Dear members of the public:

There are a range of emotional responses when dealing with the walking wounded public service staff. You can be anything from friendly, to civil, to inattentive, to dismissive, to cantankerous, to downright rude.1 Friendly is always good, and you can't fail with friendly. But if you're feeling low and can't summon friendly, then go with civil and inattentive. That's fine by me. We are not, after all, bosom buddies. And I'm more interested in getting on with my work than chatting about your dog, anyway.

But for those who choose the nasty end of the spectrum, please to remember this: If we treated you in the same manner you routinely treat us, you would complain. Loud and long.

Me, I'm pretty tolerant. And I know what side my bread is buttered. So if you're rude, I will not be rude back. If you get some power kick out of watching me hold in my temper because I can't afford to lose my low-paying job, good for you. Enjoy that while you can.

But in that case please to remember this: Postal workers are not the only service staff capable of a sudden snap. I've quit higher-paying jobs for an ideal, so I'm fully capable of being irrational. Pull your head in. Before I climb over this desk and smack you down. I have staplers, heavy implements like telephones and computer monitors, and sharp scissors on this side of the bench. You have a table full of tatty magazines not even capable of delivering a paper cut.


ETA: See, I go and publish my rant, and what is the quote which greets me when I'm done? Seneca. Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received. *chastised (but only a bit)*

  1. Yes, this list is heavily skewed toward the nasty end of the spectrum. Funny, that. []

8 thoughts on “psa

  1. visualising the stapler improved my mood immensely!

    (my brother has stolen my keyboard. the on-screen keyboard is very slow. thus, i am brief.)

  2. hee. he is having hard drive troubles. to reinstall everything he needs an old-style plug-in keyboard. i, being the luddite of the family, have the only one on hand. (the rest are usb keyboards.)

  3. *pat pat*

    I swear, there's days at the bookstore that I really, really, really want to go all Basil Fawlty on people. But there's one thing worse than the rude people — the really decent and nice people who have gotten screwed over by some hiccup in the system. Had this guy the other day, nice kid, had special ordered a book and whoever took the order screwed up, so he had waited 2 weeks to be handed the wrong book, and then had to wait another 2 weeks to get the right one. And he was so darn polite and nice about it, made me feel horrible.

    Bet he did that on purpose. Bastard. πŸ™‚

  4. I think going Basil Fawlty would miraculously lower my blood pressure levels!

    I can imagine the nice people are worse. Unfortunately(?), I don't seem to get any of them in my line of work πŸ˜•

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