There is nothing more exhilarating than pointing out the shortcomings of others

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A customer called me stupid today. I don't mean she implied it with a snide comment. I mean, she called me stupid. In fact, she went on a rant during which she stated that thinking obviously hurt my meager brain, and that I shouldn't "strain myself" trying to think. I was slightly cheered by the customers who stepped in to tell her to cool it. I was even complimented on "handling it" well after she left. Although truthfully, I wasn't so much handling it as waiting for it to be a bad joke, and not someone completely losing their shit. After she'd left, I trembled for nearly half an hour from the adrenalin that shot through me. I laughed it off, even during the telling and re-tellings with my co-workers for the rest of the day. It wasn't until much later, sitting in my daughter's dark, warm room, that the tears came. I'm not a crier - I don't often crumble into a soggy mess or wear my emotions on my sleeve. When confronted with an emotional situation I'm more likely to default to rage or just a spacy nothingness. But today was a long time coming. Even though she'd long since fallen asleep, I held Lil Blue and suddenly I dissolved. I had thought I was so brave, quitting my legal job - thought that I was teaching her that there's more to life than chasing a career. That I love her so much I wanted a job that didn't leave me exhausted and mentally bruised at the end of the day. So what am I teaching her now? That's its okay to stand behind a counter being the brunt of the anonymous public's anger? That I think so little of myself that I let someone call me stupid to my face and let it go? How can I teach her about pride and self-respect when I couldn't muster any of my own?

I haven't yet figured out how to implement my "not taking shit from customers anymore" plan and not get fired in the process. But I'm done kissing the ass of people who can't even be civil. Yes, I'm in a service job. But I'm not your servant.

Bunch of savages in this town.*


*TM Randal Graves, of course.

Posted by oballard at 8:42 PM  
5 comments

I'll kick her @ss for you.

November 16, 2008 at 10:33 PM  
Mark Hoobler said...

People can be absolutely awful.
But it seems to me you just showed everyone how infinitely more human you are.

November 16, 2008 at 11:35 PM  
sweetpea85 said...

Oh wow, I'm so so sorry. Not only is she infinity wrong about the stupid part (I don't know ANYONE smarter than you, except maybe Mr. Blue in a tie ;)), but honestly, who DOES that?

meager brain, UGH. Now I'm ragetastic for you. That's it, I'm driving up there to kick her arse.
(Although you don't need my help, ms martial arts!)

November 17, 2008 at 9:56 AM  
Matthew said...

Honestly, I always gave myself free reign to ask people that weren't being civil to leave. Nobody in management will fault you for being cordial and polite about telling someone to be nice or to leave. I've seen Ben do it, and you know he's got his act together. And no other customer would blame you.

November 17, 2008 at 11:39 AM  
~m said...

That's just appalling that someone would treat you or anyone that way. I would have had no idea what to say. I would have burst into tears far sooner than you did! (but then i'm pretty cool like that)
Don't worry...Lil Blue has an excellent role model for a mama

November 18, 2008 at 9:30 AM  

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