Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Etiquette Series: Part III

I have some opinions on etiquette, I know you're shocked. :) And the other day, a friend and I were talking about the many social faux pas that people our age (twenty-somethings) tend to make, so I thought it may be a good idea to do a little series on etiquette, especially with the holidays right around the corner. You may disagree with some of what I say, and that's just fine. These are just my personal opinions, and I am well aware that there are exceptions to every rule. :)

If you're new, check out Part I and Part II here!

Part III - People Skills

Recently, I've had a quite a few encounters with people possessing terrible people skills. Do they just not realize they're being rude? Do they care? I don't care if you're the busiest, most stressed out person in the world, you can still afford to take time for a few simple social niceties...especially if you work with people in any way!

1. Say please and thank you. This is a given right? Wrong. You'd be surprised how many people fail to do this, and how much of a difference it makes when people do.

2. Acknowledge others. This is mainly for those of you in customer service professions (aren't they all?), including myself. :) It drives me crazy when I have to search through a store for someone to ring up my items. Or worse to walk up to a register and be ignored by the clerk. Just a smile and a "I'll be right with you" makes me feel SO much better than being ignored.

3. Don't be rude. Another given. This goes for both the customer and the store/clinic/whatever employee. If you're the customer, I'm all for seeing that you're treated fairly, but even if someone is being rude to you, remaining pleasant will do a world of good. Same goes if you're the employee. If you get a sassy customer, and you are rude back, then you, too, look like an idiot.

Now I'm going to break tradition a little and share a scenario that I encountered recently that inspired me to write this post. 

Scenario 1:
Customer: Do you have any more coupons?
Cashier: Oh yes, sir, we still have them. (to store manager) Bob, since they're buying two ****** do you want me to take $0.50 off each item or $1 off the total order?
Store Manager (in a very snarky/exasperated tone): What?! Why would we take $1 off? 
Cashier: Um, sir, well, there's a coupon.
Store Manager:  Ugh, I'm on the phone! I don't understand why we would ever take $1 off their order. Why are you asking if we would take $1 off? Why would we do that?
Customer: (to the poor cashier who looks like she's about to cry) Don't worry about it, it's no big deal.
Ok Mr. Jerky Store Manager, get off your high horse and (1) be aware of specials your store is running and (2) don't ever speak to an employee in a demeaning manner, especially in front of customers. Jerk. How about instead saying "Mary, I'm not sure what coupons you're talking about?" or "I'm not sure we have any specials running at the moment."

I just think that it's not that hard to be polite. I'm really trying not to rant here, so as we're approaching the Holiday season, maybe we can all try to be a little nicer and little more polite. :)

Next Week: well, I'm not sure yet...I'll let you know when I decide. :)

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