Monday, July 16, 2012

What would you do?

It seems that someone thinks I acted inappropriately the other day so I'm bringing the situation to you and asking what you would do, or if you were with me when I did it would you be embarrassed by it.

We were doing our weekly Wal-Mart trip and went through the register to pay. The cashier didn't smile, say hello, thank you or even crack a smile when Wade attempted to joke with her. As a matter of fact while he was trying to be funny she stared straight ahead and didn't say a word. We started to walk away and I commented to him that apparently she was a bit short in the personality department that day to which he agreed. Then, I turned around and walked to the customer service department. Wade was not happy with me. He tried to pull me away but the way I see it, my purchase helps to pay her wages and I expect GOOD customer service no matter where I'm at. Nicely, I told the girl in customer service about the cashier. She apologized, said she would talk to her and I was on my way. In no way was I rude about it at all.
When said that the poor girl probably had a bad day, maybe she broke up with her boyfriend and I should give her a break. I said I don't care what kind of day she had, if she goes in to work and is working with the public she is paid to be friendly.

So tell me, what is your opinion about this? 


  1. Ann, I have to admit that I have mixed feelings on this subject. Being a customer, I, like you expect good service and pleasant clerks.

    I myself have been in customer service for decades and still work in that area. I deal with 100's of people per day and I have to admit that when you deal with the public on a daily basis it does get difficult at times. While you and Wade were nice and pleasant, it could very well be that the previous customers this clerk had were the exact opposite.

    I also think that age is a factor. Younger people in these types of positions look at their jobs as merely a paycheck. I'm generalizing here but I see that it is often the case. As a result, the customer is not their priority.

    More mature people, like me :) in jobs of this nature enjoy the work and as a result make the customer their priority.

    I have to be honest in that if I were in your situation I probably would have ignored it and walked away. If she had said something inappropriate or made a rude comment to me then I would have complained.

    You are right though that if you are going to work with the public you need to have a tough exterior for one and always make the customer your priority no matter what kind of day you are having.

    Next time bring Duke with you. He would make anyone smile :)

  2. It's happened so often in Asian country so usually I just ignored their attitude and move on.

  3. Basically I think that if you work with the public you should adopt the appropriate attitude. If something happened in her life that really brought her down on that particular day she should have asked for the day off.

  4. Beyond a polite "hello" and a "good-bye" all that is owed to the customer is a quick and correct check-out. The cashiers are not there to entertain the customers. I don't think cashiers are paid to be friendly/entertaining or conversationalists - they are paid to ring up your sale - correctly - bag your items and be polite.

    My husband often "jokes" with wait staff, cashiers, sales people and most of the time he is faced with blank stares - they don't know whether he is joking or serious; whether they are being insulted or he is complaining. I have to explain or sometimes apologize for him. It's gets old fast.

  5. On the other hand, I also let management know when I get great customer service too.

    I'm not sure that Wal-Mart employees are hired for their sparkling personality... :-))

  6. We can all have a bad day, and not as cheery as all would like.In a busy time I am sure I might even wear out.

  7. I think if the situation stood out to you then you did the right thing. I believe they have to say "hello" and "thank you" as a bare minimum of interaction as an employee. I think I would have done the same thing.

    I am constantly surprised at how nice our Walmart employees are. And they are especially nice when you interact with them.

    You weren't inappropriate--she was.

  8. I think I would had chalked it up to her having a plate full of concerns and being a moody sort of person. If Wade's attempt to bring a smile or happy response failed, it says a lot about her discontent with life.

  9. I must admit, I am like you. Having worked in the service industry for many years, I know the importance of a simple smile. Life happens and we all have some bad days but the fact is, I find there is very few places that give good customer service any more. While you want to keep in mind that perhaps this person had something really pressing on her mind, all the clerks in all the stores can't be having a bad day can they? I think you were right to mention something, especially when you did it nicely. Nope, no harm in that.

    xo C

    P.S. Duke looks extra cute below!!

  10. And as an added note, I don't think anyone smiles at our Wal-mart. That's probably because they are thinking about their low pathetic wages and watching all the people buy stuff that is making the store stock holders another 100 BILLION dollars....

    I try to avoid Wal-mart when I can...don't get me started... LOL!

  11. You didn't do anything wrong. I would have told the rude gal myself. The heck with customer service.

    Have a terrific day. My best to Duke. :)

  12. Our Walmart employees are usually pretty crabby. Maybe it has something to do with Walmart.

  13. I have yet to see a happy Wal Mart employee in ours! I've worked retail before and it's tough sometimes! But there is no excuse for being rude so yes, I would have reported her, too!

  14. I don't put up with it either! But, I usually go for the offending member and nip it there and then..."HELLO" is my favorite word and I say it right to their face...After they get over the shock, I always get a smile...of sorts!Hahaaaa....
    After several well spoken words get NO reaction, I just holler my favorite word...
    (I've had to work right after loosing people I love...It does not give you the right to treat people like crap...)
    Well Done!

  15. I worked in customer service the entire time I was in school and I consider teaching to be a service as well. Part of the job means having a good attitude. My shopping at a store helps to pay their bills and the person on the other side of the counter needs to remember that important part.
    And as my husband points out, in this economy if you don't want to work then move over so someone who does can take your place.

  16. PS- My HELLO is not to be confused with the sweet salutation hello...
    It's meant to be used to get their attention...which it does...Hahaaa

  17. I probably wouldn't have gone to the customer service department although I would have wanted to. When cashiers are like that they put me in a crabby mood too and I usually make nasty comments under my breath like they need personality training 101 or something like that. I totally irk my hubby by doing that since he lets it go but I think they should at least be courteous if nothing else.

