I have recently come to the conclusion that I cannot even begin to understand what has happened to today’s work force. In the olden days, most places would greet you with a warm and friendly “hello” when you walked in the door. Associates would do everything they could to assist you and answer any questions you might have. Today, you’re lucky if you can get the person to look up at you as they take your money. You’re luckier still if you get a “Come again;” forget the “Have a nice day.” I wonder, what the heck ever happened to customer service?
So a few years ago, I am standing in line at Subway with my sister waiting to order. The gal behind the counter is standing with a slouch, frowning, as if she has a personal grudge against everyone in the room. She is certainly not what I would call a happy camper. With a tired-looking face, she asks me, “Can I help you?” The way she emphasizes the word “help” makes it sound like, “I would rather be anywhere else doing anything than helping you.”
I order a turkey sub on wheat, which is my traditional Subway sandwich. Looking past me, she asks for my choice of cheese and vegetables and carelessly tosses them on. I begin to wonder if maybe I have wronged this girl in the past and just can’t remember it. I simply can’t fathom why she would be so rude otherwise.
She hands me the sandwich and I respond with a polite, “Thank you,” hoping my courtesy will instill a friendlier mood in her. It doesn’t.
“Do you want to add chips and a drink?” she asks blandly.
I turn to my sister and we debate whether or not to spend the extra money on the combo.
“Yes, no?” she interrupts, annoyed.
For a second, I stand there, baffled. Then, I shake my head and hand her the cash. She grabs it and quickly hands me my change, before stalking to the back room. My sister and I merely stare at each other, perplexed at how an employee could be so inhospitable to a customer. I later regretted not immediately asking for a manager and perhaps demanding at least a partial refund.