Saturday, November 11, 2006

On my soap box

Can I just tell you how completely fed up I am with the LACK of Customer Service in America? For lack of a better word... and because I just feel like saying it... it sucks.

Occasionally, you will run across someone who attends to their job with pride and treats their customers like human beings... but those people are few and far between. Just today, I was coming out of Wal Mart and was unloading my stuff into my van. Beside me was the cart corral and 2 young men were working at getting the carts gathered to take back to the store. They looked pretty bored and miserable. They were apparently having a discussion about how much they hated their job. I overheard boy 1 say to boy 2, "Yeah, like, these people call for a stock-boy to come and clean up a tiny little drop of water that THEY spilled themselves."

That statement gave me pause, and I wanted so badly to look at him and say "Excuse me, but are you doing this job for free? Out of the goodness of your heart? I mean, you ARE getting paid, RIGHT?" Give me a break! It's not like it's the slave trade. So you have to bend down and clean up some water... who cares? If you don't like your job then quit and find another one. It's not like jobs are scarce.

On Wednesday, I ran into Sam's to pick up a few things. As I got to the checkout counter (which was SLOW, as usual), I smiled at the girl and asked her how her day was. She never once looked me in the eye, but replied "I'm here." I wanted to say, "Yes, you're here, and you're getting paid. You are getting paid whether you do your job well, or not. So cheer up and stop projecting your worries onto me." When I was finished, I smiled again and said "Thank you." She did not respond, which prompted me to say "I said, THANK YOU." She looked startled and looked at me and said "Thank you" right back. Is this such a foreign occurrence?

Several months ago, just after my brother got married, I went into Shoe Carnival to return some shoes. As soon as I entered, I noticed a type-A looking man behind the counter and secretly hoped I wouldn't have to deal with him. Alas, I had to.

There was one other customer in the entire store and she was being helped by the other person behind the counter. I walked up and explained to the man (who I assume was the manager) that I needed to return the shoes. I followed that up with "I have my receipt here somewhere" and he said "Good. You're going to need it." So professional! Anyway, I had tons of receipts in my purse from shopping for the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, etc. I thought I had put my shoe receipt in a particular place, but it was not there. I could tell the man was VERY impatient, and I apologized although I have no idea why I felt obligated to do so. Our conversation went like this:

Man: Yeah, I was a young man when we started this process.
Me: Excuse me?
Man: Oh, nothing.
Me: Well, I'm pretty sure you're getting paid no matter how long it takes me.
Man: Not nearly enough.
Me: Aww, that's a shame... you're obviously SO GOOD at what you do. *sarcasm*
Man: If I had my way, I'd be in Afghanistan right now.
Me: What?
Man: I'd be over there fighting so my son didn't have to. I did it once, I'd do it again.
Me: See, I could've guessed you were military. I can spot'em a mile away.

By this time, I had found my receipt and was on my way to getting my refund. My niece, who was with me, was so upset and mad that she was ready to cry. Argh. [side note: I love our military. I have, however, seen a pattern with some former military men acting as though their poop doesn't stink. Get over it.]

Sometimes, I call people on the carpet for their bad customer service. Sometimes, I get home and phone the store and ask to speak to the manager. Sometimes, I just blog about it.

Elton John

I just read an article on Elton John, where he stated that organized religion stirs hate and that if it were up to him, he would ban all organized religion. Obviously, Elton John is gay, which is what spurred his vantage point.

At first, upon reading this article, I was a little peeved. How dare he make a rash statement about a group of people? Isn't that what he wishes to avoid about his own "group"? Right, Elton? Are all gay people the same? I sure hope not, because you are quite obnoxious. Since when does writing dozens of musical hits (whatever) qualify you to speak to the nations? It's music. My daughter writes better songs than you've cranked out in decades. [hopping off soap-box]

After a few seconds of being ticked off, I realized that regardless of how annoying Elton John is... he has a point. I don't like admitting things like this, but it's just true. Christians, particularly American Christians, and very pious and holier than thou... and usually it's the very ones that enjoy pointing out the faults of others that are hiding HUGE skeletons in their very own closets. Perhaps if we did present the gospel the way Jesus intended, by LIVING IT, more people would want to be a follower and believer. Just a thought.

When are Christians going to STOP giving Christ a bad name? When are we truly going to stop glorifying ourselves and start living our lives to the glory of God?

I'm guilty, too. I'm not just pointing fingers. But I am asking a question.

Why are we, as Christians, ineffective??? Why are we not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit so much so that people get healed just from being in our shadow? What have we come to?