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And people think I'm nice


B1ue

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It continually surprises me when people, when they first meet me, take my generally sunny disposition and smiling manner as an indication that I'm also nice. This is not true. I may have been nice at one point, and I act nice when I don't have anything better to do, but I'm not terribly good at it. But people ignore the odd moments by and large, until something happens that they can't ignore.

 

Case in point: a few weeks ago, I went into a coffee shop. I'd just done my grocery shopping, and since I'd walked there I was carrying my bags on my arms. It was later afternoon, and I was getting both tired and cranky. The barista helping the line wasn't in any kind of hurry, but since there were few customers I could forgive that, especially since the patrons were playing along. I stepped up. He asked me, lisping cheerily, "And how are YOU doing today?" I gritted my teeth around my initial response, and fired out my order at guy. He put a hand on his hip (I kid you not) and admonished, "Well, that doesn't tell me how you're doing."

 

I grinned. He was asking for it, and I saw no reason to refuse. "Well, if you must know, I am tired, these bags are heavy, and I'm rapidly getting pissed off. That answer you sufficiently?" I let that sink in a moment, satisfied by the "oh my" reactions of absolutely everyone in the store. When their shock was beginning to ease away, I continued. "So, do you think you could give me order now?"

 

As it turned out, he wasn't able to complete my order. He disappeared almost instantly into the back, and his two coworkers took my money and made my drink with a bare minimum of communication, except for a couple glares when they thought I wasn't looking (why does no one remember even clear glass is reflective?). I left, once again with a light lilt to my voice and a smile on my face.

 

Now, with after witnessing incidents like that, I'd think people would know to keep me at a distance. Some do, but most attribute it to stress or a bad day, never realizing that I am like that all the time.

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Just to play Devil's advocate:

 

Case in point: a few weeks ago, I went into a coffee shop. I'd just done my grocery shopping, and since I'd walked there I was carrying my bags on my arms. It was later afternoon, and I was getting both tired and cranky. The barista helping the line wasn't in any kind of hurry, but since there were few customers I could forgive that, especially since the patrons were playing along. I stepped up. He asked me, lisping cheerily, "And how are YOU doing today?" I gritted my teeth around my initial response, and fired out my order at guy. He put a hand on his hip (I kid you not) and admonished, "Well, that doesn't tell me how you're doing."

 

I grinned. He was asking for it, and I saw no reason to refuse. "Well, if you must know, I am tired, these bags are heavy, and I'm rapidly getting pissed off. That answer you sufficiently?" I let that sink in a moment, satisfied by the "oh my" reactions of absolutely everyone in the store. When their shock was beginning to ease away, I continued. "So, do you think you could give me order now?"

 

I used to do a job in which I had to act cheery, and ask people how they were doing - not to mention responding with a smile that I was doing just fine, if asked - regardless of whether or not I actually cared and despite how stressed out and I tired I might have been.

 

Often things weren't so bad. I would be in a good mood, the customer would be in a good mood. Every thing was fine. Sometimes one or both of us wasn't in a good mood. Anyway point is the owners and managers like for the employees to behave this way because the majority of customer do appreciate it.

 

I had a coworker who I frequently saw react in exactly the same way the guy in your story did. He'd say "well that doesn't tell me how you're doing" or something like that, before he went on with their order. Anyway, I don't think it's alot to ask to have the customer be politely responsive (a "fine" is usually sufficient), and if someone had responded to my coworker in that fashion I'd have probably finished up for him and glared as well.

 

Just my thoughts, lol but I'm probably not being particularly nice either :P:boy:

 

Take care and have a great day!

Kevin

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I had a coworker who I frequently saw react in exactly the same way the guy in your story did. He'd say "well that doesn't tell me how you're doing" or something like that, before he went on with their order. Anyway, I don't think it's alot to ask to have the customer be politely responsive (a "fine" is usually sufficient), and if someone had responded to my coworker in that fashion I'd have probably finished up for him and glared as well.

 

Just my thoughts, lol but I'm probably not being particularly nice either

 

As I have also had those types of jobs, I'd agree with you right up to where your friend, and the guy, reacted. Saying something like that moves out of politeness and into confrontation. I have to know someone very well before I'll take any kind of attitude out of them, unless I start it first. In that case, I'll take whatever they care to dish out, so long as they don't continue to do whatever it was that irritated me in the first place, such as continuing to provide an obstruction to service.

 

Further, I think it is asking a lot to require a response on the part of the customer. They're paying for the service, be it service with a smile or simple efficiency. Three guesses which one I favor :P . If the customer is willing to play along, then yes, employees should do anything up to and (when appropriate) including mild flirtation to get the customer in a good, tip-happy mood. If the customer is not willing to play along, and is being deliberately brusque, antagonizing them further serves no purpose. I know my bosses would have preferred to get problem customers on their way as quickly as possible, as from a productivity standpoint they're hardly ever worth what money they bring in.

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