The Rules For Both Sides of the Counter

My main policy is to treat employees in other stores the way I would want to be treated. I have rules. I don’t expect everyone to follow them, because that would be presumptuous of me.

1: If I have the money to eat out/take a cab then I have the money to tip when applicable.

2: Do not give the cashier a hard time for following the law and/or company policies.

3: Do not treat the cashier/employee like my punching bag because I am having a bad day.

4: Having followed the above rules, if I feel I am being mistreated by an employee at any store, take it up with their manager/supervisor.

These rules work for both sides of the counter. If I’m eating at a diner or a sit down restaurant then yes, I can obviously afford to tip because this is not a place I stopped off at on the way to work because I had three dollars left to my name after all of the bills I have to pay. But if I stop at the Dunkin Donuts and there’s a tip jar there, hell no. And no sad sob story is going to get me to cough up the pennies I have left after I have determined that a donut full of sugar flavored molasses is all I’ll be able to afford to eat for the day if I don’t want to walk home from work tonight.

It’s also annoying when I’m trying to get a question answered over the phone in regards to my student loans, and instead of just answering that question, the intern on the other end of the line tries to get me to sign up for a bunch of stupid crap that she insists will make getting my loans paid off easier. It’d be cute if this were ten years ago and I was stupid enough to fall for that again, but no sweety, just type the question in your computer, find out what I want to know and shut the fuck up. I didn’t get that nasty, but I wanted to, especially when she insisted on calling me Nathan when my name is Nathanielle. I’ll get to that in another post, but in the meantime, I know she was only doing her job.

Sometimes my day is going really poorly. When I sense my customers are having one of those days, I turn off the charm and do my job. This doesn’t always protect me, because sometimes the customer needs to lash out. And instead of punching a wall or ripping up a dandelion, or taking it out on something that has no central nervous system and therefore no feelings, I am still the magnet for the abuse.

I will never take my bad day out on someone. But there are times when the cashier, or the nasty librarian, or the hospital employee does provoke me and I’ll let something slip that I probably should not have said. Sometimes it’s their smug attitude, as if it would be so easy to find their job elsewhere. Or sometimes it’s clear that I don’t feel like digging through my pockets for my discount card that wouldn’t put a dent in my tab if I were shopping in a 1950’s economy and the cashier just isn’t getting it that I all I want to do is pay my bill and get home.

If you ever feel like I have treated you poorly while I was on the clock, tell me so and allow me to call my supervisor over so that you can air your grievance. I will do my best not to repeat this behavior. Keep in mind however, especially if you were a dick to me and I know where you work, that I am free to do the same thing on my time.

Mutual respect is not a right or a privilege. We don’t really need it to survive, but it is one of those things that doesn’t cost a penny and does make life a little easier to deal with.


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