I work in a customer facing role.

Part of my job is to help members of the public.

I like helping people.

 

If you are especially nice I might just offer you a tea while you wait, or go out of my way to help you out sooner or find something out for you that isn’t strictly speaking part of my job.

 

If you are rude to me I won’t do this.

 

By being rude you have made me want to not help you. I will help you. Of course I will, it’s my job.

You won’t get a poor service from me. I wouldn’t do that.

But I won’t be helping you because I want to, only because I have to and I certainly won’t go the extra mile for you when you can’t even be bothered to speak to me like I am also a human being.

I have dealt with many rude people in my time:

 

  • People who have talked to me like I am an idiot.
  • People who talk to me like I am beneath them.
  • People who talk to me like I was out on this earth to deal with their very whim and need. (Last time I checked I had never met them before, I definitely wasn’t their butler, nor was I being paid for this).
  • I have had people shout down the phone at me when I couldn’t help them.
  • People who shout at me down the phone becuase I am someone to shout at. Not because I have done anything wrong.
  • People who make me cry in the kitchen and want to quit my job because they make it so unpleasant.
But none of these people is why I am writing this today.

 

Today I got off my cramped commute home and we all flooded into the station.

And we all ground to a halt at the barriers.

 

There is always congestion at the barriers becuase there are an awful lot of us and not very many barriers for us to fit through.

And some people have to be let through the barriers becuase they have passes that won’t go through the barriers that a member of staff has to physically look at before you are free.

 

Normally there is someone there before we get off. They are ready and waiting for us.

But today, the chap on duty (a lovely bloke with specs) was just letting a few people through the barriers the other way.

People who obviously needed to get on a train. Not people who were getting off one.

 

And some woman at the front of the queue shouted at him across the station demanding to be let through.

He explained he would be one moment, as he was just letting those people through.

She responded with utter disgust, the sarcasm dripping out of her voice:

 

‘Are you saying I don’t pay for my train travel!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

 

I didn’t even know you be that sarcastic, that loudly, with that much contempt.

 

She said it with the tone of someone saying ‘What do you think I’m paying you for anyway?’

 

She didn’t say thank you when he let her through. She didn’t apologise. She just started him down like he was a slug or some other insignificant slimey inconvenience.

 

 

This riled me.

I wanted to chase her down and slap her face. It wouldn’t have made it any worse as the expression she was pulling could hardly be described as attractive.

 

If I was the train guy I would remember her. And I would deliberately hold her up next time I saw her. I would make sure she got her train but I would make sure she had to run for it.

 

I remember the rude people that come into my work life. And I wouldn’t say I hold a grudge, that’s too serious but I certainly feel disinclined to go that extra mile I mentioned before.

 

Basically. Don’t be rude. You won’t get better service from it. You might think you’re getting your way but all you are doing is scuppering your chances of any decent support in the future.

 

Love Charlotte xx

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