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The Stupidfication of America….

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Just Because...
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Stupidfication of America….

I’m not going to go on a political rant, don’t worry. My issue is one that might hit closer to home with everyone.

You know how Tim Gunn called today’s casual fashion, “The Slobification of America” – well I now am of the belief that we are now encountering The Stupidfication of America”. Hear me out, please.

Lately, I’ve been very angry – angry at a number of things, but one of my main issues is when I am not challenged, I’m dissatisfied. I don’t like running on autopilot and I think that my mind is going to rot if I don’t find something to spark it up. The other thing that sets me off is the sheer laziness of some people. We’ll call that the stupidfication part – people are NOT challenging their minds. I never wanted to be one of those people who said “Back in my day I had to …” but lately I’ve found myself wondering WTF. I’m thrilled that technology is evolving, however, wit h that people are letting computers do all the work and their mind is slowly burning out. People don’t listen to the simplest direction. People are focusing on “me me me” and not on helping other people. People are not challenging themselves to go that extra mile. Instead of giving life 110% of all they can, they instead give 50% hoping that others will make up the difference. Humans make mistakes, but when those mistakes cost us our dignity, kindness and ability to think – that’s tragic.

Now here’s three examples that really inspired me to write this post. They are recent (as in the past weekend) and, as my father often jokes “Did you leave them standing” as he knows I don’t tolerate b.s. or people who aren’t upfront. Be honest with me, I’ll be honest with you. A simple, “I forgot” is cool – I understand, but when you point fingers or then act like I didn’t tell you is when I set off. I am cognizant of what I say to people. I remember what came out of my mouth. If that did not get to your ears, you need to figure out within yourself why it didn’t register. If you don’t like the job – leave. If you don’t like working with people, find another profession. Simple, right?

I’ve gotten to be a nicer, kinder, Lys, but when my inner dragon is unleashed, often people are down on the floor (figuratively). I can look like a mean **tch and cut you with my eyes, even when I don’t mean to. That’s just how I’ve always been. I’ve learned more patience and tolerance over the past three years, but recently, I’ve found myself tested and at the end of the testing are people who don’t (a) care about their job or responsibilities; (b) listen; and/or (c) want to work. And I’m tired – really tired of it all.

So, grab that coffee and off we go!

First case:

I have noticed that the more and more I encounter customer service people, the less customer service one gets and the more attitude is prevalent. One prime example happened on a recent trip to the Orlando Sephora. I was there Friday night on the hunt for an atomizer. So, while wandering, there was a gaggle of help (around 7 gals) by the front displays, cackling like a bunch of hens – griping about their schedules, griping about coworkers, griping about other gossipy stuff and, by all appearances (and other trips I’ve made there), this seems to happen on the regular.

One customer needed assistance and do you think they could break from their riving conversation of “Ugh – I have so many hours” to help this poor woman – nope. I did. But, I am not getting paid by Sephora. I hated seeing this woman get flustered and figured, “pay it forward, Lys”. They continued to ignore other customers but whatever. Customers left. You would think that would stop the hens from clucking – nope. When I had a word with the woman ringing me up (and btw she was complaining about having to get on a register because there was a line of 5 people), I told her to get her manager.

Much to my chagrin (and annoyance), the woman ringing me up and sighing was the Assistant Manager and the lead gossipy hen was The Manager. The Manager’s reasoning for everything going on was “Sorry - We’re short staffed”. That pissed me off. I told her that she was way too up in everyone’s business gossiping with her staff to deal with those that really need help and, as a result, lost 4 customers in the deal who walked out and she SAW them walk out. Her response – she shrugged her shoulders. I told her she should NOT be a manager then, in my opinion. I told her that the amount of people she had on site was FAR from short staffed for a little Orlando store. Short staffed for Vegas, maybe or New York. Way too overstaffed for Orlando. *Note to self, call District Manager before I need to go in there again*. Don't tell me sorry when it's not sincere. If people apologize for something that is truly not their fault - I don't want an apology - just fix the issue, ya know. Insincerity - so not cute.

