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When did we become SUCH a rude public? I worked in retail for 4 years. I did customer service at a big store like KMart, worked at a grocery store and even at a bank. I’ve come across plenty of cranky customers and those people who think they’re always right but it was never too extreme. Once, I got cussed out by an old lady because I wouldn’t take back a shirt that was OBVIOUSLY worn without a receipt but that was an extreme case. And I’m pretty sure she just wanted to cuss me out because I was 17…

The rudeness that I came across while working in retail is no match for what I see as a consumer in my everyday life. Maybe I just didn’t notice but do people always take out their bad days on cashiers just because they think they can? Do you even stop to consider the fact that the person in front of you might be working their second job of the day and despite your rudeness, they’re still being polite to you? Doesn’t that humble you at ALL?

How about always having to be in a rush? We’re ALL in a rush. It’s the way our society has become. Fast-food, fast-service, fast-everything. We’re rude on the roads. We’re rude in line. We’re rude in restaurants. We’re rude to each other and we’re rude to the people who are trying to earn a living.

Case in point. This morning, I had to go to my wireless store because I misplaced my SIM card. I waited in line for about 10 minutes when another lady entered the store. She went over to the chargers, and a couple of minutes later, turned to me and asked me if I was in line, to which I replied “Yes, I am.” Not two minutes passed when she approached one of the guys who worked there and asked for help. She cut in line and normally I don’t speak up because rude people are rude but she ASKED ME IF I WAS IN LINE. So I waited about 30 seconds before I said “Excuse me…I was next in line.” The guy said he didn’t have a register but the other girl who was working said “She just needs a SIM card. Use my computer” The woman who cut in line gave me this fake apology.

While the guy was ringing me up, she went to the door that said “Employees Only” and BANGED on it. The guy who was helping me turned to her and asked her if she needed help and she said that the guy who went in there should come out and help her…that guy happened to be a technician. So not only was she rude to me but she was rude to the employees simply because she didn’t get her way right away.

Really? You can’t wait an extra 2 minutes?

Have you come across any rude customers (If you work in retail) or witness something when you were in a store?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kate October 23, 2008, 10:37 am

    I’ve dealt with lots of rude people, but I worked in a pharamacy during most of my retail career; you can’t take it personally when sick people or stressed out mom’s are being nasty.

    The thing I always despised were the people who would come in stinking drunk. I do not tolerate that crap well, knowing that they’re about to get into a car after their transaction with me.

  • Tommy Buettner October 23, 2008, 10:41 am

    I was in the resteraunt business for years, so I can associate with you on your feelings. I learned long ago that if you are going to be an asshole to me, then whatever. Fuck you, I won’t even let it come close to ruining my day. However, to this day I get VERY upset at an adult who starts going off on a young man or woman behind the cash register. I will speak up then.

    To me, it comes down to if you want the younger generations to have respect for elders, than you need to act with respect.

    I got so tired, when I ran a resteraunt, of hearing grown people go off on a young waitress who was trying to please a customer. Many of times I would take over for her and let her have the tip, or I would ask the customer/guest to leave.

  • christine October 23, 2008, 10:48 am

    I’ve noticed that low blood sugar in customers affect the way they treat me as a server. It’s always fascinating to see how people go from rude to nice once they get food in their stomach. It’s not so fascinating to wait on people who are rude and unnecessarily impatient regardless of how much food they’ve eaten.

  • Tinyshrimp October 23, 2008, 10:51 am

    As a second job, I worked as a the lumber cashier in Home Depot. A guy came in and said that he needed 6 of the 90lb quick crete bags. I told him that all the guys were busy, but I would help him load them onto his his cart. He looked at me and said “This I gotta see”. He watched me load all six bags and never lifted a finger to help me. When I finally got them loaded he said “Wow, I didn’t think you could do it”. I was pissed. He didn’t even have the courtesy to thank me for helping him.

    I checked him out, and he left asking me to get someone to help him load them. I called one of the guys and told him what happened and that the guy needed help. He got pissed and said that he would take care of it.

    None of the guys would go out to help him load. They all found better things to do with their time. A manager finally had to go out and help him.

