Dang It, Rude People! How Did You Find Me??

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So I started my new job last week. The rude customers I wrote about in a previous article? I think they found me. Let me start from the beginning.

As some of you know, I was previously employed by a large retail craft store. I thought in many ways it would be my dream job. As I shopped quietly in the ambiance of good lighting and easy-listening music, I thought, “I think it would be great to work here”. Fast forward decades later and my dream came true: I was working for a major craft chain store. Then reality slapped me in the face with more of a bad-dream kind of open fist. I loved some of the people I worked with and for, but the environment for employees was harsh with near impossible tasks to be completed by unrealistic deadlines. I was grateful for the job but knew I couldn’t handle doing it for years on end.

Now it’s a few months later and I work at a salon and spa. Once again, I find myself in an environment that is peaceful and zen-like for the customer and totally acrid with anxiety for the receptionist. Oh… I’m the receptionist. It’s been two weeks and I’m once again asking myself, “Can I do this for years?”. Or more importantly, “Is my new boss waiting for me to quit so she doesn’t have to bother with firing me?”. There are 511 things I need to know about my job with every phone call and every customer. I’m sure I’m developing an ulcer over the angst my current incompetency is causing, yet one positive ray of hope for me is that I know I’m good with customers. Well, mostly. Some things you just cannot conquer and Rude People seems to be one of them.

Last week, a woman called and this is the conversation that transpired:

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling _ _ _ _, how may I help you?”

Ugly lady (I know…my petty passive-aggressiveness is showing): “Yeah…how late are you guys open?”

M: “Until 7:00 P.M., Ma’am.”

UL: “What? Why do you close so early??!?”

At this point I’m thinking, “Um, we have lives outside of the salon and people and/or animals we want to see when we get home. Oh, and I’d like to workout, shower, then catch the most recent episode of Game of Thrones before I got to bed somewhat early before my next shift at this exact salon starts again early tomorrow.” But I don’t say anything…

M: Silence.

UL: “Okaaaaay… Are you open weekends?”

M: “Yes, Ma’am…but we’re closed on Sundays. Every other day of the week we’re open.”

UL: “You’re closed on Sundays?!?”

M: “Yes, Ma’am…it’s the only day of the week we’re closed.”

UL: “Closed on weekends. WOW.”

M: Um, that’s not what I said, but I again meet her comment with silence.

UL: “Well, thanks anyway.”

First, it struck me as amazing that the word “thanks” is in her vocabulary. Second, I’m beginning to wonder if I have some sort of internal radar that let’s Rude People know where I am and that I’m ready to take their beatings.

I suppose the reality is that Rude People are everywhere. We know this. If YOU are one of that crowd, WHY? What do you get out of being that way? Don’t take it out on the receptionist–or anyone else!– when you’re feeling hangry, frustrated with your life, etc., etc. Start mediating or taking out your aggressions in a tough workout. Take your frustrations out on a real punching bag and be kind to the humans around you. Peace!!


CJ Heath



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