Saturday, December 11, 2010

That customer

Posted on facebook by Joshua Woodbury, aka birdcat from the message boards at
im at mcdonalds. i order 12 nuggets, to be told they don't have 12 nuggets. seriously? do i, the customer, have to tell you how to punch in two orders of six nuggets? seriously, wtf?
Well, this kind of hit close to home, because I have to deal with customers like this every day.  Customers who develop an inflated sense of self importance when dealing with a peon behind a register - customers who expect you to know exactly what they want based solely on the effect of their commanding presence - customers who, because of their average IQ's, feel really smart when they walk into a McDonalds.  Customers who piss me off.
My response:
"Speaking from the point of view of one who routinely has to deal with the types of customers that, upon walking into the store where I work, immediately lose half of their information processing capabilities while simultaneously doubling the size of their egos and who then expect me to be both a mind reader, capable of dispensing instant gratification with zero information forthcoming, and a spare cache of free IQ points for handling a constant deluge of baffling mysteries - such as the location of the coffee lids, why the bathroom door is locked, and why we don't carry the Four-Loko anymore - mysteries which continue to clog their increasingly overtaxed logic centers like a backed up port-a-potty at castor oil convention while they maintain a lofty air of self importance which increases in direct proportion to the decline of their own ability to process information cogently... speaking from the point of view of one who is intimately familiar with such phenomena, let me say that I have absolutely zero interest or desire to involve myself with these types of customers beyond the basic levels of requirement, which consist of finding out what they want, putting it in front of them, and taking the money.  Now, concerning the individual who responded to your request for 12 nuggets by stating that they didn't have 12 nuggets... I feel as though I am somewhat familiar with the perspective of this individual, and I think I can speak with some confidence when I postulate that this person was almost certainly capable of acting independently and ringing up two orders of 6 nuggets.  However, he or she most likely just didn't give two flips about doing your thinking for you."
Now, I realize that I've been 'that customer' before, and I'll probably be 'that customer' again.  However, due to the extensive experience I have with occupying the other side of the situation, I am much more aware of it now when I become 'that customer', and I feel chagrined when I find myself slipping so easily into that role.  Oh, and birdcat aka Josh isn't a bad guy.  I've known him for years.  However, we all have a little asshole built in, and we could all do with learning a little humility.
By the way, even though it dealt with real experiences and real feelings, I'm aware of the ludicrous nature of that little essay.  The entire thing was actually meant to be a joke.  Mostly. :)