  18. YOU are right... It was good to 'report' her... Sometimes, we ignore stuff like that too much. They are PAID to be friendly--even when they don't feel like it. Ignoring it just makes things like that WORSE...


  19. Mom when I worked at Payless for the 4 years,even if I had a horrible bad day I tried my very best to be cheerful and polite to the customers. Not only does it look bad on the sales associate but it looks bad on the manager and store as well. When Ian broke off our engagement I even was nice and courteous to the customers.

  20. I agree that cashiers need to be courteous. I'm not one to joke around with people like that, but I do expect basic manners.

  21. I see it both ways. On one hand, it really doesn't take much to at least smile and say hello when you are cashiering. When I was a cashier-it was part of a routine we were suppose to follow (smile, greet the customer, ask for the store care, coupons, etc.). Even when I wasn't having a great day I'd try to at least do that.

    But there were some days where a smile really was too much. There were days were I honestly was doing all I could not to get sick right at the register due to woman's issues, or not being able to eat properly or whatever.

    She wasn't out and out rude, so I think telling customer service was a little over the top. If she was having a really bad day-all it did was make it worse.

  22. The least she could do was said 'HELLO' and you were right she was probably had a bad day but she could have take Wade's joke and made her day better.

  23. That's a hard one, but to be honest, as soon as I saw that she was not responding to me, I would probably have stopped talking to her, got my purchases, and left. I might have said, "have a nice day" in the hopes it would maybe improve her mood.
    Again, it's a tough call and just depends on the mood of the customer.

  24. I would have paid, taken my things and left AFTER smiling at her and saying "Thank you...have a good day!"...:)JP

  25. I have to agree with you. I think that the WalMart needed to know that she was being rude. The WalMart people have always been nice to me and there isn't any reason why she shouldn't be. If she was having a bad day, she should hold all that off until she isn't working any more. I agree with you.

  26. I don't blame Wade for not being happy with you.

    I sure hope when you have a bad day I'm around to see it, 'cause quite frankly I wouldn't give a damn!

    I'd expect that you would smile at me, even if your hair was on fire.

    You have no clue about the girl, what's going on in her life, her family, her friends, her living arrangements, her health... for all you know perhaps she's hearing impaired.

    But all YOU care about is getting a smile while Wade is making small talk with a young girl.

    Get a grip, as I said, you know nothing about her, not one iota! and you have the audacity to mumble and sneer as you walk away. You didn't even have the guts to say it to her face. You stand there, listen to Wade joke away, and the poor girl has to put up with drooling older man making pathetic jokes, advances, flirtation, while YOU the wife expect the girl to SMILE at you.

    Before you arrived at Wal-Mart, how many other men had joked with the girl? I presume since you felt the need to complain and perhaps get her into strife you do have all the FACTS and STATISTICS of the entire situation.

    Are you a know it all? Are you smiling while you're reading this? Oh, well, if not too bad!

    You're mean. You're horrible. You're gutless. People like you who carry on like you did all because you didn't get the recognition you wanted... Pathetic!

    I hope you have learnt something from this experience, and will try to be nice without EXPECTING SOMETHING IN RETURN.

    Seriously, it's people like you that tip others over the edge. Your snide remark if heard can do a lot of damage!!!

    If you speak about a stranger behind her back, then complain, it makes me wonder how you treat the people you do know.

    Perhaps, it was really you who was having the bad day, and not her.


    and you don't have all the FACTS.

  27. Even if she had a bad day she should still be interacting with you! Even if she has to fake it. I think you did the right thing.

  28. Okay to be honest - I don't think the supervisor did a thing - I see Wal Marts customer getting worse and worse. sandie

  29. I talked to my husband about your post...he's been in retail management for over 35 years. He said that he would have wanted to know your concerns.
    I agree with him...someone dealing with the public needs to (at the very least) greet and thank the customers they wait on. It's one thing not to want to banter back and forth but quite another to make no contact at all.
    I work in customer service and I have chronic pain. Some days my body just aches and the last thing I want to do is "make nice" to a customer. But that's my job. How I feel shouldn't determine how I act.

    I would say the same also applies to the person on the receiving end of poor service as well. You shared your concerns, you weren't rude...sounds like you handled it just fine.

    By the way - I read all the comments. I appreciate the comments of those who disagreed with you....kindly.

  30. I agree with you both. I dislike surly shop workers and now that I am old and doddery I am more inclined to say something. However some customers also leave a lot to be desired manners wise. I have done shop work and tried to stay happy, but it ain't always possible. Especially when the instinct is to punch them hard on the nose. Wayne is right too, but that's because he is a bloke, and us blokes are very caring.

  31. Sorry I do know his name is Wade. I'm getting old.

  32. Arlynda and her mother had a similar experience with a Wal-Mart cashier a few days ago. For she spent most of her time just staring out into space and acted plump put-out when she was asked to get more bags and an empty cart to place the purchased items in. When Arlynda tried to work for Wal-Mart several years ago, she secured a mid-level management position and they they tried to work her to death! On their way out of the store, Arlynda asked one of the bosses if cashiers were no longer required to be helpful, she was assured that they still were. Yes, everyone can have a bad day, but there is a difference between someone who cares about their job having one and someone who just plain doesn't care about anything but what THEY consider to be important.

  33. I agree with you. I'm so tired of poor customer service. When I actually have good customer service I go and report it! LOL Because it's so rare. :)
    I'm guessing Ramona is having a bad day and maybe she works in retail.


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