Common Courtesy

In September, I got a part-time job on top of my full-time job. My part-time job was at J. Crew. I decided that working in retail would be a wonderful learning experience in terms of customer service. Of course I was excited by the associate discount and just the chance to learn more about fashion.

It’s been tough to say the least to have two jobs where I put in a lot of work and time for other people, with sometimes very little appreciation or recognition. Not to say that I do what I do for appreciation or recognition, but it never hurts to feel appreciated and somewhat valued.

Today at work, a customer was extraordinarily aggressive and rude to me. In all honesty, I was just doing my job, taking care of everything she asked, and trying my best to work through all her requests as quickly as possible. She spoke to me like I was an incompetent person who was so beneath her and only existed to serve her every need.

Of course, being a professional, I choked back my tears, provided her with everything she asked for, and smiled. 

As soon as she left, I asked to take a break, and I went into the bathroom and sobbed for the entirety of my break. 

It was so strange to be treated in a way I’ve never thought to ever treat someone else. I genuinely wanted to shake this woman and say, “Listen lady. You are being extremely rude to me right now. Yes, I work here, and part of my job is to ensure you have a positive experience. But before an associate here, I am first and foremost, a human being. I am someone’s daughter. I am someone’s sister. I am someone’s best friend. You do not have the right to speak to me in this manner.”

I cried several more times throughout the day.

It upsets me to be treated so poorly…but it upsets me even more knowing that there are people out there who treat others like shit. I just can’t understand it. It’s one thing to be mean to someone who’s wronged you (though of course, my parents have always told me to take the high road; though truthfully, it’s quite difficult), but it’s another to be inconsiderate and rude to strangers you don’t even know.

People laugh it off saying, “Eunice, it’s because you’re from the Midwest” when I complain about rude people.

But the truth is, why can’t people be a little more courteous and a little friendlier?

What’s wrong with saying, “Thank you” to the T driver when you hop off the T? What is so difficult about saying please when asking someone for help? What are you accomplishing by saying “Well that’s your job” instead of showing gratitude when someone providing service offers to help? Why is it not the norm to say “Excuse me” or “Pardon me” when you bump into someone? 

So many people told me great things about Boston. And I think I’ve fantasized about this place where people are liberal and the city is young. 

I can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am. The city has be quite unfriendly and cold. I’ve made some friends, but it wasn’t easy. 

I wish my “Midwestern” ways, or common courtesy in my opinion, was more prevalent here.



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1 Comment

  1. Sadly, common courtesy is not so common anymore. I’m sorry that people are treated in such a terrible manner. No one deserves that type of treatment.


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