Now when you say, "Why do you care if you weren't the one being ignored." Simple - my thinking is this. Yeah, I'll correct someone but you know what - if it stops them from doing it to someone else and makes them think - oh wait - I better check myself, then good. You get what you give. You can rest assured that I was corrected when I worked in retail and in customer service - and I learned from it. And it registered in my brain that, perhaps, ignoring a customer is not good behavior.

Second case:
I go to the local Dunkin’ Donuts this afternoon to get my coffee for tonight and tomorrow morning since it’s a super early day for me. My order is simple: “Two large hazelnut ice coffees, 2 equal & skim milk in each”. Simple right – I had to tell her THREE times and then she insisted on taking the order, ringing in each item separately (including the equal and skim???), with annoyance said “Anything else?” and then insisted on payment before even ATTEMPTING to make it. Oh hell no. And then what does she do – ask me my order AGAIN twice while making AND had someone else (aka her counterpart) also ask me. I had to send it back THREE times for fixing and it was STILL wrong. I had to leave and tell the counterpart that they need to figure out how this is gonna work because if she took it from me one more time, I would turn into a massive **tch. The regulars would crucify them both – that’s for sure.

Now, I was kinder on her than her counterpart who had to make the ice coffee because it seems like the manager is new. However, how can you be a manager, running a shift and not know your product??? Here’s my rules I go by – if I have to tell you a third time, obviously there is something wrong with my simple explanation, or you just aren’t focused. And, normally I get set off and will correct someone immediately. Looking back, I could have been harsher but I was trying to be nice (and not glare!).

Third and Final Case:
Yesterday, I went to my leasing office to pick up my packages. I was excited because I get to make my house pretty and I get to look pretty. Fun, right? Well – such was not the case. First, I opened the door and found yet ANOTHER delay letter from the complex that now our breezeways would not be finished and we would be inconvenienced until Nov. 2nd. (This project involves a simple ripping up of the carpet in the breezeway, laying down a new one and possibly finishing the concrete on the first floor). This project has been going on for 3 weeks now and it was supposed to be done by Oct. 17. Now I like the contractor and all, but I noticed that his team is hella lazy and, from all appearances, could be dragging it out. Whatever – will deal with when I talk to the office. Then, I walked out into a monsoon of sorts – and it showed no sign of letting up. Therefore, I looked like a drowned rat – my umbrella was on my desk at the 9to5. Lots of good that did me – oh well. Still trying to keep positive. That’s when it really went downhill.

I get to the leasing office and notice that one of the gals is on the phone and the other is meeting with a prospective new lessee. Well, I figured in terms of costing my complex money – it would be better to wait in the OPEN office with the agent who was yammering away on a personal phone call than bug a person who was meeting with a potential new neighbor. What happens – the Gossipy Agent kept yipping and acted as if I was annoying HER from doing HER JOB. I could care less if you went to da club - I want my damn packages. I was patient and just stood there leaning against the door reading my messages on the blackberry. Well the other OCCUPIED leasing agent had to come into the office to help me because Ms. Gossipy Agent was STILL talking about her night at the club. The Occupied Agent then told me “Oh – just go in the room and get your package”. Hold up – wha??? You mean to tell me that just ANYONE can go back there and pick up packages and could, quite possibly, take mine in error and this is the leasing complex’s new policy. Oh hell to the naw. I’m paying almost $1,000 in rent – they better think twice. All while this is playing out in my mind, I had to keep hearing the intriguing story of how Gossipy Agent got trashed, didn’t have to drive blah blah blah. *start silently fuming – keep calm, Lys, keep calm*

I get to the packages and there are boxes upon boxes of packages everywhere. This was never the case before as management always kept a tight lid on things. With this new leasing company, there have been numerous complaints ranging from the attitude of the agents/managers, the contractors hired to beautify the place, the fire that took place (and the gossip of how they allegedly had an unlicensed contractor welding and that’s what set off the 3 alarm fire that put my apt. building at risk), how the crime rate is up because there is no security, how the security gates are STILL not working when we were told it would start working 3 weeks ago. Which, btw, inconvenienced all residents when we didn't get our letters on time, had to take time off from our jobs to come in during their hours (10-6) because the gates were going to be closed starting 3 weeks ago -newsflash - still not done. I say lock the procrastinators out - they've had 3 weeks (don't even think to call me cranky *LOL*) and on and on and on. The package room was just the straw that broke my back.

