You’re Too Kind

Really.  Way too kind.  

I stopped in to the drug store today to buy gum.  That’s it.  Gum.

Clerk:  “Would you like 3 candy bars for a dollar?  They’re our special.”

Me:  “No thanks, just the gum.”

Clerk:  “Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Me:  “Yup, there it is.  The gum.  Found it just fine.”

Clerk:  “Is there anything else we can help you with?”

Me:  “Nope.  Got my gum.  You have to ask me these questions, don’t you?”

Clerk:  “Well, we like to make sure our customers are happy.”

Me:  “I’ll be happy if you say ‘yes.'”

Clerk:  “Yes, they want us to ask those questions.”

Me:  “OK, I’m happy.”

Clerk:  “By the way, if you go to our website and fill out a survey you can win $3,000!”

Me:  “This was a lot of work for a pack of gum.”

Clerk:  “Have a nice day!”

Me:  “You too.”   

I have to give the clerk credit.  She did what she had to do.  It takes a talent I lack to be that cheery, no matter what

I’d last five minutes in that job.    Maybe.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Diatribes, It's all about me. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to You’re Too Kind

  1. There are 2 supermarkets in town here. The Food Lion and Lowe’s. I walked into the Food Lion not that long ago and every employee – every single one said, ” welcome to Food Lion! ” It was as transparent as the bags you rip from the dispenser in the produce aisle.

    After I heard my fifth ” Welcome to… ” I said to the Food Lion worker, ” You had a meeting yesterday and they told you to say this, right? ”

    She gave me a sheepish look and said, ” Right. ”

    Same kind of thing happens in Barnes and Noble. The clerk always asks me if I have a card. I say, ” Nope. ” Then the clerk goes into sales mode…

    ” If you purchase… ”

    I say, ” If you say one more word I’m going to throw the book I just bought at your head, and I have a very good arm. ”

    OK, I don’t say that.

    Long comment short. I can relate.

    • Gerry says:

      Have you ever seen the Steve Martin/Rick Moranis flick, “My Blue Heaven?”
      If you have, remember the classic “Have a nice day” supermarket scene?
      And if you haven’t, rent the movie for that scene alone.

  2. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    Hey, come on. The clerk is simply (and flawlessly) executing Arthur Treacher’s theory of acting, which I heard him state many years ago on a TV talk show.

    “Say the words. Get the money. Go home.”

    Just doin’ the job.

  3. Jeff says:

    Thanks for highlighting one of my pet peeves, Gerry. For me It used to be Radio Shack. I would walk in the door, hoping to quickly run over to where I knew the adapter, fuse, cable, or whatever it was I came for, unnoticed.

    No such luck . . .

    “Welcome to Radio Shack, can I help you find something, sir?”

    “Ahhh . . . nope, just picking up a battery for my garage door opener.”

    “We’ve got some great Sprint wireless plans that just became available.”

    “Ummm . . . my company provides my cell phone for me.”

    “Lucky dude. We’re having a special next week on a tune up for your computer . . . we’ll check it for viruses and load the latest updates.”

    “Really, I just came in for the battery.”

    Now it’s Home Depot and Lowes. I think they are in competition for obnoxiously overzealous helpfulness. I could probably make a fortune selling . . . “No Thanks, I’ve already been helped” tee shirts.

    Perhaps I’m becoming a curmudgeon.


  4. Gerry says:

    I know these folks are just following orders. Funny thing is, when you really need help, there’s no one around!

  5. Steve says:

    My standard answer these days to “How are you today” is “I’m doing OK so far, now don’t ruin it”

    • Kathy says:

      He’s also been known to say: “Don’t tell me to have a nice day! I’ll Have a nice day if I want to have a nice day. grumble, grumble, etc” Always as an aside,tho, never to the ” have-a nice-dayer”

  6. RJM says:

    What about when you call businesses & the receptionist has to say a long, drawn out hello about the company and you hate to interupt her to ask for a certain person. Imagine saying that everytime you answer the phone, all day long?

  7. Cat says:

    Wow, you hit the jackpot, you actually got a live, honest to goodness human being on the phone, that is so rare in this day and age.
    I’m so tired of hearing: press 1 for this, 2 for that, by the time they get to 4 or 5, I don’t even care anymore as to why I phoned in the first place and just hang up.

    • Gerry says:

      I actually go to a couple of doctors offices if I have a question, rather than call. I find it less irritating than listening to the answering machine.

  8. Joan says:

    One of my other pet peeves is when you are on the phone for 15 mins. with a cust. serv. person discussing whatever your problem is and you’ve gotten your answer and have said “thank you” and then they say “is there anything else I can help you with today?” What?? If there was anything else you could help me with, don’t you think I might have mentioned it before I said “thank you”? But they all say it now.

  9. Redge says:

    This topic sure hits home. I think Walmart started this trend by sincerely greeting and welcoming customers to their stores. Somehow this sincerity was transcribed into a formula that suggests one can make money by simply “uttering” these words.

    As the many comments already noted, the sincerity is not there, the employees are only following a script, and underneath it all, they really don’t care – it’s a paycheck. As customers we are only to keen to see through this marketing ploy. Also the, “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” was highlighted in a Tom Peters video some (many) years ago. This strategy was successfully deployed in a customer service center for FEDEX. The objective was to ensure that irate customers were completely diffused by having all of their questions answered.

    On a more humorous note, my wife and I went to purchase some furniture from a store that was also exercising their “customer friendly” strategy. Oddly, when we were ready to make our purchase we actually had to go out of our way to find someone to help us. I think they were all at the front door greeting people as they entered or thanking them for their purchases on the way out.

    I think if the customer service oriented personnel connected their paycheck to the service they provide, they might actually start caring “for real”. Zig Ziglar was one of those who could get on your side of the table and become part of the process. How many times has someone expressed concern for your “well being” etc., until you say, “No thanks, I’m not interested.” Click – bzzzzz.

  10. Linda says:

    I’m just jealous that you can chew gum. The fillings in my teeth are so old, if I chew gum, it tends to pull them out!

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