Manners cost nothing

I find it hard to understand why some members of the general public find it OK to be downright rude to shop assistants.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 5:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:23 pm

I am a 62-year-old woman who generally doesn’t go out to work but thought I would like to earn a bit of extra cash this Christmas.

I do not have a state pension as the Government decided I should have to wait until I am 66 before I am entitled to it, yet I have worked since the age of 16 and raised two children.

My husband and I have run our own business, we have two very nice cars, a home abroad and a beautiful home in England and are mortgage-free.

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But I do not think I am a better person because of this, which makes me wonder why others may think they are and deem it OK to talk down to “we shop assistants” thinking they are superior?

I am always polite and try to help customers yet on a recent Sunday I served a gentleman and his family with a small item but not particularly a small price of £64.99. I handed him his item and receipt to which he replied “Is that it then?”

“I’m sorry, is there something else you would like?” was my reply.

To which he replied “Oh, so you are going to let me walk out of the shop like this?” And showed me the small item he had purchased.

I responded with: “You are welcome to purchase a bag but we do have to charge 5p which is government policy and not ours.” He gave a disgusted look and stormed off.

Then his wife thought it was her turn to have a go, saying: “Did you offer him a bag?”

I replied “No, but of course he is welcome to one for 5p”.

“But did you offer him a bag!” said in her condescending tone.

I replied: “He is welcome to a bag for 5p”.

“MMMMMMMMM” as she leaned towards my name badge. “Maxine, OK” like she wasn’t happy with me and was going to report me.

“Report me” and look ridiculous!

Manners cost nothing, a bag costs 5p and they didn’t have either. Are these people so rude at the supermarket when they do their weekly shop in Waitrose or when they visit John Lewis if that’s their preference and are charged 5p for a bag?

On the other hand a couple of weeks ago an elderly gentleman took two bus rides to surprise me with a large box of biscuits as he was so pleased with the service I had given. Sadly I wasn’t there to thank him but he too knows who he is so a very big thank you, Mr B!

During the festive season please have a thought for those who are serving you and speak to people in the manner you wish to be spoken to yourself.

It’s a more pleasurable experience for all concerned.