People seem to remember the Spouse Thingy and me. Oftentimes we'll return to a place we've only been once before, and are greeted with a warm "Welcome back," and are spoken to in a manner that suggests it's not just something they say to everyone. What we drink is remembered, what we were looking for in a store is recalled; little things that make it clear that we're noticed.
If we haven't been someplace for a while, that gets mentioned, too. And this is something that has gone on for decades, it isn't a phenomenon of living in a small town.
We've mused that we must be more than a little bit odd, because there's something that makes us different.
The girl at the cash register agreed and said she doesn't always remember peoples' names and what they always gets, even if she does remember their faces.
I mused that since my order never changes, that made it easy.
"No," she said, "you're always polite. You always say 'thank you' to both me and the barista. And you clean off your table before you go."
That surprised me.
Doesn't everyone thank the person who just took their order and made their drink? Most people are, fundamentally, good people, so I'm a little surprsed that the majority don't offer at least a modicum of politeness.
Yeah, there are a lot of dicks out there, those who seem to thrive on making others feel small, but most people aren't like that.
So I've been sitting here in Starbucks watching people come and go. And I'm honestly a little bit disappointed in what I've seen.
People aren't being impolite, exactly, but they're also not making an effort.
I've probably seen 30 people place an order; most hand over their money or their 'Bucks card, and then walk off without saying anything at all. Or they grunt what might be a thank you, but it's hard to tell.
When their order is up, the grab it and walk out.
There's no malicious intent there and they aren't grumbling at anyone or angry at the world; they're just people buying drinks. They aren't yelling at the cashier or berating the barista, and they aren't snipping at other customers; they probably just want to get out and on their way as soon as possible.
They aren't being impolite; they're being indifferent.
I understand it, but still...it doesn't set right.
Thanking someone for taking my order just seems like the thing to do. Thanking the person who made it seems like the right thing to do. It doesn't matter if they're turning away to deal with the next customer or make the next drink; I still do it. I know they hear me, and most of the time I get a reply.
Yeah, they're just doing their job; you do yours, too and no one thanks you for doing what you get paid to do. You do it because you're supposed to, not for the thanks.
A little kindness goes a long way.
I will always--I hope--thank the people who are doing something for me, whether I'm paying for it or not. The server at Applebees who brings me drink refills will get thanked every time. The kid working at Walmart who shows me where the salsa is, the host who seats me at Denny's, the lady at the pharmacy counter who has to tell me I can't have a refill on my meds yet because I'm one day too early...if you are doing something for me, I damn well better thank you.
Truly, that's not what this is about.
I'm just amazed that something so simple, something that everyone should be doing, has fallen to the wayside. When did we become so numb that a simple thank you is no longer reflex?
When did it become so difficult to take a napkin and wipe off the table you've been sitting at for two hours in the coffee shop?
I'm not always nice; I'm grumpy as hell a lot of the time. I really don't want to be greeted every time I walk into Home Depot, but the reality is that I know that woman will be there almost every time, and even though it's her job to say hello and be nice, that doesn't mean I shouldn't suck it up and be nice in return. That doesn't mean I should ignore her, even if all I do is offer a nod of my head.
There are a lot of times I'm not all that comfortable with being remembered when I walk into a place, but if this is the reason why, I'll accept it. Because the alternative...I don't want to be that person.
On the other hand, if you're a telemarketer--even though you're just doing your job--I'm probably going to hang up on you. I might even tell you to fark off.
We all have our limits.