Thursday, April 4, 2013

I Don't Do Bubbly

   I recently had a customer who came through my line and insisted that I was in a bad mood. I smiled at the man, and asked him how his day was, but my smile must not have been big enough, because the first thing out of his mouth was "Oh, it's been one of those days hasn't it? It's okay, you don't have to act happy for me."
  Now, I do admit, that due to the fact that we are required to smile at people when we greet them, that I do smile a lot more than normal while I am at work. And probably, that smile can seem a bit forced, especially at the end of a shift when I have been grinning like a lunatic for eight fricken hours at people who can't even
read my name tag, and insist on calling me Mary or Maria instead of Marie, but that actually doesn't mean that I am having a bad day. It just means my face hurts. Smiling may not take as much muscle movement as frowning, but try smiling for a long period of time and tell me what makes your face feel more sore. It's not going to be frowning.
   Anyway, I explained to this customer that I was fine and nothing was wrong, but he continued to insist that I was unhappy,  and I began to feel that pissy feeling: anger on a slow burn. I don't like people telling me how I feel. I am not one of those chicks who say they are fine but really, they are hoping you will press the issue. If I say I'm fine, I mean I'm fine. Don't continue to ask me twenty more times, "What's really wrong? You can tell me." No. If sometime was really wrong, and I didn't tell you the first time you asked, then I don't want you to know. It's not your business; it's my business.
   But there truly was nothing wrong this day, and I do believe that I had given this man a decent smile. But he argued that I just didn't seem 'happy enough'. Well, what is happy enough? That's what I want to know.
    This, of course, flashed me back to another time, with another company, when I was getting my yearly review. This company reviewed you on a point system. Getting a one would probably mean that you needed to start looking for another job, and fast, and getting a five meant that you were a company superstar. As I sat there getting my review, I was pretty damn pleased to get a four, until I heard the manager's reason for not giving me a five. "You need to be more bubbly, Marie," he said, "You need to smile and laugh a lot more. Customers like you, but you would be more approachable if you have a little more bounce to your step."
   Are you kidding me? I don't bubble. And it isn't like I am running around holding a bloody axe, waiting for my next victim. I am, by nature, a quiet person. I wouldn't know how to bubble if my life depended on it. My favorite color is black, the music I listen to is mostly comprised of metal and angry women, I hate pink and little yippie purse dogs, and I don't like people touching me. This doesn't mean that I give bad customer service. This means that the person representing your company doesn't look and act like Bimbo Barbie. This is a good thing. I may not bubble, but no short-change conman is gonna pull shit with me. Who would you prefer handling the company's money?

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