I went through the boxes, located 2 of mine and kept looking for the last one. That's when I saw a package from an attorney just tossed among the other packages. It was a small package which for all I know, could be a pleading or a settlement agreement or something of an important nature – and it was FedEx’d which means that it was important as I know that attorneys rarely FedEx things to individuals unless its important.

So, what did I do – let my inner **tch out and told Gossipy Agent to get off the phone, we had to talk. And, like a flood gate, the tides were rolling. I blasted her for just letting people in there to get packages – that this poor woman with the attorney package probably had NO idea because it’s not like the delivery men are super smart in our area – they forget to leave notes or they leave it on the wrong door. Her response – “When you sign that release, we are not liable”. I told her she was sorely mistaken – whoever signed for the package IS liable and god forbid that woman didn’t get her package. The attorney would hold the complex liable for non-delivery. She tried to push things off on UPS & FedEx and I told her to face the facts – UPS is beyond lazy but that isn’t the issue – this is.

Then Gossipy Agent got brave – she picked a fight, rolled her head like we were on the street and asked what I was angry at – bad move. Enough was enough. I was angry about a lot of things and much of it has to do with the complex. IMO, the complex is getting played by the contractors and, again the tenants are inconvenienced. I don’t CARE how pretty it will look – I just want my trash bin back (the contractors stole ours and have them filled with gravel of some sort) and they will more than likely have US pay for it. Not to mention the host of other complaints I have (and have expressed) i.e., we don’t get 48 hours notice as required by law that the complex wants to enter our apartments (we get notice at 6/7pm and they always want to come in around 8/9 a.m. the next day or, even better, they forget and my pet needs to be locked in the bedroom for their safety (because – she might be vicious *insert eye roll*). Not to mention that it takes months to get maintenance work done (I don’t feel an OUNCE bad about the dryer knob now), their incompetence cost me 3 months of electric bills of $150 + PER MONTH until they fixed the air conditioning (I threatened to deduct it from the rent - sad that is what it took for them to get off their arses), their maintenance people are lazy and just don’t step up. Looking back, I started to feel bad for blowing up but it has been a long time coming.

You know – I am all for a person with a backbone, because I’m pretty strong willed and can recognize (and respect) people who stand up to me – but there comes a point when people think they are in a club or it’s some sort of thing where I need to put them in check. Needless to say – this gal and I – we ended on somewhat amicable terms however, she better keep herself in check – or next time I will really blast and she won’t like it one bit. There was no reason for Occupied Agent to leave a prospective tenant to help me with packages when Gossipy Agent could have gotten her lazy be-hind off the damn phone (and, supposedly, it was WITH the manager – yeah ummm right). I do not care if it is 4:00 on a Saturday – work is work.


But really what it boils down to is this – people need to realize that when you are working, your working. You are not getting paid to warm a chair, warm a spot on the floor, etc. Pay attention to your jobs, go that extra mile for your customers, your boss, etc. - give a little bit more of yourself. Or, you might find yourself on the receiving end of something not so nice. Now, don't say "But Lys, I'm not paid for blah blah blah". Well, you're not paid to be human either, but when you ignore customers when you are plainly not busy (which sends the message of "Do you even exist? Shoo. I have better things to do - like nothing"), not listen to someone (which sends the message of "What you say doesn't matter") give attitude when one was not initially given to you (which sends the message of "You are bothering me") etc. - be prepared to get it back. You can set the tone for someone else's day. And, when your negative attitude sets someone off - don't get all pissy when they give it back to you tenfold. Because, after all - you might need that wake up call - at least to wake you up from being on autopilot.

Rant tis over. Back to the fluff tomorrow, pinky swear.

:::jumps off soapbox:::

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Posted by Lys :: 6:24 PM :: 5 comments

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