[photo] Mark Jeftovic

easyDNS CEO, Career Contrarian & AntiGuru

Screw that customer, I’m on lunch

Just a quick observation, I was just out running an errand and I was in a grocery store. As I was cashing out I heard a cashier behind me calling for a “carry out” for a customer. A few moments later, I heard it again. Then she called over to my cashier, “I’m having a hard time getting a carry out”.

My cashier turned to a guy over a couple aisles and asked “Nick, can you do a carry out?” and he just shook his head, expressionless, “I’m on lunch” and started walking away, past the customer waiting for a carry out, past that cashier looking for somebody to do it. I here a yell from the back of the store “Tell Nick to do the carry out”, and yell back “He’s on lunch” to which I heard a retort from the back “How long have you been on lunch anyway?”.

I actually don’t fault the business itself for this absolutely disgraceful display of employee complacency. It’s rampant almost everywhere (except, I am happy to report, in my company) and for the most part gets rewarded rather than penalized in today’s business climate.

The customer seemed to accept it all in good humor. I wouldn’t have. Being a dour crusty bastard I would have basically gotten my money back and left the store, leaving the goods in the checkout aisle.

But not only was this a slap in the face to the customer, it was an insulting act of disrespect to one’s co-workers, and employer. Granted, it’s probably some kind of union gig where being lazy, insensitive and devoid of initiative is not only tolerated but probably a requirement; it was yet another moment where I marvel at these blow-off levels of complacency and entitlement that saturates our culture.

I only lament this because I fear these easy breezy days of pink cloud economics are nearing an end.