wished you a nice day." The bitches asked my name and my employee's name, so we told them. After they left, the nice customers came up and apologized for humanity.

     Then I called the owner to warn him what was happening. He was in shock. He said, "They made a huge fuss about having them shipped because your store is too far of a drive. They were calling the girls there bitches for not having the right size. I can't believe they showed up like that when they demanded to have the shoes brought to the other store. I'll take care of it."

     You're probably wondering why and how all of this is in the Tough Topics series.

     It all ties in together because I want to know how, when, and why our society became so horrible that people think it's okay to cuss out other people for no real reason. I get that they wanted the shoes, but they had not been paid for yet and the shoes were being shipped to the other store as they wanted to be. I get that customers can be in a hurry, but then they should probably order things that won't take twenty minutes to cook, especially when the restaurant is clearly busy.

     It is never, ever okay to abuse somebody just because things are not going your way.

     It is never, ever okay to treat somebody worse than garbage just because you're having an issue in your own life.

     It is never, ever okay to take your anger out on anybody, at any time, for any reason.

     I had a friend who said she was going to bitch out the customer service rep who answered the phone for her cable company, because the bill wasn't correct. How, in the actual fuck, is that the rep's problem? She's there to fix the problems, not cause them.

     I've known several people who cuss out and threaten telemarketers. We can probably all agree that it's an annoying thing, but they're just trying to pay the bills like everyone else. Be polite to them because Lord knows, in our society, you could be the only nice person that they speak to all day.

     Wolfy (my boyfriend, for my lovely new followers/friends) and I went to Game Stop the other day. A game cost $49.99 before tax and the total came up to $54.32. A woman prepaid $5 on it so when she went to pick it up, the total was $48 and change. He spent twenty minutes explaining that that $5 basically paid for the tax. She was mad and said that the company was basically stealing that money, because she didn't understand where it was going to and she ended up with a refund. He never lost his patience with her and I was impressed, but she kept getting madder and madder.

     Next time you go somewhere- anywhere- just be especially nice to whoever helps you. Just because the job didn't require a college degree or the employee is young or something goes wrong, does not mean that they are less of a person or that you need to attack them and bully them.

     When you scream, yell at, and belittle anybody, it is verbal abuse. Don't verbally abuse somebody. I'm sure you don't want somebody doing that to you, your children, or your best friends.

     We are all equal, no matter how much money or education we have. We are all equal, no matter who we are or where we come from. Nothing should ever change that so don't forget it, whether you're the one a customer attacks or you're the customer who has something go wrong.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Photos

     As you may have noticed, my last post had several pictures of me getting ready for Halloween. When I first started this blog, I said that nobody would get to see a picture of me on it. I've worked for a few years to change pictures and make sure that nothing that I posted would allow my face to be seen. (Or anyone else's, especially.)

     The main reason that I did that is because I didn't want my dad's side of the family finding this blog. I didn't want them to see me and want to cause any trouble. I didn't want my mom to suffer because of my actions. I think you get the idea.

     But I'm 21 now. I live with my boyfriend. I'm a supervisor. I pay rent and go grocery shopping and do the laundry. I don't ask for money or to be taken care of. I'm the one who pays for my food and my part of the bills and if I want to get my hair done or buy new boots, that comes out of my money, not anyone else's.

     The point being, I'm an adult who is fully responsible for herself. If anyone so much as think of blaming my mother, I have absolutely no problem pointing that out and then asking, "And where were you? Clearly, you know that she's the only one who raised me if you're going to blame her for how I turned out."

     I don't smoke, steal, do drugs, party, or break any laws. I may be sassy as fuck and say fuck every two words, but at least I have personality and I have no problem sticking up for myself. I would like to say that I turned out pretty damn well. Putting my picture on a blog isn't bad or illegal or as stupid as it would be to smoke cigarettes (which just about everyone in my family does).

     After years of sharing more stories on this blog than most of my family even knows, I got sick of hiding a stupid little thing- what my face looks like. It really shouldn't be as huge of a deal as it always seemed to be. I could pass by serial killers and crazy people every single day, who know what I look like, when people who know some of my weirdest stories had no clue. That doesn't logically make sense to me.

     I have never hidden who I am on this blog (personality, wise) so it doesn't make much sense for me to hide my face anymore. I'm done hiding. I don't have a reason to and I'm tired of it. To be honest, I'm more worried about being judged by a stranger about how crappy my older posts were than to be judged by my family for having this blog in general. (Seriously, don't read the older posts.)

