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How difficult is it not to be rude?

Posted Friday, August 6, 2010, at 7:29 PM

How difficult is it for an employee of a service-based business not to be rude?

It could just be me, but lately I've experienced more than my share of rude service from folks who should be tickled to death people are doing business with them.

I don't want to stereotype or profile anybody, but my bad experience has mostly been in the fast-food industry.

How hard is it to smile and say thank you when someone drops a few bucks for a burger and fries?

Rude by definition is an adjective that means to be discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way. It also means without culture, learning, or refinement; rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; uncouth; or harsh.

And, this rudeness is not just here in the county.

I was traveling last weekend and was treated with less than cordial service by a gloomy, rude-dispositioned young lady at a fast food restaurant in Jasper, who clearly didn't want to be working on a Sunday evening.

She didn't crack a smile and failed to say thank you when I dropped more than $3 for a three-quarter full cup of iced latte.

At the same establishment, a few weeks earlier, I heard a shift manager rudely tell a guy that he couldn't order breakfast just as the sign board was being changed to the lunch menu. Come on, the man was waiting in line just behind me. I ordered and was served a drink. The customer right in front of me ordered breakfast and was served. The next customer right behind me was not afforded that opportunity.

While I'm not always chipper and gleeful every day, I do attempt to practice what my Momma taught me. Always say "please and thank you," even when you don't really feel like it.

Another thing that bugs me, when I wheel through a fast food place, and then get back to the office and there are no napkins in the sack.

Again, how difficult is it stuff a few napkins in a paper bag, even when you are rushed and in a big hurry to get the order out?

Does a person have to ask for a napkin like a condiment?

#

While I'm on the topic of things you eat, I had to laugh outloud last Sunday night while traveling just south of Loogootee on U.S. 231.

There is a sign in a yard that read: "Real Tomatoes For Sale".

Now what other kind of tomatoes are there?

I was curious and did a quick Internet search to find out there is really something called "Lucky's Real Tomatoes" -- a homegrown variety that is picked at the peak of maturation so maybe the sign wasn't so outrageous.

As a kid growing up and still to this day, I try to avoid tomatoes.

Or rather, I avoid raw tomatoes.

I've always loved salsa and all kind of red sauces made from tomatoes, but a tomato slice on a hamburger is something I don't like for the most part.

It would be understood that I never eat a true BLT sandwich. I mean, the tomato is part of the title -- bacon, lettuce and tomato.

I genuinely like a bacon and lettuce sandwich topped with mayonnaise. Throw an ear of speckled sweet corn on the plate and it's a summertime delight.

Some people have told me there is big difference in taste between a supermarket tomato and homegrown tomatoes.

Maybe that is where the "real" tomato title comes in on the sign I saw.

Go to a grocery store and purchase a couple of tomatoes. Many have been genetically modified to have better color, texture and to last longer on the shelf. The only problem is that they don't taste like they are supposed to taste.

So, I think we can all agree now that there are fake tomatoes and there are real tomatoes.

Right?

Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at schneider.nick@gmail.com .


Comments
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Nick--while I agree with you on the rudeness of people, I think it is a two way street. I don't see too many customers smiling back and saying thank you to the people working either. Most of these people are younger workers and have had more people griping at them because they left the ketchup, straw or napkins out than smiled and said thanks for getting it right.

I can't tell you how many people that I pass on the street or even in the car that will not wave or even acknowledge you. We have become so busy and self absorbed that general kindness has went by the wayside.

-- Posted by POP on Fri, Aug 6, 2010, at 10:07 PM

Having worked in the food service industry, I always tried to greet my customers, smile and say, "Thank you." Although I greeted my customers with a friendly, "Hello," I rarely got one in return. Instead, I generally heard, "I want," or "I need." It was discouraging. Regardless, the person on the other side of the counter should follow company best practices to encourage your return.

-- Posted by livinlinton on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 12:10 AM

This article reminds me of Andy Rooney and his style of reporting~~~love it! ~~thank you! :)

-- Posted by lakermom on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 9:46 AM

I have worked in the public for 30 years. There is never an excuse for rudeness! that is part of their job! When I was hired at 16 that was one thing alway's taught friendly smiles, and the customer is alway's right! I just don't think that is is taught no more! I go out to a local store...and the casheir act like it is my job to put my sacks in my cart. I even had one gripe about a customer who had just went thru the line and said well, I hope she works better at the organization she was purchasing for than she did here! I ask her if she was an employee here and she said no, "I mean she didn't even offer to help put her stuff in the cart"! I said, I didn't realize that it was our job to do that! that is not my job! the last time I did it I got home without a bag, so from then on I make sure I ask so... do I have everything. and then thank you and be on my way. now some may find this rude, yet if you drive 40 min to get to walmart and then back home and you don't have everything you hasve to turn around and have another 40 mile trip to pick up something they should be making sure that we already have.

-- Posted by lillymae on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 10:48 AM

Attention complainers, whiners, downers, agitators, dividers and those filled with negativity

FOLLOWED BY:

How difficult is it for an employee of a service-based business not to be rude?

How hard is it to smile and say thank you

And, this rudeness is not just here in the county

She didn't crack a smile and failed to say thank you

Another thing that bugs me

Again, how difficult is it

BOY YOU JUST CAN'T MAKE THIS KIND OF IRONY UP!

-- Posted by chevygleen on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 12:52 PM

How difficult is it for you to serve up some "Please and thank you's" to them? Just because you might run into a person who fails to act the way you were brought up, doesn't mean you can't turn the conversation around and just drop a please and thank you, ask them how they are.. they might really like a nice paying customer who cares . .. OR are you the kind of customer that waits for them to Please and thank you - YOU?

I have been to Walmart several times, usually you go through the line of a cashier more than once. Some times they say HI first, some times they don't.. Either way I always say " Hey, how are you".. it doesn't take two seconds to turn around the sitation and you might make the next guy in line get his breakfast... just because you made her feel like working tonight really wasn't that bad. Try it.. smiling is contagious! and so are " Real Tomatoes"

But with all that said.. you're not saying anything that I haven't complained about myself many many times. I just choose to be happy regardless.

-- Posted by switzie on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 2:14 PM

Nick since your last article I have taken you to heart. I ask myself a few simple questions before I act. I will share them with you:

Please choose between the following:

1. Complaining or not complaining?

2. Whining or not whining?

3. Downer or uplifting?

4. Stated negatively or positively?

We all run across people that do not act like we want them to act. I think showing them the way by example is the only medicine. I invite all to join in the smile till it hurts movement. Negativity only brings us all down.

-- Posted by wotownboy on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 3:48 PM

Nick,

Sorry to complain, whine, down, agitate, and divide, but you've outdone yourself once again. You have proven to contradict yourself immediately 1 blog after your last where you complained about people who complain.

Could you please supply us with a blog that is something besides complaining and whining? Just curious....

Teddy Daniels

-- Posted by TeddyDaniels on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 11:16 AM

I used to be a waitress and customers were rude. It was always my fault when the COOK got the order wrong. My fault when the COOK failed to get the order out on time, and so on and so on. It is nice to be greeted with a smile and asked how your day is going, even if your day has been lousy. Nice to know someone cares a little.

-- Posted by Scorpio1969 on Wed, Aug 11, 2010, at 11:32 AM

I, too, have been on both sides of this equation. But it is just so simple to turn up the corners of your mouth. Never know what might happen! Good blog.

-- Posted by vintner on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 2:51 PM


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