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I hate to sound like a grump, but I am a really annoyed at how many younger store clerks, servers and other service workers just don't get that the workplace is no place to discuss their personal business with co-workers while robotically performing the functions for which they were hired, all the time barely making eye contact with their customers.
I went to a drugstore this weekend to buy decongestant, the kind you have to show ID to purchase. The clerk came over and robotically asked my last name, thinking I was picking up a prescription. Okay, no big deal. Nevermind that I was showing her the required plastic card to get the Zyrtec. I was fine with that and jokingly said "you'll know my last name in a second" as I presented my DL. She says, "I'll need to see your driver's license ". She apparently didn't get my reference or see my license coming at her. She then yells back to an unseen co-worker and says, 'That stuff is making my throat dry"...and continues... "I'm going to call David", and picks up the intercom and pages "David". Then she says to her unseen co-worker in the back..."he's not going to call me". I guess David didn't care. Next, she says to me, " I'll need your driver's license". I said "I handed it to you, just before you paged David". she made some kind of gutteral grunt that suggested she knew she was "busted". She then completed the transaction, but it sure seemed the importance of the customer was still lost on her.
Later in the day I went into another store, happened to be one in the same chain. I heard a young woman talking to her much older male supervisor about how they are going to be able to "get out of here quickly tonight". She rambled on for quite some time as I stood there waiting to check-out and he also seemed oblivious as to what was "wrong with this picture". Seriously, it's inappropriate to talk about how much you'd rather not be there while you're on the job! The supervisor was at least 45 years old, maybe the trend of ignoring the customer in favor of private conversations spans all age groups. Do you think it goes along with the coming of cell phones? Just wondering.