Question Human Decency

Sometimes you do have to stop and ponder the state of humanity when a shopper is so rude that she rams her buggy into your ankles. This is what happened to me today in Topshop and I was so shocked that all I could do was stand there and stare at her for a few seconds. Being a waitress, I deal with my fair share of nutjobs. In fact, ‘nutjob’ is being polite. Customers these days are, 80% of the time, rude and surly and think they are better than anyone who is serving them, whether that be in a clothes shop or a restaurant. When I was editing my CV the other day, and was writing something about my customer service skills, I thought to myself that people really should get more credit for having to deal with the public. It’s a skill not praised often enough, I don’t think. People think everyone should have customer skills these days, which of course most people do, however we should all remember what exactly that involves.

It is well known that every driver suffers from some form of road rage, from the mild to the downright outrageous at times. But now it appears that this child-like tendency to stamp one’s foot, believing we have every right to throw all common courtesy and decency out of the window has shifted from the road to the shop floor.

After a quick and successful wizz round Topshop (short and sweet is the way to avoid all potential arguments between a mother and her daughter) my Mum and I stood in the relatively short queue to the tills. We were third in line when I spotted some underwear, and I said to Mum that I would be right back if she held our position. After about two minutes I returned and it wasn’t long before the ‘queue-rage’ set in. I slipped back into my original spot next to Mum only to be knocked in the ankle by a push-chair and the words “The back of the queue is here”.

I looked from my ankle slowly up to my nemesis’ face: a 30-something woman with brown hair tied back and a sour look etched on her face. I knew the best – and only – way to deal with the offender: I smiled, adding in a slightly raised voice, “Oh don’t worry I’m with my Mum!” [big, deranged grin] and turned back to face the tills.

What I couldn’t believe was the sheer nerve of the woman. She was so self-righteous and blunt that it verged on the amusing.

All I can conclude from this incident is that, as on the road, there will be those people who you’d like to throttle for being so utterly insolent and stupid. If this woman had an ounce of common sense, she would have discerned that the woman in front of her was some form of relation to me, especially as I made it so clear when I asked my Mum to hold the spot while I grabbed a couple more items.

Unfortunately, some people simply lack common sense and so it’s up to the rest of us to merely smile and turn our backs on them: the best way to deal with bullies at school, as taught by our parents.

In fact, in my dreams I would have waved my underwear in the air and screamed something about my rights as a customer and decent human being placed upon this cruel earth with no hope against the crazy, angry people of this world.

Sadly, that was just a dream.

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