You’re not the worst person on Earth, right? I mean, you’re not threatening nuclear war or discriminating against entire cultures or genders in your down time. Good job on that, by the way. You’ve learned how to act properly in society on some level, at least. So, why do you lose your entire mind and act like a complete monster the second you enter to the consumer environment? You need to stop that.
For most of my adult life, I’ve had either a primary or secondary job in which I served in some customer service capacity, and I am convinced it is the one atmosphere in which we see the ugliest side of people. The frightening thing is that people don’t even recognize it in themselves the vast majority of the time. Take the gentleman in the interaction below, for instance.
The man glared at me across the desk, tiny muscles in his face twitching with frustration. I returned his gaze with confusion. Neither of us spoke for a handful of seconds. Then, he repeated himself, “You need to fix my tires!” I sat there, stunned that he would say it again, then collected myself before I began repeating myself to him. Shortly after our conversation started, I knew it would end the way that it eventually did. “The customer service here is terrible!” he insisted halfway out the door and on his way back to his car. I rubbed my head and watched through the window as he drove away angrily in his freshly-washed car riding on four tires that had been inflated to the proper amount of pressure, all at no cost to him.
The “terrible customer service” (from his perspective) to which that gentleman was referring was based on his frustration that we could not keep the air in his tires from expanding and contracting during rapid and significant changes in atmospheric air temperature. In northeastern Ohio, we face those conditions a few times a year. On those occasions, dealerships flood with customers who are concerned about their tire pressure monitoring system warning lights. A surprisingly small number of those customers is comfortable with the very valid explanation that dramatic changes in air temperature can cause changes in tire pressure.
“In addition to being fellow human beings, they are also consumers in their own down time, and they…