One way to not be a dick

We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.
~Ian Percy

My mother offered to pay for me to get a new pair of glasses, since my old ones are, well, over ten years old and are literally about to break. Since she was the one paying, I went where she told me to to get them. After finding out that getting an eye exam on a Saturday is a pain in the ass, I finally get it done and order my glasses.

I go to pick them up the day I left for my Washington trip. Only they’d had some issues with the dying machine and thus my red-tinted glasses were only tinged pink. Oh, well, I told them, I’d bring them back after I returned to get them dyed all the way.

So I bring them back, and go to pick them up the day after. Apparently someone had neglected to clean them before dying them, and so they had small spots of bright pink instead of a uniform pink-red shade. They were also scratched all to hell. The lady said she’d already placed an order for new lenses, and would call me when they were ready.

About a week later, I get a call. I go to pick them up, and lo and behold, they are not dyed. At this point, the poor lady I’d been dealing with the entire time was just about beside herself. She said she’d dye them personally the next day and that I’d get to keep both the fucked pair and the (hopefully) not-fucked pair in compensation.

Luckily, the next day I picked them up and, aside from being more pink than red, the glasses are fine.

Did I get frustrated? Hell yea. It was annoying having to drive up there after work three or four times when I only should have done it once. But I didn’t take it out on the lady helping me. Shit happens. Yes, some of it may have been the fault of an employee there, but what’s done is done. Screaming and throwing a public shit-fit won’t magically make the glasses not scratched. It certainly won’t dye them for you. The lady herself was pretty upset about the whole deal, and did her best to make up for it.

I too often see customers throwing temper tantrums like two-year-olds when they don’t get what they want or things don’t go their way. I’ve worked retail long enough that I’ve been on the receiving end of one or two of these myself. Believe me, the employee you are screaming at is probably not at fault. Or you’re throwing a shitfit over something completely dumb, like the way the groomer did your dog’s ears. If the groomer screws up, just make sure to be more precise about exactly how you want them done next time. Or, gasp, take the dog somewhere else. Don’t scream at the front desk to two people who weren’t even present when you gave the instructions. That kind of behavior might net you half off your groom, but will ensure that you’ll never get an appointment again (hint: groomers and pizza delivery guys keep records). And it won’t fix your dog’s ears.

Such behavior isn’t healthy in the long run. Getting worked up and stressed over stupid details you can’t change is a sure-fire recipe for a heart attack later (though not necessarily late) in life. It also makes it harder for people to enjoy your company. I don’t like hanging around people who get stressed out over every little thing. Granted, everyone has their pet peeves, but the trick to those is not putting yourself in that position. In the long run, you’ll probably forget all about it, if you don’t find yourself embarrassed by your actions.

Just calm down, take a breather, and keep it all in perspective. It’s not going to kill you, and if it’s not going to kill you, it’s not worth stressing out over. Chill out.

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One Response to “One way to not be a dick”

  1. Dargon Says:

    The major problem is that in most places, particularly corporate chains, being a punk bitch is rewarded, while being a good patron is not. I am more than willing to bet that raising a fuss may have knocked the price down on those glasses, or netted you some additional store credit. Employees will bow to your every whim to keep their managers from riding their asses, and managers will do the same to keep corporate from riding theirs.

    The mantra of “the customer is always right” and “every customer matters” has seemed into the detached world of the corporate leaders. For some reason they seem to think that keeping a customer, even one who regularly pisses off the employees and gets discounts in the process, is a better option than just losing the bad customer, even if it keeps the employees happier and more productive. A side effect of this is that good customers don’t get shit. Consistently good customers will be charged full price for everything, always.

    Now the case in mom-and-pop shops is different. In fact, that’s why I tend to like them so much. The prices may be a bit steeper, but the people are generally a lot more helpful and friendly, perhaps partially because rather than give you discounts and store credit for being a dick about things, they’ll kick you out, so they don’t have to put up with quite as much shit.

    Anyhow, methinks this is quite relevant:

    http://www.violentacres.com/archives/59/

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