  • Tinyshrimp October 23, 2008, 11:03 am

    It’s a good thing you speak “Leandra” back=bags were heavy. LMAO

    AND, no they weren’t as tall as me…………Bitch! LMAO

  • Rosie October 23, 2008, 11:17 am

    I worked as an assistant manager in retail for a few years and we got some right rude people, ones that made you go ‘You what!!?’
    Example: at Xmas we did a 3 for 2 promotion, buy any three stickered items in the shop, get the cheapest free. A lady approached me and said she which to buy three of the same product but there was only two on the shelf, was there anymore? I said no, unfortuantely not. She asked if there was any in the window displays and I assured her these were the last. Obviously she figured I was lying as she wandered away and approached our manager and asked the same questions, with the same responses, she then got angry demanding to see the manager, who politely said she was already talking to her! The woman stalked off, eventually approached the cashier, who was rushed off her feet and asked the SAME questions, our cashier, obviously trying to helpwas about to rack through all the window displays when the manager stopped her and told the woman AGAIN there was no more of the product! Still unconvinced, she backed down, before starting trying to get us to give her 2 for 1 on the items! we explained that the offer was for all stickered items in the shop and as a result we couldn’t give her a special offer as there was still items available to buy. She walked out the shop without buying anything!! LOL!!

  • pecosa October 23, 2008, 11:30 am

    I’ve had rude customers. When I was doing tech support I had a few men flat out refuse to be helped unless they spoke to a male rep. Idiots.

    I always get shitty service from female bartenders. I don’t get it. I just want a drink. Treat me with respect and I’ll give you a nice tip. The last one was at restaurant. Me and my girlfriends sat at the bar and the chick took about ten minutes before even looking our way, refused to give us the specials until we all showed I.D. and then literally huffed at us when we ordered, when we needed refills and when we asked for a tab. She got fifty cents all in dimes as a tip. I understand it was late, but it was still an hour and a half to close and she was very flirty, chatty and courteous to the guys across the bar from us.

  • Wovoka October 23, 2008, 11:46 am

    I was once in line at a grocery store, behind this old (not just elderly, but OLD) lady, and after the bagger had bagged all of her groceries, she threw a fit, didn’t even bother to ask nicely, because she wanted each item in its own separate bag. She had at least thirty items, and demanded that each one be put in its own specific bag. I was blown away, I didn’t even bother moving to another line, because I was so thoroughly entertained. Ah, good times.

    If a retailer/clerk is ever rude with me, I just use my words…lol. If I notice someone (customer) being rude to an employee for no reason whatsoever, I’ll sometimes call them on it, in front of whomever may be around. Nobody deserves to be treated like shit, just “because.”

  • Cassie October 23, 2008, 12:33 pm

    I’ve worked in a customer service type industry as well, and have put up with alot of stuff…just not for very long!!! LOL

    once, while driving for Domino’s I told a guy I’d shit on his pizza if he was rude to me like he was to other drivers.

  • Erin October 23, 2008, 12:53 pm

    I have way too many stories!!! I HATE rude people!

  • Krypto October 23, 2008, 12:57 pm

    I’ve only had plenty of experience with the public and while 90% of the people who you come by are just there to do whatever they need to do. The annoying ones are the other 10% that if they don’t have their way will start something or will try to be sneaky and do something they arn’t supposed to.

    My first encounter of the rude side of the public was when I used to help out with a family buisness selling flowers. The best examples of rudeness was on holidays when there were lines with over 20 people waiting at any time yet you always had that one person who instantly you know is trouble when the first thing said is “Wow this line is taking a long time”. Even before I started working there I knew that was trouble thanks to people who say that in Bank lines but then take their damn time at the counter to the point that they start chatting. So yeah, I saw a fair share of everything from line cutting to old ladies verbally assualting you about prices.

    I admit we did have some things that were expensive but we sold quality and had a large part of our customer base that included many rich people and event planners. Chosing a cheaper price was not a choice when you factor in the price we paid for a product that needed to me sold ASAP.

    Anyway, Enough flower talk before I forget I’m a guy. (Fresh Yellow Roses = My favorite. 😛 They smell awesome)

    I gotta say It’s not limited to customers but rather the public as a whole. On the other side of my customer support experience is the security buisness. I’ve done work guarding various things like Stadiums, Mansions, Guard Rails, Cars (The worst was a quarter of a million dollar headache), Doors, Events and “VIPS”. For all of these things I always had at the least one idiot cross the invisible line I had set up. Most of the time I’ll get an “Oh gee, I didn’t know” but every now and then you get those people who try to test you.

    The whole time I’m thinking, “Oh geez, You know I’m just doing my job. Why are you giving me a hard time”. I really try not to be stereotypical but these people are the only reason I’ll bring that side of my ego out as I go on a mini-power trip. The most fun I’ve had with my power trips though has to be when I’ve dealt with people on their own power trips. Politicians, Police Officers, Parking Officers, Lawyers, News Reporters, FBI Agents, Body Guards, Fire Fighters and even one guy from the Government who said he was secret service just to name a few. Main difference between me and them though was that I only went that route when I was 100% sure I was right.

