Now that Christmas season is firmly in the rearview mirror, I have a not-so-small observation to make since I probably had more shopping sprees and restaurant visits in the last month than I did in the previous 11.
It's not a "hot take", but it's a take nonetheless.
Here it is:
Customer service is dead.
It just is.
For a society that is on the precipice of having nearly every job replaced by fucking robots, people really haven’t gone out of their way to make an argument for human interaction.
It’s not a millennial thing. It’s not a race thing. It’s a cultural thing... A culture that thinks they are born with a right to work a job better than the one they have.
"Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."
Actually, I don’t care how you dress, asshole. I just want you to give a fuck about the job you are doing.
I delivered flowers on my bike when I was 12. I was a janitor in Brownsville during summers in college. I delivered Chinese food in the projects. I made sandwiches in a deli. I was a file clerk and messenger for a law firm. I worked in a computer lab with a guy who would later become a convicted pedophile... I did all this before I finally got a job that was considered remotely “professional”.
Jesus, one summer I went up to Juneau and blew Eskimos for whale sandwiches (with the computer lab guy), and I did it with a fucking smile and a SHITLOAD of Chapstick.
Do I have a specific example of the deterioration of customer service?... I have multiple. But let me ask you, dear reader- Who DOESN'T have multiple examples of being disappointed at checkouts by cashiers who can't add and/or speak?... At bartenders who spend more time on their hair than on your drink?... At Uber drivers who cover the inside of their car with perfume and the inside of your ears with Dubstep?... At telephone operators who put you on hold and then disconnect you 35 minutes into a service call?...
At the peep show attendants who don't knock before they come in with the mop?... At this lady...
Or the restaurant manager who lets this happen 2 tables over from yours...
It has gotten to the point that whenever I interact with someone in a business capacity, I know within seconds whether or not it is going to be pleasant. And for the 90% of the time I surmise it will be negative, I have a "mode" I go into to combat it. I get a resting bitch face and then make it my business to make their job as difficult as possible, all the while knowing they're trying to make our transaction as quick and labor non-intensive as possible.
The only positive that comes out of this sorry state of affairs is that it has put people in a mindset where they truly appreciate when someone does their job successfully. If I ever get service with a smile, I am delighted to smile back... AND I am also delighted to tip the shit out of whoever started the smiley transaction.
Conversely, I am cutting more tips than an Ocean Parkway mohel whenever I feel I am getting the short end of the customer service stick.
There was a time I would never skimp on a gratuity... If I wasn't lighting someone up for a good job, I would still give the prerequisite 20%, regardless of service.
Not any more.
If I am choosing your establishment to spend my easy earned money in, then I expect to not be treated like YOU'RE doing ME a favor by getting me some lemons for my fucking drink.
To be fair, maybe you have something going on at home that I obviously don't know about (or care about. TBH), or maybe your boss is a gaping asshole. But those considerations are something I no longer consider because of the rampant privilege of every other fucking person working behind a counter. This whole pathetic environment has jaded me to the fact that service people naturally have secondary issues affecting their service.
"Was it that much better when you were growing up, Boomer?"
The short answer is- Yes.
Was it perfect? Fuck no. But I guarantee you that anyone over 30 who is reading this and who has been to a mall or a restaurant in the last 2 years would agree that things are exponentially worse.
"Well then, Boomer... Who is to blame?"
I don't fucking know, and I don't fucking care... And, as a heads up, I assume the word "boomer" will eventually become the n-word for ageism against sensitive people who identify as "old", so tread lightly, or you might not get that internship when someone born before 1970 reads your timeline, douchebag.
All I know is that I hope there is a groundswell of support from people who no longer want to be treated like dirt when they are buying things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't like.
I have no plans to organize a march on Stop N Shop but I will urge everyone reading to follow my lead with either cutting gratuities or perhaps telling a haughty barista to "Go fuck yourself." after you get chided for forgetting NOT to use the words "small, "medium", or "large" when ordering a hot chocolate for your kid.
And if that doesn't work... Well... Then I'm gonna need to see your manager.
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest... Take a report.
I have Mangold co-hosting Barstool Breakfast this morning while Willie is traveling… Have some handsome Scottish guy bringing booze, haggis, and bagpipers into the studio and we're all wearing kilts with no drawers.
If that's your type of thing, tune in.
And LoDuca's play-at-the-plate story did well last week, so to keep things rolling into this week, I have an inside look at Lisa Ann on ExtraLarge…
Only on BarstoolGOLD…