Ashes to Ashes

Have you seen those ceramic jars usually found in greeting card stores that have cute sayings written on them?  Stuff like “Girls Night Out” fund or “Saving for a Harley Davidson” or “Bingo Night”

I was at my car dealership recently and as I was checking out with the cashier, I noticed she had a jar on her desk that read “Ashes of Problem Customers”  I was taken aback by this little jar because I love my dealership so much because they provide top notch customer service and have great attention to detail like always washing my car when I bring it in for an oil change or service.  How could they allow this jar to be displayed with the person who is supposed to be the ‘face’ of their business?

Shame on management for not immediately removing this jar.  And I suppose shame on me for not having the balls to tell the lady how offensive her jar is to me as a repeat customer of this dealership.  So blogging about it is my own little passive-aggressive way of making my point known:

If you interact face to face with customers, you should NEVER have  derogatory ANYTHING in plain site where a customer can see it.

Believe me, I know customers can be a pain in the ass.  I worked in retail far too long to appreciate how dumb and irritating the general public can be—especially  when something doesn’t go their way.  I keenly recall wearing an awful button from my days at Lechmere that read, ‘The Customer Is You!” to demonstrate that our retail establishment was all about catering to our valued customers.  Mind you, I hated every minute of wearing the button because it made me feel like a second-class citizen in the land of retail.  But I wore my flair because I knew if it wasn’t for the customers, I wouldn’t have a job that allowed me to go bring home a minimum wage paycheck that would later be blown at Newbury Comics.

Now that I’m a full fledged adult who can spend her money anywhere on anything, I find myself being exceptionally particular to the retail establishments that get my business.  I realize that little jar shouldn’t be that much of a big deal to me, but it bothers me only because the message it is sending directly conflicts with the overall positive experience I always get at my dealership.  Maybe next time I see the jar, I’ll have the nerve to speak up and tell the cashier how deeply it offends me.  But then again, I can also see myself walking away with a self-satisfied grin on my dopey face while the cashier reaches into her pocket and adds another quarter to her “Ashes of Problem Customers” jar.

Maybe I should just keep my big mouth shut.
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