Old Doesn’t Mean Entitled

Rude comes in a new age range.

by Published: Feb 25, 2013

I work in retail. So naturally I get a lot of really appreciative, thankful customers that are always in a great mood.

I wish.

Unfortunately the realistic outlook is a bit more depressing. Cocky teenagers, stressed out parents and cranky old people sporadically shuffle in and out of the store only to dampen the mood of those surrounding them.

Now, the youth are typically the ones to blame for the downslide in respect and good manners. And while I am not writing them off as angels, they are not the ones that tend to be bothersome.

Normally the adolescents and young adults are quite pleasant, or they keep to themselves at least. The ones that tend to cut me off while talking or say something snooty happen to be at least in their middle ages.

Not everyone that comes into the store is crass. But, the handful that do, ruin the work place for everyone. It is hard to provide good customer service when someone does not know how to treat a stranger.

For instance, one gentleman asked if we carried a specific item. Unsure of every product we provide, I directed him to the general area and said another employee would be there to help him. When he came up to pay he sarcastically informed me we had the item he was looking for. From there he implied we all knew nothing before gathering his items and storming out.

Just recently, I was walking back to the break room after retrieving my lunch. A woman quickly hollered at me, “Oh good! You need to go back up front so your manager can come back here to help load this equipment.”

After I finished my lunch, I returned to the register so my manager could go help the woman. As she sauntered up to the front she started ranting about how my manager had poor management skills and was incompetent. Stunned by her accusations, I looked away. She did not understand he was merely covering the register so I could eat.

It is customers such as these that shock me. My manager always says that everyone should be required to work retail for a year. It does not sound like such a bad idea. Walking into a store, I have become more conscious of my actions and try my best to be pleasant and appreciative of the service that they are providing me.

When someone says thank you, or is grateful of the employees in the store, it makes the job worthwhile. It reinforces our desire to help customers find exactly what they are looking for.

Maybe it is not just the youth that are creating the downfall of manners, but rather the population as a whole. Entitlement is not an attractive quality, young or old.