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Why "The Customer is Always Right" Mentality is Ruining this Country

Updated on July 8, 2016

I live in Minnesota where people are generally considered "Minnesota Nice". Some people argue that Minnesota nice is just another way to say passive aggressive, but they have also probably never had a complete stranger help them out when they were stranded on the side of the road. I write this to simply frame the fact that if I live in one of the nicest states in the country and I am sick and tired of the way people act. Many blame millennials and their participation trophies, but I believe it is the strive for commerce that has truly corrupted the country.

I am a reseller so I am out at thrift shops 4 days a week and then traditional stores on Friday night for groceries and such. On the weekends I am a part-time server so I have plenty of opportunity to see the worst (and best) in people. Unfortunately, I am a fairly cynical person so I pick up on the bad actions a lot more than the good ones. It's not just public interactions either, the internet is getting just as bad.

It Has Supported the Self-Importance Factor

You see it everywhere you go now, everyone has this sense of entitlement about them that makes them think that they are much more deserving than the next guy. These are the kind of people who are in the express lane with an overflowing cart of groceries, the people who ask the obviously stressed out cashiers if they are going to open another lane, I even had a lady try to cut in line in front of me the other day; that is middle school mentality coming from an adult! All of this happens because these people have been made to believe that if they complain they will get their way; heaven forbid that a single customer leaves unhappy. Years of this kind of thinking have not only destroyed retail, but it has made the service industry unbearable.

Servers not Servants

There is no place this is more apparent than the service industry. Some people even say that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their server. I could write for days about how downright terrible people can be to their servers. Often times I am cut off during my introduction so they can yell their drink order at me, then there are the people who will shake their empty glass at you like they don't know how to use words. The worst is when people run you ragged and act like they are the only table in the restaurant only to tell you that you are a bad server and leave you a poor tip. This again goes back to the self importance factor, these people think that they are more important than the other 5 tables you have and you should be waiting on them and them only. What is really terrible is that making money in the restaurant industry is nearly impossible so everyone bends to the will of these tyrants because they don't want to lose that business.

Online is Next in LIne

Like I mentioned before, I make some money by selling items that people don't know are worth more than a simple donation. Most of my meat and potatoes come from books and games, and while games make me a decent amount of money, they are also a huge headache. Most transactions go as smooth as possible, but here are a few times that I should - and did - know better.

The first time was when a customer messaged me asking about the condition of a game box. I explained in detail the condition of the box; they proceeded to win the bid, then complain when they got the box they knew they were getting.

Then there was the time that the person asked that I message them as soon as I had shipped the item (that had tracking details) so they could know when they would receive it. I should have known that they would have a complaint.

Most recently I had a person complain that, "all of my pictures were blurry."

One of my pictures were blurry, it was a picture of the inside of the box. I was purely trying to demonstrate that the instructions were, indeed, inside the box. All of my other pictures were in clear HD. Thank God they didn't win the bid, otherwise I would have been stuck issuing a refund for a single blurry picture which didn't have anything to do with the quality of the product.

I am not calling for rudeness, and I am definitely not calling for a lack of customer service. We have all seen and experienced that. I am simply asking for more cultural awareness. Before we start putting ourselves first; can we at least put ourselves in the situation? I know it is risky business, but owners and employees need to stop catering to every person who walks through their doors just looking for a reason to complain. When people start realizing that the world is not going to cater to them just because, maybe we will start to see a change in the way people behave and a positive change in the world.


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      Gail Haering 21 months ago

      Dignity. It is about having dignity. Good article.