I worked in a bookstore in college, best job ever, and my boss used to deep-six rude customers who acted like dicks. One got thrown out collar-and-belt. His reasoning was that they weren’t there to spend money anyway, they just wanted to throw their weight around in front of powerless people, and we didn’t need them as much as we needed our dignity. I loved that boss and would have taken a bullet for him and every other employee felt the same way, and our customers were loyal because of it.
Mitch Albom would have been kicked to the curb in five minutes.It’s just so hard to find good servants these days:
Is it just me? Or does no one in the service business listen the first time you speak? It seems that any transaction now requires at least one repeat. Sometimes two. Sometimes the person actually walks away, then comes back and says, “Did you say rye toast or sourdough?”
And you say, “Wheat.”
It is not occasional. It is not coincidental. And I know it’s not volume, because I have been accused of having a voice that can be heard across a football field. But I still get asked, “Medium or large?”
OH MY GOD THE INDIGNITY.
I personally have never had a problem with coffee/beverage folks not being quick on the uptake. They’re caffeinated, after all. And having worked in a restaurant kitchen I feel sympathy for every fuckup but uncooked chicken and that’s the only time I’ll register any kind of complaint. In my entire life, I have had so many terrible service experiences I can count them on all of one hand (almost all of them at the doctor’s office). I suppose I should, therefore, write a column about how wonderful the new service economy is and how polite and well-mannered Kids Today have become when they are serving my needs.
Gimme a three-book deal and a syndication contract, motherfuckers.
Oh, wait, there’s far more money in being a bitchy old fuck who’s angry that the world moves fast right now, who thinks it’s just the worst thing on earth that everybody doesn’t worship him, and who confuses personal experience with polling data. I swear, has anybody ever so cynically aimed for the miserable middle as Mitch Albom? Has anybody ever so shamelessly capitalized on the people who think that the problem is that the entire world is terrible, rather than that they are assholes?
I blame TV. I blame video games. I blame the mindless blare that our kids have been weaned on, noise, explosions, blasting music, 100 images a minute. No wonder we can’t stay focused long enough to remember soup orsalad.
I blame newspapers for giving this column ink and importance, for continuing to pay this fuckmook while reporters get laid off, and for prizing a “brand name” over what he actually says with the space given to him. I blame him for reinforcing the message that we’re all subject to “the society” our kids “have been weaned on,” as if people don’t have choices as to being a jerk or not. And as if that has fuck-all to do with a hardware clerk having a bad day, anyway.