Willingness Under Wadges

Coffee and being a better person for the heartless faceless corporate overlords and how people crack under the pressure.

Don’t be dicks, people. Whether it is on the highway or at the expense of minimum wage slaves at coffee places. We make the world insufferable for each other. The problem with everyone being the problem is no one gets the blame. We all think we are important. Somehow smarter than the people that give orders or make our food. Every traffic cut-off is a personal insult and in no way your fault for going too fast and tailgating. As people, we have a blind spot ot our behavior toward others in thinking that they are others. The otherness to strangers that we feel from a one dimensional interaction.
The people that read what I write are fantastic thoughtful people. There is no titillation or biting wit here. (Please, don’t realize you can stop reading.) For more attention I could start a fight on the internet to stir up some attention, they could stand to read something that analyzes behavior and they might even understand it later. People attempt to order without looking at menus, mess up bathrooms, refuse to ask for help or tip.
Many experience both sides. I have been in minimum wage jobs and I have also experienced annoying, unattentive, and hypocritical attendants. That, ask for slack one minute and when I give it to him, complains about my feeling-out a new place and criticises my order. I’m more than a little venting here but I was curious about shrimp being served at a movie theatre and all he could do is wonder why I wouldn’t pay twenty cents more for popcorn I wouldn’t eat.
Most common decency boils down to being nice. How I learned to deal with it is not taking things personally, being flexible, and selling out.

Refuse petty emotions to control. That includes taking something personally. A lot of times when customers come in angry or aggressive, it is a show to get what they want. A farce of how they learned to get what they want. I like to imagine them as the giant children that they are. You did nothing to incite this and a good chunk of this majority is people out-and-out trying to steal. If a customer comes in to a return a product and response to any slow down with anger thief. Try to break more rules for people that stay calm and polite than those that nudge for a favor or threaten. It isn’t personal, it is ploy. Call in a manager and give them a heads up of any suspicion or undue trouble they give you. If you are really confident you can tell them to go sit in their car until they are ready to come back and act like an adult. The majority of order complaints originate more for the hand-out than integrity.

Not to contradict the previous point but some people could just be stressed by life. This isn’t an excuse for their behavior but another opportunity to not take it personally. The stressed individual is not thinking about life and the universe and all of human history and a struggle to grow and survive. They are more stressed about self-imposed schedules and going fast. They may need to hurry to a birth or transferring a living heart. It is best to assume that the people in a rush are that way for a reason. Don’t be aggressive as a response, be responsible. Focus on the job and ignore whatever requests they would make for things that you would do anyway. Give the car in front of you some lead so that a car fit and get to an off ramp. If they are being dangerous you can also take the time to read the licence plate and make a song to remember it. It will help them in the long run.

This is also being flexible. While it is improbable that every rough driver is in a legitimate hurry, it is a lot easier on the mind. If you are flexible feel free to observe all the other cars that are letting them pass. That are just getting to point A to point B without being on either end of a manslaughter. They feel all the frustration or perspective the same.

It also goes to customers consuming things and being narrow minded. This is the point where I make the inverse point about when things go badly it is best to be polite (i.e.flexible) and not take the disappointment with immediate anger (taking it personally). The old slogan is wrong because the customer is always wrong. If the customer was always right they would also know not to be an asshole. Corporations are big. The person you interact with do not make the rules, are not hiding things from you, and want to help you most of the time. It is frustrating when the product you use gets discontinued, nothing is made like it was use to, and there is a chance that you will have to adapt the way you do things. This is where I am bereaved to face that the people that fall into this customer category are old and busy. They will never read this. They ran away mad and unsatisfied because things didn’t match specifications, ridiculous specifications, wrong color, available size, price hike, or it doesn’t match the mental picture. Sometimes you have to sell out your ideal for the product or action available because corporations are big uncaring monsters.

Giant sandworms of opportunity and consumption. Complete with ripping teeth and the perspective that gives all else insignificance. Just like in Dune we ride them together. Like waring nomadic travelers we see them as tools to what we want. Corporations do give us what we want. For some it is a wage. No matter how small, a job is better than no job. For others it is for the products and services. Big companies drive down prices. Some may think that prices are getting worse but this is the mind playing tricks. Everything is made cheaper in bulk and by bulk. Office supplies where insanely expensive before the big stores came on the scene. It use to be twenty dollars for the same legal pads that are sold in six packs for a few bucks. Some things have been made so cheap that they are only worth shipping in multipacks. You only want one of what is in this four pack? White-out use come single? It was twice the price then. Sure, prices have varied in the last few years but it is much cheaper than when everything was a special order.

The people that control corporations are so far removed from the selling process that they spend millions on surveys to know what is going on. The things you write on surveys have more clout than the things that you say to the manager. This might be another point that is for old people who will never read this but no phone calls and verbal complaints are meaningless. The truth is the customer and the employee are both riding on the same out of touch beast. The employee that is unconsciously pestering with their inability is your closest friend. They have as much power as you do, none. You might as well be nice to each other because you only have each other. There are entire articles on tipping but my rule is always tip. The question is never when to tip but how much to tip. If they tell you to fuck off, leave a penny to let them know that there could have been more. It is to show that you know the way to act and you want to be an example for them. So, be nice, don’t take things seriously, deny your emotions, don’t hurt each other over the ideal, always tip, and be as open minded to alternatives as you would be to give.


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