Thursday, December 14, 2006

On Dealing With The Public

Since I work two jobs, one at the library and one at the bar, I deal with the public all the time. And I'm dealing with them in a way that often makes me feel inferior to those patronizing the establishment.

For the most part, I find that people are generally respectful but there are always exceptions to that. Working at the library, I am often in the position of looking up information for someone who doesn't know so that means that they are very respectful and appreciative of what I am doing for them. Occasionally people will be irked that we don't have whatever obscure thing they are looking for and will be irritated that it's not available RIGHT THAT MINUTE. Other times, like tonight, I had a woman on the phone who insisted that she wasn't going to pay her fines because she calls every two weeks and renews them and she had it written down on her calendar that she did it two weeks ago. She kept saying that I had better take the fines off because she "wasn't going to pay them noway and that the Chinese lady usually helps her." It took all I had not to tell her that the correct thing to say would be "anyway" not "noway" and that the Chinese lady is actually Japanese, can't you tell the difference, you fucking moron? I'm actually not good with customer service in situation where the other person is treating me like I am in the wrong because I've programmed myself not to deal with other people's attitudes when they are the ones who messed up. This woman actually didn't renew her books two weeks ago like she said and I think she realized that at some point and was unwilling to take responsibility for that. So she chose to bully someone into doing what she wanted.

At the bar, I am working for tips and while my appearance has a lot to do with the money I get, I try to be friendly and not shut down when someone I don't know flirts with me. And by flirt, I mean touch, because I hate that! Only a few people have really bothered me with the touching, one guy who kissed my cheek once and has twice pulled me back with my apron strings, and another who likes to grab the pocket of my apron when he's really drunk. Other times people get really possessive of their drinks when I come by their table and give me comments about not touching them, in which case I stop going to their table for the night and they can go to the bar for a drink as I don't have to put up with attitude because I don't want your fucking tip. Or, most likely, I'm not getting a tip so it's a waste of my time.

I think sometimes I get a little frustrated with working in the public sector because I have a college degree. And I am smart and better than you. Because in this world I live in, smart and respectable people do not have to deal with angry, ignorant people lording over them.

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