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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Why I Will Never be able to Work in Customer Service

I'm the type of person who can work with people, if I absolutely have to, but for the most part I am better suited working in a dark, quiet corner all by my little lonesome. Why? I'm not sure really, but I know that generally if it came down to a choice between a series of painful shots in the kneecaps and dealing with the average customer, I'd inquire as to the exact number of shots.

Kidding! Well, sort of...

But the reasoning behind my inability to work effectively with the general public is that I'm violently allergic to stupidity (seriously - I swell up, start breathing heavily, and occasionally develop a momentary case of Tourette's Syndrome - among other unattractive, unfortunate side effects).

Here's a scenerio: I once worked in the shoe department of the local Walmart. As innocent and monotonous as this may sound, I promise you it wasn't a job for anyone with an IQ above 45 to expect to be able walk away at the end of the day without having lost a few brain cells.

Here's something that actually happened that proves my theory of my inability to cope with most of my fellow human beings:

Customer: "I'm looking for some shoes."

What I say: "You're in the right place," flashing that million dollar "I work at Walmart and I hate my job but I have to smile because I don't want to wind up in the unemployment line" smile, "How can I help you?"

What I'm thinking: No, really? I figured you were in the shoe department because you needed cat food.

Customer: "I'm not really sure what I want... But I want something cute... and comfortable...and not too expensive... that's going to last a while..."

What I say: "Well, let's take a look."

What I'm thinking: ...and you're shopping at Walmart? Still holding that pasted on smile, hmm, I should have brought my Vaseline...

What I Say: "Alright, what kind of shoes are you looking for? Sneakers, boots, dress...? Any particular color?"

What I'm thinking: Please don't say something stupid please don't say something stupid please don't say something stupid....

Customer: "I like pink!"

What I say: "Alright, let's see what we have here... What size?"

What I'm thinking: AARRGH!!!

Customer: "Size 10." Giggling like she's embarasssed, "Okay, 12."

What I'm thinking as I'm smiling politely and trying not to look at her feet: WTF? You're like, 5 foot nothing and can't weigh more than 110 soaking wet... I wonder if she would be offended if I asked her to wear a red nose and make balloon animal's at my neice's birthday party...

Customer: "But not like, hot pink, more of a pastel or rosey color... Ooooh my God I found the CUTEST pair of pink and white tennis shoes at Stage but they didn't have any in my size and they were like, 100 dollars! *ramble ramble blah, like, blah, blah, totally, blah blah blah blah shoes at blah blah blabbity bloo-blah blah blah, so... yea."

(It was at this point that I realized why my Dad's eyes would suddenly glaze over and he'd begin to drool during our conversations once I hit puberty.)

What I'm thinking while pretending to look for a color of shoe I already know I won't find but can't tell the customer because she won't believe me and will make me look anyway: You do know you're not supposed to DRINK the bongwater, right?

What I say: "Well, I don't see anything pink, would there be another color you might be interested in?"

What I'm thinking: There's about 3 pairs of women's shoes in the entire store that are size 12, can't you look for yourself?

Customer: *Heavy sigh* "I was really hoping for pink..."

What I said: "Well, I can look in stock and see if we have something there, but I can't promise anything..." I really did try to look as disappointed as she was.

What I was thinking while I eyeballed a pink highlighter: I wonder if she'd notice if I snuck back a pair of white ones and colored them? *Reaching for highlighter*

...This is where I had that moment where the little devil me popped up on one shoulder and the little angel me popped up on the other...

Devil: She won't notice.
Angel: Doesn't matter.
Devil: Not until she gets home.
Angel: It's not right.
Devil: By then you'll be gone.
Angel: Uh-uh
Devil: C'mon, you know you want to.
Angel: Nope.
Devil: She'll go away.
Angel: She'll be back, and unhappy.
Devil: Come to the dark side.
Angel: It wouldn't be moral.
Devil: We have cookies.
Angel: They'll go straight to your hips.
Devil: Chocolate chip...
Angel: Really?

Ah, crap...

So to make a long story short, I can play nice with the best of them, but if I work in a customer service industry for too long, I'll get fat and go to Hell for making fun of innocent people and plotting to deface store property just to get rid of them.

I will, however, refrain from mentioning all that in my future resumes....
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