    Anyway, The rudest moment I got while doing this job was when I was transporting two girls, One which was losing a major amount of blood and needed to be taken to a Ambulance there on standby for any emergencies. I had to deal with crowds of people who wouldn’t move for a horn or flashing lights. The most common comment given was “Hey can I get a ride next” or “Hey how come two girls get special treatment? I see how it is bro.”. Shortly after the witty comment you’d hear “Ohhhhh damn….” as they saw the blood. By the time I got there the girl was already passing out but atleast she made it with no help from the public nor from Event Crew, Police, Office Staff. No one cleared anything because they were too busy with the event to even pay attention. Sad thing is that my job that day was just to relax and watch the game but I ended up being the most help to this girl since all her friends were doing was just trying to stop the bleeding with bandaids, paper towels and a t-shirt like as if it were a regular cut.

    The Public, Normal looking people as they were became just the biggest jerks that day though. Many of them wouldn’t move because they didn’t want to lose their spot in line on their way to get hot dogs and beer.

    Bah sorry for ranting and I think going offtopic. Serves you right for asking for feedback when I could possibly read it. You know how I drift. 😛

  • Beth October 23, 2008, 1:13 pm

    Yeah, I work at a bowling alley food counter. I see stupid people everyday. People come in with big chips on their shoulders, and want to take that shit out on me. I’m like, “dude, I’m just here to ring your shit up.” There was this lady last night who was being soo rude. And I have to ask these perfectly normal questions to everybody like, ‘what lane are you on?’ etc and she was looking at me like I was so stupid. Ugh. She also spent $50 and didn’t tip me or say thank you even though I took all that shit to their table. Ok, done ranting. 🙂

    I have a lot of regulars, and generally the assholes are the people that don’t see me every week.

  • Ryam October 23, 2008, 1:24 pm

    Well… I have been working in a call center for the last 6 years and I have witnessed our agents taking a lot of BS from customers.

    I think a lot of people can afford to be ruder on the phones because they feel protected by being unseen.

  • Theresa111 October 23, 2008, 2:15 pm

    What do we learn from other people’s rudeness? How can I change my way of thinking, so I will not react to this type of behavior. Is it possible for me to set a good example … make them reconsider their actions and possibly draw a sincere apology from their lips?

    There is way too much bad behavior being repeated everyday, I believe the positive thing to do would be to campaign for everyone to return to politeness. Have a contest for the best “I am Polite” T-Shirts, etc.

    Just a suggestion. 😀

  • WickedCourtni October 23, 2008, 2:34 pm


    It is like people dont have the ability to acknowledge anything.

    People have literally lost their manners. No excuse me’s. No I apologize’s.

    Nothin. I cannot STAND it.

  • sorenj October 23, 2008, 2:46 pm

    Excellent post, glad to see some people still have their eyes on what is important, rather than how fast they can accomplish the task at hand!

    I was a skycap for 4 years when I was in college and just after, and it is amzing the things I heard. My favorite was being blamed for the weather and being asked when the rain or fog would lift, and (this is the best part) what I was doing to make sure it was going to happen as soon as possible.

  • marie-anne October 23, 2008, 4:35 pm

    I can relate to the situation, although, it’s a little different because where I come from you have to bag your own groceries. Whenever I am in the US, it’s just such a relieve that there actually is a thing called service….I would never be rude to a bagboy or cashier, they provide a service to me and I am grateful for it…..although, sometimes it’s ok for people to bag their own groceries…..nonetheless, I can relate to what you’re saying……but some people have no manners at all, and they think that they can do and say whatever they want…..sigh…..sometimes…..I don’t bagging my own groceries, but sometimes it’s a little difficult when people have a lot of stuff……it would be convenient if someone would help out……but unfortunately, that’s not in the budget…..we’re so thrifty……time is money….so cram as many customers through there…….I think that both countries can learn from each other……anyway, I still think that overall people are a lot more polite than where I come from…..great blog!!

  • Peaceful1 October 23, 2008, 10:22 pm

    YES!!! I used to work as kids lead at a discount shoe store and there was a lady who’s kid destroyed nearly every aisle and I had to follow her and clean it up as she shopped. She saw her baby doing this and did not tell him to stop, she just diregarded it. Then I was checking her out, her baby started eating the POISONOUS gel silaca found in the shoe boxes. She disregarded this as well. I told her that the stuff was poison and she grabbed a pop out of a cooler (there was a free water fountain but chose to take the pop) gave it to the baby and refused to pay for it. I got the manager and he said she could have it. When I handed it to her to take it she said “Ugh, I dont want that” and strutted out like little miss thang. Not only was she rude, but by not supervising her child she put his life at risk.

  • Rebecca October 24, 2008, 10:17 am

    I used to work as a cashier and I had some times where people were rude. It’s like some adults haven’t grown up yet and are not used to getting their own way all the time. Actually, I thought my supervisor was more rude then some of the customers!

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