     To top it all off, I already have the states I've lived in, the colors my hair has been, stories about my life, pictures of the pets, my name... If my family did find this blog, they wouldn't exactly need a picture to say that it's me. They would just be able to read a post and figure it out. It's not exactly a huge secret, not that I'm advertising it to them anyways.

     When I was starting this post, I honestly didn't mean for it to come out as a rant. I was perfectly fine and then the words just sort of spilled out on their own. I think that just goes to show my frustration.

     I won't lie- sharing the pictures was nerve-wracking. But I think it's worth it. There's no more stress about accidentally posting a picture where my face is reflecting off of something or anything stupid like that.

     Why did I post like ten pictures if it was so nerve-wracking?

     Go big or go home. If I was gonna do it, I might as well make it worth it.

     I (hope I) will be back next week with another Tough Topics post. Anybody have any specific topics that they want me to cover?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Halloween

     I am fully aware that this post is late, but I had to work and it took me forever to get into costume and then my phone wouldn't let me edit it. So I had to get on the computer, which meant I had to find time when I wasn't on my break at work. The most simple costume I've ever done turned out to be the most complicated and the first time I got to hand out candy, put me in a good mood for three days.

I got this picture from Google. I needed something that would work with the post.

     I found out three days before Halloween, that we were allowed and encouraged to dress up because our mall does trick or treating. The store even provided three bags of various candies for us to hand out.

     Unfortunately, that meant I had three days to find a costume. I checked a couple of stores but the only decent ones were $50+. I wasn't allowed to be scary, gory, or revealing. No masks, fake weapons, or extensive face paint were allowed either. Mall security had to make sure everyone was safe, so no complaints from me.

     I was going to be a princess because I have a tiara but I couldn't find any dress that would work (even in the regular stores). So I went with Plan B and decided to buy some cat ears and a tail.

I had to be Miley Cyrus in order to get my hair right. I couldn't be her though, because that would break the "no revealing clothes" rule. I did, however, have Wrecking Ball stuck in my head for two days... And now, again.

"Mom, are my pigtails and ears even? Does it look okay?"
I probably should have asked if I looked like I was punched in the eyes, because yes, yes I did.

"Is my eye-shadow even? I'm wearing three colors. I can't tell."

"What about my eye-liner? It blends in with the eye-shadow. Do I look too emo or goth or whatever?"

"I look evil. I think the mascara did it. Mom, don't I look evil?"

My boyfriend's friend and the friend's girlfriend came over, so she did the whiskers and nose, but I had to fix it with q-tips. We realized thirty seconds after the fact, that we could have just used tape to make the lines straight.

"Okay, everything is even, but does the lipstick go with the makeup? I don't look like a 1980's prostitute, right?"

The only picture in which I have a visible tail. I got to work and had to use a paperclip to make it stay still, which then resulted in, "Hey, is my tail even?"

     We spent the entire day giving out candy. I was letting the kids pick their favorite until a family of four each took a massive handful and almost emptied my bowl. The kiosk across from us gave us some more candy. I had one kid a lollipop and he just said "...oh" and walked away.

     The girls in the store across from ours and my girls and I were all yelling, "Hey kids, want some candy?!" I think we traumatized a couple people. The kiosk guys thought it was hilarious. They said that they could never do that without being creepy.

     Everyone who looked at me said, "Kitty!" Our delivery guy barely speaks English but said, "Heheh, kitty!" and pointed at me. Apparently, I wasn't actually a cat; I was a kitty.

     Also, under NO circumstances is it okay to tell somebody, "Nice tail" and under NO circumstances is it okay to make hand motions of a tail while winking. That's just fucking creepy. Don't do it.

     I never got to hand out candy before but I loved it. It was awesome seeing how happy the kids were and it was amazing to have parents thank me for "sacrificing my Halloween so that the kids had a safe place to trick or treat, especially when most malls weren't even doing it this year". We even had a few people from around the mall do reverse trick or treating for mall employees. We now have coupons for Bath And Body Works which is fantastic, since I get my perfume there and I'm cheap and poor.

     Brother even showed up to show me his costume and we got ice cream before I went home. He walked right by me and just strutted into the store like he owned the place, with me calling after him and him being totally oblivious.

     Now, if you have kids, remember to check their candy to be sure it's safe. Don't wait for a needle to be in some candy before you realize that not everyone is actually nice.

     Did everyone else have as good as a Halloween as I did?