If you have never worked in customer service, I envy you. Never, under any circumstance, work in a job where you have to deal with other human beings. And if this means that you never have a job, then so be it.
If it means that I have to live off the grid somewhere on the street wearing raggedy old clothes that I found in a dumpster, holding a used cup from Starbucks containing my life savings, while a sign reading, “Please, I haven’t eaten in days, HELP ME,” rests in my other hand, while I seek shelter beneath the remaining pieces of cardboard that the sign did not take up, while guarding the 354 empty soda cans that I collected because they are my most prized possession and will cover the cost of the cardboard and permanent marker, while debating if I should migrate to warmer climates because… why the hell not?… all the while receiving judgmental stares as mothers pull their children away from me as if I am going to pass along HIV just by looking at them and begging for their parking meter change, then that is a risk I am more than willing to take. People are idiots. The strangest thing is, we ALL agree on this. Everybody will bitch and complain about how incompetent and useless the other guy is, but the fact is we all suck.
When you work in a job that requires you to wear a nametag, people immedietly assume that the nametag acts as an all-knowing badge. A badge that apparently means you know the meaning to life, who killed JonBenet, if Tupac is still alive, and have the ability to solve impossible math equations during your night shift as a janitor at MIT. Do people really NOT know what minimum wage means? It means minimum work, effort, and friendliness when answering dumbass questions.
As a sixteen year old I worked at Target. I would have rather worked with the kids in Thailand who work under extreme conditions in 115 degree basements where if they make one wrong step they could end up with HIV because they haven’t had a tetanus shot ever and are forced to work their little figures to the nubs for 15 cents an hour so that I have a cotton V-neck to wear to the bar that I will inevitably spill on by 11:00pm.
At least at the job talking is prohibited. Just because my shirt is red, my pants are khaki, and my name tag says, “Welcome to Target, my name is Matt,” does not mean I care about the question you are about to ask me and that I care if you receive a useful answer. I would have assumed that the fact that I was 16 working at Super Target would have tipped you off that I didn’t give a shit if you found baby wipes or not. It didn’t matter if you asked me what aisle Trix cereal or cough drops were in. My answer was always “aisle [whatever the fuck number popped into my head].”
Over the course of 4 different jobs which required me to rock a fake smile, I have heard more than a few questions that help to explain why America is in the state that it is.
- I want my room to be really hot. What temperature should I set it at?
- How does the remote work?
- Where is the bathroom? (Standing 5 feet from the bathroom).
- Do I sleep on top of the sheet or under the sheet?
- Why isn’t there any fireworks stands around this town?
For prospective customers to any sort of service, think before you ask a question that makes me wonder if you need to be placed into some kind of assisted living facility.
- Just because there is a desk that separates me from you doesn’t mean I am the Wizard of Oz or something. I can’t point you to Narnia or tell you who shot JFK. If I could get away with going commando under this desk, then I might just do that.
- Think to yourself; “is it possible for him to answer this question WITHOUT sounding like an asshole?”
- Remember that we all have bad days, and I am NOT the reason you hate your spouse so don’t take it out on me. It’s not my fault she can’t cook or that he doesn’t listen to you.
- Most importantly… remember that nobody in this world is selfless enough to help you with every inquiry that you have under the sun. I can be as fake as 50% of Pam Anderson’s body mass, but I still don’t care.
Maybe I should become a Priest or something. Possibly a mime.
Image from www.coolchaser.com