Buckle up kids, it’s about to get ranty in here.
I was at work the other day and one of my customers was deliberately rude to me. Honestly, these things happen every day so I can’t even tell you now what was done or said. It’s not important anyhow, what struck me was what happened next. The next person in line came up and said something about the other person being rude and I just chuckled and said, “You get used to it.”
Everything about that is wrong.
Nobody, regardless of what they do a for living, should have to get used to being treated like they aren’t a person.
We say, “Oh, it’s the retail monster. It’s the nature of the beast.” We wave it off like it’s nothing and anyone working a job in a service industry is expected to take being debased and humiliated with a smile.
It is a disease and we are giving it the perfect environment to thrive.
We encourage people to take out their frustration and their anger and their bad days on people who can’t fight back. We give them coupons and discounts when they yell. We stand by and watch it happen to the people around us. We are all complicit in this. We’re glad it’s not us. We’re glad we won’t work here forever. We look away awkwardly. We make excuses for it. We use cute, empty little phrases to laugh it off.
It is not okay to verbally abuse someone because you’re having a bad day. It is not okay to treat someone like they are inferior because they ring your groceries or serve your food or clean your school or anything else.
Stop pretending it’s part of the job. Stop pretending it’s okay. Acknowledge it for what it is: people preying on easy targets because it makes them feel better about themselves.
People don’t need to grow a thicker skin. They shouldn’t have to. They don’t need to find a better job. They’re working.
You don’t get used to it. You shouldn’t.